053 A Yard Farming Engineer from Spokane, brilliant young man!

Soil Chromatograms…What?!  Buckle up for the amazing journey of a very thoughtful young man! What he is accomplishing and the questions he’s been asking has led him down a fascinating road!  Have you ever heard of Korean Farming? Well, if you are curious, you won’t want to miss this intriguing episode! I learned things in this episode that I definitely want to apply!  Yard farmers are the most interesting people!!

 

Links:

Check out these Links from Ryan

 

Music credit: “Insomnia” by John Sheehan.  Used with permission.

052 Did You Know That You are Giving Your Child Weed Killer for Breakfast?

052 Did You Know That You are Giving Your Child Weed Killer for      Breakfast?

with Host Linda Borghi

Linda’s story of becoming an activist for food, grew out of her personal experience and concern for her family as well as all families, and has driven her passion then, and now.

Quoting “The Detox Project”, Linda shares some alarming facts surrounding the toxic reality affecting common foods.  The Farm-A-Yard network is connecting us and changing the food landscape for the better! Unleash your inner farmer! Find out more at:  https://seed.farm-a-yard.com/

This podcast is made possible by the members of our Might Network:

The Farm-A-Yard network is connecting us and changing the food landscape for the better! Unleash your inner farmer!

Find out more at:  https://seed.farm-a-yard.com/  

Links:

Music credit: “Insomnia” by John Sheehan.  Used with permission.

051 – Nothing But Billions in Benefits part 2 of 6

051-Nothing But Billions Part 2 of 6

                         with host Linda Borghi and guest Wayne Roberts

 

Make sure you listen to part 1 of this series of podcasts with Wayne Roberts, who is a Canadian food policy analyst and writer, widely respected for his role as the manager of the [Toronto Food Policy Council], a citizen body of 30 food activists and experts that is widely recognized for its innovative approach to food security, from 2000-2010.  As a leading member of the City of Toronto’s Environmental Task Force, he helped develop a number of official plans for the city that were adopted in 2000-2001. So these plans are working!

In this episode, Wayne shares with us how can we save a city billions of gallons in water!  Wayne shows us four ways! Water is the most precious resource on the planet and gardeners growing food in their yards can save a city the size of Philadelphia 40 million gallons of water and he will show you how! Wayne’s analysis will cause you to realize just how powerful gardens can be to solve our water crisis!  This knowledge has impacted the city of Toronto, Canada, and can also bring amazing benefits to your city too! We want every city planner across this country to realize how millions of dollars can be saved by the huge benefits that gardeners can provide their city. This is no joke!

This podcast is fascinating and empowering!

 

This podcast is made possible by funding by our Patreon supporters.  

Please support our podcast at https://www.patreon.com/FarmAYard

Links:

Music credit: “Insomnia” by John Sheehan.  Used with permission.

A Nation of Farmers- We Need Millions-You Are the Evolutionary Force!

Farm-A-Yard is a movement to be part of the solution in bringing the practical vision of people like Sharon Astyk and Aaron Newton into reality.

Linda Borghi has in-depth experience as a biodynamic farmer and yard farming trainer and she is bringing the knowledge and steps  to creating successful yard farms that heal our soil and grow the most nutrient dense plants to heal the land and the people.

The most powerful influence to make this a reality is to make the food movement EVERYBODY’S Business!  Obviously, we all have to eat and our eating choices are what drive what is available to us.

There is a healing process underway inviting us to become its agent.  We are at the emergence of healing and regeneration and YOU are the evolutionary force.

“Astyk and Newton have written the important book, “A Nation of Farmers-Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil”, with an unusual message: We need millions of new farmers…as soon as possible.”

“Once we could fill our grocery carts with cheap and plentiful food, but not anymore…  Climate change is already reducing crop yields worldwide… The cost of flying in food from far away and shipping it across the country in refrigerated trucks is rapidly becoming nonviable.  More Americans than ever before require food stamps and food pantries just to get by, and a worldwide food crisis is unfolding, overseas and in our kitchens.We can keep hunger from stalking our families, but doing so will require a fundamental shift in our approach to field and table.”

Whether you are already on board this movement or want to get started, check out Farm-A-Yard  on the Mighty Network.

https://seed.farm-a-yard.com

Want to grow some food? Just START!

When you partner with nature, she is the best teacher!

https://www.facebook.com/letsfarmyouryard/

 

To Till or Not to Till?

