Adventures of a Guerrilla Gardener

It is so COOL to see what I can grow in all these random garden locations that I have gradually established around the area where I live.

I just harvested about 70 baby gold potatoes, spring onions, garlic , beets, beet greens, kale, malabar spinach and herbs!  I am ecstatic!

I’m in Fayetteville NC and this is the first harvest of the season. All grown guerrilla garden style in public plots.

I made a Bechamel sauce with rice flour and minced fresh herbs of rosemary, thyme and garlic that I also grew. Poured over the potatoes and beet greens…OH MY! I wish you could smell and taste it!

I could hardly wait to indulge! “Garden Bon” 😋(translated garden good!) I am planning a cold borscht soup with the beets and I love them shredded or cubed on salad.

  

“Farm-a-yard.com” it’s a movement, have ya heard?!!

We are just one seed away from food security and “amazingness”! (We create new words here too!!!! LOL!!😁🍲)

If you are farming your yard, post a picture and tell us what city and state your are in 🙂

De-Stress- 4 Easy Nature Reboots

“Absolutely nothing that humanity can create will improve human health and longevity more than reconnecting with our mother planet and father sun.” ~Jason Bawden-Smith

Read that again… “Absolutely nothing that humanity can create will improve human health and longevity more than reconnecting with our mother planet and father sun.” ~Jason Bawden-Smith

Absolutely nothing….that we can come up with will improve our health and quality of life more than reconnecting with the nature….

But to REconnect, I first need to have a daily practice of disconnecting….So, what does that mean?

In our busy lives, which seem to get busier by the day, I knew I needed to build in a regular routine, especially because technology beacons me to keep up with the unending emails and assignment deadlines. But alas, what is suppose to save me time, can rob me of true quality of life.

Yet, I am not blaming technology….

Am I the one steering my life?  or am I allowing life to steer me??

Much of the time in the past I was not conscious enough to even ask that question.

But guess what?  Once we are aware, then we can set an intention to change that.  I just needed to take practical action steps to make it real in my experience.

It needed to become just as routine as my old habit had been and it just takes practice to create a new habit.

I had to decide not to let old habits sabotage my plan.

So, what to do first….

Write it down…..you’ve probably heard that before…well, that truly is a powerful first step to making it happen.

Then I put it on my calendar.  I schedule everything else in my life, why don’t I schedule time for me?  If I truly matter, why am I not on the calendar?  All my other “important” things are scheduled.

The routine maintenance of my car is very important to me to prevent a costly breakdown.  But when it comes to my time, it is too easy to take another 10 mins on the computer or my phone, trying to “catch up”, which can end up robbing me of my personal “maintenance reboot” time. This habit can lead to a “costly breakdown” that can take it’s toll on our health and wellness.

When we truly “get this”, it will transform our lives for the better.

I learned from my daughter how important it is to also schedule, “unstructured time”, where you don’t have to do anything.   You can just “Be”.  So that doesn’t mean choosing to be with my phone on facebook or other phone time.

This can gradually help us to live more in the moment as we move through the rest of our day.

This is not just about managing our time.  Over exposure to EMF pollution from electronic devices, smart meters, and especially cell phones is dangerous and can cause cancer. Have you ever heard of a “cancer cluster”.   Do your research and learn how to protect yourself and your children who are even more venerable. 

Can you hear nature calling?  Every morning I wake up to birds singing right outside my window….but some mornings I don’t even hear them because I am already so busy in my head.  Sound familiar?

We all need a practice of connecting with nature on a routine basis.

So here are some steps and ideas:

1. Number 1 on my list is Grow a garden (are you surprised? LOL!) Grow something right outside your door, so that in your coming and going you can get a regular nature fix.  Stop and smell the flowers, spend a brief time watering and observe the magic going on in the garden. Pick a flower for fruit and bring nature into your house! Take a break from your phone and leave it inside!

2. Schedule a window of time, 1 or 2 hrs daily that you will not check your phone to answer text and voicemail. Or plan a certain time of the day to return calls and answer emails etc.   This will help change your mindless habit of checking your phone every few minutes or every time it sounds an alert.  (No wonder adrenal exhaustion is so prevalent!) Turn it off so you are not tempted or set it to airplane mode to also reduce EMF exposure!)

3. Plan for a half or full day of no technology every week.  True story:  Whenever we would go camping in the Sierra Mountains of California in the summer, our phones would not be able to get a signal because we were so in the “wild”.  We would  just turned off our phones and put them away all weekend.  What was funny was, on the way back down the mountain, all our phones would start going off with dinging over and over with download of messages we were not able to get on the mountain!  I loved those times of “forced tech detox and decided to schedule voluntary times into my life.

