002 – Biodynamics, Demystified Part 2

002 – Biodynamics, Demystified Part 2

with host Linda Borghi and guest Abby Porter

Farm-A-Yard Podcast logo: orange sun with sunbeams rising over a mound of black dirt with 2 sprouts and a microphone in green coming up out of the soil.
Farm-A-Yard Podcast — It’s a movement… have ya heard?

Abby Porter from the Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics shares the history of Biodynamics, organics and the relationship between Rudolph Steiner & Dr. Pfeiffer, a scientist, who proved the the science behind biodynamics. The establishing of Demeter, the international biodynamic certification organization. Abby also talks about her mother Josephine Porter’s history in the making of the biodynamic preparations.

Get Part 1: http://farm-a-yard.com/p002-1
This podcast is made possible by funding by our Patreon supporters.  For extra free content or to become a patron please see us at https://www.patreon.com/FarmAYard

Links:

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

002 – Biodynamics, Demystified Part 1

002 – Biodynamics, Demystified Part 1

with host Linda Borghi and guest Abby Porter

Farm-A-Yard Podcast logo: orange sun with sunbeams rising over a mound of black dirt with 2 sprouts and a microphone in green coming up out of the soil.
Farm-A-Yard Podcast — It’s a movement… have ya heard?

Abby Porter from the Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics shares the history of Biodynamic methods and preparations. Abby’s mother, Josephine Porter, founded the Institute. First in a series about biodynamics with Abby Porter which describes the 7 principles of Biodynamic Agriculture.

Get Part 2: http://farm-a-yard.com/p002-2

This podcast is made possible by funding by our Patreon supporters.  For extra free content or to become a patron please see us at https://www.patreon.com/FarmAYard

Links:

 

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

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

 

001 – The Seedy Story

001 – The Seedy Story

With host Linda Borghi

Farm-A-Yard Podcast logo: orange sun with sunbeams rising over a mound of black dirt with 2 sprouts and a microphone in green coming up out of the soil.
Farm-A-Yard Podcast — It’s a movement… have ya heard?

Seeds are very small, yet mighty! It is so easy to overlook the paramount importance and power of seeds. There is a worldwide seed diversity crisis today.  In this podcast episode, Linda reviews the movie, Seed: The Untold Story.  

Warning: listening to this episode could change your relationship with seeds forever!

  • 00:52 – Linda’s personal story about her relationship with seeds
  • 09:50 – Movie review: Seed: The Untold Story

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

For extra free content or to become a patron please see us at https://www.patreon.com/FarmAYard

Links:

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

“Agriculture Will Soon Face Another Revolution”

“…we have less than a year’s supply of food for the global population on hand at any one time.” This simple fact has critical implications for society.”said David Montgomery, a professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington.

This statement really got my attention.

Especially after hearing about what is happening, as of April, 2017 in Venezuela, where it is estimated that in the last 3 months the average citizen has lost 20 pounds because of food shortages.  Yikes!  These reports are very disturbing because they are happening in many places around the world.

This is another reason that we need a new agriculture revolution.

This is why the Farm-A-Yard Movement is critical for the times we are living in.

David Montgomery traveled to interview small farmers and found that those who restored their soil “used fewer inputs to produce higher yields, which translated into higher profits”… “No matter how one looks at it, we can be certain that agriculture will soon face another revolution … There are already enough people on the planet that we have less than a year’s supply of food for the global population on hand at any one time”…

Today we live in a “global world”, but there has never been a time more important than now to localize food systems around the earth.

We must begin to support farmers who adopt regenerative practices instead of only funding incentives for farmers that are degrading the soil!

David is confident that regenerative farming practices can prove both productive and economical.  Why? Because the farmers he met were already doing just that!

Farm-A-Yard, it’s a movement, have ya heard?

To read more: https://theconversation.com/healthy-soil-is-the-real-key-to-feeding-the-world-75364

 

Biodynamic Farming Is Growing- The Gold Standard in Organic Agriculture

Biodynamics farming is a growing movement. According to Demeter USA, the nonprofit certifier of biodynamic farms and consumer products, the total acreage for biodynamic farming in the US is increasing because this method, used around the world, works.

If you want to start a garden these days, the single most important and challenging aspect is the soil you grow in.

Our soils are so damaged and depleted of nutrients because commercial agriculture uses fertilizers that only give a few of the basic ingredients necessary to make the plant grow, resulting in minimal plant nutrition. The important point here is that the plants can’t have what the soil doesn’t have.

Over time the  evidence is showing up in the human population too.  After several generations we now see weakened immune systems, which are also due, in part, to exposure to toxic chemicals from current commercial agriculture practices.

Concerning the nutrient density of food, the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the December 2004  Journal of the American College of Nutrition,  studied the U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from 1950 and 1999.

They found that 43 different vegetables and fruits showed declines in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century.

“Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly,”said the study researcher, Donald Davis, “but their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.” Magnesium, zinc and vitamins B-6 and E likely had similar declines but they were not studied in 1950.

This study is not alone.  There have been others with similar findings. Another study summarized that it would take 8 oranges today to equal the nutrition value of one orange 70-80 year ago.

We can’t afford for this trend to continue.

What can be done? The key to healthier produce is healthier soil.

Biodynamic agriculture is the original “organic” movement in this country before there was any organic certification.

What is biodynamic farming?  How is it different from organic farming? Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, introduced biodynamic principles in 1924.  The Biodynamic Association was established in 1938.  It is the oldest sustainable agriculture nonprofit organization in North America.

