Getting Your Chickens to Work for You! Brilliant!

Chickens are designed to do much more than just lay eggs. They are the cheapest hired help you could ask for.  They scratch, eat bugs, which keeps the pests under control and fertilize at a amazing rate if given the opportunity.  This activity also helps to keep your birds healthy.  Check out how this gardener utilizes their talent!  You won’t have to do the tilling in your garden after seeing this!

How to Raise Chickens for Your Garden: Watch These Mind-Blowing Benefits

ALERT…New GMOs at “Natural” Markets

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but processed food companies are getting better at hiding GMOs behind trendy marketing and promotional schemes to lure customers into thinking their products are clean eating, when nothing could be further from the truth.
The public is becoming more informed, but even the most savvy customer is challenged when trying to steer clean of the deceiving labeling and messaging strategies.
A new type of genetically modified product is now being slipped into your food.

My best insurance against this is being able to grow some of my own food or help a neighbor and share the bounty. But I could not have done that if it weren’t for Farm-A-Yard and Evan Folds. My biggest stumbling block was that my soil was so degenerated and I didn’t want to use artificial fertilizers and all the other toxic chemicals. My efforts to compost were very slow and I still had poor results. I got a complete soil test and Evan gave me a simple prescription. 🙂  Gardening has never been so rewarding. Learn more here:  Living Soil

When you do buy at the store…”Luckily, a cutting-edge list has been compiled which shows consumers exactly which products contain these new GMO ingredients.  These New GMOs that are flooding the “Natural” Market. Here’s How to Avoid Them”…

These New GMOs Are Flooding the “Natural” Market. Here’s How to Avoid Them…

My Favorite Garden Tips-One I Would Never Do Without!

For me, gardening has to be “no fuss”.  It has to almost run on auto pilot once it’s set up.

Making your growing project convenient. Besides an area that has good sun & water source, make sure where you grow your plants is easy for you to access.  Growing right outside of your front or back door is a good idea instead of having to walk all the way to the “back forty” to get to it.  Growing food works best if it can easily be part of your normal daily routine. (Though I have gardens in public places, that don’t need daily visits because I grow more perennial drought tolerant plants there and I normally drive that way in my weekly routine making it easy to maintain).

Water source and watering system needs to be handy and easy to use.  I can’t stand to fight with kinking hoses and I need a good shower nozzle that is not going to break tomorrow because it’s just made of plastic!  For smaller projects, I also prefer to use rain collection (instead of chlorinated water) by using an open top 55 gallon rain barrel (with removable screen) because I can just dunk my water can into it. (Works faster than the spigot at the bottom 🙂

Companion plant with herbs can increase yields, attract beneficial insects, and help nurture diversity for balance.

Companion and inter-plant herbs right along with your vegetables.  For instance, plant cabbage, kale, broccoli and other bassicas with dill, which attracts predatory wasps.

Predatory wasps are just one example of the how a healthy garden balances itself. Here is just a little about how that works.

Trichogrammatids, scelionids and mymarids are no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence. They help control caterpillars such as cabbage loopers and cabbageworms.

Eulophids parasitic wasps that are usually metallic green or blue in color. Some types help control Colorado potato beetles by parasitizing their eggs, while others parasitize the adult insects.

Pteromalids are about one-eighth inch long and solid black with distinctive red eyes. Female pteromalids parasitize pupating caterpillars and beetle larvae by laying eggs inside them.

Interesting stuff, huh?…

Dill planted with brassicas is just one of the many beneficial relationships you can encourage in your garden. Google companion planting for more.

All compost is not created equal.

It is smart to recycle our vegetable scrapes, coffee grounds and tea bags.  You can make a compost pile and make you’re own soil for your garden. I add some Microbemakers Compost Tea in a Box to mine so that it would jump start the process with more microbes.  Even though I use compost that I make, it is never enough or as effective as the compost tea. This stuff is amazing and perfect for people who cannot have a compost pile.  I use it to feed my garden plots and it takes all the guesswork out of balancing my soil nutrition because the microbes know just what to do!  Saves me sooo much time, energy and $$.  I have never had a product I could recommend until now.