“A new idea: If we revive the tiny creatures that make dirt healthy, we can
bring back the great American topsoil. But farming culture — and government— aren’t making it easy.”
Folks, we have a soil crisis and our future depends on shifting from the practices that have destroyed it’s fertility.  This need is at the heart of the Farm-A-Yard revival to equip folks to ditch the grass and grow food using organic/biodynamic practices that can heal the soil, the food and the people!
Here are some excerpts from an excellent article by Jenny Hopkinson…
“*AMERICA USED TO* be famed for its rich and fertile topsoil. Prairie and
forests were virtually untouched when settlers first started dividing land
into fields across the Southeast and Midwest, making for rich dark soil in
which to grow food and fiber.

Since the invention of the plow, farming has focused on disrupting the soil to make it productive. Most farming methods, whether conventional or organic, are based on “tillage” – the premise that to plant crops and
control weeds and other pests, the soil must be broken up and turned over, then amended with chemical fertilizers or organic compost to boost
fertility. And it worked for a long time.

But tilling, it turns out, kills off many of the microorganisms that build
the soil. It churns up their habitat and exposes them to air; it also makes
it easier for soil to be washed off the land by rain and wind. Over time,
the damage has built up: More than 50 percent America’s topsoil has eroded away. In areas of the Southeast, the country’s original breadbasket, it’s almost all gone.”

Read more of this article here:

What is Biodynamic Gardening? Part 1

Biodynamics is “beyond organic” because of its complete, whole system approach. It offers a simple way to heal and nourish your growing environment.  It connects you to the cycles of the moon, seasons and natural rhythms of nature’s ways.  It is a sustainable way to grow nutrient dense foods because it puts more back into the soil more than it takes out.

Some of the practices are very different from conventional way, but when you begin to practice and apply the principles, the results are undeniable and they are already proven to produce high quality, nutritious food by working with nature, not against it.

The use of preparations, based on plants and minerals, brings vitality to soils and can take your growing experience to another level.

The preparations and the Stella Natura planting calendar really help to organize and simplify your gardening experience.

A major perk to growing biodynamically is that the costs of implimenting these practices are minimal. Biodynamic methods build soil value exponentially with less and less effort over time.

One thing that makes biodynamic gardening different is the preparations. There are nine of them that act as remedies to vitalize any soil.

The first step in having a yard farm is to set your intention.  Why do you want to be a yard farmer? Write it down.

Next it’s important to observe your plot area and assess if it is suitable for growing what you would like to grow, or learn what already grows well in your area in order to minimize your labor and make your project more likely to be successful.

Get a soil test.  We LOVE soil and helping people heal their soil so that they can grow and enjoy nutrient dense food!  The soil is indispensible to sustaining life on earth. We will talk more about soil in the next blog.

Stay tune for more first steps for growing biodynamically!

Be sure to download our podcasts https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-farm-a-yard-podcast/id1276181255?mt=2

Return to read more blogs to learn how to implement biodynamic methods in your yard.

 

I Learned How to Prepare, But I Didn’t Consider Myself a “Prepper”.

We should be talking about this…What is your plan in a crisis situation?

Watching the hurricane disaster in Houston and now in my own “backyard”, really confirms how important it is to have a plan and to make “preparations”.

For me, I had the opportunity, when I was young, to learn from others about being “ready”, and now with the internet, it is easier than ever.  You can learn about almost any topic online and watch YouTube tutorials, etc.

When we were raising our children in snow country, it was considered a normal activity to put up the harvest for the winter and prepare for the probable loss of conveniences.

I learned how to prepare, but I didn’t consider myself a “Prepper”.

Being prepared should just be a normal life activity.

It all starts with a plan.

How true it is that not having a plan is a plan to fail.

Hurricane Matthew last year was a helpful reality check for me, I had never experience a hurricane.   It was a great teacher!  After you pass through a real emergency, you really know what you need to do better.

So I learned more through the experience and I am better prepared this time….I think.  🙂

There is always something that can be improved upon!

Preparation considerations overview:

Here is my short list:

  • Make a plan… ahead of time.  There are great planning templates on line to choose from to help you customize what will be best for your scenario. There are templates for families and/or businesses to get you started.

 

  • Figure out how you would live without a mobile phone or GPS maps (learn to use a map). What will be your plan for communication with your family? Set up an out-of-town contact point person so that members of your group can call if your local circuits are busy or unavailable.

