Replay of 170. JM Fortier | the Market Gardener | Les Jardins de la Grelinette | Quebec, CANADA

JM Fortier

Paul Kita coming soon!

So this episode originally published last year on my anniversary January 29, 2017. But tomorrow I am almost just as nervous as I am interviewing Paul Kita is the James Beard Award-winning Food & Nutrition Editor at Men’s Health. He’s the founder of’s popular food and cooking blog, Guy Gourmet. He has a new cookbook out called A Man, A Pan, A Plan: 100 Delicious & Nutritious One-Pan Recipes You Can Make Right Now!  and I am trying not to be too nervous.

2018 Garden Goals Challenge

When I spoke with JM Fortier I actually spilled my coffee on my Macbook! after almost 15 years of owning a laptop I’ve never even come close to doing anything so silly! Fortunately nothing broke. Anyway I thought this was a great time to repost this episode. Especially with the 2018 Garden Goals Challenge going on because many listeners I know are thinking of becoming market farmers and maybe this will inspire some of them to keep pursuing their dream or help them be more successful!

Market Gardener Extraordinaire

Bon Jour!! and Welcome to episode 170 of the Organic Gardener Podcast Today!!! I AM JUST THRILLED to introduce my guest because not only are we about to break 250,000 downloads of the Organic Gardener Podcast yes, thanks to all of you amazing green future growers listening out there that’s one quarter of a million downloads, very likely as we speak this morning January 12, 2017!

250,000 downloads 2nd anniversary

But way back in episode 45 Joyce Pinson from Friends Drift Inn. recommended the award winning book the Market Gardener: A successful Grower’s Handbook for Small Scale Organic Farming by JM Fortier who is revolutionizing the way we think about agriculture, small scale farming and most of all how we care for our planet and today he his here with us to share his knowledge and his incredible passion! So I know you are as excited as I am to hear him speak so welcome Jean Martin Fortier!!!!


You have to check out the pics on his website and the videos on youtube.


is to make sure your soil is really loose and deep

broadfork from Amazon

broad fork

Upcoming Talks, Events & Workshops

December 9th, Pocantico Hills, NY: Workshop at the Young Farmers Conference, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

January 10th, Lincoln, NE: Meet and Greet at Ploughshare Brewing Company

January 11th, Lincoln, NE: Morning Training at the Nebraska Farmers Union

January 13-14, St Joseph, Missouri : Keynote Address and Workshop at the Great Plains Growers Conference,

January 27th, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Keynote Address at the Food and Farming in the Garden State NOFA NJ 27th Winter Conference

March 24th, Umbria, Italy: Keynote Address, Conferenza per agricultura sostenibile 

April 8th, Pikeville, Kentucky, Details to follow, for more info contact Joyce Pinson at Friends Drift Inn Farms

The Market Gardener Jean-Martin Fortier.

Market Gardener Book

Market Gardener: A successful Grower’s Handbook for Small Scale Organic Farming

Tell us a little about yourself.

Jean-Martin Fortier & Maude-Helene Desroches

First of all I’m French-Canadian, I live in Quebec Canada! I have a micro-farm with my wife, we’ve been farming there for almost 15 years … it’s a real special farm, because it’s kind of big and small! It’s a small commercial farm, compared to other CSA production farms. 

We cultivate about an acre and a 1/2 that’s about the size of soccer field! But by using the techniques and tools we are able to generate enough income to be living from that acre and half.

Community Supported Agriculture

We feed more then 250 families, we do a CSA and we go to farmer’s market! We do specialty crops for certain restaurants and the local community for our grocery store!

  • CSA
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Grocery Store
  • Restaurants

The farm is in operation for a while! I guess I can say it that way, I guess my claim to fame is that we have been proving that a farm doesn’t need to be big to be very profitable. You can use hand tools and low tech gardening strategies to grow commercially and make it happen yourself, all while the community with nourishing food!

