Business

Rockstar farmer tour is coming to Cranbrook and Kimberley

Rockstar farmer Jean-Martin Fortier is coming to Cranbrook and Kimberley to explain intensive farming techniques on small lots. - Photo submitted
Rockstar farmer Jean-Martin Fortier is coming to Cranbrook and Kimberley to explain intensive farming techniques on small lots.
— image credit: Photo submitted

 

What does it take to be a rockstar farmer? Is it producing $140,000 of vegetables on a tiny 1.5 acre farm? Producing healthy food for 200 families organically and using hand tools? Or is it just making a right livelihood for your family, in these times when family farms across the country are struggling and often failing?

Rockstar farmer Jean-Martin Fortier does all of these things - and he is coming to Kimberley and Cranbrook in March on a Rockstar Farmer tour with The Young Agrarians to share his story and his secrets for small scale farming success.

On March 12th in Cranbrook, Jean-Martin will lead Six Figure Farming for Small Lots, a full day workshop teaching his smart, intensive farming techniques married with smart business sense. And on March 11th at Centre 64 in Kimberley, Jean-Martin will give an evening presentation sharing the ten-year story of his micro-farm and explaining intensive growing techniques.

“With local organic agriculture thriving across the country and here in the Kootenays,” said Shannon Duncan of Wildsight and Cranbrook Food Action Committee, “we are excited to bring one of Canada’s leading organic, small-scale producers to town to share his knowledge. It’s great that people can choose between an all-day, in-depth workshop to really get into the details of professional farming or an inspiring shorter evening

presentation.”

The full-day workshop, Six Figure Farming for Small Lots: how you can start a market garden and make it both productive and profitable—without a large acreage or big capital outlay, follows on the success of Jean-Martin’s book The Market Gardener, which sold more than 15,000 copies in French and is now available in English. Jean-Martin will discuss how to:

set up a micro-farm & design biologically intensive cropping systems with negligible capital outlay.

farm without a tractor and minimize fossil fuel inputs through the best hand tools, appropriate machinery, and minimum tillage.

grow mixed vegetables systematically with attention to best practices for weed and pest management, crop yields, harvest periods and pricing.

At the Kimberley evening presentation, Jean-Martin will share the story of his success as a young professional farmer. He’ll also give an overview of his low-tech, high yield production methods, many of which can be used by gardeners everywhere, including soils and fertility, crop rotations, seeding, starting & transplanting, row covers and low tunnels, season extension techniques, weed control and more.

“With the Public Produce Garden a success in Cranbrook and the huge growth of the Farmer’s Market,” said Shannon Duncan, “we know there is a huge appetite out there for local food and local farming. Jean-Martin’s workshops will be a perfect kickoff to another productive year for food in the area - a year in which Wildsight will launch a public produce garden and a farmer’s market in Kimberley.”

The Rockstar Farmer tour is a series of five workshops across BC, put on by the Young Agrarians. Wildsight and the Cranbrook Food Action Committee are co-hosting the local events. Tickets for the March 12th full day workshop in Cranbrook are available on a sliding scale from $45-$75 in advance, while admission to the March 11th evening presentation at Centre 64 in Kimberley at 7:30pm is by donation, with $10 suggested. More information and tickets for the

full-day workshop are available at youngagrarians.org/jmf. Information on the evening presentation is available from wildsight.ca or 250-427-2535x2.

“If you’re serious about farming, I urge you to attend Jean-Martin Fortier’s workshops while he’s in BC. I have toured farms all over the west coast of 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” said Curtis Stone, farmer at Green City Acres in Kelowna.

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