 

  • Make a supplies checkoff list online AND print it out.

 

  • Practice the plan (live a weekend at home without the modern conveniences and also practice your evacuation plan) and know how to use the tools and equipment. (ie…how to start a fire, how to use a camp stove, how to install a wick for your oil lamp, how to set up a tent and rainfly…you get the picture.)

 

  • Water, Water, Water…How much will you need? Learn how to store it safely. Invest in a water filter that doesn’t require electricity. If you use large barrels, have a pump, or buckets to draw the water out.

 

  • Gather a few friends and neighbors and talk about preparing. Build alliances and collaborate.  We are better together.

 

Because of my work as a food educator, I was looking for high quality storage food that I could have on hand for myself AND also that I felt good about recommending.  It was really hard finding food that I would want to eat myself.  I am so accustom to growing some of my own food because the produce in the grocery store is so “old” already and contaminated with chemicals.  I was REALLY PICKY about making an investment in storage type foods!

After much disappointment, I am happy and grateful to report that I found a company that truly shares my values and has a proven track record of working hard to stay on top of this challenge to provide clean, healthy food that’s ready when you need it.

This is high quality food that you will have no problem eating even when there is NO disaster.

They also have the “Simple Plate” meals that are ready in 20 minutes for people who don’t have time to shop and chop.  They deliver right to your door and ready when you need it.

The food is not only healthy and non-GMO but also absolutely delicious! Frankly, I was shocked at how delicious it was.  The freeze dried process is way superior to dehydrated foods and the taste proves that!

I know I am not the only one who needs “convenience food” when I am busy or especially when I am traveling… I love taking this food along with me and not having to grab some toxic food-like substance because there is no other choice.   It is light as a feather and all I need is water, or I can just eat it right out of the package.

To learn more and get some to try for yourself, go to:

www.freezedriedtastings.thrivelife.com

Sign up and you are a member for life with no annual membership fees and there are easy options to waive your initial account set up! That’s what I did.  No minimum order required unless you want free shipping, and who doesn’t want free shipping?

Ask me how to get food for free by just inviting some friends and have your own tasting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Rarely Go To The Grocery Store

Someone asked me recently why it was that I hardly needed to go to the grocery store.

After researching what is really going on with our food system, it’s imparative eating healthy is important to me. When I first moved into this food desert city in the south, I found that there is very little healthy food in the grocery stores. The stores are loaded with packaged, processed “food-like” snack substances with long ingredient lists (that are hard to pronounce!)  If the ingredient list is longer than a few ingredients, then it is too processed for me!

I live in the city in the upstairs of a back house under a gorgeous massive oak tree.  I am an urban farmer. I eat seasonal, local produce, cook from scratch and have little need to buy much at the grocery store.

I eat mostly a fresh diet of veggies, fruit, some grains, seeds, beans, eggs and  a little pasture raised meats. I also make my own probiotic foods like saurkraut & kefir, fresh nut milk, salad dressings, sauces and I have a great pantry to make shopping a breeze.  My personal pantry grocery store is just steps away!  I am a “semi-prepper” as I have always thought it was a good idea to store some extra food and supplies in case of an emergency of some sort.

Eating seasonally, has been sooo rewarding especially being in a different part of the country with new special foods to this area that were not frequently on my plate in my past location.and exciting especially when you get to eat some of what you grew yourself.  I am able to get a lot more fresh food diversity in my diet too.  So I capitalize on whatever is in season and put some of it up in the freezer for the winter too.

I harvest weekly from the public permaculture/perennial garden that I manage and other yard gardens that I work in.  I get unlimited herbs all year, which make a big difference for making the ordinary, extraordinary,as well as for medicine and teas.

[Dried Stevia Leaves]

Plus, I support local farmers and get seasonal veggies regularly from them to round out what I have growing and so that I can have access to a larger variety of produce without having to grow it all myself. I think it’s the best of both worlds!

I also am able to get pasture raised meats and eggs from local farmers.

Often I can find some organic options for dried beans, nuts and grains, pasta, coconut oil, olive oil, coconut milk/water and some dried or canned tomatoes/unsweetened fruits, sea salt, pepper, teas at discount stores like Big Lots.  When I do, I stock up.

Neighbors with fruit trees are often happy for others to harvest fruit so that it doesn’t go to waste.  A great opportunity to offer your help and take home some bounty to be canned, frozen or dried.

