I met Geneviève Dupuis of Domaine Delahaye on a windy day. The night before, the family goat, Juliette, had given birth to two squalling kids. Romeo, the buck, was in a stall nearby. As Geneviève showed us around the barn, the squeals of the newborn kids, the sounds of Charlotte the pig communing with Romeo, and the crowing of their rooster provided the soundtrack for our talk about her vision for their farm.
A mother of three, Dupuis came to farm life in her late thirties after having worked as a choreographer and a secondary school teacher. It is the teacher in her that sees the farm as an opportunity to educate others in food production. Not only as nourishment for the body, but for its holistic relationship to heart and soul.
One of their projects is to offer families the opportunity to raise chickens. Domaine Delahaye sells a kit to build a small chicken coop and offers buyers the opportunity to take their chickens once the summer season is over. For Geneviève, the experience of living with a chicken or two for the summer provides children and adults the opportunity to witness the circle of life up close. Chickens lay eggs that can be eaten, table scraps go to feeding the chickens, and the chicken droppings contribute to nourishing the garden.
But it was the artist in her, she feels, that really prepared her for life on the farm. Curiosity, patience, dedication, and the willingness to tackle new challenges on a daily basis are the requirements of both choreographer and farmer. Except, she adds, being an artist is harder and doesn’t pay as well.
By raising free-range pigs, chickens, and fowl for market and sharing that process with others, Geneviève Dupuis and her partner, Odaray Delahaye, hope to encourage their customers to think about how things are grown and to make healthier choices. They are part of a growing community of small scale producers in Quebec who value traditional methods, respectful husbandry, and wise stewardship of the land.
Domaine DelaHaye is located in St Clet, about an hour west of Montreal on Highway 20.
You can buy Domaine DelaHaye products at the following locations:
Marché St Anne de Bellevue, Saturdays, 9 – 2 pm
Marché Fermier Mile End, Sundays 12-4 pm
Boulangerie Pain et Cie, 68, route 338 , Les Côteaux: 450-217-1190
Les Gourmandises de Soulanges, 3, rue Principale, Coteau-du-Lac: 450-308-1009
Boulangerie Grain de vie, 3 Ste-Julie E, St-André-Avellin: 819-983-1884
The products can also be ordered from www.marchegourmet.ca
Read more of the Who’s Your Farmer series here.