Hudson Valley Young Farmers Coalition
Thanks to all who came out to the Hudson Valley Young Farmers Coalition Summer Potluck!
Next up we’re excited to host a full-day workshop:
with Jean-Martin Fortier, co-owner of Les Jardins de la Grelinette and author of The Market Gardener
DATE // Thursday, November 20th, full day workshop (times TBA)
LOCATION // Mettabee Farm, 551 Harlemville Rd, Hillsdale, NY
COST // $15 for the full-day workshop
Since 2004, Jean-Martin Fortier and his wife Maude-Hélène Desroches have been making a good living by growing on less than 1½ acres, on their farm Les Jardins de la Grelinette in Quebec, just north of the Vermont border. Last year, they sold more than $140,000 worth of vegetables, selling at two farmers’ markets and through their 140 member, 21-week CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). How they do this will be the focus of this full day workshop.In this workshop, Jean-Martin will cover the ins and outs of their production system – from use of their walk-behind tractor and 30-inch permanent no-till bed system; to how they have kept their operational costs low; to weed control techniques such as mulching, stale seed bed and flame weeding; to intensive crop spacing that has allowed them to more than triple production over average row system yields; to greenhouse growing techniques that produce more than 1,350 pounds of tomatoes a week in one 32×100 foot greenhouse.
Jean-Martin’s explanation for their success is that rather than concentrating on growing bigger, they’ve focused on growing better. He is looking forward to sharing the production techniques that he and his wife have fine-tuned over the years, in order to create a farm that is efficient, ecological and most importantly: profitable. The format of the workshop will be powerpoint presentation-based (with plenty of photos and opportunities for participants to ask questions).
This workshop is intended to complement the explanation of Jean Martin’s cropping systems given in his book The Market Gardener, and will provide in-depth instruction about intensive methods for optimizing a production system. Topics will include:
– Farm set up and design for biologically intensive cropping systems
– Alternative machinery, minimum tillage techniques and the use of the best hand tools for the market garden
– Best practices for weed and pest management
– How to develop a systematic approach to crop planning and season extension
“If you’re serious about farming, I urge you to attend JM Fortier’s workshops. I have toured farms all over North America, and I have yet to see anyone compare in production methods, soil management, crop health, product quality, and most importantly a balanced lifestyle. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet one of the most cutting edge organic farmers of our time!”
Curtis Stone, Green City Acres
For more information on Jean-Martin’s book visit www.themarketgardener.com
Note: Food will not be provided – attendees should plan to bring lunch.
This workshop is sponsored by the Hudson Valley Young Farmer Coalition.
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Who We Are
We are young and beginning farmers in the Hudson Valley organizing to support each other in starting and sustaining viable agricultural businesses.
We believe in the transformative potential of small business, local agriculture and cooperation to build a durable and prosperous agricultural economy in the Hudson Valley and beyond.
We are coming together to better understand the needs of young and beginning farmers in this region and to address and advocate for those needs.*
We work together on building collaborative infrastructure, mobilizing to shift regional and national farm policy, increasing access to resources (land, grants and loans, healthcare), consolidating information and creating spaces where young farmers from all backgrounds can share, learn and gather.
By building a functional network for resource and information sharing we can all share in the resilient local economy that will support this region for years to come.
We are just beginning to explore the many aspects of regional young farmer organizing, it is a learning experience . Join us and we can learn together.
* “young” and “beginning” are relative terms. This is not meant to be narrow or exclusive but to address issues affecting this current generation of first career farmers. If you think this coalition might benefit from your perspective, contact us, it’s almost certainly true.