4. Plan a “Re-Boot” Garden Party and invite your friends!  Have your friends “check” their phone at the door, by putting it in airplane mode or turn it off.  Everyone will enjoy some real uninterrupted “face time” with the group. Plan some stimulating topics of conversation to pull out of the hat and/or mixer, team games and of course some great food from the garden.  Maybe even have a cooking party!

 

 

Pickled Avocado

Preserving the harvest can be done in so many ways.  

Even Avocados!

Avocados are high in a preferred healthy fat!  Great to take with you for a quick snack, instead of being held hostage in a famished moment and settling for some regrettable sugary choice!

This is a fun item to bring to a party because you don’t have to worry about them turning brown!

First things first!
Here is an awesome tip to make sure your avocado is green and creamy on the inside, and free of brown spots.  The key? Check under the stem.

Now, let’s learn a way to pick a good avocado.
Peel back the small stem or cap at the top of the avocado. If it comes away easily and you find green underneath, you’ve got a good avocado that’s ripe and ready to eat.

On the other hand, if you pull back the stem and find brown underneath, the avocado is overripe, and you’re likely to find brown spots inside the fruit. And, if the stem doesn’t come off, the fruit is not yet ripe enough to eat.

Here is a recipe for Avocado Pickles, but keep in mind, this is not the kind of pickle that is meant for long-term storage. It’s best to give them a couple hours to marinate.  You’ll notice that the avocado pieces have softened and are more tender and have soaked up just enough brine to make them quite delicious.

How to Use Avocado Pickles
Here are some cool tips to consider:

You can slice them or cut in chunks, just consider length so that it will fit nicely in the jar. They can go on sandwiches, salads, or garnish fish.  Of course they are great as a side to anything and eating right out of the jar!

The Avocado Pickles Recipe is at: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-avocado-pickles-231338

YOUR GONNA LOVE THIS FUN VIDEO! http://trib.al/yXGDRJ4

 

Plant Communication-The microbial community in the soil is related to our gut

This is indeed, one of the best articles I have read on the relationship between the soil and the human gut, by Mike Amaranthus and Bruce Allyn, called, “Healthy Soil Microbes, Healthy People”-The microbial community in the ground is as important as the one in our guts.

So much attention these days is around gut health.   There is an undeniable, vital connection in the soil that holds the secrets of real sustainable healing for the human health crisis around the world.

“We have been hearing a lot recently about a revolution in the way we think about human health — how it is inextricably linked to the health of microbes in our gut…”

“Just as we have unwittingly destroyed vital microbes in the human gut through overuse of antibiotics and highly processed foods, we have recklessly devastated soil microbiota essential to plant health through overuse of certain chemical fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, failure to add sufficient organic matter (upon which they feed), and heavy tillage.”

“These soil microorganisms do much more than nourish plants. Just as the microbes in the human body both aid digestion and maintain our immune system, soil microorganisms both digest nutrients and protect plants against pathogens and other threats.”

“For over four hundred million years, plants have been forming a symbiotic association with fungi that colonize their roots, creating mycorrhizae (my-cor-rhi-zee), literally “fungus roots,” which extend the reach of plant roots a hundred-fold. These fungal filaments not only channel nutrients and water back to the plant cells, they connect plants and actually enable them to communicate with one another and set up defense systems.”

This means a lot for a healthy garden which in turn will provide life-force food for healthy people!  Not to mention the $$ that is saved not having to buy all those pesticides, herbicides, fungicides.  On the flip side, all the drugs people take to deal with their symptoms, never address the true causes of the diseases and imbalances that are happening.

It’s imperative that we take care of our soils.  Nothing could be more critical.  We have already lost way to much diversity. We need to stop using toxic chemicals now and replace with simple natural compost teas, like “compost in a box”, to build up the soil’s immune system! (http://farm-a-yard.com/compost-tea/   Can be diluted up to 16 gallons for every gallon of concentrate.)

This is why we want to get everyone to help us “spray the country” with the microorganisms and biodynamic preparations to heal the nation’s soils.  Healthy Soils=Healthy People.

These healthy biodynamic preps work just as dynamically on lawns.  We want to see you grow food, but you can also have a lawn that is safe, by replacing all those toxic chemicals which add to the toxic load generated by the commercial lawn care industry.

This is another way to “vote” with your dollars for long term change that is good for your health, the environment and your pocketbook.

