019 – The Wealth in Weeds

019 – The Wealth in Weeds

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?

It is not common for the words “weeds” and ‘wealth’ to be put into the same sentence.  Find out why Linda values weeds so highly!

After a 3 week trip wrap up of Linda’s travels, first  to her son’s wedding, then on to conduct 7 workshops at the Healing Farm, Linda shares why she felt so rich when she arrived home. One year earlier, there was only fire ant drilling holes everywhere in her yard.. Find out what has happened and what she is now doing with all her new “wealth”!  Links provided for all those who want to learn about biodynamics and how to get started using this method. Then go farm-a-yard…biodynamically!

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.

Why Living in the City and Growing Your Own is a Good Idea

Just in case you need ANOTHER reason to grow some of your own….

” New data presented last week at a children’s health conference show that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular Roundup weed killer, is detected in pregnant women and could lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes…”

“…preliminary results were presented at CEHN’s conference last Thursday in Washington DC. Learn more about the project here.”

“…this is the first U.S. study to demonstrate glyphosate is present in pregnant women. “Everyone should be concerned about this.”

“Preliminary work detected glyphosate in the urine of 63 of 69 (91 percent) pregnant women receiving prenatal care through an Indiana obstetric practice. Researchers collected the data over two years, from 2015-2016, and found that women with high levels of glyphosate in their bodies…  are seen as risk factors for many health and/or neurodevelopmental problems over the course of an individual’s life.”

“Additionally, women living in rural areas had higher mean glyphosate levels than women in urban/suburban regions. This suggests that proximity to corn and soybean fields that are heavily treated with glyphosate is a route of exposure for these women.”

“According to Dr. Winchester, much more research on glyphosate’s impacts is needed, and more data is needed on levels of exposure through food.”

“Debate has been raging about the continued use of glyphosate in light of the 2015 classification by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. …One study found that chronic, low-dose exposure to glyphosate  led to adverse effects on liver and kidney health.”

AND, Why Am I NOT Surprised!!!

“Since the release of the IARC determination, Monsanto has made several efforts to discredit the scientific findings… However, a New York Times report revealed collusion between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Monsanto to suppress cancer findings in EPA’s carcinogenic review of glyphosate.”

So, besides growing food in the city, we can also work together for more change.

“The mounting evidence of glyphosate’s hazards is piling up and environmental groups, like Beyond Pesticides, are urging localities to restrict or ban the use of the chemical. Beyond Pesticides promotes these actions and many more through the Tools for Change webpage. This page is designed to help activists and other concerned citizens organize around a variety of pesticide issues on the local, state, and national level… talk to your neighbors about pesticides with our factsheets.

So, Folks, buy and support organic food and agriculture.
To find out more about the work Beyond Pesticides is doing on organic integrity, check out Keeping Organic Strong, or to see all the reasons to go organic, visit Eating with a Conscience.

Yesterday, Beyond Pesticides and Organic Consumers Association sued Monsanto for misleading and deceptive labeling, claiming no effect on people and pets, despite scientific evidence that glyphosate impairs the functioning of the human gut bacteria, essential to human health.

For complete article:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58e3f715e4b02ef7e0e6e172

My Freckled Farm: Urban Postage Stamp Front Yard Garden

You’re not going to believe what my beautiful, red headed, very busy daughter did in her corner of a big city neighborhood!

Sara started out a couple years ago… carving out some of the grass in her front yard to begin to grow some heirloom seeds she got from her family in Mexico.  That little tiny patch gradually grew and transformed.

They are a family of 6 (4 of them are hungry growing men & boys!) She is able to supplement fresh fruits and veggies for them right from her front yard.  In her backyard she has mature citrus trees for the best oranges, lemons, lime, tangerines and grapefruit you’ve ever tasted! One son even has a small business selling the citus to a local juice bar!

Well, the neighbors have been watching and the relationships in the neighborhood are growing too!  🙂

Sara’s creativity didn’t stop with farming her yard.

This entrepreneurial gal hosted a “Sister’s Supper” for her entrepreneurial friends who had cottage businesses. They were invited to set up small tables in the garden with some of their unique creations to sell.

    

    

Late afternoon summer breeze, music, tablecloths, picnic blanket, sundresses with patio chairs scattered around was so inviting!

Sara prepared fresh delicious produce from her garden, invited friends and neighbors and added wine!  What a night to remember enjoying great company until the sun went down and many lingered when the garden turned magical with lights illuminating the space.

One of Sara’s many talents is that she is an amazing photographer, capturing the vitality and diversity that a little nurturing can accomplish.  She has had a pair hummingbirds nest and grow their young and bees and other pollinators just love her yard!  

