Jean-Martin Fortier’s organic market farm in southern Quebec earns $150,000 in income per year off of just 1.5 acres of land. Notably successful on this scale for the past decade, Fortier has become a mentor and educator for other farmers who want to make a sustainable living selling fruits and vegetables grown on small plots of land.
After publishing a popular book on the topic, The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming, Fortier’s latest educational effort comes in the form of a new film called The Market Gardener’s Toolkit. The 80-minute real-life account, which was filmed over the course of a full growing season, is packed with advice about how to successfully handle day-to-day operations on a small-scale vegetable farm. About 1,800 people contributed to a crowdfunding campaign to make the documentary project possible.
By watching The Market Gardener’s Toolkit and learning from Fortier’s real-life experience, current and aspiring farmers will gather valuable insights about many growing essentials, including:
• Creating an efficient design for your market garden.
• Running a seed starting nursery.
• Finding long-term success with minimal tillage and low-tech hand tools.
• Mastering crop rotation.
• Using hoop houses for season extension.
• Applying compost and other amendments.
• Using green manure cover crops.
• Watering efficiently.
• Controlling pests and weeds.
• Harvesting and storage methods.
As he personally guides you through the techniques that have worked best on his farm, Fortier continually comes back to one theme: efficiency. For a small farm to be economically viable while tackling tasks by hand with minimal full-time employees, operators must hone in on the most efficient methods — and this film offers innovative and tested ideas for doing just that.