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A Model for Profitable Micro-Farming

As we awaken to the realities in store for us in a future defined by declining net energy, concerns about food security, adequate nutrition, community resilience, and reliable income commonly arise.

Small-scale farming usually quickly surfaces as a pursuit that could help address all of these. Yet most dismiss the idea of becoming farmers themselves; mainly because of lack of prior experience, coupled with lack of capital. It simply feels too risky.

The refrain we most frequently hear is: I think I'd love doing it, but I don't know how I'd make a living.

Enter Jean-Martin Fortier and his wife, Maude-Hélène. They are a thirtysomething couple who have been farming successfully for the past decade. In fact, they've been micro-farming: their entire growing operations happen on just an acre and half of land.

And with this small plot, they feed over 200 families. And do so profitably.

The Fortiers are pioneers of the type of new models we're in such need of for the coming future. Fortunately, they realize this, and are being as transparent about their operations as they can -- in order to educate, encourage and inspire people to join the emerging new generation of small-scale farmers.

They have published a book, The Market Gardener, which is nothing short of an operating manual for their entire business. In it, they reveal exactly what they grow, how they grow it, what tools and farming practices they use, who their customers are, what they charge them, and how much profit they take home at the end of the day.

A quick summary of the numbers from their 1.5 acre operation:

  • 2013 revenue: $140,000
  • Customer sales breakdown:
    • CSA operations (140 members): 60%
    • Farmer's markets (2): 30%
    • Restaurants/grocery stores: 10%
  • Staff: 2 paid employees + the Fortiers
  • 2013 Expenses: $75,000
  • 2013 Profit: $65,000 (~45% profit margin)

Their initial start up costs were in the $40,000 range. Not peanuts; but fairly low by most new business standards.

Did I mention they're doing this in Quebec? (translation: colder, and shorter natural growing season vs most of North America)

Learning to do more with less, and doing it sustainably, will be a key operating principle for future prosperity. Here's a model that shows it's possible to do both, and have good quality of life, to boot.

We need more of these.

(Hat tip to PP.com reader Bill12 who brought the Fortiers onto our radar)

Click the play button below to listen to my interview with Jean-Martin Fortier (34m:16s):

Transcript: 

Adam: Hello and welcome to the Resilient Life podcast. Resilient Life is part of PeakProsperity.com. It is where we focus on practical and actionable knowledge for building a better future. I am your host, Adam Taggart. When we talk about cultivating resilience here at Peak Prosperity, several themes frequently arise, such as improving our food security, eating more healthfully, strengthening our local communities and building income streams that we have more control over. Starting your own local farm is a dream many hold up as a way to fulfill all of these goals at once, but for most folks, especially those with limited prior experience or capital, it often feels too risky and out-of-reach, or perhaps it is not.

Today’s guest is Jean-Martin Fortier. Jean-Martin and his wife, Maude-Helene, are the founders of Les Jardins de la Grelinette, an internationally recognized micro farm, known for its high productivity and profitability using low-tech, high-yield methods of production. Jean-Martin has recently published a book titled The Market Gardener, which serves as a handbook for the aspiring small-scale organic farmer. It lays out the knowledge and steps that he and his wife have followed to make a living wage growing high-quality food without a large capital overlay or access to large acreage. The Fortiers generate over $100,000 in gross sales from their one and a half acre micro farm, with profit margins in the 40% range. They are one of the pioneers of the new sorts of models society needs as we enter a future defined by more expensive energy and greater need for dependable access to healthy foods.

I have invited Jean-Martin to the program to discuss the practical steps for setting up a micro farm. Perhaps some of those listing might be inspired enough by this discussion to follow his model. Jean-Martin, thank you so much for making the time to join us today.

Jean-Martin: Hey, Adam, it is my great pleasure to be with you guys.

Adam: Thank you. And, you have been kind so far in our pre-discussion, but if I make any real butchering of the French here, please correct me.

Jean-Martin: That is fine. So far, so good.

