To Till or Not to Till?

“A new idea: If we revive the tiny creatures that make dirt healthy, we can
bring back the great American topsoil. But farming culture — and government— aren’t making it easy.”
Folks, we have a soil crisis and our future depends on shifting from the practices that have destroyed it’s fertility.  This need is at the heart of the Farm-A-Yard revival to equip folks to ditch the grass and grow food using organic/biodynamic practices that can heal the soil, the food and the people!
Here are some excerpts from an excellent article by Jenny Hopkinson…
“*AMERICA USED TO* be famed for its rich and fertile topsoil. Prairie and
forests were virtually untouched when settlers first started dividing land
into fields across the Southeast and Midwest, making for rich dark soil in
which to grow food and fiber.

Since the invention of the plow, farming has focused on disrupting the soil to make it productive. Most farming methods, whether conventional or organic, are based on “tillage” – the premise that to plant crops and
control weeds and other pests, the soil must be broken up and turned over, then amended with chemical fertilizers or organic compost to boost
fertility. And it worked for a long time.

But tilling, it turns out, kills off many of the microorganisms that build
the soil. It churns up their habitat and exposes them to air; it also makes
it easier for soil to be washed off the land by rain and wind. Over time,
the damage has built up: More than 50 percent America’s topsoil has eroded away. In areas of the Southeast, the country’s original breadbasket, it’s almost all gone.”

Read more of this article here:

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.

 

How To Spend Less Than An Hour A Day Growing a Garden

Of course this statement depends also on the size as well as the kind of garden you are growing.  But for most yard gardens, you can manage your garden, once it’s set up, in as little as 3-5 hours a week.

Once your garden is all set up, you can save time managing it by an efficient watering system.  You will find that your garden will grow much more efficiently once you determine how much water it really needs.  Random, over watering or under watering can be detrimental to your outcome.

There are several watering methods and tips to consider before you decide what’s best for your size and kind of garden.  One method that can be used in a part or all of your garden is soaker hoses with a timer.

According to the article in Rodale’s Organic Life, “Studies show that well-designed drip irrigation systems use at least 30 percent, and in some cases 50 percent, less water than other methods of watering such as sprinkling.”

Rain water from a rain barrel provides less chemicals that are in city water, like chlorine, fluoride and other water contaminates. 
If you are using biodynamic methods and teas, it is best to mix those preparations with rainwater also.  Setting up a rain barrel is easy and low cost.Covering the soaker hoses with a good layer of mulch will also hold more moisture and you will have to water less.You’ll also want a pressure regulator, quick connect hardward and Y valves which will save you oodles of time!

 Read entire article here with fantastic tips:

http://spr.ly/61888Yt6y

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/top-10-ways-conserve-water

https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/how-install-rain-barrel

010 – The Biodynamic Summer: The Rhythm of the Garden

010 – The Biodynamic Summer: The Rhythm of the Garden

with host Linda Borghi and guest Stewart Lundy

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?

If you are curious about homeopathic practices in Biodynamic farming, you will be fascinated by this interview.  These two seasoned biodynamic farmers share their experiences of  gardening and farming in harmony with the rhythm of the seasons, and how they practice a culture of sharing and spreading nature’s abundance. Learn about the earth breathing, planting by the biodynamic Stella Natura calendar, and “planting intention” in the stirring and applying of the biodynamic preparations. Also learn how your intention affects living systems and water when Stewart shares his own shocking experiment! To apply biodynamics practices and benefits to your yard doesn’t require understanding the science behind it all, only your desire and will to take action!

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.

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.

007 – Miraculous Mycelia

007 – Miraculous Mycelia

with host Linda Borghi and guest Matthew Legatski – The Gourmet Mushroom Guy

Backdrop to this podcast is Linda’s surprise  meeting with mushroom legend, Paul Stamets, Linda and Matthew share a passion for the of mushroom, so good as medicine and food..  Matthew got hooked on mushroom production and learning everything possible about it at 22 years old.  He designed and created his own sterile mushroom lab operation. His knowledge is way beyond his years and he loves sharing about the cultivation and production of mushrooms with everyone! The income potential is explored.  Cool diagrams and slide show links too!

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.

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

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.