009 – Time For Food Ownership: Germinating the Neighborhood With Food!

009 – Time For Food Ownership: Germinating the Neighborhood With Food!

with host Linda Borghi and guest Diana Pieri

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?

Diana Pieri has been farming her yard for just 1 year and she is already infecting her neighborhood with food!  Diana’s enthusiasm for growing food is infectious; she has had amazing results, changing her life after cancer, and now changing her neighborhood, and absolutely loving it.  She was introduced to Farm-A-Yard as a fan of Evan Folds and his “Compost Tea in a Box”.  Now she’s spreading food and compost tea everywhere!  This is the one “bug” we hope EVERYONE catches.

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.

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)

 

 

004 – Evolution of Organic Standards & America’s Urban Farming Movement

004 – Evolution of Organic Standards & America’s Urban Farming Movement

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?

with host Linda Borghi and guest Liana Hoodes

Liana is an expert in America’s food history and the importance of being an advocate for  organic standards. We all need to take personal responsibility for the sustainability and safety of our food supply. Learn from the Cuban crisis and their shift to urban farming for their survival. America’s urban farming movement is vital for food security.

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:

Liana Hoodes’ Bio

Liana Hoodes has worked since 1994 on a wide range of organic and sustainable agriculture policy issues, and is currently  Policy Advisor to the Northeast Organic Farming Association – New York, and the National Organic Coalition where she was the Executive Director from 2003 until 2015.  She has worked extensively on Farm Bills, annual appropriations, as well as on the implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act at the USDA National Organic Program and on organic standards at the National Organic Standards Board. She currently works on a variety of federal, state and local policy issues to support and advance organic and sustainable food and agriculture.

Liana  was the organic policy coordinator for the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture from 1994 through 2006, where she was the facilitator of the successful effort (led by many organizations) to garner hundreds of thousands of comments to repeal and re-write the first organic regulation.  

Prior to that she was the founding Director of Orange Environment,  a local environmental advocacy organization in Orange County, NY, and also worked for a  law firm specializing in civil rights and environmental law.  In 2001 Liana co-founded the Pine Bush Farmers Market  to support agriculture in the Pine Bush region, as well as to promote downtown economic development in the hamlet.

Liana grows organic food and  lives with her family in Ulster County, New York.

 

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

 

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/

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.

Artificial Fertilizer is “Fast Food” for Plants

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Artificial fertilizers contribute to soil degeneration.  It is no different than highly processed fast food which causes the degeneration of human health.  It’s like drinking caffeine to artificially get the energy you need temporarily but not address the real reason for your low energy.

Healthy soil can sustain itself because it has the real food and healthy environment it needs to regenerate and propagate.  That’s what nature does naturally, all on its own.

Healthy soil makes healthy plants for healthy people.  Period.

Today, many people are interested in learning how to grow some of their own foods without toxic/artificial inputs.

Many people have tried and failed too.

One reason is that the soil is so depleted and it takes quite a while to make your own compost and build your soil health.

I know this because it happened to me when I first got started. All I had was sand to work with.

A lot of people try to garden and when they fail they think that they just have a “black thumb”, when it’s really about the damaged condition of the soil, which is, then, rightfully called “dead dirt” because of toxic chemicals and the absence of living organisms.

One of the biggest challenges with starting a garden or farming project is having the healthy soil you need to make it successful.

Everything depends on that.

FYI…Healthy soil cannot be found in a bag at the garden stores.

BUT DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU!

Linda Borghi has been a Biodynamic farmer for years and knows intimately that the quality of her harvests hinged on the simple commitment to feeding the microbes in the soil with the Biodynamic stir and spray preparations.  She was personally so profoundly affected by the dynamic results that she was determined to spray the country!!

This was really exciting for me to finally learn about this simple solution and it has saved me so much time, work, money and GUESSING.

I was just surrendered to the fact that I had to take the natural “slow road” to fertility by making my own compost and covercropping etc.