Check out the Facebook live video with Evan Folds speaking at Fayetteville State University.   Evan Folds at Fayetteville State University- FB LIVE

Mulch

Mulch is one of my best friends!  It invites more organisms, help hold moisture (I spend less time watering), is a natural, slow release fertilizer, encourages the beneficial mycelium network that draws up nutrients from deeper in the soil and makes it available to the plants and suppresses any competing weed growth. (though I allow some weeds in my garden because I eat them they do important work as well.

Straw, or wood chips for mulch are two of my favorites, but I have lots of leaves available and I use those too.  It’s important to me to always keep the soil covered.  I will just rake the mulch back before I turn the soil, if needed, and then plant. It’s important to be careful not to till the mulch into the soil. Then when the plants are up, I move the mulch back to cover.

Watering plants before a frost.

If frost threatens water the ground well the day before. Plants are less susceptible to frost damage if they are well watered.

My biggest tip of all is this:  Use Microbemakers Compost Tea in a Box.  Before I used this, I was always trying a whole bag full of tricks to discourage pests, mildew and other problems…a lot of time spent with little results.  It all sounded good, but my approach was all wrong!  Now I know that I just need to bring in the microbes! (they are my superheroes!) I just feed them and they bring in the balance of what is needed in the soil to prevent issues.  Growing healthy soil is my first priority and it’s sooo easy to do!  Now I don’t spend gobs of time reading what to do about this or that isolated problem!  Thank you Evan Folds!

I overwintered some pepper plants and here is a picture of one in a 4 inch pot with a tiny pepper that is growing faster than anything I have ever witnessed before!  I had to bring it in last night, March 12, because it snowed here in Fayetteville 🙂

Boy, I just can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to grow this way!   Working with nature is the only way to do this. Start working with this microbe food and you will get really excited like everyone who tries it!

 

The Magic Ingredient

(excerpted from Slow Food for the Cheap and Lazy: Eating well for the time & cost conscious, work-in-progress)

Any way you look at it, life as we know it is a miracle. Cooking food is a nurturing act. When we cook to feed someone (including ourselves), we’re providing a cornerstone of life, ensuring that someone can live another day — preferably in the best of health. Through food, we support the miracle of life; we keep the candle burning.

There is a miracle ingredient to food. Unfortunately, it’s an optional ingredient. We can sustain life without it, but the question is how much that miracle ingredient in our food can improve the quality of our life. The miracle ingredient in our food is love. Love, in its most pure, unadulterated, raw, non-GMO form, is as necessary on a daily basis as water, vitamin C or protein. When you add love to your food, it honestly will taste better. You don’t have to think about it. You just have to consider the act of preparing food as an act of love, and allow the love to unburden the act of cooking.

When we run out to eat, to grab a bite, to drive to a fast-food place, sometimes we lose focus on the love ingredient missing in our food. The more carelessly the food is thrown together, the more neglectfully the ingredients are chosen, the less nurturing the food is. When you go to a good restaurant with a chef who cares, who picks out the best produce and meats, the food is naturally healthier. When you go to a fast food restaurant where the preparers are underpaid, the food frozen and shipped thousands of miles and stored in freezers and warehouses, the quality shows in the lack of love in the food.

However, this can be remedied. When you shop with respect to your money as well as the quality of the items you put into your cart, you’re showing love to your family. When you pass by something you know will harm your family, and pick something fresh and amazing that you know they’ll enjoy just as much, you feel better about your food, better about yourself, and better about your relationship with those you are feeding.

It’s also getting easier and easier to get close to the source of our food. We can shop at a farmer’s market and look our farmer in the eyes and thank them for a job that is generally taken for granted. We can eat fruits picked this morning, and be eating our lettuce for 2 weeks before it gets to the age it would have been had we gotten it from the supermarket.

