About the Farm
About Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm
We are five young farmers who met while studying agriculture at the MacDonald campus of McGill university. Our interest in good food, social justice and the environment led us to start Tourne-Sol cooperative farm in the fall of 2004. We run our business as a workers co-operative. In farming together following ecological principles, we have built a democratic, diversified and sustainable enterprise.
La Ferme Coopérative Tourne-Sol is situated in les Cèdres, Quebec, about 60 km west of Montreal. Find us on Google Maps here. We farm on 17 acres (7ha) of land rented from neighbouring organic grain producers.
We strive to produce agricultural products of the highest quality according to organic standards and agro-ecological principles; to build strong community ties in our region; and to promote organic agriculture as a viable food production system.
Meet Your Farmers
Dan manages seed production, braids a lot of garlic, and loves watching salad greens grow. Dan is co-author (with Fred) of Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers and blogs about farming and seeds at goingtoseed.wordpress.com.
Dan has a B. Sc. in agricultural engineering from McGill University. He is past president of Canadian Organic Growers, a USC Canada board member, and on the Eastern Canadian Organic Seed Growers Network's steering committee. Dan also happens to be married to Emily.
Emily is Tourne-Sol's CSA coordinator and harvest manager. She also oversees the culinary and medicinal herb production on the farm, as well as managing brassica crops which include the mighty kohlrabi! Emily likes packing seed, keeping bees, and raising her baby girl with husband Dan.
At the farm Fred is in charge of farmers markets, fertility, accounting, basket program administration, perennials and tomatoes, among other things. He studied (BSc, MSc) and taught agriculture at McGill. Fred published the book Crop Planning for Vegetable Growers with Dan in 2010. Fred loves playing music, dancing, staying up late and being involved in his community. He is a board member of both Équiterre and Marché Ste-Anne. He lives in Ste-Anne with his lovely wife Dana and his three children Lila, Ruby and André.
Reid grew up in Northern Ontario and studied Agriculture and Environmental Science at McGill University before Tourne-Sol was born. Reid is Tourne-Sol's resident fix-it guy and a compulsive tinkerer. Reid loves to figure out how and why things work. Farming is thus a perpetually stimulating pursuit because he'll never really understand exactly how it all works. Same goes for his adorable and utterly illogical children Phoebe, and Elliot.
Renée studied agriculture and environmental science at McGill University. At Tourne-Sol farm Renée manages the seedling greenhouse, organic certification, pest control and flower production. She is married to Reid and together they have 2 amazing kids, Phoebe and Elliot.
Tourne-Sol Apprentices & Employees Through The Ages
Select any apprentice to find out more about them.
With her B.A. in theater design, Amélie worked as a technical director on many concerts, festivals, theater plays, and more! When she met Aurélien through work, they decided to change careers and switch to a a line of work with a different pace of life that better lined up with their ecological values.
Amélie first came to Tourne-Sol in 2013 to do a 10-day stage as part of her studies at L’École des métiers de l’horticulture de Montréal at the Montreal Botanical Garden. At the time she thought she wanted to start an edible landscaping company with Aurélien. But then she got bit by the organic farming bug!
Andrea Guay has a BA in Environmental Studies and a minor in Spanish. It was through her studies that she discovered a passion for food issues and sustainable agriculture. A scholarly interest combined with a love of hands-in-the-dirt suddenly made for a clear vocation: farming! Since graduating, Andrea has worked and volunteered on diverse farms in Ontario and South America, exploring different crops and methods. She aims to gain a wide variety of agricultural and life experiences, before undertaking her own farm dream.
Aurélien has a B.A in English Literature then he studied stage production. When Aurélien left France to come and work as a light technician in Québec, his plan was to make a bit of money and then travel the world. He didn’t plan on meeting Amélie! When he did, they convinced each other to quit their jobs, but rather than go traveling they’ve jumped into farming. After 2 years of landscape design course, Aurélien is now working at Tourne-Sol.