I think that’s a perfect introduction. Your farm is  … Im not gonna try to say it in french because I’ve struggled with french for years. It’s named after the broadfork is that right now?


The Gardens of the Broadfork

Yep, the Broadfork! I’m sure your listeners know what the broadfork is… It’s a tool, a big tine that you plunge into the ground … and then with a rowing motion you loosen up your soil, but  you don’t disturb the ecology, you just flip it upside down… really waht you want to do. We called our farm, the Broadfork farm, but it’s not because the broad fork originates in Fance byname who invented it in the early in the early 60’s by André Grelinin. Our farm is called Les Jardins de la Grelinette, which means the “Gardens of the Broad fork!”

broadfork from Amazon

I am going to encourage listeners if they have not seen a broadfork,  to go to your website, and look because I had heard about it but until, I went to the seed fair last year and saw one. There are so many super cool videos on your website and I was watching Curtis Stone doing some videos on your youtube channel I learned so much and I loved the little insect hotel! 

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

I grew up in the suburbs, a typical teenager, skateboarding, snowboarding… my parents were not hippies … my parents were not farmers.. my father had a small garden but I don’t remember it being so important. He did have a garden. But my first memory of the garden was in the garage there were some shelves that had these bottles, there were some bottles in them with bones and it was like extreme danger! This was the pesticide cabinet, and as a young guy, I was really curious about the pesticide cabinet. That was one of my first memories as a gardener…. It’s funny that I grew up thinking this is really nasty stuff… I can’t even imagine why a home gardener would put pesticides in their gardens it’s like when people used to smoke in hospitals and airplanes.. 

So one of my first memories is …. my father used to grow roses, and tomatoes and he would always take care of the roses… I don’t know that was why I called my daughter Rose.

NY Organic Farms

Awww… I have a daughter who’s middle name is Rose too! The first person who mentioned the Broadfork on my show, was this woman in NY , and I interview her father too who has a farm on Long Island in NY called Orient Organics he was telling me when they were kids, and his dad came home it was like the new technology it was like wow you’re not gonna have to weed anymore! But I know it seems so counterintuitive to put pesticides on your food, but I know today there are still tons of people, I meet etc and are like what you shouldn’t put that on your food? They go to the store and see it on the shelf and think that’s what I’m supposed should do…

I’m sure if they are listening to your podcast, it’s because they’re frankly quite aware that you should careful about what you eat… if they don’t care about what you eat and if they only care about how much money they make doing it, it is really really easy to spread a lot of nasty stuff on it, and not have anyone know about it.

My husband just sent me an article yesterday about the pesticides they are putting on wheat and it’s like they are putting it on the wheat right before they’re harvesting because it’s gentler on the machinery? or something like that, ti’s amazing… the people who are listening to my podcast are, when you meet people on an everyday basis… I assume everyone is… I ask them to be on my podcast and they’re like why is that bad? and I’m like well you probably shouldn’t and there are other things you could do….

Jean Martin Fortier and Maude-Hélène Desroches

How did you learn how to garden organically?

I met my wife at the University we were studying ecology and the environment and we were studying… I don’t want to say gloom and doom but we we’re looking at how the all these other systems were being replaced by deforestation and and all these other problems and we were frankly… after 3 years, we were like we need to do something that is gonna help the world … I still feel strongly about that now… we were looking for how should we do that?

We took a trip … we went to Mexico we worked on coffee bean farms… fair trade coffee farms … then we came up to the US … then we started to work building earth ships which are super cool houses, independent houses  … desert of New Mexico  built out of recycled tires and cans … so we worked there for a while… found that interesting too…


Then we started to WWOOF which is volunteer on a small an organic farm… 

That’s where we met … xpat- french canadian who had been farming and living in Sante Fe for a long time, more then 10 years. He was the Salad King at the Sante Fe Farmer’s market, everybody knew who he was…he was one of the better growers … and in my young mind he was a local hero…. He was making good money and I knew because we were helping at his booth and we were helping with his cash box and he was happy cause he was speaking French with us … and the Montessori school they had a farm manager … 