Adam: All right, thank you. Well, let’s start by having you give us your brief story. How did you and your wife, Maude-Helene, decide to become farmers?

Jean-Martin: Well, that is an interesting story, because neither of us grew up on a farm, and you know, we have studied—we met at the university, at McGill University. We studied environmental science and ecology. And, when we finished, we knew we wanted to make a difference somehow. We had studied how the globalized system is not so good for the environment and our planet, and we wanted to make a difference in our work. But, we did not really know what we wanted to do. So, we ended up traveling for two years and among other things that we did was to work on a small organic farm in Norton, New Mexico. And, before going to that farm, we knew nothing about farming, nothing about the agrarian lifestyle, and even Organic was not as big as it is now. And, luckily enough for us, we started to work in a beautiful area, in Abiquiu, near Santa Fe, which, beautiful landscape. And, they had in Santa Fe an amazing farmer’s market, really strong, strong local support for local farmers. And, one of the farmers that was there was from Quebec. He had been there for ten years and so speaking French was something that he had not been doing for the last little while there. So, we started farming with him and with this guy, we learned how to farm, we saw what lifestyle he had, because he was outside, he was growing food, he was selling it to people that were thanking him. And, he was taking a month or two to go to Mexico in the winters, and we thought, wow, what a great lifestyle. And, that was our start in farming. We ended up farming two years there in Norton, New Mexico. And, that farming community was really amazing, and we have been hooked on it ever since.

Adam: Wow, great. And, so I take it you went back to Quebec and decided to do this full-time back in Canada, is that correct?

Jean-Martin: Yeah, we, after two years there, we were, after working some time with Richard there, we got employed as farm managers for this other small farm, because their farm manager left in the middle of the season. So, we did not have a lot of experience, but then we were in our early 20s managing a two-acre vegetable farm, and we learned a lot there. And, we decided to come back to Quebec, because that is where our roots are. And, we started our own micro farm here on rented land, and we put up a summer camp on rented land. We were, basically, we were growing on just, on a garden. And, we were bringing our produce to a local farmer’s market and we lived in a teepee for two seasons, and we were farming with hand tools. And, I remember, Maude-Helene was the one that would put the seeds in the ground, because she was fast at it. And, we were doing this by hand, so it really was a garden. And, we did this for two seasons, and at one point in time, we just thought, yeah, we like this, and we think there is a lot of great upsides to doing this work. So, we decided to jump in more professionally, and we bought a ten-acre farm. Which was a seven-acre wood lot, and it had this old rabbit house in the middle of it, and it was this old abandoned building. And, we bought that and we built a house inside the rabbit farm, and it ended up being that we had two acres of prairie that we could manage to make a living on. And, that was the start of our story at la Grelinette.

Adam: Well, let’s talk specifically then about what you are doing at la Grelinette. So, that is truly a micro farm. Is it the same two acres of prairie you just mentioned, or is it a separate property?

Jean-Martin: No, it is the same one. We have had that two acres that we needed to manage, and we had to make two incomes from it, because both of us wanted to farm full-time. And, it ended up being that we have an acre and a half in permanent raised beds. And, when we decided on the site, what it implied—because we did not have more space available—we left out the tractor, because we did not have any room to accommodate the tractor in the spacing that the tractors use up for weeding and just for turning at the end of the row. It is just too much space. So, we left that out and we started to farm a bit differently using these permanent raised beds that are packed with heavily, densely seeded crops that eventually shade out the weeds. And, that is the whole thing with our growing model is that we are doing intensive spacings, so on not a lot of yardage there is a lot of production.

Adam: Great. Well, let’s dive into that then. So, when you say intensive spacing, what exactly do you mean and what types of practices are you using? I have looked through your book. I see you do biodynamic farming, and that might actually be worth spending a moment talking about, the biodynamic approach. And, I believe you are…

Jean-Martin: It is actually, Adam, is bio-intensive, so there is a bit of a difference there.

