Written by Stephanie Mercier Voyer

Photos by Virginie Gosselin

This sustainable development advisor and now urban market gardener is far from afraid to get covered in soil and to get things moving, one plant at a time. From the concrete of Ahuntsic, one of Montreal's districts, gushes out a green oasis that catches the eye. It's in fact La Ferme de Rue, a recent and promising project led by Réal Migneault.

"If you don't make a move while you still can, you'll spend the rest of your life regretting you didn't try."

Not only his house, but the adjoining parking lot and sidewalk are covered by wheeled bins, geotextile bags, raised flowerbeds and towering plants. Réal Migneault manages this 500 square feet farm since 2018, always with a smile on his face and determined like no other. Neighbors know they can always make a little stop on the way to discuss gardening, to buy good and fresh food and to take nice pictures to spread the news on social media.

Réal's journey stands out - it's quite atypical. Working in sustainable development field most of his career, first as a consultant for RPM, the consulting firm he founded himself in 2004, and then as a partner in charge of sustainable development projects within an established architectural firm. "I've help put some green roofs in a lot of places", he says, laughing. Although he was passionate about his work and the company's commitment to a greener world, something changed in him during those years. "I was under the impression that only rich people were benefiting from our work", he explains.

Réal decided to take a couple of months break to take the road on his motorcycle with only a tent, a camera and an ambitious idea - to make a documentary on sustainable development in America.


*Adapted for online, read the full article in the second edition of Growers & Co. Magazine