He left in August so they were kind of stuck! And we had four months of experience and we said yes! That was a big learning curve… we dedicated ourselves to making this better and we stayed there for a year and half but that is how we learned by being immersed really cool farming community where farmers are revered and the community makes it a point to go to the famers market every sat morning… 

Market Energy

I just felt like there was an energy there that was so strong I felt like I need to become an organic gardener … I could go on and say we came back to Quebec and lived in a Teepee for two years and then bought a rabbit farm that we converted into a house. Then we bought land that was 10 acres and 2 acres that could be farmed… 

MarketGardenerBookThat the story of how our systems … because we had limited land and we had all sorts of ways to optimize our production and everntualy wrote  a book about it, and that eventually very popular…
Market Gardener: A successful Grower’s Handbook for Small Scale Organic Farming

Well do you want to tell us more about that?

More about what?

About your book and what you are doing to optimize production?

When we bought the farm, we lived in a teepee

We made a big mistake quite early on, we were young… we had seen this couple living with their kids in New Mexico on rented land and we thought that was really romantic… when we came back to Quebec we put a teepee on rented land … and started to put a green house and started to have a little market garden… but a tipi in Quebec, it’s -25º in winters…

I actually teach on the Blackfeet reservation here…  and nobody’s actually living in teepees here now… but I stayed in a teepee once and it was lined with herbs and it smelled so good and it was really nice! But yeah, a teepee in Quebec I can see that would be cold…


So we would take our winters off and we went to Cuba and growers there farming differently because when the soviet union fell apart the Cuban people didn’t ahve any access to fossil fuel anymore… 

  • didn’t have fuel to put in tractors
  • didn’t have herbicides, or fungicides … because these are all petroleum based products so they had to reinvent their farming for it to be 100% organic so they invented this system of permanent raised beds
  • they were very densely planted and seeded. became planted

For us that was very influential because you would see acres and acres of these permanent raised beds and it was all farmed without a tractor. And taht was what we wanted to …

I have never been excited about garages and machines

I like plants and ecology, the business side of having a farm


For me the tractors were like never we came back to Quebec… because we had bought such a small piece of land, 2 acres is not a lot to run a farm and get 2 salaries from it… 

  • so we built permanent beds
  • didn’t leave space to turn tractors at the end
  • and everything be hand cultivated
  • by having the beds permanent they are just there…
  • most gardeners out there use techniques that we just
  • scaled up
  • made better tools
  • to make made a big garden

WALK BEHIND TRACTOR Market Gardener Book

bought a

  • walk behind tractor
  • flail mowers
  • rotary plow
  • wheel hoes
  • shuffle hoes
  • better seeders
  • seeders that come from Korea

Tools and Equipment that made our life better and growing faster

  • black tarps to solarize
  • create seed beds without tilling or plowing
  • all sorts of strategies

put everything together into a system that made us really efficient and productive

able to generate good incomes ever since!

I hadn’t heard a lot of the things in your book… it really helped to watch te videos is there a seeder that has a hand drill?

the tilter is powered by a hand bed … mini bed … only cultivates on an inch

It firms and levels and mixes the amendment on the seed bed… so it will go with uour seeder…

Salad Speed Harvest

another tool is the quick cut harvester

to harvest salad mix with

  • blade
  • 20 inch wide
  • actioned by the drill… you scoop up your salad mix

goes about ten times faster!

JM Fortier ToolBox Website Page

I think if your listeners go to my website

Hand Tools

They’re all hand tools …simple but quite sophisticated!