Aurel also really likes talking about trees.
Brendan grew up on a skateboard. Inspired by Captain Planet and National Geographic, Brendan studied at McGill’s school of the environment where he decided that farming was the best way to act on his ecological concerns.
As such, Brendan traded in his skateboard for a harvest knife and went farming in BC, Ontario, and Spain. Along the way he discovered seeds, one of the reasons he’s now come to Tourne-Sol.
Brendan is not sure whether his element of choice is water or heart. But it is probably heart.
Caitlyn worked on organic (and non-organic) farms in Quebec and B.C. before coming to Tourne-Sol. She is currently in Nova Scotia working as a nurse.
Carol grew up in the suburbs of Boston and graduated with a B.A. in German Studies & East Asian Studies from McGill University. Curious as to where her food was coming from, Carol started dabbling with farming. Last year, Carol apprenticed on Ferme Lève-Tot with Richard and Charlotte (http://fermelevetot.ca/). (Richard was our first apprentice ever! This kind of makes Carol a Tourne-Sol grandchild.)
Carol is also on the board of directors of CKUT 90.3 FM, McGill’s campus community radio station & she blogs about her farming journey at http://carolcultivates.com/
Cora-Lee grew up in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue by McGill’s farm fields. She discovered her passion for agriculture while working on different farms in Europe. She is studying organic agriculture the Cegep de Victoriaville in the Fall.
Craig wants to be part of the food revolution.
While studying Geography at Concordia University, Craig’s interest in food and the environment collided, making him wonder whether farming was the answer. So Craig took a break from his studies to complete a 6 month Farmer Trainer Program at the University of Vermont. One month into the program, Craig knew that farming was what he wanted to do with his life.
Craig came back to Montreal to dabble in lacto fermentation and complete his geography degree. Now he’s working with Tourne-Sol.
After 2 years of working at Tourne-Sol as a part time employee, Eric returned in 2009 as a full-time apprentice. He then went on to study organic agriculture in Victoriaville and has worked on a number of other farms since. Now, he’s looking for a farm of his own. In the meantime, Eric has started les Jardins du Gnome at the Plateforme Agricole de l’Ange Gardien.
Greg was studying continental philosophy (specifically the French Phenomenologist Emmanuel Levinas) when he heard the call to go out and get his hands dirty. This brought him onto a series of farm leading to Tourne-Sol.
Greg knows that working with the soil in some capacity will be part off his future and feels just about ready to take the plunge and start his own farm. The only question left is tractors, BCS walking tractors, or horses!
After her Tourne-Sol apprenticeship in 2010, Heather pursued a business start-up project in herb production in 2011. Currently she has bought land with friends, incorporated as a workers’ cooperative and started producing vegetables, herbs and other complementary products as of 2012. Sound familiar? You can find her at la ferme coopérative aux champs qui chantent
Coming from the computer tech world, Jacques pursued an apprenticeship at Tourne-Sol in 2009. Currently, Jacques lives in the West Island of Montreal with his wife Mel and daughter Émilie.
Jonathan studied food production at McGill University. After his apprenticeship at Tourne-Sol in 2008, he went on to gain experience working with draft horses. He is now running a CSA farm in Dunham (QC) with his partner Joliane. Their farm is called Ferme M̩lilot. www.fermemelilot.com
Julien grew up in his parent’s restaurant. This likely seeded his love for good food.
He studied cinema at Ahuntsic CEGEP but left partway to participate in a Katimavik exchange in Alberta. During Katimavik Julien discovered permaculture & urban agriculture. This led him to study Permaculture in Cuba where he then heard about Tourne-Sol from Orelvis, a Cuban farmer who stayed with us in 2008.
Julien volunteered at Tourne-Sol for a few days and must have enjoyed himself because after a stint building Earthships, Julien has come to work with us.
Julien is also working hard to establish Flamboyant Fridays as a farm tradition.
