L’Atelier Paysan is a French-speaking collective of small-scale farmers, employees and agricultural development organisations who design fake open source farm tools (fake as in Non-Commercial). Based on the principle that farmers are themselves innovators, they have been collaboratively developing methods and practices to reclaim farming skills and achieve self-sufficiency in relation to the tools and machinery used in organic farming. They have an English language website, which includes about a dozen tool descriptions with technical drawings. All tools can be appropriated and modified by farmers (Self-Built Machinery).
From the website
We are a French-speaking collective of small-scale farmers, employees and agricultural development organisations, gathered together as a cooperative named l’Atelier Paysan. Based on the principle that farmers are themselves innovators, we have been collaboratively developing methods and practices to reclaim farming skills and achieve self-sufficiency in relation to the tools and machinery used in organic farming. In 2011, we set ourselves up as a staffed organisation working to promote farm-based inventions, collectively develop new technological solutions adapted to small-scale farming, and make these skills and ideas widely available through courses and educational materials. Since 2015, we have also been offering resources and guidance to farmer-driven projects involving the building or renovation of agricultural buildings.
We are based in the Rhône-Alpes region of south east France and also have a branch in Brittany. We have three trucks equipped with the machinery and materials we need to run practical training courses on farms and workshops across France. We provide advice and guidance for small-scale farmers on agricultural tools tailored to their needs, and accompany them through their trials and tribulations in their farming journey, individually or collectively, whatever their area of production. The development of tools and self-built machinery adapted to small-scale farming is a technological, economic and cultural instrument which has been little explored within agricultural development in France, although it can provide a significant impact on the growth of organic farming and contribute to improving organic farming practices.
A tool box of farmer-driven technologies and practices
Supporting farmer-led research and development
1. On-farm innovations
2. Collective farmer-led designs
3. Engineering expertise to design replicable machinery
Disseminating open source materials for organic farming
1. Promoting technologies that are wanted by farmers
2. Information tailored to the needs of small-scale farmers: forum posts, articles, designs, tutorials and our Self-build guide
Leading training sessions to create self-sufficient farming systems
1. Our training courses
2. Workshops on farms
3. Bulk orders
Adapting tools to the context in which they are used
1. The tools we develop are not finished products
2. Promoting critical and responsible use of farm machinery
3. Gaining confidence and autonomy, adapting and sharing technologies
Project Example: Steerage Hoe
This steerage hoe was invented by Franck Vuillermet, a farmer from the Savoie region of France. His tool original model was a well functioning and versatile hoeing equipment, but not a model you could easily reproduce! So over the course of the summer in the coolness of the office, Atelier Paysan standardised the design of Frank’s steerage hoe. Using standardised agricultural parts available on the market and simple building techniques, we now have an implement which follows very closely the original model.
Project Example: Quick Hitch Triangle
The quick hitch triangle replaces the traditional three point linkage system. With the quick hitch triangle, you can hitch a tool onto a tractor in a matter of seconds without getting out of the cab. It’s also a safer and more efficient way of hitching on tools.
- Article in No Tech Magazine "Adapted Tools for Organic Farming"
- Designs: "Technical drawings & tutorials"
- Flickr Photo Stream of L’Atelier Paysan
- Youtube Channel of L’Atelier Paysan
- Dailymotion Channel of L’Atelier Paysan