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.
Preface: From erable spring to arable spring? 6 Acknowledgements 10 Foreword 111. Small is Beautiful 13 But Can You Make a Living at It? 14 Not Just Making a Living, but Living Well 152. Succeeding as a Vegetable Grower 17 The Biointensive Method 17 Minimizing Start-Up Costs 19 Minimizing Production Costs 20 Direct Selling 21 Value-Added Vegetables 25 Learning the Craft 253. Finding the Right Land 27 Climate and Microclimate 27 Market Access 29 Arable Land 30 Soil Quality 31 Topography 33 Drainage 34 Access to Water 35 Infrastructure 36A Word on Pollution 384. Setting Up Your Farm 40 Organizing Your Work Space 40 Standardizing Your Growing Space 40 Locating Your Greenhouses and Tunnels 44 Deer Protection 44 Windbreaks 45 Irrigation 465. Minimum Till and Alternative Machinery 48 The Beauty of Permanent Beds 49 The Two-Wheel Tractor 50 The Broadfork (Grelinette) 53 Tarps and Pre-Crop Ground Cover 54 The Future of Minimum Till 546. Organic Fertilizer 56 The Importance of Soil Testing 57 Crop Requirements 59 The Elements of Fertility 60 Compost 63 Granulated Poultry Manure 64Crop Rotation 65Green Manures 71Your Personal Sense of Humus 797. Growing Indoors 81Seeding in Cell Flats 82The Importance of a Good Soil Mix 82The Seedling Room 84The Plant Nursery 86Heating and Ventilation 87Watering 88Potting Up 90Transplanting 908. Direct-Seeding 94Precision Seeders 94Seedbed Preparation 96Record Keeping 979. Weed Control 100Hoeing 101Smothering 102The False Seedbed Technique 103Flame Weeding 104Mulching 10510. Insect Pests and Diseases 107Scouting 109Prevention 109Biopesticides 11111. Season Extension 113Row Cover 113Caterpillar Tunnels 115Permanent Hoophouses 11612. Harvest and Storage 118The Importance of Harvesting Efficiently 120Harvest Help 120The Cold Room 12113. Crop Planning 123Determining Your Production 124Establishing Your Crop Calendar 127Making a Garden Plan 128Record Keeping 128Conclusion: Agricultural Policy: Back to the Future 132Appendix 1: Crop Notes 134Appendix 2: A Gardening Story 168Appendix 3: Garden Plan 172Appendix 4: Glossary 184Annotated Bibliography 192Tool and Equipment Suppliers 198
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