Votre Cercle de Vie

Welcome to the farm of the future.

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What it's all about

In the Vaudois municipality of Château-d'Œx, a sustainable center of excellence is being created that combines agriculture, tourism, health and education.
Over 500 people have already been involved in the pioneering project in recent years.
The center is scheduled to open in 2024.

Text: Nik Thomi, Photos: Linn Jousson, Illustration: Bruno Yerly

Votre Cercle de Vie is the story of a farming family from the Pays-d'Enhaut in Vaud. But it is also the story of the belief in the wholeness of the human organism, in the power of synergies and biodiversity. It is the story of the courage to pioneer, to give up control and to trust. And it is the story of the idealistic struggle against the alienation of modern man from nature.

Agriculture as an umbilical cord

When Esther Gerber was born in the mid-1980s on a mountain farm in the Simmental, no one would have expected that 38 years later she would be the protagonist of a feature film about what is probably Switzerland's most revolutionary sustainable farming project: Votre Cercle de Vie - initiated by Esther Mottier-Gerber and her husband Nicolas Mottier. An agricultural competence center that is intended to function as a unique microcosm consisting of 18 different fields of activity in a self-contained manner. A circle of life built according to the "cradle to cradle" principle: from food to furniture to water, animal excrement and waste, everything is to be collected, transformed and reused. A center that aims to reconnect people with nature. Since for Esther Mottier-Gerber it is clear: "You can only take care of something that you know." And agriculture, as the umbilical cord between man and nature, is probably the most important link.

In the name of the next generation

The Mottiers laid the foundation for their ambitious project by gradually converting to biodynamic agriculture and opening two organic stores and a naturopathic practice. However, the final impetus to consistently pursue their chosen path came with the birth of their son Laurent. "Suddenly we realized the immediacy of the need for action," says Esther Mottier-Gerber. "With the birth of a child, you become aware that your actions on earth not only affect you, but in a direct way, the next generation." Instead of waiting for politicians to find solutions in the fight against the looming climate catastrophe, the Mottier-Gerber couple thought about what they themselves could do with the means at their disposal.

Thus, the idea matured to establish a competence center that would connect man and nature in a symbiotic way. The futuristic-looking buildings will one day house not only a stable, guest rooms, a restaurant and a natural wellness oasis, but also an organic food store, practices for general medicine and naturopathy, and classrooms.

Earning money in a sustainable way

Man can only care for things he knows.
Man can only care for things he knows.
Esther Mottier-Gerber

Movie about Esther Mottier-Gerber

«Le Pari d’ Esther»

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