Living Homegrown Podcast with Theresa Loe

How To Have a Breakthrough Farm-Fresh Year

It's that time of year for reflection and goal setting. To help you with your own projections for the upcoming year, host Theresa Loe shares the parameters or tips that have given her the best results in her own goal setting and helped her skyrocket her own achievements the last few years. 

As you listen, remember this...

It doesn't matter if you're a goal-setting type or not. And that's because these tips are NOT really about reaching every single goal.

They're about seeking a life that is richer and more fulfilling.

The cool thing is...they only require small shifts. But those small shifts can have a big impact on your year ahead.

You will learn:

  • How to define a breakthrough year
  • Why it's sometimes okay NOT to reach your goals
  • The mental shift that can make all the difference in goal setting
  • The truth about your time
  • Why mentors or experts are important
  • Where gratitude fits in
  • How to handle yourself when you mess up

As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/127 for more links and a full transcript of the episode.

Enjoy!

Direct download: 127_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:43am PST

How to make sourdough bread using heirloom grains - And make an Onion Jam Recipe to spread on that fresh baked bread!

This is an important episode and I could not be more excited to share it. Here’s why…

When we take the time to do things like make our own breads or ferment our own yogurt, we are not only creating incredible flavors – we are also connecting with our food.

But…When we take that connection a step further by investigating where the base ingredients for that food comes from…then, we are participating in the story of our food.

That deep dive is what this week’s episode is all about.

I brought on Sarah Owens, a James Beard Award-winning author, baker, and organic gardener. We look at the art of making sourdough starter from the seed in the field to the delicious steaming bread loaf coming out of the oven.

We look at the whole story and the importance of good ingredients when it comes to our health and that of our planet.

But hey - we didn’t even scratch the surface of this big topic! And I’m sure this episode will leave you wanting to hear more. But fear not – I plan on having Sarah back soon.

In the meantime, you’ll learn all about sourdough starter, heirloom grains, and even onion jam.  OH MY!

You will learn:

  • Why conventionally grown wheat is actually pretty scary
  • What is it about sourdough that’s so good for gut-health
  • Why heirloom, stone-milled flours are better for us
  • How should you store stone-milled flour for best results
  • What exactly is a subscription-based artisan microbakery
  • The difference between yeast-water sourdough and traditional sourdough
  • How foraged ingredients can be nutrient-rich
  • What makes onion jam so darn addictive

As always, you can get more resources, a FREE PDF recipe from the book and links at www.LivingHomegrown.com/126 and you can get a full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: 126_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:55am PST

How to successfully grow food in containers or any small space

If you don’t have a lot of outdoor space, growing food can be frustrating.

Being limited to a patio, porch, or only a precious few feet of space can make you think that you'll never have homegrown food right outside your backdoor.

Container growing can fix that!

But planted containers can also be extremely beneficial to those of us who already DO have a garden.

How so?

Well, by growing in containers you instantly have a moveable garden!  You can create lovely edible planters and strategically place them around your garden or patio to make a statement and draw in beneficial insects.

So the bottom line is that you CAN successfully grow veggies and fruit in teeny, tiny spaces. And you CAN do it in containers.

But what can make or break your success is being very intentional with your choices and how you set yourself up in the beginning.

That’s why I’m so excited to bring you this week’s guest.

Jessica Walliser has been on the podcast before. And she has a brand new book on container gardening.

But this book was unlike any container gardening book I had reviewed before. This book was more than an instruction manual on how to plant up a container.

It really sets the reader up for success by covering what happens AFTER you plant.

And the best part is that the information is just as valuable for people planting a small space in the ground as well.

You will learn:

  • The 3 pillars of successful container growing
  • How to be smart in your veggie choices
  • Why pollinator pots are crucial in urban areas
  • Favorite high producing dwarf edibles
  • What is the thriller, filler, and spiller concept
  • The biggest mistake people make with containers
  • The best way to save $ when container gardening

As always, you can get all the links mentioned and more information at www.LivingHomegrown.com/125 as well as a full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: 125_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:28am PST

What if want to grow veggies, but you really don’t have much soil in your backyard to begin with? (It's mostly cement or pavement)

Or maybe your backyard soil is hard to work with and you want a short cut to growing without waiting years to build up the soil.