And we can go another step further and grow our food (or at least some of our food) ourselves. From a windowsill full of fresh basil to a yard teeming with tomatoes and squash — you can talk and sing to your plants and give love before the harvest. It doesn’t get any better than that. Gardening can become a family affair, getting everyone off the couch, out from behind a screen, and out into the sun for some loving vitamin D, talking and working together. Children eat more vegetables when they participate in planning out the harvest and growing them.

Healing your relationship with yourself and your food is an important part of loving yourself and others.

Criss is the “Ninja-SwissArmyKnife” techie and marketer on the Farm-A-Yard project. A trained wildcrafting herbalist, she loves cooking and watching cooking competitions. She also teaches about raising chickens, making herbal remedies, and so much more.

What is Freedom Farming?

See also Are you a Freedom Farmer? (video version) from as voiced by Linda Borghi on Vimeo.

(Article by Marsha Howe, video voiced and produced by Linda Borghi)

For me, growing some of my own food is a simple yet revolutionary action.

I take seriously my personal responsibility to grow some of my food supply.  This spells “freedom” in so may ways. 🙂

I guess you could describe me as some sort of gypsy, micro farmer. I travel around from plot to plot, designing, practicing, permaculture principles, managing small projects in public & private spaces in the urban settting with minimal tools (I always want to minimize the heavy lifting!)

I just love seeing people discover the personal transformation that happens when they begin to spend a little time outside cultivating something to eat…caring for the earth that cares for all of us. Anyone can be a freedom farmer!

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. But FYI… you will enjoy it so much that you will want to spend more time!  🙂

I love to find ways to grow with less effort.  That’s where being mindful and observant with some thoughtful planning can go a long way in making your efforts count. (BUT no matter what happens, you will ALWAYS learn something!  The best way for beginners to get started is to start small.

The important thing is to just get started!!

Find ways to grow in some unlikely places.  I grow on a public walking bridge that spans way above a road way.  It has big cement planters extending the length of the bridge.  I have been practicing permaculture principles and have been able to grow quite a variety of edible plants that do well without having to water them.  There is no water source at this location. I just depend of the rain, Biodynamic/BioEnergetic practices and a healthy amount of wood mulch to hold the moisture.

I also plant according to the Stella Natura Calendar guide, which helps me to organize my planting schedule.

I keep one separate calendar just for all my gardens and their activities and have a simple coding system to keep notes.  My permaculture plots usually only need a visit every 10-14 days because most of what is planted there are perennial plants (they re-seed themselves and once established only need some weeding) .

I know an awesome freedom farmer couple in southern California who just began plugging in some edible plants in their front yard  and it has opened up so many possibilities for personal and community wellness.   There are many physical, emotional, spiritual, and potential financial benefits.

What is so remarkable, is the gradual transformation that took place in their yard by planting organically grow food into their local, very micro ecosystem. When you start nurturing your space you invite a diversity of living seen and unseen organisms…. insects, birds…etc. to inhabit and contribute vitality, which moves everything toward a more balanced, environment.  They became a host for amazing visitors and new residents, including a pair of humming birds, right outside their front door!

There is another really important benefit of “freedom farming”…

Freedom farming nurtures much more than the biology of the space. In this high tech age…we need more opportunity to “unplug”. We can all benefit from breaking free from demanding technology by scheduling some tech free time in the garden.

Would you like to become a “freedom farmer”?

I would challenge everyone to exercise their freedom, grow some of their own food and develop a habit of  unplugging from technology at least for a small time each day and to “plug in” to nature and get recharged!

Are you a freedom farmer?  Farm-A-Yard is a movement, have ya heard?  Join us! Get on our mailing list. 🙂

 

Breaking the Spell of the Cursed Black Thumb- Grow the Best Garden of Your Life

I definitely wondered if I was under the spell of the “black thumb”.

My very first garden, at 18 years old, was about a square foot in size in my side yard….Flop #1…  Did I have a black thumb?

