The Market Gardener
About the Book
Grow better not bigger with proven low-tech, human-scale, biointensive farming methods
Les Jardins de la Grelinette is a micro-farm located in Eastern Quebec, just north of the American border. Growing on just 1.5 acres, owners Jean-Martin and Maude-Helene feed more than 200 families through their thriving CSA and seasonal market stands and supply their signature mesclun salad mix to dozens of local establishments. The secret of their success is the low-tech, high-yield production methods they've developed by focusing on growing better rather than growing bigger, making their operation more lucrative and viable in the process.
The Market Gardener is a compendium of La Grelinette's proven horticultural techniques and innovative growing methods. This complete guide is packed with practical information on:
- Setting-up a micro-farm by designing biologically intensive cropping systems, all with negligible capital outlay;
- Farming without a tractor and minimizing fossil fuel inputs through the use of the best hand tools, appropriate machinery and minimum tillage practices;
- Growing mixed vegetables systematically with attention to weed and pest management, crop yields, harvest periods and pricing approaches.
Inspired by the French intensive tradition of maraichage and by iconic American vegetable grower Eliot Coleman, author and farmer Jean-Martin shows by example how to start a market garden and make it both very productive and profitable. Making a living wage farming without big capital outlay or acreages may be closer than you think.
About the Book
As local organic agriculture continues to flourish, a cohort of young professional growers are leading the way with innovative ideas about farming. The Market Gardener provides hands-on information about growing for CSA and farmers markets. Based on low-tech, high-yield methods of production, this is a modern, micro-scale farming handbook.
Jean-Martin Fortier and his wife Maude-Hélène Desroches are the founders of Les Jardins de la Grelinette, an internationally recognized micro-farm famous for its high productivity-profitability using low-tech, high-yield methods of production. A leading practitioner of biologically intensive cropping systems, Jean-Martin has more than a decade's worth of experience in mixed organic farming. He has written articles about his work for popular magazines such as Canadian Organic Grower, La Terre de Chez Nous and Growing for Market. He also contributes occasionally as a tool and equipment advisor for companies such as Johnny's Selected Seeds and Dubois Agrinovation. The original French language version of this book, Le Jardinier-Maraîcher, released in Fall 2012, has sold more than 15,000 copies
Severine von Tscharner Fleming is an organic farmer, young farmers advocate, publisher and organizer based in Downeast Maine.
Marie Bilodeau is an illustrator. She lives in Quebec.