Jean-Martin Fortier (JM) is a farmer, educator and author specializing in organic and biologically intensive cropping practices. His award-winning book,The Market Gardener, has inspired thousands of readers worldwide to reimagine human-scale food systems. His message is one of empowerment in order to educate, encourage and inspire people into pursuing a farming career and lifestyle.

With his wife, Maude-Hélène Desroches, he runs Les Jardins de la Grelinette, an internationally recognized 10-acre micro-farm in Quebec, Canada. With only 1½ acres cultivated in permanent beds, the farm grosess more than 100 000$ per acre with operating margins of about 60 per cent, enough to financially sustain his family. The focus at la Grelinette has been to grow better, not bigger, in order to optimize the cropping system, making it more lucrative and viable in the process.

Jean-Martin Fortier and Maude-Hélène Desroches

Jean-Martin Fortier and Maude-Hélène Desroches

As an educator, JM places a strong emphasis on intelligent farm design, appropriate technologies and harnessing the power of soil biology as key components of successful farming. A storyteller who can weave the technical aspects of farming with anecdotes from his farm, JM has facilitated hundreds of workshops, seminars and conferences in Canada, Europe, Australia and the United States.

He has written for farming magazines such as Canadian Organic Grower, La Terre de Chez Nous, Growing for Market and Mother Earth News and also serves as a tool advisor for companies such as Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Dubois Agrinovation.

JM has been widely featured in the mainstream media, appearing on CBC, RDI Économie, Global News,The Montreal Gazette and more, as well as in countless specialized publications, radio shows and podcasts.  He believes in replacing mass food production with food production by the masses. 

During a recent speaking tour in western Canada, he was dubbed a “Rockstar Farmer.” He hopes such recognition of food producers will advocate more support for the emerging new generation of small-scale farmers.