Or maybe you want a higher yield of food from a raised bed than you can get by just growing in the ground.

(Yep - you really can get a higher yield if you do it right.)

Listen…raised bed gardening is not a magic pill. But it certainly can take care of ton of issues that hold people back from gardening.

And I want to make sure you are armed with all the pros and cons so you can tell if it's right for you.

This week, I brought on Tara Nolan to share some innovative ideas for creating raised beds.

She has tips and hints that can really make the whole process super easy.  You see, she literally wrote the book on the topic. And I just love the way she always thinks outside the planter box…so to speak. :-)

You will learn:

  • How raised beds can help you overcome bad soil
  • About a recent study proving raised beds will increase your yields (This one surprised me!)
  • Why you DON’T need power tools to have success
  • The many benefits in controlling weeds, pest and more
  • Creative examples of building material you can use
  • Why you need to be so cautious with recycled wood
  • How to reduce the cost of filling the beds with good soil
  • Innovative ways to make raised beds from upcycled objects

As always, you can get all the links mentioned and more tips in the show notes at www.LivingHomegrown.com/124 and you can get a free, printable transcript of the episode. 

Direct download: 124_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:32pm PST

The best organic gardening practices for building our soils

Our soil is the foundation for everything we do out in the garden. And having an understanding of how it works is hugely important.

If we are better stewards of our soil, we will have healthier plants, fewer pest problems, and a happier earth.

In today’s episode, host Theresa Loe brings on Mark Highland, who is also known as the Organic Mechanic. Mark knows a lot about soil and organic gardening because he runs the company with the same name: Organic Mechanics Soil.

Learn how our soil works and how we should care for it an organic way.

You will learn:

  • Why “big picture” thinking is key to all organic gardening
  • The difference between conventional and organic fertilizers
  • Why deer are more attracted to synthetically fertilized plants
  • Why organic matter makes for healthier plants
  • The key practices that make all the difference in soil building
  • Why you should avoid the tiller at all costs
  • Why we need to wait after a storm before weeding
  • What makes bugs attack conventionally grown plants more than organically grown

As always, you can get all the information mentioned in this episode at www.LivingHomegrown.com/123 including a full PDF transcript of the episode.

 

Direct download: LH_123_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:03am PST

What it’s like to jump into homesteading for the very first time?

When we’re interested in learning a new skill, the first step is to research and read about it. But the real learning comes when we roll up our sleeves and start doing that thing that we’re interested in.

Nothing beats the insights and knowledge that come from actually stepping out from behind the research and actually giving it a try.

My guest this week understands that well.

Bev Ross is a long-time listener of this podcast and for years she dreamed of living a homesteading life.

Well earlier this year, she and her family decided to stop dreaming about homesteading and dropped everything to start doing it.

They sold their home, moved across the country and dove head first into growing food, raising chickens and living closer to their food.

But they tried to be smart about it.

They didn’t quit their full time jobs.  They aren’t trying to farm. They tried not to bite off too much at once.

In other words, they’re easing into this lifestyle one step at a time and we chat about what ups and downs she’s experienced so far.

You will learn:

  • Why it’s important to do your research on zoning laws before you start
  • Some of the challenges you can face
  • The benefits to your children when homesteading
  • Why record keeping is so key
  • Tips for journaling on the fly
  • The biggest lessons learned so far
  • How this lifestyle is not about pass or fail

As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/122 to get a full transcript of the episode and all the links mentioned in the show.

Direct download: 122_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am PST

Even if you don’t live in the United States and are not celebrating Thanksgiving this month, you probably will have some holiday get togethers over the next few weeks.  And these ideas can be used for ANY holiday party.

In this episode, I share some of my tips for meshing Thanksgiving traditions with that natural world outside.

Because to me, fall parties are about celebrating the season as well as food and family.

You will learn:

  • How to make gratitude a BIG part of the day
  • Tips for getting children involved in the decorating
  • Which plants make great fall decorations
  • How to add botanicals to your place settings
  • A simple way to make herbs part of your cocktails
  • How to create a decoration that doubles as a guest gift
  • Why is cranberry balsamic sauce so amazing
  • And I’ll share my ginger pumpkin cheesecake recipe

As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/121 for links and the to download the recipes mentioned. We also have a full transcript for to download for free. 

