Earlier this month, the HLFM hosted a packed house of farmers at our Sustainable Farmers Productivity Workshop. Jean-Martin Fortier, farmer, educator and author of The Market Gardener, as well as Gordon Johnson from the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension were the key speakers at this workshop.
Jean-Martin Fortier discussed intelligent farm design and soil biology. He is helping small farmers everywhere to farm more efficiently. Fortier and his wife, Maude-Helene Desroches, operate an organic market garden in Quebec, “Les Jardins de la Grelinette,” where they have achieved optimum productivity and profitability using sustainable biologically intensive cropping systems. His goal is to teach farmers how to produce more with less effort, not through expansion of acreage, but through improvement of how they farm, so they can turn a profit as small farmers with less effort and a significant gain in quality of life. Part of the workshop time was spent in finding solutions in the group to individual farmers’ problems.
Gordon Johnson talked about local resources available to farmers and about season extension. With our extremely busy lives, many of us may be unaware of the resources that are available for farmers, including small scale diversified farmers. Gordon and the Agricultural Extension service are dedicated to getting those resources to the people who need them. Most of these resources are provided through government services and are free of charge to participants.
For two days after the workshop, Jean-Martin visited small farms to address implementation of specific strategies. Farmers who attended the workshop were able to participate in the farm visits and learn from this hands-on experience.
We thought you would like to see these pictures from the workshop and farm visits. We thank Brook Hedge for taking them.
If you love the Market and want us to help put on more of these workshops to help grow small farmers in the Delmarva, please come to the Hoedown on May 7 at the Officer’s Club at Cape Henlopen State Park. This is our main fundraiser which is a biennial affair. The money from this event helps make the Market happen every year and allows us to help small farmers. For tickets go to www.
Don’t forget that the HLFM opens on May 14 at 8 am at our new location at George H.P. Smith Park in Historic Downtown Lewes.