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Tribute: Who was Pierre Rabhi, the sage of agroecology?


Agroecology is losing one of its main figures in France. Farmer and essayist Pierre Rabhi, co-founder of the Colibris movement, died this Saturday, December 4, at the age of 83, from a cerebral hemorrhage. This activist of the environmental cause was the author in particular of Towards happy sobriety (2010), sold over 460,000 copies. In October 2015, Eric Aeschimann visited him on his land in Montchamp, in Ardèche. A meeting with a wise man …

In Valence, take the Ouvèze valley, attack the Col de l’Escrinet, bypass Aubenas and slide along the Chassezac. After Lablachère, we leave the departmental road. A gravel path, a hamlet where all is silence, a final bend through the holm oaks … and here is Montchamp. Pierre Rabhi settled there in 1960, anticipating the return to earth movement by a handful of years.

It is a renovated farmhouse with a bit of odds and ends, with a south-facing view. On the ground, limestone rocks sculpted by the water emerge. In his latest book, there is a description of this everyday landscape:

The rocks, abundant in my place of life, amaze me. For me, they are fragments of silent memory, as if closed, on the secret of the creation of the world. “

It’s exactly that.

Pierre Rabhi is a gentle, calm man who smiles easily, but does not get lost in gossip. Installed in the dining room, in front of the large window, he immediately puts on the carpet a notion of complex

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