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Miraculous Abundance

One Quarter Acre, Two French Farmers, and Enough Food to Feed the World
Narrated by: Tim Bruce
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Summary

When Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer set out to create their farm in an historic Normandy village, they had no idea just how much their lives would change. Neither one had ever farmed before. Charles had been circumnavigating the globe by sail, operating a floating school that taught students about ecology and indigenous cultures. Perrine had been an international lawyer in Japan. Each had returned to France to start a new life. Eventually, Perrine joined Charles in Normandy, and Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin was born.

Bec Hellouin has since become a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain. Miraculous Abundance is the eloquent tale of the couple's evolution from creating a farm to sustain their family to delving into an experiment in how to grow the most food possible, in the most ecological way possible, and create a farm model that can carry us into a post-carbon future when oil is no longer moving goods and services, energy is scarcer, and localization is a must.

Today, the farm produces a variety of vegetables using a mix of permaculture, bio-intensive, four-season, and natural farming techniques - as well as techniques gleaned from native cultures around the world. It has some animals for eggs and milk, horses for farming, a welcome center, a farm store, a permaculture school, a bread oven for artisan breads, greenhouses, a cidery, and a forge. It has also become the site of research focusing on how small organic farms like theirs might confront Europe's (and the world's) projected food crisis.

©2016 English translation copyright by Chelsea Green Publishing (P)2017 Chelsea Green Publishing

Critic reviews

"A chameleon with language, British narrator Tim Bruce clearly enunciates the many French words in this visionary audiobook. He captures the ameliorative tone of this tribute to micro-farming and the organic life. His considerable ability adds authority to a globe-spanning work that asks the listener to conceive of a future of tiny market gardens replacing vast tracts of corn and soy. The authors left their previous lives to go back to the land to create a multifaceted project--a small but successful working farm (market garden) that also functions as a center for research and a site for agritourism. This is an audiobook that can benefit anyone with an interest in the land, the methods of miniaturizing agribusiness, or just maximizing a minimal garden." (AudioFile Magazine)

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Good horticulture book

The book explains the basics of horticulture and organic agriculture in a very simple way

1 person found this helpful

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very interesting read

well researched. fascinating insight into less is more and permaculture. first two thirds are the most interesting.

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Absorbing and hopeful

Well narrated, a clear and persuasive account of an alternative to conventional fossil fueled agriculture. I want to believe it's possible.

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Essential reading/listening (endurance test?)

Possibly the most interesting and boring book to which I have ever listened.

The content is vitally important to this world, and must be heeded. The presentation of the ideas, however, was extremely repetitive and tedious! The narrator tried his best, perhaps, but his intonation was weird and I found it very annoying.

Despite my difficulties with the tedious presentation of the information, and the irritating style of narration, I persevered to the end of the book. It may read better in French, yet the book could do with a huge amount of editing... Cut, cut, cut... Hard pruning!

I may sound overly negative, so have to come back to my main message, which is that the essential content of the book is invaluable - a vision of how agriculture MUST start to change in order to save both the planet and humanity.


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excellent and inspiring

loved every minute and such a great lead to other great books on and around the topics.

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  • Ganesh
  • 08-02-18

Nice book

Wonderful book which gives a nice insight to permaculture way of life. It is not a step by step guide.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-06-19

exceptional and inspirational

loved the book and narrator. Good pronunciation of French. sounded like he enjoyed reading it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Crystal Forbes
  • 05-06-19

Useful read, perhaps too glowing about permaculture

Unique listen. Increased my awareness and interests in small market farming. Sounds like a beautiful farm, would certainly love to visit it someday. I think it would be difficult to recommend this book to my commercial agricultural practicing family. The idea of a garden utopia sounds fantastic, but I have difficulty seeing modern America rolling back to a series of small farms like we had a century ago.

1 person found this helpful