Conventional thinking holds that vegetable farms must be fully mechanized and produce on a certain scale to provide a livelihood, except in extraordinary circumstances, but Les Jardins de la Grelinette (Broad Fork Gardens) in Quebec, busts this myth, using biointensive growing methods.
For more than a decade Jean-Martin Fortier and Maude-Helene Desroches have operated a phenomenally successful “biologically intensive” microfarm using biointensive growing methods.
By choice they use only hand tools and a small walk-behind tractor and employ only one or two workers. Yet with less than 2 acres under cultivation and one greenhouse and two hoop houses on their certified organic farm, this husband and wife team grosses around $150,000 a year.
Of that impressive sum, they’re able to count more than 40 percent as profit for family living. Jean-Martin and Maude-Helene are in their 30s and have two children.
At a half-day workshop I attended in the company of well over 100 farmers, Jean-Martin summed up some of their achievements. Continue Reading →