In simple terms the Biodynamic method is made up of preparations  and the activation of water and the energy in the environment.  The preparations are made from herbs, mineral substances and animal manures which are composted and fermented, much like a sourdough starter, or a kombucha culture. They are then prepared to apply as compost or compost teas which are stirred in water to activate and distribute in the field.

Does Biodynamic Agriculture work?  I have been farming using this method for over 21 years.  I can help you get started.

The Biodynamic methods can be applied effectively by urban, yard farmers and big farm alike.

BioEnergetic products are cost effective and available at:  http://farm-a-yard.com/compost-tea/

000 – Welcome to Farm-A-Yard

000 – Welcome to Farm-A-Yard

with co-founders Linda Borghi and Criss Ittermann

Farm-A-Yard Podcast logo: orange sun with sunbeams rising over a mound of black dirt with 2 sprouts and a microphone in green coming up out of the soil.
Farm-A-Yard Podcast — It’s a movement… have ya heard?

We are serious about turning the 48.5 million acres of lawn in America into food production!  Farm-A-Yard: It’s a movement… have ya heard?  Linda Borghi and Criss Ittermann, two of the co-founders of Farm-a-Yard, share about the birth of the Farm-A-yard movement as a response to the challenges of soil degradation and food insecurity issues facing our country and the world.

You’ll notice in this episode that Farm-A-Yard is all about solutions, sprinkled with plenty of laughter and gratitude to pave the way for sustainable, lasting change.

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

For extra free content or to become a patron please see us at https://www.patreon.com/FarmAYard

Links:

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

100 Day Challenge- Look What This Dad of 4 Did!

In May, 2016, Justin Rhodes, Dad to 4 youngsters and a North Carolina homesteader and vlogger,  created a 100 day challenge to grow all the food his family would eat.

“I wanted to do this for myself, but also to inspire and encourage other people, and show them that [living off the land is] easier than you think,” says Rhodes in a phone interview with Modern Farmer. “It’s just about getting up and doing this. Look what you can do in just 100 days. It doesn’t have to be this unattainable thing.”

The family has been homesteading on eight acres in Fletcher, North Carolina. He decided to spend only 10 hours a week producing the food because he wanted to prove that it’s doable to live off the land while also working a full-time job as well. (Rhodes also writes and produces videos for a living.) He clarified that he spent a little more time in the beginning preparing, and then less when seeds were in the ground and the chickens had grown.

They did this challenge on less than a half an acre. They planted tomatoes, potatoes, corn, squashes, and greens to name a few.  They had ordered 75 broiler chicks.  About 50 days into the challenge, the chicks were ready to process and some of the veggies were ready to enjoy.  By August 13, Rhodes estimated that 75% of the food they ate was what Justin grew or raised.

Even though the kids didn’t like everything “on the menu”, they were more inclined to enjoy eating the veggies when they had helped to grow and harvest them.

There were some challenges, of course, but Justin has the same philosophy that I do.  “Do what you can”.

When we were young raising our family, we didn’t have a lot of money, but we were really resourceful and I am so grateful for the experience.  I was just learning the “back to the land” skills and I  incorporated what I could in my urban setting as I went along. I always had plenty of seasonal produce canned for winter. The skills have served me well and I continue to learn more everyday.  I really enjoy being an urban micro farmer.

Though I never had a half acre “farm”, I lived the “from scratch” life in the city on a very small scale.

Justin’s 100 days investment in the garden really set them up for good eating for months after the challenge.

Are you ready to make an investment? Create your own challenge and post it below.

More about the 100 Day Challenge http://modernfarmer.com/2016/09/justin-rhodes-100-day-challenge/

For videos from the entire 100-day challenge, check out Rhodes’ YouTube channel.

How To Re-Design Our Local Food System- Re-Skill Ourselves

We are learning that in America over the last few generations we have become very removed from real food and where our food comes from. Along with that, we have lost diversity, nutrition and valuable food traditions.

There is a movement in this country to re-skill ourselves.  The younger generation is eager to learn the lost skills around the most important matter for our existence…Food.

There is an undeniable connection between the health crisis in this county and the way we grow, prepare and consume food.

The solution is to bring back diversity, healthy soils, clean air and water and re-skill ourselves in how to grow, prepare and consume real food..

I decided to do something about our broken food system and so I became a farmer! You can do the same…start with your own yard.

To get good at anything, you just have to practice, practice, practice! I have gotten really good that this because I never stop practicing!  Pick a “from scratch” project and map out the steps.  Farm-A-Yard is here to help you do that!  Learn from our videos and podcasts about the food movement and how you can take steps that work for you, no matter where you are in the process.

“Re-designing” our food system starts with a vision.  Now close your eyes….can you visualize your yard or someone else’s yard full of beautiful veggies?  Imagine yourself digging in the dirt and getting your hands dirty, observing the change in the neighborhood as more neighbors start growing some food.

That’s how it starts!  Now imagine yourself taking small action steps (that you can learn here), to grow some of your favorite foods. Visualize planting it, watching it ripen, picking it and then taking your first bite!  (Now your hooked for life!!)

We all can have a part in building a new local food web.

The Farm-A-Yard team and I have lots a instruction to get you going and to connect you to the Farm-A-Yard Movement with others who see the vision and are manifesting it around the country!

Get on our mailing list so that you can receive updates, webinar info, my podcasts and videos to inspire and equip you so that we can grow this movement together!

Maybe you can’t grow anything right now, but you share the vision and want to be counted. We need you! Check out how you can be a cheerleader in the Farm-A-Yard movement on our Patreon site.  Lots of cool options there!!

 

 

 

 

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