Adam: All right. Well, let’s talk about that.

Jean-Martin: Yeah, well what it is is that when we started—the story boils down that we had this land constraint and we wanted to make the most out of it, and we had already been farming with hand tools. And, so in a nutshell, what the bio-intensive method is—and you can find a lot of books coming from California about that—is that you want to have amazing soil structure and have really good soil, deep soil, so that you can closely space your crops and still have the roots of these crops really shoot down, so that they do not compete with one another. And, when you do that, then you have crops that end up—the leaves of these crops, they end up touching one another really rapidly in their growth, and when that happens, it forms a canopy. And, the canopy shades out the weeds and it just retains moisture and it darkens the soil, so the earthworms and the biology is just enhanced because of this. So, effectively, you are creating this living mulch with the crops that you are growing.

And, this is possible if you are not using the tractor, because usually in a tractor setup, the spacing between the crops is determined by the weeding implements and the tractor itself. So, by leaving out the tractor we were just able to grow these permanent raised beds with crops that are densely seeded and densely transplanted to get a lot of yields, but also to get some beneficial factors with regards to climate enhancements and the biology inside the soil. And, in a nutshell, that is really what we have been doing. We have been building soil here and not turning it, and using minimum tillage techniques and hand tools that really work well. And, we have been planting crops really close to one another like somebody would do in a garden, but we are doing it on a commercial scale.

Adam: Oh, very interesting. And, so obviously, I think the spacing is very important. It sounds like the soil itself is very important, too.

Jean-Martin: Yeah, they work hand-in-hand, these two, yes.

Adam: Yeah, and I noticed in your book there is a big focus on fertilizing the soil, creating your own compost. Obviously, when you are in raised beds, you are growing lots of vegetation repeatedly in the same beds themselves. So, how do you keep them active? Do you have to have them lie fallow for a while, or how do you keep—since you have such a limited spacing, how do you keep as much of it active as possible for, in terms of the productive standpoint?

Jean-Martin: Yeah, well, that has to do with crop planting. Because, we are planning to have as many successions as possible in our short growing season. We are in Quebec here, and it is not that cold, because we are St-Armand, Quebec, but still, it is not California. And, so…

Adam: I was going to say, it is all relative. Relative to me, it is really pretty cold where you are.

Jean-Martin: Yeah, well, today it is. But, we have good light, which is important for growth in the spring and in the summer. And, so we plan to have as many successions as possible, and how we manage this, if you know, a succession is being, let’s say you have a bed filled with radishes and when you are done with the radishes, you want to have something else taking over. Let’s say there are lettuce heads, but you want to have started your lettuce heads three or four weeks before in your nursery, so that you have this three or four week gain in the season. You are growing inside the greenhouse and then you are bringing your produce out to the beds. And, these successions, we plan them in the winter months and we have a crop planting calendar that we follow that basically tells us what needs to be planted where, and by what is it going to be replaced with, and when do we need to start these other plants that are taking over. And, this is all managed in the winter months, because we have more time and then it is put in the calendar, and then basically, when spring kicks in and we get really busy, we just follow where to plant, the guideline that tells us what to plant, where, when to do our starts. And, basically, we could not be doing all the production we are doing on our micro farm if it was not for that planning process, the crop planning is really important.

Adam: Yeah, there is one thing I have learned as a novice farmer operating on a micro-fractional scale of what you are operating on and, being attuned to when you need to plant and when you need to replace and when you need to replenish is critical in terms of yield management.

Jean-Martin: Yeah, and we are doing CSA here, community supported agriculture. We have a 140 families that we feed, and we also do two farmer’s markets, which basically ends up feeding about 250 families, which is quite a lot considering that we are on an acre and a half. And, the reason why we are able to manage this is because we really know in the winter all that we are going to be producing every week, and we are planning this to fulfill the needs of our CSA clients.