Direct download: 121_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am PST

How to make natural household cleaners that ROCK!

The holidays are coming and chances are you're going to be cleaning your house a little bit more than usual.

Don’t reach for the chemical laden products you find at the store!

Living a more organic lifestyle means eliminating chemicals whenever we can.

And a great place to do that is with the products we spray all over our house such as the things we use to scrub down the countertops, clean the bathrooms or even make our laundry smell fresh.

In today’s episode, host Theresa Loe brought on the owner of the popular blog Brown Thumb Mama. Pam Farley believes in making things herself for less money than the store bought versions. From cleaners to air fresheners, she is always on the lookout for all natural alternatives to what we find in the stores.

Pam shares her insights and recipes for making cleaning products using simple ingredients we probably already have in our homes.

You will learn:

  • Why typical household cleaners do NOT have to list all the ingredients
  • Which kitchen supplies we already have that will do the job
  • The difference between pure essential oils and fragrance oils
  • The difference between food grade and therapeutic grade oils
  • How to make an All Purpose Cleaner
  • How to create an Air Freshener Spray
  • Tips for making our laundry smell awesome

In the show notes for this episode, you can download a printable PDF of all of the recipes mentioned. Just go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/120 and you will also find a full transcript of the show and more links/resources to get you started.

Direct download: 120_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:21am PST

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own gardening or farming business?

It can sound romantic and whimsical, can’t it?

But what's really involved in running a seasonal business around growing things? How do you manage the season or even your day around harvesting and delivering plant material?

This week, I share an episode I actually recorded for some of my students. You see, I have a secret podcast called Seedy Conversations® where I give the back story on businesses, homesteaders and bloggers.  We dive into what makes them tick.

Well, this episode is from those archives. I interviewed Erin Benzakein who has been on the Living Homegrown Podcast before (Episode #95). But this time, Erin pulls back the curtain and gives a snapshot of what life is like as a small organic farmer in the state of Washington.

Erin is the top floral farmer-florist in the country and she spills the beans on what it really means to run a small family farm.

And the good news is that Erin finds her business to be rewarding and inspiring each and every day. I think you will love her story! 

You'll learn:

  • About a typical day in the life of a farmer-florist
  • What is the best gear to wear in the field
  • Which crops to grow for market
  • The magical time for taking garden photos
  • The 1 morning practice that sets you up for success in your day
  • Top advice for anyone considering becoming a farmer

You can get more information about Erin, her farm and all the links mentioned in this episode in the show notes at www.LivingHomegrown.com/119 as well as a full transcript of the show.

Direct download: 119_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:50am PST

How to use your garden to make holiday gifts

Thinking of making any handmade gifts for the holidays this year?

It’s only October, but this is the perfect time to get started!

By starting now, you can create thoughtful gifts before the craziness of the holidays overwhelm you.

Host Theresa Loe interviews Stephanie Rose of Garden Therapy about garden crafts that make perfect holiday gifts. They discuss several projects (from season salt to homemade soap) that you can make quickly, easily, and with very little cost.

You will learn:

  • How Herbal Finishing Salt makes an impressive, low-cost gift
  • How to fast-track soap making with natural melt and pour ingredients
  • The type of cupcake molds to use for Lavender-Oatmeal Soap
  • Why mason jars are perfect for homemade candles
  • The trick to pressing herbs into the sides of your glass jar candles
  • And more…

As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/118 to get links to all the recipes, instructions and a full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: 118_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:14pm PST

How to Make Color Dyes With Your Garden Plants

The plants in our backyards can have multiple uses beyond food.

That’s what this week’s podcast is all about…using our garden plants for something different: Making Natural Dye

Now, you may be wondering what the heck you would dye with your plants. Well, we’ve got you covered.

Host Theresa Loe brought on fiber and dye expert Chris McLaughlin to talk about all the things we can color using natural dyes. They walk through the terminology and the techniques.

It’s super mad-scientisty. Ha!

You will learn:

  • What is a fugitive color (No, it’s not a criminal)
  • How do you use a modifier
  • What is a mordant
  • Can we use common household ingredients to change colors
  • Which plants work best
  • Step-by-step how to dye a silk scarf using flowers

As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/117 to get links to everything mentioned and get a full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: 117_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:14pm PST

Did you know you should NOT do a fall garden clean up?

