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Return to Self-sufficiency in Food-loving France

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Organic Transitions page.

Like many in food-loving France, Jerome and Marylin are serious about what goes on their plates -- enough to quit the city, tired of factory-farmed goods and pricey organic foods, and return to the self-sufficient farming of bygone days.

Despite having no rural background, they bought an old farm deep in the countryside of northeastern France and launched a new life as small-scale farmers in May 2012.

Since then, they have reclaimed a progressively larger share of the food they and their two sons eat, producing it themselves instead of buying it at the store.

"This year, we started a vegetable garden and bought our first animals -- two pigs, three goats and some rabbits," said Marylin, 37.

Their hillside farm sits at the end of a dirt road near the village of Saint-Die-Des-Vosges -- a big old house surrounded by trees where apples, pears, cherries, plums and walnuts grow.

What began as a plan to move to "somewhere a little bit isolated" has gradually become something else, said Jerome, 38.0

"We said to ourselves, 'Why not go further?'"

He said his goal is to "return to a reasonable approach" to food by cutting down the family's intake of pesticides, and meat from animals reared on a diet of genetically modified foods and antibiotics.    

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