Adam: Well, let’s talk a little bit more about that for a moment then. So, you are in Quebec. Canada has long, cold—at least from my perspective—winters. How do you extend the growing season? Are you able to grow all through the winter? How do you actually keep production going during those colder months?

Jean-Martin: We stop in the winter. We stop for three months. So, we stop around Christmas and we start again mid-March, because it is minus, it is just too—we are in Celsius, so I do not want to give a number in Fahrenheit, because I do not really know. But…

Adam: You can just say "really cold."

Jean-Martin: It is really cold, and too cold to really push the limits of farming here. But, we like this break, actually, because it gives us time to replenish ourselves, to plan best for the next season. But, we push the limits quite far, because of low-tech extension techniques, which are: row covers, floating row covers are really amazing. And, then we use mini tunnels, we use caterpillar tunnels, we have a couple of permanent hoop houses. We have one heated greenhouse for a nursery in the spring. And, it is just this combination of using all of them together, so it is probably hard for me to describe all of this to the listener here, but if they check out the book they will figure this out pretty easily. But, you have hoop houses that are big poly tunnels, and then you have mini tunnels inside of them. And, you also have, you are growing resilient crops which might be kale or spinach. They can take freezing and still be good to harvest. So, you are combining these low-tech systems, and you are really pushing the limits of the growing season. So, even in Quebec, all the way until Christmas, we are harvesting greens and then we are starting again in March when the temperatures start to rise again. And, it has to do with the light, it really has to do with the light, not as much as the temperature.

Adam: Oh, well, it really is impressive to me, having grown up in New England, that you are able to get a nine-month growing season, essentially, up in Quebec. And, it sounds like most of that is not in a greenhouse, that that is mostly using a combination of sort of smaller, simpler technologies, hoop houses and some of the other things that you mentioned. I should also mention, too, that in your book, there are illustrations of I think everything you mentioned there. It is very much sort of a practical manual for what to use and how to use it and when to use it.

Jean-Martin: Yeah, the whole idea of writing the book was to kind of pass along hard information about what we have been up to on our farm, because when we started, there was not a lot of models out there of what we are doing now. And, it took us a quite a few years to kind of fine-tune our systems and get it right. And, at one point I felt, you know, I think when people, they want to start out a micro farm—because I know that that dream is alive in a lot of people and rightfully so, because we need a lot more farmers to feed these communities. But, farming, even on a micro level is really technical. And, if you are going to growing 50 or 40 different vegetables, you need to have a pretty good understanding of every part of the growing season, the techniques, the tools, know-how. And, I have always thought that a veteran grower that is there to tell you how he is doing everything is a good example to follow. And, then from there you can just pick and choose, or make your own experiments. But, at least you have one system that you can follow and rightly or wrongly, you can adjust or whatever. But, sometimes you have books that present a lot of models, a lot of ways of doing things, but, then, when you do not how to do it, you are confused, because, "should I be doing soil blocks? Or should I be doing this other way of doing my seedlings?" Yeah, so that was my goal. And, hopefully, all of the things that we have developed over time, it can really help other people kick-start their own project and gain a few more years. It took us eight years to really figure things out, and we have been surfing on that for a couple of years now. But, yeah, I am just happy to be sharing what we have been up to.

Adam: Well, and it is so wonderful that you are, and that is really what drew me to you. And, when one of Peak Prosperity’s readers actually introduced me to your work, we, at Peak Prosperity, we talk about the need for the new models that are going to bring us into this future that we see as defined by the forces that we call the Three Es, basically that have to do with, at its base, with resource depletion and increased energy and input costs going forward. So, finding ways to grow food like this is something that is of great interest to a lot of our readers, and many of them are discouraged because they do not have the know-how or they feel like it takes a lot of capital. And, I think many of them would love to have the benefit of a mentor, and that probably would help a lot of people feel more comfortable about getting into this. But, one of the things you probably discovered in your journey is, with the rise of big agriculture over the past two generations, there really are not that many farmers that can act as mentors for a small-scale or micro farming. Really, they just know the big industrial input, huge machine-based farming practices. And, so there are not a lot of people out there for interested parties, particularly young people, to go to and learn how to do what you are doing. So, I think the fact that you are being so transparent about it here is a great, great asset and a great value to people. So, thank you, and I would love to dive into—well, actually sorry, let me let you answer that.