Then I got a prescription for my soil from Evan Folds, and he explained, in a comprehensive soil report, exactly what was going on.   He also made some mineral recommendations that I decided to apply to correct those deficiencies.  Now all I do is stir & spray the food for the microbes and continue to add organic matter.  Simple.

I was so grateful to hear Linda’s experience and find out about this.

Check out the education and solutions at:

www.microbemakers.com   (Special 10% discount, use code: farm-a-yard)

Evan Folds, the Soil Doc can also give you a detailed prescription to meet the unique needs of your soil if you’re interested.

Or you can just start stirring and spraying to feed the microbes and just let them do the work for you.

This concept parallels the picture of the human gut and its need for prebiotics to feed the microbiome for gut health.  This is critical for a strong immune system.

Biodynamics/BioEnergetics is food to build/heal the earth’s immune system.

https://www.facebook.com/microbemakers/videos/1166775200108466/

Linda would LOVE IT if you joined Farm-A-Yard in spraying your part of the country too!!   Feed the microbes, heal the earth, heal the people!

We can do this.

This wholistic approach builds soil so effectively that it also cuts water consumption by at least 50%!

FYI….Did you know that in 10  years 57% of our farmers will be retiring? So who is going to grow our food?

Just one more reason to be an urban farmer and farm your yard. (“just sayin”)

Changing the way we eat one yard at a time.

It’s a movement, have ya heard?

A Personal Food Revolution

plant-grow-eat-signWe at Farm-A-Yard invite you to take action for a personal food revolution.

So what does a personal food revolution look like?

For some people it means becoming a more conscience mindful eater. Learning to listen to their body and noting how different foods affect their energy, positively or negatively and whether they get bloated or have joint pain, etc. They take note of the kind of relationship they have with food and if that is working for them.

For others it’s about making mindful choices of where their food comes from. Is good food accessible to everyone in their community?  How was it was grown or raised?  Mindfulness like this along with a desire to support a local economy and local farmers who are fair and mindful also of good working conditions for their farm workers.

The ultimate personal revolution for me, is learning to grow my own food, getting back in touch with the vibrant life force of the earth and learn from the quiet, invisible, dynamic wisdom under my feet.

It’s important to me to learn how to best grow my own chemical free food in a way that nurtures and supports the earth that is feeding me.

So why else is this so important?

Our nation’s health crisis is not joke.  We’re the top country in the world for chronic diseases, obesity and diabetes.

So, what is the reason?  It is widely accepted that it has everything to do what we are eating and drinking, the drugs people are taking and generally the soup of environmental toxins surrounding us, not to mention the impact of other life stressors and anxieties.

Our healthcare system today is more accurately described as being focused on the management of “sick care”, not “healthcare”.  We spend billions of dollars to try and find “cures” (and the crisis has only worsened),  but we continue to lack getting to the “root” of the problem and only treat sympthoms.

We have to trace it back to our management of our soil and water, on which our very existence depends.  If we don’t get that right, then all our other efforts, though they are vitally important to the overall solution, all will be in vain because without healthy soil, nothing can be sustainable.

That is why I made the decision, as an urban farmer, to grow BioEnergetically/Biodynamically.  Though I have grown without pesticides and herbicides, and chemical fertilizers, it’s not enough for the poor lifeless dirt that is the norm in America. The soil organisms need to be fed.

Biodynamic farming actually farms the soil, the air and even people.  The Biodynamic preparations are food for the microbes in the soil and the whole eco environment.  The human gut and inner ecosystem is a mirror of the soil web. Our life depends on the health of the invisible microbota of the earth and our connection to it.

So, this is what takes our educational webinars to another level.  Get on our mailing list for more information, you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

What Really Matters in 2017?

What Really Matters in 2017?

 I’m glad you asked…

For me it’s food freedom….and having fun with food makes that happen!

