The Market Gardener

by Jean-Martin Fortier

If you're dreaming of starting your own small scale organic farming venture, this is one book you shouldn't be without.

The Market Gardener by Jean-Martin Fortier

This copy is from the local library, but I would buy my own in a minute.  The information is perfect for my area, even though it's written about a farm in Quebec.  The climate and planting zones are almost identical.

The book gives information on what to look for in a farm; the soil, how to tell what there is and the best type for what you want to grow, as well as how to improve it.

In most books about starting this type of organic farm, there is no firm or fast rule about what crop to follow which.  This book outlines it all, and gives charts too for those of us that are visual learners.

The hand drawn pictures are clear and really well done.  I'm particularly fond of the one that depicts the farm with all the beds laid out so neatly.

The Successful Growers Handbook for Small Scale Organic FarmingThe Successful Growers Handbook for Small Scale Organic Farming

Obviously, your dream farm would look a little different, and operate differently, but this book gives such a good background and also tells you why to do things, or why not.

The reasons for a windbreak, for instance, isn't just to provide a visual barrier for your neighbors, but outlines the distance that it will protect the garden from prevailing winds, and also provide pollen sources for beneficial insects, and a home for predators that can help you keep the garden free of harmful pests.

Although not a long book, it's so clearly laid out, with references to other useful reading material that it's worth it for that alone.

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