I’m like an efficiency expert, I always try to be super efficient… my husband’s really the gardener… I almost always have a full time job, so doing anything in the garden that saves time is awesome! I think a lot of my listeners are like that… and just any kind of gardener… you want to be able to be the most productive you can be because it’s a lot of work and looking at your farm I was like WOW That’s really a lot of work! I don’t think I could ever do that much work… maybe my husband could.. maybe with a few helpers.. but I don’t think I could…

Just a few words about work… I just want to say you know…

When your working, growing vegetables for your community and you ahve reservations about it… and you have people tell you , when they are  doing  their evening prayers before they thank you, that hard work, is really worth it.

I just feel like what we’re doing is important and that’s the future we want to see is to have more people growing with care by people who care…

So hard work is good!

It is hard work… looking at your farm is hard work and how big is your farm? And now you are adding animals?

You probably was pictures…

Experimental farm

a very wealthy business person is trying

alternative farming proposition

recreate farms like they were before

animals and vegetables and most often there was a kitchen

try to see if we can fine tune to create a template

farms of the future

 … people if they are interested they can hook up on my instagram account and can see pictures there it’s just off the charts …


Tell us about something that grew well this year.

Beet Love

I was excited about beets this year! Because I was transplanting them…I had a program where every two weeks I would transplant new beets. I had 3 different colors, 3 different beets!

Mix all of my seeds trays

Then we would go out and transplant these beets and we would get really nice round for sure guaranteed… for 25 weeks… it was awesome! It’s funny how beets they are making a comeback!

Maybe because everybody used to eat them  from cans! They are so sweet and you don’t even need to cook them … so tender and beautiful and colorful and I think they make us happy…

So transplanting beets and not direct seeding them? That’s interesting…

In 128 seed trays. The reason why you do this…when you direct seed… you don’t get full germination in the field and that creates holes … I wanted to have perfect density…we do a lot of successions

SUCCESSION Success Secrets

One crop that is followed, that is followed by another and by another… so even in our northern climate 3 crops per year …. something is going to be planted … maybe I have salads, that are there…. boom boom boom, next day I am planting baby beets So that is 3 weeks that it has to be inside the nursery is like 3 weeks that I gain on my season!!!

Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?

I am going to try a technique that you listeners will know about or appreciate I’m gonna try to set up my carrots so I never weed them…


You prepare your bed…

I’m gonna broadfork the bed, make sure there is deep loose soil about ten inch. That’s what the broadfork will do. 

I’m gonna put my organic amendments

  • compost
  • blood meal

a power harrow BCS or a wheel hoe to incorporate all of that!

But what I am going to do is I am going to leave 1” of compost on the top and not mix it into the soil.

So all of my beds will be covered by 1′ of compost. The compost we use is compost we buy from compost geeks that have big machines and turners. It could come from a municipality. It’s compost that doesn’t have weed seed because it was well composted and it was brought to the right temp and it was turned at the right time.

Weed-Free Compost Requirements

  • well composted
  • brought to the right temp
  •  turned at the right time.

Do it doesn’t have any weed seed, put one inch layer and then I’m gonna seed over that! I am guaranteed almost I won’t have weeds coming up from the ground because there is a layer of organic mulch ~  the compost that is providing the layer! 

The trick to get that to work is to make sure that you’re watering at least 3 times a day for 10-15 minutes! Making sure your bed always stays moist.

Wow! That’s awesome and I wonder if my listeners heads are spinning if that could be a business making compost? That’s one thing we struggle here with in Montana is fertile soil. I just talked to a guy in Michigan who said there is lots of good soil there… I get frustrated because at the school I work at the kids throw so much away and I want to just recycle all that compost. I’m like your throwing gold in the trash but I’m getting there figuring exactly how to propose it properly! Weed free carrots people are gonna like that idea!

I have a lot of these tricks!

One of the things I read about was by planting the things close enough together they create like a canopy over the soil it prevents weeds.

That is the biointensive techniques that we are using.