Years later, I tried again….but there was too much shade in my backyard. Flop #2…   Tried again… Flop # 3.  Each time I learned a little  🙂 ….but I just thought I must not have a green thumb.

Then again I had a garden in the backyard where previous renters had a garden plot….I suspected that the soil was better because we had some success but I still knew very little about what I was doing.  I just thought you put a seed in the ground and it should grow. Right?  Or maybe, just maybe, I had the infamous “Black Thumb?”

Since then, I have learned that our soil is in a state of emergency. Commercial fertilizer doesn’t do anything to improve the soil and pesticides and herbicides kill all the microbiol life.  BTW…there is no “Miracle” in Miracle Gro.  

I tried several gardens since and because I didn’t want to use the harmful products so I just started composting but it’s such a slow process with still mediocre results.

I meet people all the time who say that they have a “black thumb” and can’t grow anything.  They are convinced that they are cursed.

Well, I am now convinced that it is important to know what to plant and when, and also to make sure the plot or pot has enough sun and water.  But if it fails, the failure has something to do with the soil, NOT your thumb!  

Okay, but how can you get your soil right without spending tons of time and money on guessing what to do about it?  The million dollar question!

So, what is a person to do?

That’s when I met the Soil Doctor, Evan Folds.  This soil wizard made the complex simple for me and the spell is broken and the curse has lifted!!  If it happened to me, it can happen for you!

You can also get on the mailing list and we will send you the Free Farm-A-Yard e-Book.  🙂    www.farm-a-yard.com

We know that you can be successful in growing vibrant, nutrient food for your family and/or to make a sustainable income.

Check it out!  Break the Spell!  Grow the best garden of your life.

Solving the Soil Emergency: Soil Doctor to the Rescue

We’re not going to waste your time with standard soil advice.   Real sustainable soil health guarantees plant health and productivity — and that saves you time, money and extra work.

Think about it: healthy soil grows healthy people. And what we think, we grow. In a way, people and agriculture feed each other.

That’s why I started Farm-A-Yard. It just doesn’t make sense that we have 40 million acres of lawn being irrigated while people are going hungry. The great Wendell Berry said, “Eating is an agricultural act.” Whether you like it or not, everyone is a part of agriculture. At Farm-A-Yard we take this very seriously. It’s the core of our mission. 

So what can you do to grow a healthy future for our food?

Grow Soil, Not Just Plants.

It’s that simple. Want to learn how?

I’m excited to tell you how impressed I am with this absolutely vital information from “The Soil Doctor” Evan Folds.  I was so amazed by him that I asked him to become a part of the Farm-A-Yard team.

Click Here to Register for the Webinar

My name is Linda Borghi, and I have been an advocate for clean and nutritious food and water for decades, and when I met Evan, I knew that I had found an extraordinary and dedicated person who will bring you key information that you need immediately, before this food system crisis gets any worse.  

Evan leaning in to study some wheatgrass.Evan is spreading the word about how soil vitality affects plant health. I’ve been growing food for decades, and I know he’s right — I just can’t explain it.  To me, I do the right things and the plants grow like magic.  Evan can explain everything about soil health where I can’t, and he shares simple proven techniques that you can use in your garden or on the farm that will transform the way you think about the soil under your feet and seriously revolutionize your growing results.

To use a metaphor: conventional growing is like drowning in the ocean,  organic farming is treading water and barely staying afloat — but what Evan calls “BioEnergetics” is effortlessly swimming where you want to go. BioEnergetics is beyond organic.

This is absolutely essential information, so I’ve asked Evan to give a LIVE webinar.

Click Here to Register for the Webinar

The content in this LIVE webinar is powerful. You need to take advantage of this rich information on maximizing your gardening and farming efforts. I promise you it will answer the most pressing problems you have about soil fertility and remove the guesswork and expense of commercial soil management advice.

Let’s face it; I’m a farmer, I’m not a scientist and I find that Evan is amazing at communicating complex concepts in a way that even I can understand.  

Even more important, he shares, step-by-step, what you can do to restore and regenerate your soil in order to grow food with the life force that can heal people and the planet.

