Grow Better, Not Bigger: An Interview with Jean-Martin Fortier, Author of 'The Market Gardener'

In this exclusive interview, author and market farmer Jean-Martin Fortier sums up his recent U.S. book tour for “The Market Gardener,” a 2015 winner of the prized American Horticultural Society book award.

| March 2015

  • Jean-Martin Fortier
    Jean-Martin Fortier with his trusty broadfork, the tool for which his farm, Les Jardins de la Grilinette, is named.
    Photo by Alex Chabot
  • Pea Patch
    Jean-Martin Fortier works in the pea patch at his farm, Les Jardins de la Grelinette.
    Photo by Alex Chabot
  • Coleman and Fortier
    Eliot Coleman and Jean-Martin Fortier talk market gardening tools at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in December 2014.
    Photo by Alex Chabot
  • Seeder
    Calibrating and loading up the six-row seeder for sowing greenhouse crops in early March.
    Photo by Alex Chabot
  • Greenhouses
    The greenhouses harbor secret life in the snowy Québec landscape in March.
    Photo by Alex Chabot

  • Jean-Martin Fortier
  • Pea Patch
  • Coleman and Fortier
  • Seeder
  • Greenhouses

If you’re a vegetable grower and you haven’t yet heard of small-scale agriculture advocate and author Jean-Martin Fortier, you need to look him up. Fortier is the author of the popular practical farming manual The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming (New Society Publishers). One could say that Fortier’s new book is the updated and more detailed sibling to Eliot Coleman’s New Organic Grower. Like Coleman’s book, Fortier’s manual tackles the practical side of organic farming, with an emphasis on how to make a good living on a small acreage.

The Market Gardener is acclaimed by farming authors Joel Salatin and Eliot Coleman, and just won the American Horticultural Society book award.

Fortier just finished his last tour date in California as part of his 2014/15 U.S. speaking tour. His U.S. tour reached more than 10,000 people through more than 20 workshops and talks, touring to 13 states from Florida to Kentucky.

An Interview with Jean-Martin Fortier

Diving back into his own farming life at Les Jardins de la Grelinette in Québec, Fortier is full of inspiration and insights about small-scale organic farming, profitable agriculture and the young farmer movement.

Moss Dance: What is your motivation for writing & sharing The Market Gardener?

Jean-Martin Fortier: My motivation was to share good technical advice about how to grow crops sustainably and profitably. We had pulled it off, and our system was just too good to keep to ourselves. I knew the needs of other growers and I felt privileged to be doing so well. I wanted to give back to others and to pass along our successful model.

11/28/2015 12:33:10 PM

Hi, I would like to know what JM means when he says the young farmers dug their beds on counter slope. Could someone please explain that concept to me?

7/10/2015 10:07:43 AM

hi just checking in



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