It’s simple by spacing everything closer together what happens is that eventually the leaves will touch each other and that creates a canopy which shades out the sunlight so weeds don’t grow and it actually retains the moisture… it’s good for the biological life that is inside the soil and if you pay attention to the soil structure… i.e. if you don’t plow or rototill… you create soil that has real good natural tilth and depth, you can have these crops be really close together and have their rooting systems shoot down so that is the key to get a good canopy there are all sorts of benefits to that but you need to take good care that you have good soil structure…

That’s one reason we don’t use a roto-tiller, because when you use a roto-tiller, you assume that our creating perfecting conditions you have full tilth, you can stick the whole hand into it, especially men really like to till, they have this impression, thing are happening, we are producing good ground! But what happens all the conglomerates and your soil structure is bound together, you pulverize the conglomerates.  it into finer particles because of the tilling… it’s like putting something in the blender…. zzzz.

At first glance everything, but a week or 2 later, your soil starts to compress… because nothing holding it together anymore ….

And if you do this once a year not such a big it’s not such a big issue … but it you are gardening for profit, and you are doing this 2,5,6,7 times in a year! You are destroying your soil structure every time! And you are not allowing natural process

of having

earthworms and spiders and critters do the work for you because you are destroying their habitats overtime!

We’ve moving away the tiller and we have developed all sorts of tools that allow us to cultivate the first inch, and tools like the broad  fork that go deeper without disturbing the ecology. and the earth worms.

EARTH worms are the best teachers

Follow the path of the earth worm and you will be successful. 

I like that, the questions that is in my head, I just keep thinking is if you are planting them closer together are you not going to stunt the growth?

The answer to that question has to do with soil structure if you have soil that has layers or hard pan…. the root system of a crop will always look for the path of least resistance.

As soon as it hits something that is hard going down, it is going to grow sideways. So if you are ganging all of your crops together really close and you don’t have really loose soil. You will have crops that will compete with each other for nutrients and water.



is to make sure your soil is really loose and deep

broad fork

broadfork from Amazon

That’s why the broad fork is so important when we are talking about biologically dependents systems and that’s why we cant’ be using a roto-tiller for such things. Make sense?

It’s makes sense, it makes a lot of sense to me, my husband and I met planting trees on the forest and the USFS would have inspectors go around and inspect the units, and they would go around and dig up the trees and inspect the roots trying to get the hoe dad down in the rocky soil was hard but if you had too many j roots they would make you replant it!

When I was at University, I would raise my money tree planting in British Columbia, I know about j roots, the inspector came around and would say that block you are not gonna get paid…

Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.

Potato Troubles

One thing that didn’t work as well as I wanted …we were doing potatoes, which I have never really done before

I never really focused on potatoes

it’s hard for me to get a better price, then a bigger better grower becasue they all look alike

my neighbor has a mechanical, he’s so much more effiecint then me at gorwing potatoes bu thtis year I tried!

brushing machine

  • so much more efficient
  • decided I would try it, I dug a big furrow, 
  • sprouted my potatoes
  • put the potatoes in the furrow
  • closed the furrow
  • put straw over it

I was expecting big things! And got a pretty small harvest …. they were good, … nothing spectacular … what should I do, … not only get an abundance of potatoes but also super healthy and incredible,. I need to learn how to do that!

Let’s take a minute to thank our affiliates!

Recommended books on the Organic Gardener Podcast

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Audio Book from


The Market Gardener 

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Let’s Get to the Root of Things!

Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden.

In the garden?

Maybe in the business part of it?

I hate accounting, all the admin stuff, all the paperwork, especially from government and they ask me to fill this form and that form. Everything that doesn’t generate revenues or production, I HATE! When they ask me to talk about what we did and blah, blah, blah … I’m like no, I’m doing this now and tomorrow. Some people really like sitting down, and doing the accounting. I’m not a big fan or that.

I’m not too good with getting back with emails…. too much of them and not bothered! When I can be not bothered for like 2-3 hours…. wow!

Ah, the price of fame!

What is your favorite activity to do in the garden.

I really like cultivating with the hoes in the garden, I really like setting out the plants and preparing the seed beds all neat and all good.


