The Market Gardener & Other Nature Related Things: Inspiring a Small Scale Farming Movement

I bought this book last year, before the homestead was a reality, and what stemmed from it was this amazing vision of a land that not only supplemented regular income, but generated it’s own substantial revenues.

Maude Helene and Jean Martin are two farmers, who after working for other producers in New Mexico, inspired by French gardening techniques from the 19th century, set on this enormous path to build a micro farm (they produce on under 2 acres) using zero mechanization. That means all the work in done by hand and they didn’t need to invest in tractors and other dependance creating equipment. This little farm in St-Armand has exploded on the micro agriculture scene and Jean Martin is busy running workshops and inspiring people to ditch the office, pick up a broadfork and work 6 months out of the year. After my second read, I was begging B to convert our car to biodiesel and run for the hills. We’re waiting on the bio-diesel…

So I’m a fan, is what you can deduce from this all. And so you can understand how TOTALLY EXCITED when I learned that Jean Martin was planning the release of an educational documentary about his methods.

If you are at all interested in growing vegetables, this is a BIBLE that I consult on a regular basis. And I love how transparent he is about making a living and the financial costs of running a small scale farming business. He manages to earn 6 figures, support a family of 4, live and work in the same place and only work 6 months out of the year.

Six-figure farming logo

You can follow their project on Facebook, and buy the book directly from the author of you feel the need to add to your library, or gift it to someone perhaps thinking about farming as a potential business. He’s running a workshop here in Montreal in October… I’m thinking we might go as our anniversary present to each other..

And speaking about growing things… um, did you know that we grew LENTILS. IN CANADA?? I mean, I’m no dummy, but I was pretty sure that lentils grew in a bag, at Akhavan… but NO. They come from fields and plants just like everything else. You can read about it in a FASCINATING article written by AimΓ©e Wimbush Bourque of Simple Bites Fame (also creator of the best chili recipe in the world). Anyways, read all about Canadian Lentils over here. And try that delicious BLT. Bacon, Lentils AND Tomato.

Also, I know you’re really excited about my broccoli, and SO AM I!! We steamed one, gifted two and have about 6 left in the garden. What a crazy beautiful vegetable to grow. broccoli

What it also made me think of, is how much space it needs, and how much space we need to grow the broccoli in JUST 1 GROCERY STORE. I mean, can you imagine? And this varietal that I planted doesn’t seem to grow more stems. So I’ll pull them out and seed bumber crops of something else.

I`ll be sad to not see those giant leaves anymore! Next year, I`ll know to plant them in succession (to harvest them at later dates) and maybe add some cauliflower. To the ones that are left, I’ll blanch them and freeze them to have in the pits of winter!

NAcover_internet copy

And in related book news, my favorite illustrator (you might know her from her Sparrow Wallpaper that graced my entrance ) Julia Rothman has published a second Anatomy book with Storey Publishing: Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World.

36_37_fieldsucession_landscapes

It’s a follow up to her amazing Farm Anatomy book, that was on my coveted list for years and became a staple in our homesteading library last year. I’m excited to do the same with Nature Anatomy. AAAAAND Instagram just told me that she’s researching and writing the third installment: FOOD ANATOMY!

Go Julia GO!

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