Famed agriculturist, Jean-Martin Fortier, is changing the world through his small-scale approaches to farming.
Everybody has different opinions—on politics, on films, even on general economics. But if there is something we can all agree on, it’s that fruits and vegetables taste infinitely better when purchased at a farmers’ market.
Nothing can compare to fresh and organic products. Even better, organic products grown through small-scale farming techniques are helping this planet recuperate from the harm caused by traditional farming and agriculture.
This sustainable farming movement is exponentially expanding with each passing day. And a great part of its growth can be attributed to Growers & Co. and its founder Jean-Martin Fortier.
Growers & Co. is an organization that has a mission to educate the public on the positive impact of small-scale farming. And although it was only founded in 2020, Jean Martin’s work in sustainable farming began a couple decades ago.
“[My involvement] started when I was in my early twenties,” says Fortier. “I wanted to have an impact with the work I did on planet Earth. (…) I do not come from a farming background, but farming came to be how I would contribute [in life].”
Fortier’s work in the biointensive farming movement has led to a micro-farm, a farm & training field, a book (titled The Market Gardener, A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small Scale Organic Farming), an online course (The Market Gardener’s Masterclass), and now Growers & Co. and its upcoming publication.
This has all helped to establish a new generation of people that are interested in sustainable farming—both through the shift into small-scale farming from more traditional agriculturists, and through an expanded interest in simply growing food from home.
And all of Fortier’s hard work in the sustainable farming field is inspired by his beliefs and his desire to help change the world.
“I think industrial agriculture is killing the world,” says Fortier. “It’s the biggest form of destruction we have (…). Small-scale farmers can be the change.”
Fortier believes that it is time industrial agriculture is replaced by this eco-friendly alternative. And the proof necessary to support this change is evident even now, as the evolvement of small scale-farming continues to change the world.
A big component of this change, Jean Fortier believes, comes from the symbolic exchange that occurs between farmers and consumers.
“Farmers are feeding people that understand the importance of this connection,” Fortier emphasizes. “The more we are out there doing this, the more we are populating the space with this harmonious relationship that needs to [occur].”
And the more opportunity people have to see taste and see the difference, the more this movement will keep growing.
“Once you taste food made with care by people who care, you are hooked. That is what has been driving this small scale movement.”
The ecological benefits provided to the planet are also growing with the movement.
Fortier emphasizes that organic small-scale farming uses practices that actually benefit the planet rather than hurt it, such as crop rotation, crop diversity, local-market-based production, and others. The eco-friendly work leaves the planet prepared to produce organic food for all those who care to seek it.
It is important that this movement continues to grow. And a great part of that comes from spreading the word and telling others of small-scale farming. This is where the new Growers & Co. magazine comes in.
Launched on October 30th, the first edition of this bi-annual magazine is titled Planting Roots. The issue tells the stories of small-scale farmers in the Northeast. It will also revisit and discuss some philosophies and policies related to farming. Some notable farmers featured in the magazine are singer and song-writer Gregory Alan Isakov, and famous chef Matty Matheson. Jean-Martin Fortier serves as the magazine’s editorial director.
“The magazine shows what we do in a new light,” says Fortier. “We are trying to promote [our work] to a larger audience.”
And the way in which this is done is by telling the stories of those who practice sustainable farming and are touched by the movement. Through essays, guides, and other texts and pictures, the magazine explores and celebrates the culture of small-scale farming.
“[The magazine] tells the story of who we are as a community of people that are farming ecologically, and why we do what we do,” says Fortier. “We go and visit different people and different farms, and explore what is in our hearts and souls, and we expose the beauty and importance of it.”
The purpose behind the magazine is to attract others to jump on the small-scale farming train. An increased number of interested people will lead to more sustainable farms, which will then lead to a brighter and more eco-friendly future.
“The courage and the beauty of people that are in the field dedicated to the craft is amazing,” says Fortier with clear excitement in his voice.
And Fortier really desires for everyone to be a part of this movement.
“Connect with a farmer, somehow,” Fortier invites. “Either go help on a farm or just be a part of it. [Showing your support in any way] goes a long way. The feel that people are a part of this is important.”
So show your support, care for the planet, and contribute to the future of small-scale farming.
For more information, and to buy a copy of the magazine’s very first issue, go to www.growers.co.