Click Here to Register for the Webinar

Do you want to turn dirt into thriving soil, teeming with life?

I know that you screamed YES! with me.

Here is some of the vital information you will learn in this FREE webinar:

  • Why Fertility is the Key to a Bountiful and Sustained Bottom line
  • The Fertility Investment that will Cut Your Costs and Work in Half
  • The Soil Doctor’s Rx that Takes the Guesswork out of Growing Healthy Soil
  • How to Correct Key Soil Management Mistakes
  • Demystifying Biodynamic Agriculture
  • Keys to Unlocking Soil Regeneration
  • The Roles of Minerals, Microbes & LIfe Force Energy
  • Top Garden Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
  • Personalized Rx for Soil Regeneration
  • A“Brew” for Bounty- Get Brewing, Get Life
  • BioEnergetic Secrets to Healing the Soil
  • What Weeds, Worms and Nematodes Tell Us
  • Busting Myths about Soil Management
  • Why Profitable and Sustained Farming Begins and Ends with the Soil
  • What is Activated Water?
  • Keys to Hydroponic Growing Success
  • Compost Tea – The Holistic Solution
  • Unleash Soil Regeneration No Matter What Kind of Soil You Have

Whether you are a seasoned farmer or totally new to the idea of growing  food , Evan’s free webinar, Solving the Soil Emergency: Soil Doctor to the Rescue, has something for everyone. Vitality of life on the earth starts and ends with the life force energy of the soil.

Click Here to Register for the Webinar

Our challenge to you is to grow at least one thing that you can eat. If you already do, then grow more! We want to help you do it.

JOIN US LIVE!

Farm-A-Yard is a Movement, Have You Heard?

Linda Borghi
Farm-A-Yard Educator/Trainer/Speaker

“Politics Divide…Food Brings People Together”

Thank  you, Wendell Berry, for telling it like it is.

Did you know that we need 100 million yard farmers by 2030 in our neighborhoods nationwide? What a great opportunity to bring some healing to the political situation, as well as, bring real food security and access of the freshest, affordable food possible!

Some people are beginning to take action to truly solve, not only our food security crisis, but growing food is having an impact to  boost depressed local economies, literally at the GRASSROOTS level. (pun intended!)

That’s why we’re excited about Farm-A-Yard that is helping people help themselves to personal food security and income opportunity.   

The entrepreneurial opportunity with Farm-A-Yard for small scale neighborhood yard farms, has so many benefits to help build healthier, resilient communities where people are connected to where their food comes from.

You can learn how to grow your own food intensively in your yard to feed your family and/or you can learn how to start a profitable neighborhood-based,  micro-farming enterprise.   

We all have the power to help make our community food secure by voting with our dollars, supporting local small farmers and learning to grow and preserve some food for ourselves and to share with others.  

ALL GREAT CHANGE IN AMERICA BEGINS AT THE DINNER TABLE

Food brings people together to solve problems.  Growing food also helps neighbors to know one another again, to grow, cook and share healthy meals together around the kitchen table.  

“Kitchen table wisdom” is how the world has solved problems for centuries.  This is the grassroots way to heal a world, one “Plot to Plate” at a time.

 

Microbes Are Microscopic

For the most part, the soil is a mystery. Based on the rate of discovery it is estimated that only 5% of bacteria and 10% of fungi have even been identified. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot.”

What we do know is that soil is alive with, not just the animals and arthropods that we can see, but trillions upon trillions of microscopic organisms with names like fungi, bacteria, actinomycete, protozoa, and nematode.

Think of microbes as the plankton of the soil. They are the base of the “soil food web”, working to recycle the waste of the world into plant food. They make compost, and beer, cheese, kombucha, bread, mushrooms, and so much more.  