I also like to go to farmer’s market

  • excited
  • proud of what I am bringing
  • high demand
  • high energy day

because we have so many customers. We’re counting cash, telling stories, and putting veggies in a box. It’s just very dynamic! It’s good! That’s when we’re changing the system and we’re converting what we do is going into someones house. Everything we’re doing a week!

That’s good to hear because my experience has been not so fun, but we haven’t had much stuff

The Market Gardener Jean-Martin Fortier.

Market Gardener Book

Market Gardener: A successful Grower’s Handbook for Small Scale Organic Farming

You should read the Market Gardener and or, there’s a body of mine, there’s an audio… version of the book so now you can be cultivating in your garden in with your iphone listen to  how I do beets and I do carrots… and there’s one thing I learned, it’s hard work to be a market gardener but there’s always better ways to do it…

Like when you’re a tree planter, there were people planting a lot more trees in the same time in the same landscape. 

Tricks Tools And Techniques

The tricks tools techniques …. make a good…

I’ve been reading your book again. I’ve been thinking about what would be a good challenge, maybe it would be good to go to the Farmer’s Market ….

Yes it’s good to go to the market even if you only make $100.

why not? 

we should have more people

We need to replace masses production with production by the masses!


What is the best gardening advice you have ever received?

New Organic Grower Eliot ColemanOne of the best ones was to read eliot coleman’s the
The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener, by Eliot Coleman

most of your listeners know who Eliot Coleman is. 

Was the first gardening farming book that I read

I’ve probably read it 50 times when I was young because I was really trying to figure out what I was doing. It was a real inspiration for me probably laid out everything I’ve been doing, I’ve been following in Elliot’s footsteps. I just believe if you want to be successful, you have to follow people who are doing it successfully.

I would say that reading the New Organic Grower. 

I remember the person, that was like 17 years ago. His name was Norbert, he was a  German guy. He was a handyman going from farm-to farm. He was like read! Read the ORganic Grower! 

fixing things



You can totally promote your book over and over! All my listeners recommend a book and that was one of the first one’s we got. He just poured over it. Our big thing we just got water. 2 years ago we dug a real well. That’s part of why we haven’t tried to sell antyhing. I see that ou recommend Lynn Byzynskis’s aI want to be the floer farmer, It hoguth growing 750 sunflowers was a lot, and waht I decided is I’m gonna gorow them for birdseed what I really want to do is paint the flowers!

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.

I think the broadfork, is definitely a tool that I really like

  • all the hoes,
  • shuffle hoe
  • wheel hoe I like!

I kind of like, you know I did a dvd… called the market farmer’s toolbox and tool kit. We filmed 2 hours of all the tools that I use, and how I use them.

Can I say that I like the tool box in totally…

I like the way you talk in the book, which ones to invest in first and which ones are best it’s better to get new and what you can save by getting an older one and which it’s better to buy right away or asap!

Floret Website

Flower Farming

There’s a book on flowers that is coming out March. By ERIN BENZAKEIN… Floret Farms cut flower garden. 

Cut Flower Garden

She runs Floret Farms… that’s gonna be a game changer with regards to cut flowers. It’s an awesome book!  I’ve read it, because they asked me to write a blurb about it… I learned so much. 

I love Erin’s website… She’s an awesome awesome flower grower! 

Tell her!!

Yep! Finger’s crossed she’s gonna do an interview with me. I talked to her assistant and she hadn’t nailed down a date yet, but I think she said the book will come out in March. 

When you do talk to her tell her I say hi and I recommend it!

I had a guest Julio Freitas. He’s close to me down in Bozeman, I have a friend who actually sold them some aprons. I’ve been following her blog for a while! 

Are you adding flowers now to your CSA?

Yes, and no, I’m kind of playing around with it… I have a friend her name is Cloe and I look at everything she’s doing and I understand there is a next level, I don’t like doing things half-assed, I am going to wait til I plunge into that and learn how to do it well.

