In the spring of 2013, my mother Sylvie, bought a property in Stanbridge-Station. Right away, with her first visit, she fell in love with the region, its landscapes and its tranquility. It was the perfect place to see a long-time project of hers come true: to become as self-sufficient as possible as far as food was concerned. Little by little, the property transformed itself into a small animal farm as her garden expanded as well. In 2015, I suggested she try growing saffron. It was very successful, so the following year, we also started a paprika plantation. That same year, my husband, Laurent and I sold our house in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and temporarily moved in with my mother while we looked for a place for ourselves in the area.
Two years later, still not having found a property corresponding to what we were looking for, and seeing that our cohabitation experience was working out rather well, Sylvie offered us to stay with her on a permanent basis. This is when we had the idea to transform the house into a sort of bi-generational home, but with some common areas. We wanted to renovate in the most ecological way possible, so we called upon a renovation and ecological construction expert (Félix Paré) and the Écohabitation organization, which promotes sustainable materials with as little impact on the environment as possible. They offered us several choices of materials by presenting their long-term costs, including those of replacement. This is how we came to the decision of using less known materials such as cork for some of the flooring and whitewashed poplar panelling for the ceilings and walls.
There are still some finishing touches to be made but the renovations should be completed before seeding season begins. This year the family will continue to develop its saffron plantation by adding a third greenhouse and a boutique. Our future projects? To be included in an epicurean circuit and add fruit and vegetable baskets to our production. One day people from the city will stop in Stanbridge-Station to buy everything they need to concoct a delicious meal made with fresh organic products. For now, the saffron plantation contains 200,000 saffron bulbs and more than 10,000 paprika pepper plants.
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