Her pictures are worth a thousand words!  Be inspired!… and then go farm your yard!  Check out My Freckled Farm on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/myfreckledfarm/

Join the Farm-A-Yard Movement Community Facebook Page and let  us know what you are doing in your yard farm 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/groups/farmayard/

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.

006 – Biodynamics…It’s What’s for Dinner

006 – Biodynamics…It’s What’s for Dinner

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?

Stewart Lundy, of Perennial Roots Farm in eastern Virginia farms, is serious about applied biodynamic agriculture and has created a rich fertile farm with his partner Natalie. They heard about Biodynamics on a trip to Italy and returned to the U.S and began to practice on their farm in 2010. Bringing Biodynamics “down to earth”, Stewart shows how it works for him. Unique tips on saving seeds.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


 

Why Farm-A-Yard? Background Story

So, being that I am the kind of person who can’t just sit around complaining and lament the problem, I literally “dug” in to be a part of the solution.

I couldn’t help myself…..I never considered myself an activist, but when the pieces started coming together about why we are in such a health crisis in this country, my hair was on fire!  What we now know is only the tip of the iceberg and Titanic is going down, while some are still playing the music and saying that everything is ok.

Sometimes I feel a little bit like Noah, who day by day spent his time building an Ark even though it had never rained before.  Though he looked silly to others, he kept on building.  We need to build local food systems for real food security and to do that we need to build local food chains of small farmers, yard farmers other food entrepreneurs.

Commercial food is seriously altered, highly processed, lacking in nutrients and even produce is laden with chemicals. We have also been in a huge GMO experiment without our consent, which starting in the 90’s.

So, being that I am the kind of person who can’t just sit around complaining and lament the problem, I literally “dug” in to be a part of the solution.

I was compelled to establish a Sustainable Neighbors meetup group in 2012, right after I moved from California and discovered how difficult it was to access locally grown, chemical free food in Fayetteville, NC.

In my search for healthy, locally produced food, there came another discovery… I found very few local small farmers actually growing their own produce to sell directly to the consumer.  To add to this concern, I could not find a farmer who was not treating their land and crops with commercial fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides.

I recognized that all the processed foods being consumed and the lack of access to healthy produce was the main factor in the widespread health disparities in food deserts around the country.

I told myself that it didn’t have to be this way!  My driving force now is to see people eat well and get well.

I have been observing the evolution of the food system for a long time and I am old enough to know what real food is and tastes like.  I began to feel the urgency, for the sake of my grandchildren AND everyone’s grandchildren, to share the knowledge and skills of how to grow, preserve, cook from scratch and share other sustainable living skills and resources.  Because of this, Sustainable Neighbors Meetup was born. www.meetup.com/sustainableneighbors   www.sustainableneighborsnc.com

I was excited and inspired by the growth of the urban agriculture movement in cities around the country. We can do this and there is an opportunity to earn money too.  This is how to be sustainable and it offers entrepreneurship opportunities to create jobs.

With other concerned neighbors and a vision to build resilient neighborhoods and communities, we began working to find farmers and educate and connect consumers to where their food comes from.  When I met Linda Borghi, Biodynamic/Farmer  in 2015 and we joined forces to launch the Farm-A-Yard movement with Evan Folds of www.MicrobeMakers.com  and Melissa Jones of www.FromScratchMag.com  to teach others how to  turn lawns into food across the country.

We are collaborating with many who, like us, are also passionate to be the change they want to see in the world starting with their yard.

In the Farm-A-Yard course, our students learn critical keys to success from experts in the field.  BioEnergetics is vital for soil regeneration and recovering the nutritional value of the plants we grow. Students can get an in depth soil test so that they know exactly what to do to for their soil.  Students also are given cutting edge marketing and recordkeeping tools that save time and money. Everything you need in one awesome package with step by step instructions.

We all have the ability to make our communities food secure,   By voting with our dollars (https://slowmoneync.org/), supporting local small farmers and/or learning to grow and preserve food for ourselves, you can be part of the movement.

IT’S A MOVEMENT, HAVE YOU HEARD?

Training Yard Farmers, Recruiting Yards

headshot-marsha-copyAbout Marsha Howe

Sustainable Neighbors and the Farm-A-Yard grassroots projects were born out of the concern around the eroding of our health through toxic processed foods, the lack of access to fresh, local, seasonal produce as well as the need to build local food systems for real food security. As Director of Food Education with Guiding Wellness Institute, Marsha facilitates urban farming/local food education and training to secure and sustain local food access and economic opportunity for healthier, resilient communities.