I think that’s great advice. The guy who runs my podcast. You say a lot of what he says… Like he has this acronym for FOCUS – Follow One Course Until Success, niche down, and stay with what your doing well before moving on and then he also believes in mentors and always says find someone successful and follow them like what you said on Eliot coleman.

Do you have a favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?

It’s simple, ….  I eat about a pound of salad mix a day.. I don’t know if I’m a cow

I love salad greens! I like eating them, I like looking, and I like mesculin mixes and all of that! 

Sometimes, when I’m traveling, because there all these good eateries. Sometime I’ll order something without any vegetables, becuase I’m so disappointed, sometimes becuase I eat the best veggies in the world, and freshly harvested so when I’m served soething that is not as great so I’m a snob now.

iI went to Paris for the first time last year, and I fell in love with mini arugula salad…. I grew some more some last summer, that’s one of the things I’m gonna focus on I always tell people, I’m part rabbit I was a rabbit in a past life.

Arugula Trick

good trick for arugula

Johnny’s Select Seeds… they sell a tool it’s a seeder

4 row pin point seeder

great tool for seeding arugula, whihc is a really tiny seed

want to have rows really close to one another

laying out compost without any weed seeds

We grow on 30 inch bed systems

You can have up to 12 rows of that arugala. 

Because you’re planting on compost without weeds, you won’t have any weeds…

iWell I’ll talke all the suggestions I can get. Last year, I planted a small round tub. Maybe other listeners who are growing. You aid your first year, you were deteremined to do 30 CSA shares, his goal has alawys been just to grow enoguh food for the two of us, that’s gonna be his full time job, he’s gonn afocus on the garden. If he grows it, I’ll commit to growing to market.

I did have a guest on talk about what makes a good CSA customer, and I would not make a good CSA customer because I HATE doing anything on a regular basis, like having to commit to being at the farmers market no matter what? IDK that will be hard for me. Especially when I teach and have to commit to anything during summer vacation is hard!

A favorite internet resource?

I think internet is awesome in a way,

there’s a lot of people out there giving opinions on things they don’t know about. 

It’s giving easy to get lost…

Check good references

IDK what to answer, I’ve been disconnected. 

Market Gardener Success Facebook FB Group

I started, there’s a Facebook group, I think there are about 700 people in that group. 

Market Gardener FB Group

That’s been interesting … people posting pictures, there’s a lot of people in the group so there’s a lot of feedback.

Obviously in farming and gardening and organic stuff when I go there. …


I love Facebook … there’s another one you might like that’s an insect identification group, there was one in your book that you said you were getting an email about insects that were in the area.

That’s the extension agent… they have all sorts of scouters that are out there reporting on where the insects are at, different areas and regions… in the email they give you solutions…. but that’s in French … for growers in Quebec… I’m sure you have something like that in Montana if not maybe people will think about starting something like that.

A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can recommend?


Market Gardener: A successful Grower’s Handbook for Small Scale Organic Farming The Market Gardener!

If anything… I’ve been reading other stuff… this guy Ben Hartman

wrote a book called the

The Lean Farm: How to Minimize Waste, Increase Efficiency, and Maximize Value and Profits with Less Work

The Lean Farm By Ben Hartman he describes all the steps on his farm… he was influenced by lean management strategies which comes from Japan… looking at the motions of everything you do and trying to find short cuts to optimize look at the processes…. Ben Hartman’s book is probably the one I enjoyed the most! 

My Favorite Author is 

Joel Salitin

He’s one of my heroes. I’ve met him many times. I read his books… I love how he writes… gives lots of good technical advice but it’s in his voice. When I read is books,  I can hear him… he gives all sorts of nice anecdotes he wrote a new book about pigs and Christianity, the pings of pigs and how Christians should have morality about how to raise animals…

themarvelouspignessofpigsThe Marvelous Pigness of Pigs: Respecting and Caring for All God’s Creation

If you have a business to you have any advice for our listeners about how to sell extra produce or get started in the industry?

