If you've ever wondered what it would take to drop what you're doing and become a small-scale farmer, then you don't want to miss this upcoming workshop.
On Friday, October 30, Arizona State University and Steadfast Farm at Agritopia will bring one of Canada’s most recognized and influential organic growers, Jean-Martin Fortier, to the Valley for a one-day event.
The workshop, called Profitable Small-Scale Farming: Essential Tools & Techniques, will "provide in-depth instruction on optimizing cropping systems for intensive methods of production."
If you're not already familiar with Fortier's name, know that he's a pretty big deal in sustainable farming circles. He's the author of the book The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Growing,” which details the low-tech, high-yield methods he uses to make a living farming one just an acre and a half of land. He's a champion of "growing better, not bigger" and of using "biologically intensive" farming methods to achieve success.
Topics covered in the workshop will include:
- Farm setup 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
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The workshop, which starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m., will take place at SkySong in Scottsdale and includes a copy of Fortier's book, breakfast from Crêpe Bar, and lunch from Pane Bianco for the $84 enrollment fee.
To register or for more information about the event, check the ASU Food Systems Transformation Initiative website.
For more information about Fortier, visit the Market Farmer website.