I just finished reading a very interesting and informative book called The Market Gardener by Jean-Martin Fortier. Jean-Martin Fortier is a small scale vegetable farmer in Quebec, Canada. He farms intensively on 1.5 acres and brings in over $100,000 in gross revenue per year. Of course this caught my attention! I am always looking for ways to increase our efficiency and profitability on our farm without adding extra size or work that we will not be able to keep up with. In this book he focuses on growing better not growing bigger, which is exactly what we need to do to make a living on our small farm. The opportunity to read this book came at a very good time. We have already been cutting back on the amount of land we are farming simply because the two of us cannot keep up with it all with a new baby. We are in a phase of taking a good look at what we are doing and why and trying to figure out how to do it better. This book has renewed my inspiration while giving many practical ideas on how to refine and improve our efficiency and growing techniques. I appreciated Jean-Martin Fornier’s idealism while at the same time making it very clear that a farm is a business and must be profitable. This is something that many people seem to miss.
This book is full of extremely useful charts and data that I plan on implementing into our crop planning and record keeping routines. In this book he has chapters on designing the garden site, crop planning, weed and pest control, harvesting, season extension and much more. The back of the book contains an appendix with notes on each crop and another with a listing of all the tools he mentions in the book, and a third one with a sample of his garden plan. Overall this was an excellent and informative book. It contained many ideas that we already know and use but also gave new insight into ways we can continue to improve. Not everything will apply to our farm but much of it can. This would be valuable for any vegetable farmer or anyone considering starting a farm to read. I also think that many consumers would benefit from reading this book as well by gaining a better understanding of what goes into the produce they buy at the market. This is a book that I definately want to add to my bookshelf as soon as possible so that I can reference it often. The copy I read was an ebook which I checked out from our local library, so check with your library to see if its available. I hope this review has awakened you curiosity and that you will seek an opportunity to read this book.