Jean-Martin: Well, I was just about to say that that is, I feel that is important. And, the farming community—the organic farming community—is great for that, because people, they share. Farmers, they share. I have done a lot of traveling and we have learned a lot from different farmers. And then it is about putting all of this together and people shared with me, so it is just feels right and natural to just pass along. And, then hopefully in the right hands, people will pick up The Market Gardener and feel inspired by it and then start their own thing and then bring all of this to another level. And, because there is a lot of future in micro farming. And, the fact that we do not have a tractor is not because we are dogmatic or it is not even philosophical. It is just, we do not need one. We are farming productive and profitably because we are without one. And, so this is a message that is kind of new and different and not—actually not a lot of people really believe us. But, when they read the book, or even better, if they come and stop and look at what we have been up to on our farm for the last decade, they really see that there is a lot. On an acre and a half, you can grow a lot of vegetables and have employment. And, we are basically using no fossil fuel to grow all of our crops, because we are using hand tools.

Adam: Which is fantastic, and what we found is that you can discuss something sort of academically as long you like, but what really convinces people—certainly to take personal risk—is seeing other people actually go out and blaze the trail before them. And, so again, I think that is a huge part of the value of what you and your wife have done here, is shown people that not only can you generate so much yield from the small amount of acreage that you have, but that you can do it profitably. And that is what I would like to dive into next here, which is not only have you dispelled the fact that you can generate a lot of revenue off of the small space that you have, but you can actually generate profit and make a good living off of it. So, I think that is probably the number one thing that is keeping a lot of younger people from getting into this, is the fear that there is just not going to be enough money in it for them, especially if they have to take up some up-front costs early on in the process. So, do you mind talking a little bit about the economics of your operation?

Jean-Martin: No, I do not, because I feel it is really important part, just for the reason that you mentioned. Because, if you want to look at farming as a career, you need to know that you are going to make it out. And, so basically on our farm, we are on an acre and a half, and we have been growing here for a decade. And when we started the farm, we bought more or less $40,000 worth of equipment to get pretty much everything going. This equipment that we are still using now today. And so that was pretty much our start-up cost, which is not a lot when you compare it to owning two or three tractors or, the bigger farms, the mechanized farms, how they are organized. And, so that, our start-up costs have always been pretty low. And, we started with 30 CSA baskets, 30 families. And, then on rented land we went to 60, and then when we bought the farm, we went to 80 families, 100 families, and then we went to 150, 200. And, we have been growing our clientele as we have been growing our skillset also.

And, for pretty much everything that we have developed on the farm, it was not about getting new tools and new equipment, it was just about learning how to grow better. How can we grow more of this without actually expanding the land base, because we do not have more land. And, really got us to optimize everything that we are doing on our farm. And, so that is why I always talk about—this is not a capital intensive farm base, it is really a knowledge intensive farming system. And, that is where it gets interesting, because if you can manage to start a little farm without spending too much, and you can still feed a lot of families, and your expenditures are your labor, well, you end up making a pretty decent living. And, we have been making more than ends meet on the farm for a decade, just by doing things a little bit better every year and just maximizing the output without putting that much input into the farm.

Adam: Great. Well, if you do not mind, let me just ask you a couple of rapid-fire questions about the numbers here. So, you said your start-up costs pretty much were around $40,000.

Jean-Martin: Yeah, to get all the equipment that we needed—hoop houses, seeding equipment, walk-behind BCS tractor, a two-wheel tractor, the implements, it is all laid out in the book. And, yeah, so that was the start-up cost for the equipment that we needed on a farm. It does not count for having a vegetable delivery truck and these things. But, just for the equipment that we needed, it is pretty digestible.

