What is Biodynamic Gardening? Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tune for more first steps for growing biodynamically!

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Being prepared should just be a normal life activity.

It all starts with a plan.

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

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

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

There is always something that can be improved upon!

Preparation considerations overview:

Here is my short list:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.freezedriedtastings.thrivelife.com

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food as Medicine By Evan Folds

Getting Back to Basics–for your HEALTH

Food as Medicine By Evan Folds

Hippocrates famously stated, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Seems obvious, but we have become so disconnected from what we eat that we can go weeks, even years, without eating food delivered as Nature intended. The longer food is stored off of the vine the less nutritious it becomes. Did you know that most apples you purchase at the grocery store are over a year old? If we regard food as medicine, it seems our “apple a day” may well have expired.

In the words of the great Rudolf Steiner, food plants no longer contain the forces people need to carry their will into action. And we see this collective lack of will everywhere today in our politics, on the news and under our proverbial skin.

Could it be that the lack of nutrient density and life force in our food is what is collectively holding us back from realizing the potential we all know is innate in humanity?

Huge question, but it is this writer’s opinion that this is absolutely the case. I have experienced living foods changing and healing, I know people that have cured life threatening disease with juicing and wheatgrass. It takes confident commitment, and a thorough understanding of the origins of illness to begin to understand and apply food as medicine.

Consider that up until 100 years ago all food was alive and intact, unadulterated by the methods of madness devised by modern food science. Our ability to engineer food amounts to a selfish effort of tricking ourselves into believing something is good for us. For instance, high fructose corn syrup is cheap and can make almost anything taste good, but it is increasingly linked to diabetes and heart disease.

Follow me, in pre-industrialized times we could trust that “food” was food. We didn’t have genetically modified organisms (GMO) and the properties of taste and texture that we manufacture in order to manipulate the human palate were rare and revered.

Because food had not been adulterated our bodies did not develop the means to tell ourselves that we are malnourished, only calorically empty. We don’t get malnourishment pangs like hunger pangs that we get when we have not eaten for a period of time. This is why we can eat crap and feel full. Our bodies had no reason to expect us to lie to ourselves.

Eating junk food from fast food “restaurants” is no different than the results of using budget synthetic fertilizers purchased at Big Box stores. They both create obesity, disease and pest infestations. Read the book Secrets of the Soil or watch any of the conscious food or farming documentaries out there like Supersize Me, Forks Over Knives, Food Inc., or Fast Food Nation.

The parallels are life. The sad fact is that we don’t know that we are malnourished until we get sick, and often times that is too late. In short, we cannot blindly believe food to be food.

A perfect example of this is “juice”. Real juice cannot survive the trip from the grower to the supermarket shelf without spoiling. In order to withstand the logistics of our socioeconomic arrangement juice must be irradiated, or pasteurized, which happens to defeat much of the purpose of the original natural nourishment.

In fact, the sugar water that results from orange juice after pasteurization is a tasteless colorless liquid that is stored in huge holding tanks until it is re-engineered to specific taste and texture by the familiar orange juice corporations. They even hire perfume companies to formulate flavor based on market studies, which is why each brand has its distinct taste and feel. Sorry to burst your breakfast bubble, read the book Squeezed by Alissa Hamilton.

The worst part is that the FDA allows orange juice companies to add a manufactured molecule called ascorbic acid that mimics the chemical structure of Vitamin C into orange juice so they can claim 100% of your recommended daily dose.

Our approach to how we nourish ourselves is not nourishing us. Researchers have known since the 1940s that an emphasis on empty artificial fertilizers results in cheaper food, but our economic system is driven by profit, volume and shelf life, not qualitative or nutritional value. It’s a race to the bottom line.

This is exacerbated by illogical government subsidies that encourage farmers to grow food that sells for less than it costs for them to grow it. And on top of that, the subsidies are paid towards the least nutritious crops mostly to corporations who are not even farmers.

How many farmers do you think live in Manhattan? Search online for “farm subsidy Manhattan” and click on the first link.

There is plenty of data to back this up. For instance, the calcium content in broccoli has dropped from 12.9 milligrams dry weight in 1950 to only 4.4 milligrams in 2003 per USDA data. Minerals and amino acids have declined by more than 30 percent in wheat developed over the past 100 years.

This is driven by commercial interests, not human interests. Cheap fertilizer only makes sense until your soil is dead and the toxic rescue chemistry used to try and kill back the problems created doesn’t work anymore.

And this is where we find ourselves today.

