Whether you want to be a commercial grower or just a better home gardener, this book will teach you what works and what doesn’t.
Becoming a market gardener and making a living on 1 1/2 acres. It sounds impossible, doesn’t it? Much less making $100,000.00 a year! Absurd! Well, that is what they say in The Market Gardener By Jean-Martin Fortier. And I believe him. Why? I’ll tell you the story.
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First written October 13, 2015, Updated June 12, 2020
A while ago I was reading a magazine article by Joel Salatin. As many of you know he is the “guru of sustainable farming”. As a pioneer and expert on farming practices, Joel has written many books himself.
Anyway, in the article, Joel recommended a book titled The Market Gardener by Jean-Martin Fortier. I was intrigued by the statement from the book that you could make $100,000 from 1.5 Acres. How was this even possible?
But Joel Salatin is a well-respected expert, and if he thinks the book is good enough to recommend, I’ll give it a try. I needed a book to take on vacation anyway so I decided to buy it for myself and see what it said.
Related Reading: How To Start A Vegetable Garden From Scratch
The Market Gardener – A Book Review
I’ve read a lot of books that say “yeah I did it” and give some generalities. But this book really spells it out. Jean-Martin and his wife have a tiny (1 1/2 acre) vegetable farm in Quebec. Not the easiest place to have a farm either.
He spells out in great detail how they got started, what equipment they use, doesn’t use, and why. He shows how their beds are laid out, what they fertilize with, and what they grow. The types of buildings they have and how they use them and why.
It also goes into where they sell their produce and the price they get for it. What they put in their CSA boxes and other places they also sell at. How they decided what to grow and how much of each item they grow and even how they take vacations.
There is so much more it will make your head spin. This was a very easy and yet riveting read. My mind never wandered and I just had to know what Jean-Martin was going to say next in The Market Gardener. It was the most thorough book about starting a market garden and setting up a CSA I have ever read. Now I know why a powerhouse like Joel Salatin recommended it.
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Start Your Market Garden With A Leg Up.
Farming of any type is tough to make a go of. It’s important to have a good blueprint to get you off on the right foot. This book was really well written giving ample instructions as to how to make yours a success.
This is a well written, very through, step by step instruction book that will save you many hours and countless amounts of money in trial and error. They KNOW what works and how to streamline everything.
This is not a how to “garden” book. The Market Garden is a book that specifically goes into how to set up and make money with a market garden. It covers the setup and marketing aspects to have a money-making business. He even lists some things they DON’T do that makes market gardening different from a homestead.
Grow Better, Not Bigger
If you want to maximize profits on an organic micro-farm this is the best book for you.
Fortier shows that you don’t have to have a huge farm to make a good living off the land. With the right tools, the right placement of your backyard homestead, and a little planning, you can follow this small farm blueprint.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Beginning Vegetable Garden Class
By using a low tech method Fortier was able to feed over 200 people with his CSA, make over $100,000.00 and still take part of the winter off.
They teach high yield production methods that emphasize weed and pest management and careful planning, all the things that I believe so much in.
And all of this can be done with a minimal capital outlay.
What Does The Book Include?
If you are interested in earning money from the produce from your own homestead, this book will save you many hours of research and wasted money and time.
It includes many charts and planning tools, harvesting techniques, and marketing suggestions. Which tools he found most useful (and which he didn’t), why he placed his buildings where he did, and even where he got his tools and supplies. He also explains WHY he chooses to do what he has done, so you can decide if that is what you want to do.
He teaches about harvesting, storage, crop rotation, and the all important scheduling which can make or break a successful CSA. Spacing is also important and he covers it well and tells why he chooses the spacing for his vegetables that he does.
Related Reading: 12 Ways To Make Weeds Go Away – Naturally!
The Market Gardener – The Draw Backs For Me
This book was originally written in French but was beautifully translated into English. The only negative I took away from the book, and it is a very small one, was in the resource list in the back (which by the way is very extensive). Some of the resources are written in French.
Yes, you would expect that since the author is from Quebec, but since I don’t speak or read French they won’t do me much good. There are however many resources listed in English so that should not be a big deterrent.
Would I Recommend This Book?
Ok, I’m not planning on setting up a CSA or other type of market garden, so why do I think this is such a good book? I’ve been gardening for over 25 years, but I know there are always new things to learn about gardening.
The Market Gardener taught me several things about my garden, including a new way of grouping vegetable types to accommodate row covers for pest control. I’ve got to try it out this year.
The book also made me think a little bit about what I’m going to be growing and why. And if I do ever want to start a market garden, I’ll now know exactly how to do it, and what resources to use.
The Market Gardener by Jean-Martin Fortier will be my number one resource!
Related Reading: The Ultimate Garden Tools List For The Backyard Homesteader
I really hope you check out The Market Gardener. I think you will like it.
If you have read this book leave a comment and let me know what you think about it.
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