Adam: All right. And, now after your years where you have gotten up to a fairly mature operation on these two acres, what gross revenue are you producing right now?

Jean-Martin: Yeah, last year the sales of the farm were $140,000 worth of vegetable produced on site. And that is at a 45% profit margin, meaning that when we have paid—we have hired two people now, so we are four of us working on the farm. And, when we have paid them, when we have paid these guys and when we paid for seeds and compost and everything that we need, all our expenditures, just a bit less than half comes back to Maude-Helene and I as our salary, which is not so bad if you compare it to other trades and the farming world. That is pretty, these are pretty good numbers.

Adam: They are pretty great numbers, especially for that small amount of acreage. So, that is great, so about $140,000 in revenue, yet it is you and your wife and then two employees that you have since brought on. And, then the rest really is operating profit for you and your wife.

Jean-Martin: Yeah.

Adam: Great. And, in terms of your customers, you mentioned you service about 200 or so families through a CSA model, and then you also go to farmer’s markets.

Jean-Martin: Yeah, it ends up being 140 members of our CSA, and about 30% of our business sales is farmer’s markets. So, we count them as CSAs. So, we usually say that we feed more or less 200, 250 families with the vegetables that we grow on the farm.

Adam: Okay, great. And, so just to repeat those number then, it is about 70% of your sales are done through the CSA model, and then about 30 at farmer’s markets?

Jean-Martin: Yeah, well, it ends up being about 60, because we also, 10% of our revenue on the farm is for mesclun, which is a salad mix that we grow here that we sell to different restaurants.

Adam: Okay, great.

Jean-Martin: And, to the local grocery stores, so that is the breakup of all of our numbers on the farm.

Adam: Okay, great. And, I am just curious from a food standpoint, when you are talking about the profit that comes back to you and your wife, is that after you have been able to—are you able to eat—are you feeding yourself as well from this land?

Jean-Martin: Oh, boy, are we. We are feasting like kings, and that is best part of it. We are eating our vegetables through the whole year. We have a root cellar also.

Adam: Great, so your food costs are obviously very low and your food quality is very high.

Jean-Martin: Yeah, we go to market and we trade with our neighbors for meats and cider and all these great things, cheese, all these great things that you need in life. And, so we end up having a lifestyle that does not—and plus, we do not need to really dress up for work. We are kind of going natural on that way. And, there is no traffic jam to go to work and it just makes a lot of sense for us to have this homesteading, and plus having a pretty good living at it. And, again, I think we have been managing this because of our approach. And, that is really what I wanted to share in the book, because I know that if we need more farmers then we need to have farming schemes that are more accessible. And, it is all about learning how to do it.

Adam: Yeah, and we have always agreed, you need to have—to get people to move, you have got to give them something positive to move towards and you certainly seem to be painting a very attractive picture for somebody that is…

Jean-Martin: And, if I could add something.

Adam: Sure.

Jean-Martin: I would also, something cool, because it is good that it is positive, but it needs to be also popular and cool, and that is how I am really stoked about how there is more and more recognition about small farmers, how important they are in communities. And, I think it is really important that that recognition be more and more, because it needs to be a popular trade if we are going to get bright people to go into farming—bright and young people—they need to think that it is going to be something desirable, and that is the other thing that I think is important to get youth into farming.

Adam: Well, agreed. I live in an area where small-scale farming is also fairly popular. And, it is certainly one of the more, I think, sort of respected professions out here. But, boy, if anybody who is listening works in mass media, maybe a movie around—a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence as a micro farmer would be a great next thing to do.

Jean-Martin: That would be wonderful. I would like—can I play in that movie?

Adam: [Laughs] Sure, sure, as long as Maude-Helene is okay with that.

Jean-Martin: Well, yeah, we will not tell her.