More of this incredible article here:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/06/healthy-soil-microbes-healthy-people/276710/

Farming Urban Yards is a Patriotic Action for Local Food Security.

“In our society, growing food yourself has become the most radical of acts.              It is truly the only effective protest,  one that can-and will-overturn the corporate powers that be. By the process of directly working in harmony with nature, we do the one thing most essential to change the world-we change ourselves!”

~ Jules Dervaes

Linda inspires and is inspired by people around the country, like a family in Pasadena California. In the middle of the big city, this family has been growing their own food and raising animals in the smallest front and backyard, using every inch of space. They have been doing this for decades.

I Love Jules quote!

Here is my paraphrase:  “When we personally work in harmony with nature, we are doing the single most essential thing to change the world by the fact that such an act transforms us first, then that becomes, in fact, the only way to change the world!”

After decades of living an urban homestead lifestyle, this family is finally not considered odd,  and people are flocking to their workshops and eager to learn the old fashion, sustainable skills of growing your own food, meat, eggs, how to can, freeze, ferment, dehydrate, knit, sew… etc.

They began just for their own self sufficiency.  Over time they started selling to local restaurants and markets.  Now they are a full on educational platform also!  They do it all on a very small residential urban lot in a big urban near to one of L.A.’s mega freeways. They even have goats and chickens!

Join the urban yard farming community movement at Farm-A-Yard https://www.facebook.com/groups/farmayard/

Jules’ message has always been that the Urban Homestead was a Path to Freedom.  He lead this family in this endeavor and just passed away in December 2016.  The family intends to carry on his legacy.

Kudos to this family who are willing to continue to share the wise ways of self reliance.

You can check them out at:

In Memory of Jules Dervaes (1947-2016)

 

 

Water’s Role in the Communication of Subtle Energy and Life Force

What is Water?

All of us here at Farm-A-Yard love water and care very much about learning more about it. We are doing what we can to share the miracle element that it is for all life on the planet and how to be good stewards of it.  We have a more personal relationship with water as we stir our compost tea preparations that will go out on our gardens. 🙂    (Check out the tea at www.farm-a-yard.com/compost-tea)
Below is a fascinating video, not to be missed!
Here is the latest from the Soil Doctor, Evan Folds.
Water may be the most obvious and at the same time misunderstood substance on Earth.
Dr. Masura Emoto investigated water’s more controversial abilities by taking microscopic images of frozen water structures after being imprinted with good and bad words and music.
Even if you are not ready to accept waters role in the communication of subtle energy and life force, this is fascinating.

Nature Has Taken Me By The Hand, Out Onto The Dance Floor…

Once I heard Evan and Linda’s passion about soil health and how it can guarantee an amazing garden that can produce nutrient dense food, I had hope fill my “sails” that this kind of food that my body craves was possible!

After watching  Evan’s free webinar, “Solving the Soil Emergency” and then taking his “Bio-Energetic Agriculture: The Soil Doctor’s Key to a Bountiful Bottom Line” course,  I began to dance with nature in a new way and not just sit on the sideline observing with my fingers crossed.

I realized that my intimate connection contributes to the outcome.   BioEnergetic Agriculture is personal agriculture and our personal participation is part of what makes it all thrive or not! With this understanding I am having such a gratifying experience.

Nature has taken me by the hand, out onto the dance floor, to be guided and led into nature’s wise ways.  Now I am flowing into new discoveries through nature’s seasons and the dance never ends!  

I don’t know how else to explain the impact that his sharing had on me.  I connected on a deep level to the truth of his knowledge and experience of working with the soil.

Though I have been in awe of and involved with nature my whole life and even had a major shift in understanding about how to be in relationship with nature through my permaculture training, my world took on yet another new dimension when I began to connect to the unseen realm of the soil.

Now I am learning how better to partner for the outcome of our mutual healing!  Nurturing the soils needs will also meet my needs.

So here is an excerpt from an article that Evan shared recently, which reminds me that we don’t have to understand the facts to experience the reality of the web of life we are in.

“Throughout history, people’s explanations of life involved all kinds of wonderful stories and complex philosophies. Facts just weren’t really in the mix.

That began to change with the rise of science. Scientific momentum picked up sharply during the 16th and 17th centuries. As scholars scrambled to collect and categorize exotic beasts and botanical wonders, they dreamed of piecing together a full portrait of nature. Then, eyeglass lens-makers in the Netherlands assembled the first high-powered microscopes, and scientists looked closer at a few items that were right in front of them: soil, old bread and drops of muddy water. The world they had been trying to make sense of for so long suddenly seemed ten, a hundred, a thousand times more intricate, strange and beautiful — alive in more ways than anybody could have ever imagined.