Born on the beautiful west coast of British Columbia, Katrina grew up loving nature. A desire to learn more about agriculture began while working in a local health food store. Her desire to try out farming slowly grew while traveling across the globe. Coming back home from travels, she landed on a small farm in the sunny Okanogan. For the first few seasons, Katrina harvested cherries on various organic farms. Her passion for organic farming increased from summer to summer, leading to full seasons of work on vegetable farms. In 2012, she lived in Montreal and worked at Torne-Sol. She hopes to glean as much wisdom as possible from all the lovely farmers past and present to put towards her own farm someday? Hopefully soon.
Marie-Claude was raised in Ste-Sophie-de-Lévrard. She always knew that one days she’d leave the city to return to country living.
One of Marie-Claude’s first loves was volcanoes, another was the environment.These merged well with her degrees in geology and chemistry at the Université du Québec à Montréal.
While Marie-Claude was traveling around the world she wound up at a permaculture project. This opened her eyes to the world of agriculture. She started working on farms and gardens, and returned to school to study ornamental horticulture at l’École des Métiers de L’Horticulture. During a farm visit with her class, Marie-Claude came to Tourne-Sol. She decided then that she wanted to work for us. And here she is!
Marie-Pier was raised on an organic dairy farm in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Au Gré des Champs) . After a DEC in social science, traveling, then studying at l’Institut de Technologie Agroalimentaire de Saint-Hyacinthe in horticultural production and the environment, Marie-Pier apprenticed at Tourne-Sol in 2012. Marie-Pier is studying at McGill University to be an agronomist.
Myriam just graduated from McGill University. She did a summer apprenticeship on Tourne-Sol farm in 2011. Currently, she is working at McGill as a research assistant for a project on climate change and its impact on invasive plants.
Ramelot Lafleur Tremblay
Ramelot was raised on a small family farm in GaspÌésie. After his studies in history and traveling in Central America, Ramelot decided to study at l’Écoles des métiers de l’horticulture de Montréal. As he subsequently worked on an orchard and vegetable farms, Ramelot’s interest in organic agriculture fully developed and now he dreams that he wiill be an organic farmer.
Richard was the very first Tourne-Sol apprentice in 2007. Currently Richard farms near Wakefield, QC with his wife Charlotte. They run a CSA farm called Ferme Lève-tôt. www.fermelevetot.ca
Roxanne studied in social sciences and now studies farm management at C̩EGEP Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Roxanne is planning on wrapping up her studies then going into agronomy. She hopes to have her own farm in the next 5 years.
Sophie is back for her second season with Tourne-Sol and has graduated up to field seed manager. While she waits for the great garlic harvest, Sophie makes sure the seed crops stay weed free and get harvested on time.
Sophie grew up in Trois-Rivières then completed a B.Sc in Environmental Sciences at l’Université du Québec à Montréal. After migrating from the city to the suburbs, Sophie now uses her backyard as an urban agricultural laboratory. When she’s not in the garden, Sophie rocks out with Sophie et ses Dalton and Jugband trio.
Raised in a gardening family on southern Vancouver Island, BC, Tamara’s interest in organic food production was cultivated during her time at university, where she was exposed to various sustainable agriculture methods and the joys of community gardening. After spending time on a biodynamic farm during a school hiatus, she was eager to get her hands dirty full time.After her Tourne-Sol apprenticeship, Tamara returned to BC to work on her family nursery (Dinter Nursery.)
Tom grew up on a farm, and then pursued a career in outdoor education. He came to Tourne-Sol in 2011 after spending a season farming at Everdale near Guelph (ON). Tom is plotting next steps whilst traveling with his sweetheart.
Xander farmed at Everdale in Guelph (ON) before coming to Tourne-Sol in 2011. He is currently farming in Nova Scotia.
Yoan Gardner Patry
The seed’s for Yoan’s farming desires were planted when he was young playing on his mother’s hobby farm amidst the chickens, boars, and vegetables.
