Having a year-round offering is possible!
Many small farms in northern climates have to deal with the stress of having to generate all of their annual revenue during the warm summer months. This reality often causes people to work tirelessly and burn out, but it does not have to be this way. In the past few years, customers’ expectations have changed and we have seen a rapid increase in the demand for fresh, local produce during the winter. Customer demand is so high that farms offering diversified crops during the winter often struggle to meet the demand – even if products are priced at a premium. By applying winter production and season extension techniques, farms can generate extra income that can reduce stress and contribute to a better quality of life and a more sustainable business.
- Understand winter growing principles and learn the best practices
- Have a clear vision to plan your winter production
- Grow a loyal customer base through year-round supply
- Improve your annual bottom line
Winter Growing and Season Extension
- Starting Soon
- Self-Directed Course
|Duration||5 h 30 (approx.)|
|Content||Videos & learning sheets|
|Access to the Community||Lifetime Access|
What you’ll learn
In this short video, you’ll get a quick overview of the key learnings you’ll get in this course and get insights from Jean-Martin Fortier’s 20+ years of experience as a successful market gardener.
Introduction to Winter Growing Principles
Explore the five key principles on how to successfully grow vegetables that are well adapted to winter growing conditions in a minimally heated to unheated greenhouse.
- Introduction to Winter Growing Principles Tutorial
- Printable Technical Sheet
- Winter Growing Q&A
Winter Growing Practices
Rigorous climate management is a key factor that makes winter growing a profitable endeavour. Learn our best practices to increase your success rate while growing crops in a minimally heated or unheated greenhouse. This lesson also provides smart tips to efficiently manage row covers, crop planning instructions for 19 veggies, best frost hardy cultivars, a winter spacing chart, irrigation, fertilization, and proven weeding and harvesting techniques.
- Winter Growing Practices (Part 1) Tutorial
- Winter Growing Practices (Part 2) Tutorial
- Winter Growing Practices Printable Technical Sheet
- Winter Growing Q&A
In a northern climate, the growing season is relatively short, forcing farmers to become resourceful in order to beat the cold and generate revenue for as long as possible. Learn the techniques we use for extending the growing season into the colder months, including the use of low tunnels, floating row covers, hoop houses, and more.
- Row Covers Tutorial
- Caterpillar Tunnels Assembly Tutorial
- Caterpillar Tunnels Technical Sheet
- Building a Small Tunnel Tutorial
- Building a Small Tunnel Technical Sheet
- Tarping for Early Spring Tutorial
- Season Extension Q&A
Bonus - Our 5 Favorite Best-Selling Winter Crops
We have adapted our technical sheet for arugula, bok choy, kale, mesclun mix and spinach to give you detailed instructions to successfully grow these crops in winter-like conditions. Please note that all video tutorials in this bonus lessons were filmed in summer conditions.
- Arugula Tutorial
- Arugula Technical Sheet
- Bok choy Technical Sheet
- Kale Tutorial
- Kale Technical Sheet
- Mesclun mix Tutorial
- Mesclun mix Technical Sheet
- Spinach Tutorial
- Spinach Technical Sheet
Meet The Teacher
Farmer, educator, and award-winning author
People following his work have been introduced to innovative micro-scale farm design principles, permanent beds systems, and renewed biointensive principles. Strategies like occultation, power harrows, and other soil preservation techniques have allowed him and his wife to earn more than $100,000 per acre per year in a small organic vegetable production over the past 20 years.
After witnessing the impact of his book and giving hundreds of live talks, workshops, and conferences around the world, Jean-Martin is excited to empower the next generation of farmers and is committed to the success of his students.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Winter Growing and Season Extension course different from the Masterclass?
The Market Gardener Masterclass is our most comprehensive course. It provides precise written and video instructions that cover methodology, tools, and techniques needed to successfully grow organic crops with heightened efficiency in a context of year-round production. It covers all the aspects of farming from crop planning, greenhouse production, cover crops, nursery and propagation, pest management, irrigation, harvest, conditioning and gives you detailed step-by-step instructions to successfully produce more than 30 crops. The content of the Winter Growing and Season extension course is also available in the Masterclass but we’ve decided to offer it as a stand-alone course to empower established growers in a northern climate to take their market gardening to the next level.
What is the Winter Growing and Season Extension course?
You own a farm that is already producing organic vegetables in a market gardening setting in the summer? Our Winter Growing and Season Extension course will give you the best practices to extend your production all year long. With this course you’ll learn how to produce high quality organic vegetables early in spring and long into the autumn and winter. Using tarps, tunnels and row covers will help you be the first at market with fresh local produce in spring and the last one to leave in autumn. Furthermore, our cost-effective method will help you achieve the best winter yield in a minimally heated to unheated greenhouse. The course is self-paced meaning you can check the video tutorials and technical sheets at your own rhythm.
Who is the Winter Growing and Season Extension course for?
- Committed farmers and market gardeners established in a northern climate who need guidance and a community to support the expansion of their production.
- Established producers farming in a northern climate who wish to increase their production efficiency and crop yields.
What will I learn?
This course will guide you in your season extension and winter growing project. With its methodology, tools, and techniques this course aims to teach you how to successfully grow crops in a context of heightened efficiency within a regenerative microfarming model. Each module includes video tutorials and downloadable fact sheets, each one giving you in-depth, yet straightforward instructions.
What’s not covered?
Our course is a technical program focused on agricultural production. It does not cover the commercial or legal aspects of farming or marketing. Also, this course focuses on the techniques related to season extension and winter growing. This does not cover any aspect of summer market gardening production, working with living soil, summer greenhouse production, annual crop planning, irrigation system, in-depth tools instructions, cover crops, and in-depth pest management. If you are interested in such topics, please consider joining our Market Gardener Masterclass course.
Where does the program take place?
Everything is online — no travel is required. You get lifetime access to all the material in this course, so you can go through all of it right away in a few sittings, or you can work at a slower pace.
Which devices can I use to access the program?
After registering for the program, you will be prompted to create a user profile to access the training platform. You will then be able to view the course on any device connected to the Internet. Please note that you can only access our courses from one device at a time, whether it’s your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
How much time do I need to commit?
The course requires approximately 5 hours 30 minutes to complete.
How much does it cost?
What payment methods are accepted?
We accept all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. We are currently unable to accept checks or invoices.