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 two hundred 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. Jean-Martin Fortier is a passionate advocate of strong local food systems and founder of Les Jardins de la Grelinette, an internationally recognized model for successful biointensive micro-farming.
Jean-Martin Fortier and his wife Maude-Helene 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-Maraicher, released in Fall 2012, has sold more than 15,000 copies.
Acknowledgments Foreword Preface 1 Small Is Profitable Can You Really Live ff 1.5 Acres? Not Just Making a Good Living, but Making a Good Life 2 Succeeding as a Small-Scale Organic Vegetable Grower A Biologically Intensive Approach Minimizing Start-Up Costs Minimizing Production Costs Direct Selling Adding Value to the Crops Learning the Craft 3 Finding the Right Site Climate and Microclimate Market Access Growing Space Needed Soil Quality Topography Drainage Access to Water Infrastructure Assessing Possible Pollution Problems 4 Designing the Market Garden Buildings and Foot Traffic Standardizing the Garden Layout Locating the Greenhouse and Tunnels Protection against Deer Windbreaks Irrigation 5 Minimum Tillage and Appropriate Machinery Permanent Raised Beds The Two-Wheel Tractor The Broadfork (Grelinette) Tarps and Pre-Crop Ground Cover To Till or not to Till 6 Fertilizing Organically Soil Tests Crop Requirements Managing Soil Fertility Good Compost Relying on Natural Fertilizers - Why? Establishing Crop Rotation Crop Rotation at Les Jardins de la Grelinette Green Manure and Cover Crops Connecting with Soil Ecology 7 Starting Seeds Indoors Seeding in Cell Flats The Soil Mix Filling Cell Flats The Seedling Room The Evolving Plant Nursery Heating and Ventilation of the Nursery How to Water Seedlings Potting up Transplanting into the Gardens 8 Direct Seeding Precision Seeders Seedbed Preparation Record Keeping 9 Weed Management Cultivating with Hoes Weeding with Tarps The Stale Seedbed Technique Flame Weeding Mulching Weed Control Technology 10 Insect Pests and Diseases Scouting Disease Prevention Using Biopesticides 11 Season Extension Floating Row Cover and Low Tunnels Caterpillar Tunnels Hoophouses 12 Harvest and Storage Harvesting Efficiently Harvest Help The Cold Room 13 Crop Planning Setting Farming Objectives Determining Production Establishing a Crop Calendar Making a Garden Plan Record Keeping Conclusion: Farming for Ecology, Community, and Lifestyle Appendix 1: Crop Notes Appendix 2: Tools and Suppliers Appendix 3: Garden Plan Appendix 4: Annotated Bibliography Appendix 5: Glossary Index About the Author