Complete nutrition is a result of balance, not force. Pests, weeds and disease in our landscapes are manifestations of unhealthy conditions, no different than what happens to people if they eat fast food every day.

Again, to draw the easy analogy, the average doctor prescribes you a pill, they don’t ask you to change your diet. In fact, most don’t even go to school for nutrition.

Preventative agriculture and medicine prevents return business. May appear cynical, but it is truth. The soil must be alive in order to produce food plants that support life. Everyone knows that we are what we eat. So it’s time that we get our hands dirty, use our buying power and act like it.

Be a farmer, start a garden. Ask questions, be interested in your food, and eat your ideals. The rest will take care of itself.

011 – Farming Intentionally

011 – Farming Intentionally

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?

This is Linda’s most surprising and empowering podcast yet!  She shares the easiest way to be a yard farmer and the most critical practice to guarantee your success.  You’re never going to guess!!  Learn how to germinate the most important “seeds” first  and what those are.

She tells her personal story of learning about the power of intention and the principle of energy following thought. Linda shares from the heart about her intention for this movement. You don’t want to miss this one!

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.

The shownotes includes an Amazon affiliate link for the book.  It doesn’t cost you more, and the royalty is low.

A Truly Free People Can Feed Themselves. Declare Your Independence! Grow a Garden!

As I awaken in so many new ways, to the preciousness of freedom, the one matter that remains the dearest to my heart is the freedom to choose what goes into my body and the right to healthy air, soil, food and water.

IS THERE TRUE FREEDOM WITHOUT THAT? 

We live now in an environment that requires us to question what’s in our air, food and water.  What are the invisible toxins that we are exposed to?

Well, there is a very LONG answer to that.

Rather than go down the rabbit hole on that question, there is enough evidence to make my solution an easy one, to the overwhelming reality of the slow degeneration of air, soil, food and water.

Grow at least some of your own food. Or support someone who does.  We all need to put our shoulder to this!  It’s SO much easier than you think!

I am producing a series of blogs on how to get started with biodynaimic gardening and why it is the best and easiest way to guarantee nutrient dense safe food and simple ways to turn your yard into a yard with real “life force” to support health and healing.

We are on a mission to inspire and empower folks across the nation to convert 48 million acres of turf grass that is polluting our environment BIG time.  Only the collective WE can turn that around across the country!

We even have the best and easiest solution if you want to keep some of your grass by applying biodynamic practices as well!  You can even turn your turf into a regenerating life supporting oasis, instead of a degenerating, toxic producer that is compromising your health and the thriving of your neighborhood ecosystem.

Join this happy, growing, supportive community of urban farmers! https://www.facebook.com/groups/farmayard/ 

You have got to hear what this beginning yard farmer is doing!  http://farm-a-yard.com/p009/

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?

 

 

008 – Rant on Grass: “No more excuses: You’re Just One Seed Away!”

008 – Rant on Grass: “No more excuses: You’re Just One Seed Away!”

with host Linda Borghi

Linda was asking herself, “Why aren’t more people digging up some of their grass and growing food?  What’s stopping them?  What are the barriers?”   Learn the flipside of the most common barriers and how to do this without being overwhelmed. What is a small action step that you can take right now?  Listen to Linda’s practical advice, and make sure you join the community movement on Facebook where we share lots of information on farming yards, with videos, tips, and more.

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)

 

 

003 – Save Our Soil

003 – Save Our Soil

with host Linda Borghi and Farm-A-Yard founder Evan Folds

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?

Transform the way you think about the soil under your feet to seriously revolutionize your growing results.

Evan Folds, the “Soil Doctor” as we call him, does not give standard soil advice but shares proven methods that unleash soil regeneration.  Evan is a Farm-A-Yard co-founder, owner of Progressive Farms & manufacturer of the Microbe Maker compost tea system, and his passion about nurturing microbes, healing the Earth through carbon sequestering, producing nutrient dense food, advocating for personal agriculture, and healing people through vibrant local food economies will change your focus from the stem to the soil.

Through his consulting work, Evan has developed BioEnergetic Agriculture, which seeks to increase the life force of living systems through physical, mineral, biological, and energetic influence.

Favorite Quote

“…our food is not nourishing us to allow the expression of our humanity.”

1:00 – Linda introduces Evan Folds, owner of Progressive Farms and shares how they met.

5:50 – Evan Folds talks about regenerative agriculture and what biodynamic/BioEnergetic methods are all about.

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

 

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.