Jean-Martin’s Workshop

Through scrupulous planning, effective crop rotation, savvy marketing and downright excellent farming practices, Jean-Martin and his wife Maude-Helene have developed an effective growing system that draws on the french intensive tradition of small-plot organic urban farming, as well as biointensive practices.

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For the first time, Jean-Martin is coming to New Zealand to share his knowledge with future and established small-plot growers, to help increase our community’s food systems, and our small-plot growers livelihoods!

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Jean-Martin Fortier’s Workshop

  • Design + setting up a best-practice farming enterprise
  • Design for biologically intensive cropping systems
  • Alternative machinery for small scale growing – what’s essential, what’s not
  • Minimum tillage techniques within a permanent bed system
  • The use of best hand tools in the market garden
  • Best practices for organic weed management
  • Managing pests with integrated pest management
  • Developing a systematic approach to effective crop rotation
  • Extending the season – techniques and planning for longer yields, and more stable livelihoods

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Background

Jean-Martin Fortier (JM) is a farmer, writer, and educator specialising in organic and biologically intensive cropping practices.

He is passionate about demonstrating how small farms can play an important role in the rebuild of the food system. His internationally recognized 10-acre micro-farm in Quebec, Canada is a perfect example of this: At les Jardins de la Grelinette, only 1½ acres are cultivated in permanent beds, yet the farm gross more than $100,000 per acre with operating margins of about 60 per cent, enough to financially sustain his family.

The focus at la Grelinette has been to grow better-not bigger in order to optimise the cropping system, making it more lucrative and viable in the process. Jean-Martin’s acclaimed book, The Market Gardener, tells the story of how he and his wife, Maude-Hélène Desroches, started their farm and how they successfully operate it.

In his work, JM places a strong emphasis on intelligent farm design, appropriate technologies and harnessing the power of soil biology as key components of successful farming.

A storyteller who can weave the technical aspects of farming with anecdotes from his farm, JM has facilitated more than fifty workshops and conferences in Canada, Europe and the United States.

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