Find a good site

 If you are reading this manual, there is a good chance that you are interested in the profession of the gardener. that whether to live in the countryside, to work in rhythm of the seasons or have a more ecological, it is a job that can indeed be attractive. That said, cultivating more than forty vegetables requires skill and discipline work hardly comparable with other trades. Good training is essential.

The best advice I can offer to someone wishing to establish themselves in diversified market gardening is to go and work on other farms for a few seasons; in addition to gaining experience, you will be able to exchange your workforce against the precious know-how of a seasoned producer, regardless of the size of the farm. You will thus be able to become aware of the joys and difficulties inherent in the profession. Live the experience of an entire season and absorb, often unconsciously, everything a market gardener does well (and worse) are lessons that no training nor can any book replace. In this context, the choice of a good market gardener who is willing to pass on his knowledge base to you is very important. In the end, it's who you trust the mandate to introduce you to the trade. In my opinion, we must commit to at least one season to know if we are made for this job and this way of life.

That said, nothing beats your own experience. This is why, after one or two seasons spent at the farm of another, do not be afraid to get started and start your project. The market gardening formula on a small surface allows a slow. You can start without a lot of financial investment and expand your gardens as you gain confidence and skills. Start a small project of 30 baskets in ASC is not that difficult, given the makes most customers can be friends or knowledge. It is also possible to sell their vegetables in a nearby public market. Part-time gardening requires a less binding commitment and may constitute an interesting avenue. We should not forget that 60 years ago, the majority of people grew their vegetables and some sold their surplus in the markets. Moreover, unlike as many can imagine, it's a job which has its share of adventures and great meetings. At the risk of repeating myself, it's a job the reach of anyone willing to invest their time to learn it.

Find a good site

FIND THE RIGHT SITE to start your garden market gardening is the most important step in your project because several factors intrinsic to this choice will then influence production and daily life operations. Soil fertility, climate, orientation, potential clientele, and infrastructure are all things to consider before investing in a terrain. All the sites you visit will have different attributes and, since the ideal site does not exist not, it is very important to understand and prioritize these attributes. Choosing a site for bad reasons can seriously complicate the work of a gardener-market gardener. For example, it is common to fall under the spell of a bucolic place with a superb view, but not very favorable for cultivation, or again to buy a farm at low cost without too much realize the implications of being located three hours from route to a potential market. Prioritize beauty and the price of a site before the attributes specific to market gardening is a trap that must be avoided. Of course, various factors unrelated to agriculture come from the influence the process: access or not to land family, the will to live in his native region, to near family or near a dynamic village, etc. Nevertheless, beyond these considerations personal, the search for the best conditions for growth and operation must be a priority.

The best way to develop a good understanding of the potential of a site is to assess it using a grid-like the one presented on the next page. It is a worthwhile exercise. It makes it possible to add rationality to a highly emotional choice. You also have to take the time to visit several sites before making a choice and, above all, avoid getting carried away too quickly. Visit land can be done while you are working for another farm, or even when your Jardin maraîcher is only at the far project stage. The time spent prospecting for land is not lost, because it will help you to form your judgment about the sites.

Climate and microclimate

Despite all the strategies used to force crops in the spring and prolong the season in the fall (floating covers, tunnels, etc.), it is not must not forget that it is the regional climate of a site that remains the determining factor of growth cultures. The number of frost-free days and the average temperature will determine the length of the seasons and production potential. The research of the best climatic conditions for its jar din is therefore essential.

In Quebec, there are different agro cards - climatic conditions that delimit the territory according to climate and its influence on crops. In general, it is the maps of corn heat units (UTM) or hardiness zones that are used to indicate the regions where a market gardener will be able to do better.

There is another map that takes into account phenological observations to draw up a portrait of the most suitable places for culture: this is the bioclimatic zoning, presented above.

This type of map allows you to discover the territories advantaged by different conditions such as the nature of the soils, the presence of mountains, water, or even a flat relief.

In short, it designates the different microclimates that affect plant growth. These cards are of great help when the time comes. time to prospect for land in areas favorable to agriculture.