The Microscopic World of Beneficial Microbes

We still define natural habitats primarily in terms of plants and animals, the two kingdoms of life we can see with unaided eyes. The greatest amount of biological activity and the largest diversity of species and genes, however, come from the other four kingdoms science now recognizes: bacteria, archaea (a less-studied division of life-forms formerly considered bacteria), protists (mostly single-celled algae and protozoans), and fungi. The vast majority of these members are microscopic in size. They cannot be seen with the naked eye, but we now know they permeate soils and suffuse waters. They drift en masse through air. They thrive not only on the surface of every plant and animal, but within them as well. From the upper reaches of the atmosphere to the bottom of the seas, down into the rock layers and outnumbering the stars in the known universe, microbes are literally the creatures that make Earth a living planet.

Microbes remain mostly in the “out of sight, out of mind” category of nature for a lot of folks. Others, chemical spray in hand, can hardly stop thinking about them, envisioning “germs,” mold spores and other unseen swarmers poised to unleash disease and rot. Either way, a broader understanding of the life-forms that truly put the “bio” in “biosphere” has been slow to emerge. Interest is building, though, as the public learns more about the positive roles microorganisms play, including how some types can boost yields in gardens. These mycorrhizae — extraordinary fungi that interact with our garden crops — are what we’ll be zooming in on.

Behind the Scenes With Beneficial Fungi

I’m a wildlife biologist. Decades ago, I visited a team working to restore streamsides churned to bare gravel by placer mining. They were planting willow and alder in hopes of stabilizing the banks and preventing further erosion. Other vegetation could then move in and once again shade the passing waters, cooling them for native trout and spawning salmon. I was already picturing songbirds returning to nest in the lush foliage while mink, otters, and bears patrolled the shores, except the normally hardy willow and alder wouldn’t grow. They withered instead, and the banks stayed empty — until the team prepared the next batch to be planted by first soaking their roots in a broth containing certain fungi. This is common practice today. It wasn’t then. Besides changing the way I’ve planted trees at home ever since, the visit made me realize that my view of the most important wildlife in ecosystems might be upside-down.”

Full Article here:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/gardening-techniques/mycorrhizal-fungi-zm0z14aszkin

Farm-A-Yard “Green Zones”. Get in the Zone!

Have you heard about the Farm-A- Yard “Green Zone Project”?

Farm-A-Yard’s “Green Zone” supports the “Blue Zone” Project.

So, first of all, what is a “Blue Zone” all about?  They describe it like this:

“We spend 90 percent of our time in the same places, and that environment dictates how easy it is to make healthy choices, or how difficult. By using the Power 9®, the nine secrets of longevity, to improve where we live, work, learn, and play, we make it easier to get up and move, eat healthy, make new friends, find a reason for being—and live longer, better.”   Cities around America are wanting to make that possible and so they are learning from cities in the world where the greater percentage of people are living to 100 years and up.

Farm-A-yard supports the Blue Zone’s “9 Secrets of Longevity”.  Where Farm-A-Yard shines is not only the eating well category, but learning to grow food in the urban setting relates to and gives opportunity to fulfill all the other 8 secrets as well!

Learning to grow food in your neighborhood will support the Blue Zone Project mission which is to “transform communities across the U.S. into areas where the healthy choice is easy and people live longer with a higher quality of life.”

It doesn’t get any “easier” to have easy access to healthy food than to grow some in your yard  🙂

So, get into the “Green Zone”, for a healthy, happy, longer life!

25 U.S. cities with the healthiest diets.

http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/05/03/25-cities-with-the-healthiest-diets/2/

 https://www.bluezonesproject.com/

We Are Just One Seed Away….

A single, unassuming, humble seed houses the most powerful, regenerative, reproductive, resilient, overcoming, prolific, generous life force energy on the planet and so much more….

We’re just one seed away…

It never fails….whenever I start planting, I see things change, like magic. After a short time of converting a new space into some food, I always see a organic, gradual shift in the energy of the space.  It gradually becomes so full of energetic vitality and creates an abundance of new relationships that thrive!

We’re just one seed away…

When we partner with the natural world, miracles happen.  The energy created in our space, when we plant a seed, begins to spread….

Gradually, persistently, intentionally, growing ’til it begins to transform us personally as we nurture the soil, the seed, then harvest and consume this nutrient dense food .  But it doesn’t stop there, we change, then a neighbor, then the neighborhood starts to change, then the city, then the region, the country and even the world.  

