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Transcription Returning to the Land
Trois-Pistoles is a little charming city located on the edge of the majestic Saint-Lawrence river, in the Rivière-Du-Loup county.
Dominated on the south by an undulating mountain chain dotted with lakes, forests and rivers, she is the antechamber of this much sought-after paradise by hunters and fisherman.
Let’s start? Let’s start.
It’s filming! Could you please introduce yourself?
Of course…Maurice Vaney, what else should I say?
Are you originally from Trois-Pistoles?
No. No I am not from Trois-Pistoles. I arrived here in 1974. Like I was telling you, it was really by chance, I didn’t really have the intention of staying here at all.
I left, like many people at the time, to come back to the land. I was part of that movement. I arrived here with the intention of establishing myself in the country side, to make my roots somewhere and and maybe also to listen to the birds.
I met some people and two days later I bought some land here. Everything happened very quickly, I think that this is what we call love at first sight.
My idea was to get back to the land and to do some organic farming, to see if there was a project with which I could become self-sufficient off this land.
We wanted to start a garlic production in 1974, it was not very well known back then. We started the project like city people would, meaning we planted the garlic without letting the land fallow so the garlic didn’t really grow. It’s a series of failures that led us to reorient ourselves. I said to myself that I would concentrate my efforts on things that I can do myself.
When the village was born, hunting and fishing provided the pioneers with a means of subsistence, generations worked in logging and clearing to pave the way for agriculture and eventually industry.
Since then, economic life has changed a lot in Trois-Pistoles, trade has flourished and agriculture has become the business of progressive farmers.
First, you are not anonymous, when you live here, you do not live in anonymity, so you have to learn to relate to people that you do not know and that don’t know you. I do not have a local name, so starting there, it was a struggle to make myself accepted in the community.
At the time I had long hair and that was not very common here. It taught me how to get involved in a community, find ways to make myself useful to local causes.
When we arrived, not exactly here in Trois-Pistoles, but around, villages were closing down, the fight against the closing of villages had just started. There was a movement of solidarity that was developing. You learn to integrate yourself in a community. I basically did that all my life, but getting integrated in a rural community, that was the first time that I was trying that.
What is happening today with the arrival of new people compared to the time when I arrived here, with others as well, is that we were really more centered on coming back to the land. Today the idea is more to find a place where you feel good and where you can grow.
It is not necessarily oriented towards having both feet in the ground. It is more about finding a vibe and finding a living environment that lets you get away from the rat race that the system is imposing on us.
That’s the way I see it, when I talk to people that just arrived, I don’t feel that they are necessarily here to cultivate the land, it’s more about finding oneself and finding a life environment and a way of living that has different ethics than the one that the system of productivity and consumerism has to offer.
It is interesting because many people arrive here and see what is happening and then start their projects.
Where will these projects lead and will they all survive? There are seeds being planted everywhere and we are watching all this with a lot of attention.