You can do this too!  Just start.  Take little steps. You’re body will thank you!

 

Why Living in the City and Growing Your Own is a Good Idea

Just in case you need ANOTHER reason to grow some of your own….

” New data presented last week at a children’s health conference show that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular Roundup weed killer, is detected in pregnant women and could lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes…”

“…preliminary results were presented at CEHN’s conference last Thursday in Washington DC. Learn more about the project here.”

“…this is the first U.S. study to demonstrate glyphosate is present in pregnant women. “Everyone should be concerned about this.”

“Preliminary work detected glyphosate in the urine of 63 of 69 (91 percent) pregnant women receiving prenatal care through an Indiana obstetric practice. Researchers collected the data over two years, from 2015-2016, and found that women with high levels of glyphosate in their bodies…  are seen as risk factors for many health and/or neurodevelopmental problems over the course of an individual’s life.”

“Additionally, women living in rural areas had higher mean glyphosate levels than women in urban/suburban regions. This suggests that proximity to corn and soybean fields that are heavily treated with glyphosate is a route of exposure for these women.”

“According to Dr. Winchester, much more research on glyphosate’s impacts is needed, and more data is needed on levels of exposure through food.”

“Debate has been raging about the continued use of glyphosate in light of the 2015 classification by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. …One study found that chronic, low-dose exposure to glyphosate  led to adverse effects on liver and kidney health.”

AND, Why Am I NOT Surprised!!!

“Since the release of the IARC determination, Monsanto has made several efforts to discredit the scientific findings… However, a New York Times report revealed collusion between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Monsanto to suppress cancer findings in EPA’s carcinogenic review of glyphosate.”

So, besides growing food in the city, we can also work together for more change.

“The mounting evidence of glyphosate’s hazards is piling up and environmental groups, like Beyond Pesticides, are urging localities to restrict or ban the use of the chemical. Beyond Pesticides promotes these actions and many more through the Tools for Change webpage. This page is designed to help activists and other concerned citizens organize around a variety of pesticide issues on the local, state, and national level… talk to your neighbors about pesticides with our factsheets.

So, Folks, buy and support organic food and agriculture.
To find out more about the work Beyond Pesticides is doing on organic integrity, check out Keeping Organic Strong, or to see all the reasons to go organic, visit Eating with a Conscience.

Yesterday, Beyond Pesticides and Organic Consumers Association sued Monsanto for misleading and deceptive labeling, claiming no effect on people and pets, despite scientific evidence that glyphosate impairs the functioning of the human gut bacteria, essential to human health.

For complete article:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58e3f715e4b02ef7e0e6e172

My Freckled Farm: Urban Postage Stamp Front Yard Garden

You’re not going to believe what my beautiful, red headed, very busy daughter did in her corner of a big city neighborhood!

Sara started out a couple years ago… carving out some of the grass in her front yard to begin to grow some heirloom seeds she got from her family in Mexico.  That little tiny patch gradually grew and transformed.

They are a family of 6 (4 of them are hungry growing men & boys!) She is able to supplement fresh fruits and veggies for them right from her front yard.  In her backyard she has mature citrus trees for the best oranges, lemons, lime, tangerines and grapefruit you’ve ever tasted! One son even has a small business selling the citus to a local juice bar!

Well, the neighbors have been watching and the relationships in the neighborhood are growing too!  🙂

Sara’s creativity didn’t stop with farming her yard.

This entrepreneurial gal hosted a “Sister’s Supper” for her entrepreneurial friends who had cottage businesses. They were invited to set up small tables in the garden with some of their unique creations to sell.

    

    

Late afternoon summer breeze, music, tablecloths, picnic blanket, sundresses with patio chairs scattered around was so inviting!

Sara prepared fresh delicious produce from her garden, invited friends and neighbors and added wine!  What a night to remember enjoying great company until the sun went down and many lingered when the garden turned magical with lights illuminating the space.

One of Sara’s many talents is that she is an amazing photographer, capturing the vitality and diversity that a little nurturing can accomplish.  She has had a pair hummingbirds nest and grow their young and bees and other pollinators just love her yard!  

Her pictures are worth a thousand words!  Be inspired!… and then go farm your yard!  Check out My Freckled Farm on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/myfreckledfarm/

Join the Farm-A-Yard Movement Community Facebook Page and let  us know what you are doing in your yard farm 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/groups/farmayard/