He subsequently studied electrical engineering and has been working at Hydro Quebec. But an urge to get out from behind a desk and get his hand’s in the dirt has brought him to many experiences farming and gardening in Australia, Germany, Poland, & Quebec.
After visiting Tourne-Sol in 2014 for a seed saving workshop with Equiterre and having read Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers, Yoan decided to join the Tourne-Sol team.
In the Media
- Winner of “Ma Ferme Mon Monde 2015″ contest. Agri-Carrières. 2015.
- Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm – The Gazette. Video published online in 2014.
- Open House at “La Ferme Coopérative Tourne Sol”. Vaudreuil-Soulanges.tv, July 2014.
- Ferme Coopérative Tourne-Sol – la coopération en mouvement, Vaudreuil-Soulanges.tv, September 26 2012.
- La ferme Tourne-Sol ou le modèle coopératif en milieu agricole, October 7, 2011. Par-dessus le marché.
- Winner of the “Tournez-vous vers l’excellence! 2010″ contest, 2010. La financière agricole du Québec.
- Les fermes coopératives, October 31, 2009. La Semaine Verte.
- Plus vert l’achat local?, May 11, 2007. La Semaine Verte.
- Frédéric Thériault, Winners of the “Carotte D’or” Prize, Interviewed by Ecolibrium, March 27, 2018. CKUT
- Daniel Brisebois, interviewed by Farmer to Farmer Podcast. “Dan Brisebois on Farming in a Co-operative, Seed Production and Crop Planning”. January 21, 2016.
- Daniel Brisebois, interviewed by Permaculture Voices. “Starting a Small Scale Seed Business”. January 2016.
- Daniel Brisebois, interviewed by The Ruminant. “Building a Farm Cooperative to Thrive”. May 28, 2015.
- Daniel Brisebois, interviewed by The Ruminant. “Getting Started in Veggie Seed Production”. February 8 and 15, 2013. Listen to Part 1, listen to Part 2.
- Frédéric Thériault, interviewed by The Ruminant. “The costs, benefits and best approach to paying farm interns over the table”. January 17, 2013.
- Frédéric Thériault, interviewed by Ecolibrium, January 10, 2012. CKUT (go to minute 30:30)
- Integrating Seed Production Into a Market Garden at Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm, Spring 2015. MOFGA.
- Ferme Coopérative Tourne-Sol, February 12, 2015. Gestion et Technologie Agricole.
- Organic practices are the foundation of a successful co-op farm in Quebec. September 26, 2012. The Globe and Mail.
- Fresh Produce Available Early, June 13, 2012. The Hudson Gazette.
- Ferme Coopérative Tourne-Sol – Vivre d’agriculture autrement, Fall 2010. Desjardins Entreprises.
- Mes Fermiers de Famille, Winter 2010. Partenaires.
- A New Approach to Farming, Oct 14, 2009. The Toronto Star.
- Stop and Smell The Garlic, August 22, 2008. The Montreal Gazette.
- The Fresh, Young Face of Farming, August 11, 2008. The Montreal Gazette.
- Meet your Neighbourhood Farmer, October 24, 2005. The McGill Daily.
- A New Crop of Farmers, July 5, 2006. The Montreal Gazette.
- Winner of “Ma Ferme Mon Monde 2015″ contest. Agri-Carrières. 2015.
- Prix de la Relève Maraîchère, UPA St-Jean-Valleyfield. 2012.
- 1st Prize in young farmer contest “Tournez-vous vers l’excellence! 2010″, 2010. La financière agricole du Québec.
- 1st Prize – Prix Desjardins Agricole 2010, 2010. Caisse Populaire Desjardins.
- 2nd Prize – Desjardins Coop Entrepreneurship, 2005. Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest.
- 1st Prize – Social Economy – Montérégie, 2005. Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest.
Address: 1025 Chemin St-Dominique, les Cèdres, QC, J7T 1P5 (Click here to find us on Google Maps)
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