There is another universe in the soil that is completely out of sight without a microscope. Here are some statistics:

  • Up to 500,000 bacteria can fit in the period of the exclamation point at the end of this sentence!
  • There are literally billions of microbes and miles of fungal hyphae in a couple tablespoons of good compost.
  • A teaspoon of colloidal humus has the surface area of a football field!
  • The average bacterial cell is 1/25,000 of an inch in length and even smaller in diameter. In other words, one could place 25,000 bacteria cells, side by side, on an inch-long line.
  • By contrast, if 25,000 people were lined up shoulder to shoulder, they would make a line over 18 miles long.
  • Microbes are everywhere, there are more microbial cells in and on a human not taking antibiotics than there are human cells.
  • The book Secrets of the Soil says that a single microbe reaching maturity and dividing within less than half an hour, can, in the course of a day, grow into 300 million more; and in another day, to more than the number of human beings that have ever lived.
  • According to the book Microcosmos, bacteria, in four days of unlimited growth, could outnumber all the protons and even the quarks estimated to exist within the universe.
  • A typical bacteria would be something like 0.003 mm long and it would weigh only 0.000000000001 grams.
  • Recently nanobacteria called archaea a hundred times smaller than common bacteria, have been found.  
  • At the other end of the scale, giant bacteria are known.  One, Epulopiscium fishelsoni is 0.06 mm long and 0.008 mm wide.
  • True diversity cannot be understood in a lab or with a microscope. It can only be established through DNA testing. Even then, how do we even know what we’re looking for?
  • The best indication of diversity is whether the inoculant was created in a natural setting, preferably a farm, and in the how well the product performs when growing plants.  
  • Lab-based inoculants lack the strength of microbes from Nature. Microbes from Nature have more life experience.

BioEnergetic farming is soil-centered. Feed the soil, not the plant. Organic fertilizers are the baking ingredients, and compost tea is like the yeast that makes the bread. Conventional farming is drowning, “organic” farming is treading water, and BioEnergetic farming is swimming where you want to go.   

The last 50 years in agronomy has been dominated by a mineral, and mostly artificial, approach to agriculture. Big Ag is a result of the misguided business model of large corporations selling artificial chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, etc. that value profit over farming and work to kill soil microbes. The soil is no more than an inert sponge.   

It doesn’t take much to turn dirt into soil. And it starts with soil microbes.


 

So What’s with Water? You Can’t Learn This Anywhere Else…

I LOVE WATER… especially clean flowing river water.  I actually crave it and must make my way to get in a clean river every now and then, which is not an easy thing to find these days.

Like Linda Borghi and Evan Folds, I’ve been very concerned about water quality for a very long time and have chosen not to drink tap water for at least 40 years.  It is shocking at how little respect is shown toward water’s protection and management.

For the first time, after listening to Evan Folds as he broke down some concepts about water, I made a new connection on a very intuitive level.

Water is alive.  It is a nutrient.  It’s not just wet.

Water is an unbelievably complex subject.  There are more than 90 different parameters of water that can be measured & manipulated.

What surprised me the most is that there is an undeniable fact that water implosion is one of the most powerful components in the practice of Bio-dynamic/Bio-Energetic Ag.

I can’t tell you how intrigued I was with this new understanding!

The information that Evan will explain in his upcoming free webinar is not taught anywhere else. (get on the mailing list to be notified)  We all owe it to ourselves to learn how to really take care of the soil and how to leverage the wonders of water if we want to benefit from true nutrient dense foods.

You will learn about minerals, microbes, life force energy, the truth about typical soil management practices that only make challenged soil worse. 

Evan’s free webinar also sets the record straight about NPK, PH and nitrogen.  No where else will you find a clearer understanding as to why the emphasis on these is only creating more problems.

It will be an eye-opening time to say the least.

It has been some of the best time I have ever spent in the farming realm and it has revolutionized my path for sustainable growing success.

What you didn’t know to ask about soil health…  

This information will unlock sustainable practices and teach you how to release the life force energy that grows and matures your soil, produces truly healthy plants and heals the environment including people!

You will not just get tips here, but a foundation that will be awe inspiring and that will give you a new found respect for the intelligence of the soil and of water.