Adam: Well, hey, so you have painted I think a really attractive picture here. Let me ask you, let’s say there is some young person who has listened to this podcast who is really inspired and begins to think that they really want to follow your lead here. What are some of the things that you would say to them, particularly lessons you learned along the way, maybe helping them avoid some major mistakes, or at least just being wary of things that you learned were really important as you have gone through this on your ten-year journey?

Jean-Martin: Yeah, well, I do not want to be selling out here, but I would say to them, read The Market Gardener and try to pick up the important ingredients in there. Because, I know that there is not one recipe for success. Farming is going to be different in different areas, but I know that there is a lot of key ingredients that need to be added to the mix for it to work. And, so if you can read The Market Gardener, I think that is—if I had a book like that when I started, it would have saved me four or five years of learning all of this, because it is all laid out. So, that would be one advice I would give, and then the other would be: go work for a full season on an organic farm, and then you will learn from that grower perhaps everything that he does well and the other stuff that he does not do as well you will pick up on it. And, most importantly, you will see if you like it. Because, a lot of people, they have this ideal about farming, but you need to put your knees in the ground. And, sometimes it is wet soil and temperatures are changing all the time, and you really need to commit to one full season I think, in order to see if you like it and if you want to stick with it. And, believe me, if you do like it, probably the chances are you will not be wanting to do anything else, because it is addictive to be outside and to grow crops. And, you know, if you have an outlet where people, they celebrate you for what you are doing, my God, this is, I would not say a perfect job, I would not go as far, but it is definitely a worthwhile time to spend your—you know, we are going to work half of our, more than half of our time spent on earth, is going to be spent working. So, you need to find meaningful work, I believe. So, these are my two advice. Read The Market Gardener and work one full year on an organic farm, and then my third advice is: at one point start your own. Start your own small operation, feeding 30 families, or 30 acquaintances is not such a big thing. And, you will learn a lot by doing it yourself. So, there you are.

Adam: All right. Well, that is great advice. So, Jean-Martin, so we have got the book, The Market Gardener. I imagine it is available on Amazon and through most other ways to buy books these days, is that true?

Jean-Martin: Yeah, it is also available on my website, so you know you are buying a book directly from the author. And, the website is themarketgardener.com, and just if people want to read a couple of chapters, I have put them out there on the website, and all the tools that we are using, they will see pictures of the tools, where they can get them. Because, these tools, you cannot find them at the hardware store. So, even if you are just a home gardener, what is great is that you are learning from a pro, and so the tools that we use, there is a reason for them and they are basically hand tools that are simple, but they are quite sophisticated in their design, to make the work effective and productive.

Adam: Well, excellent. And, Jean-Martin, I hope we have you back on again in the future to talk in more detail about some of the specific practices and the specific tools that you use, but this has been a great overview of the model that you pioneered. And, I really appreciate you being so transparent with the economics, because I think that is something a lot of people do not get. And, it is information that often times I think is limiting when people do not get it, because they do not see that it is actually possible to do this to make a living. So, thank you for the work and for the risks and for the really positive picture you and your wife are painting for the rest of us.

Jean-Martin: Well, Adam, thank you for having me on your show, and I am just, I want to thank you because I think it is important that we talk about small-scale farming. And, I really believe that there is a lot of future in it, and there is a lot of demand. And, I know for a fact that once people, they go to a farmer’s market and they taste real food, there is no turning back. They are not going back to the supermarkets. And supermarkets, they cannot compete with small growers if you are putting a face on your produce, if you are selling directly, and if you are growing top quality, which is really what we are aiming here at the farm. You need to grow top quality stuff, and then you are putting your face on it, selling it directly, and boy, these corporations, they cannot compete with that. So, the more we are out there feeding our communities, I think we are reclaiming the local economy. And, yeah, I believe there is a lot of future in that.

Adam: Oh, very well said. And, I could not agree more. So, Jean-Martin, thank you very much.

Jean-Martin: All right. Have a great one, guys.

Adam: You too, bye-bye.

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