And all we have to do is be stewards of the seed and of our small plot!  The more personal, mindful plots planted like this, the greater the impact.  

We are just one seed away from growing our own personal transformation  and our own personal food security 🙂

Have you ever felt helpless to change a world that is hell bent on destruction?

We are just one seed away….from transforming the world. 

The Farm-A-Yard community is made up of folks who want to be connected, who care about how they show up in the world, because it matters.

They are changemakers, they aren’t afraid to take action and are not stopped by learning curves and set backs, but are stronger for it! (Reminds me of Linda!)  No matter how small the action, they know it matters as part of a powerful solution.

I love the story of the project that put a man on the moon.  When the janitor in the project was asked what he did there, he said, “I’m putting a man on the moon”.  He was part of the team and the team had one mission and their part in it was vital for the outcome.

When people get connected and share the vision…things happen!

You’re just one seed away….

     

In my experience, one of the initial and most powerful, positive actions I can take, is to hold a seed in my hand and contemplate, be grateful and trust the transforming power of planting and nourishing a seed.

And do it over and over again.

At Farm-A-Yard we are pouring into this project and we are teaching not for the income, but for the outcome.  

We are confident that the seeds we are planting will be the most important work of our time and of our life.

Thank you for taking seriously the need to heal the soil, plant seed and grow food.  This incredible journey needs your action in whatever way that you can support, promote and mentor others.

We challenge you to begin creating your corner of paradise with nutrient dense food, beginning with one seed in your yard to produce the energy that transforms your neighborhood.  

This is the vision… it’s a movement, have you heard?

When I plant a seed, I am connecting myself as an active partner in my micro, eco-environment.  I become a steward and also a benefactor of its reward.

       

It’s in this relationship with the soil and the seed that we can learn and be trained in how to transform a toxic, chaotic world that desperately needs the order that only nature seems to know how to do well and how to sustain, when all odds are against it.

 Nature just knows how to overcome.

We’re just one seed away….

Oh, to be conscious, mindful and respectful of her ways.  Even when we have been unconscious, ignorant or even abusive, Nature is always ready to teach us, to convey the eternal wisdom of the Creator…to fold us into a very personal, enlightening experience.  Nature loves to partner!  That’s what Nature knows best!

Whether we deserve it or not!

Who doesn’t want to learn to be in a relationship like that!

We are just one seed away …

Can you help us seed the movement? https://www.patreon.com/FarmAYard

 

How To Heal A Nation. Let’s Talk About Solutions

I am hearing, more and more, reports about countries who depend on importing their food to feed themselves and when that system breaks down they are now scrambling to start learning how to grow food…and food doesn’t grow overnight, so this is a huge challenge.

I call this a real crisis.

What I’ve also seen is that sometimes people in those situations come together to start growing their own food independence and they are now thriving.

“In Havana, Cuba, the farming movement has evolved as an amazing response to the loss of food imports and agricultural inputs towards the end of last century. Following dramatic political changes, and the ensuing economic, ecological and social crisis, agrarian production was seen as key to food security. This movement towards urban cultivation systems continues to sweep across the city, and according to recent reports, now over 50 per cent of the city’s fresh produce is grown with its boundaries.” Check out Cuba in the article below!

So, maybe we need to heed the warning signs and begin to establish our ability to grow some of our own food so that we are not at the mercy of others for our most basic human need.

In this country, many people are beginning to learn the skills to grow some of their own personal food independence in their yard or other shared space. Can you imagine the impact that this could make on our food security if most people just put in a very small plot in their yard or just helped with someone else who has a plot. We did it in WWII.

I am not comfortable being dependent on big corporations to feed me.

For me, my gardening plots which are scattered around the city (I live in an apartment), are real food security. (And I eat very well!) I am taking personal responsibility for my personal freedom.

But besides my own personal responsibility, I am passionate to help others learn to grow as well.  Why?  The more of us that grow, the more food secure we are locally.

GRASSROOTS collaboration is powerful.

Grow something. Eat together.

Build our local neighborhood annual/perennial food forest system that when established, can feed all of us with little effort.

Power is truly in the hands of a united people who find common ground. Is there a more basic “common ground” than food?

You’ve heard, “Let food be thy medicine”…. I believe that growing our own food and doing this together can heal a nation.

http://inhabitat.com/urban-farming-movement-sweeps-across-havana-cuba-providing-50-of-fresh-food/