My urban farm handle is Freedom Farms.  My farm is indeed a bit different than most. I farm here in North Carolina in several small plots around the city. Some are in public places, some at businesses, some in pots, some in other people’s yards.  I have found out how easy it is to grow food anywhere.

I specialize in keeping it simple, working with the resources at hand and adapting my plans to nature’s ways.

Why?

Because it means less work!

I’m a permaculture practitioner…that means I am practicing…

yes, practicing and learning how nature does things and then working to copy that.

What’s Permaculture? It’s amazing how many different answers you can get when you ask that question.  Permaculture for me is all about relationships and observing the dance of nature and learning to dance with her!!

Permaculture involves a lot of observation in order to design permanent foodscapes that mimic nature’s synergistic relationships, which will, over time, nearly take care of itself.  Also, BioEnergetics has made my efforts much more productive because the more you feed the soil, the more the soil will feed you!!

This week I went on a foraging treasure hunt, while walking my neighborhood for the free pecans that litter the lawns and streets.  I was dancing with the squirrels!  I got all I needed for the winter!

I also got a bag full of Muscadine grapes and Kiwi from a huge vine at the local college, where earlier, I also harvested blueberries in the spring! (I also met a new permaculture friend!) I even got to sample a burst of flavor from some fall strawberries in one of my public gardens.

Life is good.

Then, was I surprised, at one of the businesses I grow at, to find a delicious sweet, 2-3 inch in diameter, guava type fruit that I had never tasted before and I harvested a whole grocery size bag from 2 small bushes!

Why are we not all growing this plant??!!

(I am in the process of identifying the plant and will keep you posted!)

All you have to do is wash them and throw them whole, skin, seeds and all (no peeling necessary) into the blender and make a smoothie, or cook them down into a wonderful stewed fruit compote to top yogurt, hot oat bran cereal or use as a filling for a Thanksgiving cobbler! (can you guess what I’m going to do?!)

And guess what?  This summer, the palm trees in front of one of my business locations had incredibly sweet palm fruits!

Awe…the simple pleasures.

Food Freedom means a lot of things to me and as a Food Freedom writer, I hope to inspire you to action to grow some of your own food.

Maybe even YOU might decide to establish a rouge perennial plant that can surprise someone and offer them an experience of exquisite delight!

For me, that’s…  “What Really Matters in 2017”  🙂

Tell us in the comments below, “What Really Matters” to YOU in 2017?

 

 

What is Real Food Security?

Arriving in South Carolina the beginning of May did not give me enough time to create a yard farm before the “Heat of the Year” arrived. At one point during the summer the degrees on my car dashboard read 117…..whoa baby…hotter than anything other than watermelons wanted it to be! I had to experience all summer long that creepy feeling due to my lack of food security.

Being new to South Carolina everything is very interesting. I am aware of the sounds, the light… the sensations that are all around me, because it’s all new to me.

I am at a stage in my life that I have developed very keen observation skills and my most current observation has been my state of uneasiness because I did not have any food security. This is the first time in 16 years that I did not have any food growing outside my kitchen door. What a creepy feeling it is….unsettling at the very least.

Arriving in South Carolina the beginning of May did not give me enough time to create a yard farm before the “Heat of the Year” arrived. At one point during the summer the degrees on my car dashboard read 117…..whoa baby…hotter than anything other than watermelons wanted it to be!

I had to experience all summer long that creepy feeling due to my lack of food security. From May until the end of September…nearly 5 months, long enough to know how that feels.

Now that feeling is dissipating,. Why, because my beds are made, my plan is drawn and some seed is in the ground. When I see some germination the feeling will dissipate more and when I harvest I’m sure it will vanish the feeling completely!

That got me thinking about those who have never had food security. They do not experience those feelings but I am sure that if they were given 16 years of food security right outside their kitchen door and then not have that for five months…they would have a creepy feeling as well.

The moral of the story is this: Farm-a-Yard….it’s a Movement ….have ya heard?