I think the trick is to work at least one year on a small organic farm… big days if you like it, in their mind, being a farmer… committing to long days, of just doing it… it’s gonna happen. everything we sell, we need to grow, we need to plant

we need to water

there’s no automation

work one full year on a small organic

5-10 member 15 year CSA

obviously make a lot of mistakes

you need to make them, learn from them…

little project

couple of years…

set it up really nice

thrive …

Interns and Volunteers

This might be personal, but I’ve had about 100 people come … awesome beautifiul people. I’ve had amazing people! 

I’ve had others who weren’t not so awesome… not so pleaseant …

You probably also have people like me who maybe are not intending to be not so awesome, but last year I weeded this bed, and my husband was like you pulled p all the echinacea’s I planted you!

that’s the kind of thing that happens that people that are not experienced… the time it takes me to teach 2 people, I could do the work I could do the work of 4 people in that time… what helps me is when I don’t need to be doing it … Im taking people on Im showing them .. give them leeway, I circle back.

I need to make sure that it’s done how I want it, then as they learn I give more leeway, …. circle back every month and every year. I know a lot of people….

Do you get a lot of visitors?

I am very thankful… everyday… there’s someone … these are all super happy people that have been touched by my work, but you know sometimes …. we’re eating dinner… we’re gonna have open days… if people are interested they should come on the open days.

Final question-

if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

I think we have a broken food system that creates environmental disasters everhwere it is going and created food that is not traditional anymore and we need to replace that with hoards of young people starting farms. That’s my cause. If your listeners  want to to support that go to the farmers market it’s hard for them! 

The economics don’t work for young farmers

people are used to not paying a lot for what they eat. The young farmer coalitions out there have all my support and I hope some of their listeners support that and the change that we want to see that.

Do you have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 7.29.41 PM.png

Replacing mass production by production by the masses… and providing good quality of life by people living on the farm.

  • Working outside
  • providing nutritional value
  • food made with people who care

That’s really what we need to see what happened.

How to connect with you.

Do you want to tell listeners? Your on a tour right now? Where people could here you in person. If they go to my website, I’m not giving too many talks because I do have 2 young kids and I want to be with them as much as I can.

Missouri this weekend … New Jersey on the east coast

Are you going to Italy?

I’m also going to Italy! If people want to come here me out in Italy, I hear they have great pasta.

I’m thinking there might be a guy form Montana there. There’s a guy Bob Quinn who grows Kamut wheat here in Montana maybe he’s going?

I would love to go to Montana!

Last year we had a seed fair and it was super popular. We had 500 people through the door before it even started and over 1600 people total!

JM Fortier Farmer's Market

They can find me on the market

All sorts of things they might be interested in. I am inviting all the home gardeners to be happy super cool to be growing food. If they don’t have enough in their garden they can go out and support local growers!

Upcoming Talks, Events & Workshops

December 9th, Pocantico Hills, NY: Workshop at the Young Farmers Conference, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

January 10th, Lincoln, NE: Meet and Greet at Ploughshare Brewing Company

January 11th, Lincoln, NE: Morning Training at the Nebraska Farmers Union

January 13-14, St Joseph, Missouri : Keynote Address and Workshop at the Great Plains Growers Conference,

January 27th, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Keynote Address at the Food and Farming in the Garden State NOFA NJ 27th Winter Conference

March 24th, Umbria, Italy: Keynote Address, Conferenza per agricultura sostenibile 

April 8th, Pikeville, Kentucky, Details to follow, for more info contact Joyce Pinson at Friends Drift Inn Farms


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The Market Gardener 


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About the author, Jackie Marie

I'm an artist and educator. I live at the "Organic Oasis" with my husband Mike where we practice earth friendly techniques in our garden nestled in the mountains of Montana.

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