It sounds counter-intuitive, right? Plants have died back or gone dormant and winter’s coming. So, why wouldn’t we want to clear out the debris and tidy up?

Well if you’re an organic gardener, fall clean up is the last thing you should do because all the beneficial insects are overwintering in that debris. From native bees to ladybugs, the fall garden provides shelter and more.

In today’s episode, host Theresa Loe interviews author Jessica Walliser to give us the whole scoop on why traditional fall clean up is a thing of the past and what we should be doing instead.

Jessica also answers a listener question about trap cropping!

You will learn:

  • Why our fall garden is so important for butterflies & other critters
  • What you should do instead of clean up
  • How to handle plants going to seed
  • Why this actually makes your life easier
  • What is trap cropping and is it really effective
  • The simple trick to finding university garden research online

As always you can get more links and free info at www.LivingHomegrown.com/116 as well as a full transcript of the episode. 

Direct download: 116_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22am PST

Sometimes, you might want to make small batch preserves such as enticing pickles, chutneys, jams, or other condiments and NOT "can" them. Perhaps you just have a few extra tomatoes or cucumbers and you need a tasty way to use them up. Or maybe you have an event where you just need a jar or two of preserves to include on the table -- But you don't want to break out the canner.

Well, the book featured in today's episode would be the answer in those situations. It's called: Savory Sweet: Simple Preserves From A Northern Kitchen and host Theresa Loe interviews one of the authors (Beth Dooley) about why she and co-author Mette Nielsen wrote a preserving book without any "canning" in it. 

You'll learn: 

  • About the freedoms that come from not canning
  • How the book was specifically designed for food gardeners
  • Why small batches allow for more experimentation
  • The challenges of creating a cookbook that works for everyone
  • How to make a Sweet Pickled Winter Squash

And you can download a free PDF version of the Pickled Squash recipe that is perfect for the Thanksgiving table. Go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/115 to get the PDF, more links for info and a full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: 115_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm PST

I thought it would be fun to share some behind-the-scenes info on how a garden television show is put together and some of the garden and food stories we’ll be sharing in the coming months on our PBS show, Growing A Greener World.

To do that, I brought on the host and Exec Producer of the show Joe Lamp’l. Growing A Greener World was his vision. He dreamed it and put together the team who creates it. 

He’s the guy we laugh with at the end of an exhausting day and same guy we give the evil-eye to when he decides he wants to redo a scene “just one more time.” Ha!

You see…Producing a television show is NOT easy. There are long hours and lots of travel.

But I think you’ll get a kick out of hearing why we still love to do what we do...despite the hard work.

In this episode, you'll learn: 

  • How this gardening series was created
  • How watching the show can have a ripple effect for the planet
  • Which episodes will move you the most
  • Why bats will be making a TV debut next year
  • What TV celebrity will be featured next season
  • And more

As always, you can get a full transcript at www.LivingHomegrown.com/114 as well as all the links mentioned in the show.

Direct download: 114_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:17am PST

You know when you pick up a cookbook and the recipes make your mouth water?

That’s when you know you have winner on your hands.

And such was the case with the preserving book featured in this week’s podcast.

I brought on author Emily Paster who has been on the podcast before (Episode 54). This time, she shares insights into creating flavorful preserves that are steeped in tradition.

Her latest book is called The Joys of Jewish Preserving.

Now I’m not Jewish, but I can’t wait to dive into some of these recipes because they are so innovative.

There are preserves using rose petals, wine,  and honey. And the recipes shift between jams, conserves and syrups and fermented and/or quick pickles.

There is something for everyone.

This book is meant to open the eyes of both new and experienced canners and explore modern combinations of fruit and spice.

You'll learn:

  • Why canners should look outside regular cookbooks for canning ideas
  • The exact steps to making Cinnamon Salt-Preserved Lemons
  • How to make delicious fruit syrups with ease
  • The many uses for fruit syrups including desserts and beverages
  • How Emily transitioned traditional recipes into modern preserves
  • Where she got inspiration for new flavor combinations
  • Different ways to use a lemon-walnut jam
  • Some of the stories behind the creations in the book
Direct download: 113_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am PST

No, we are not talking about fairy gardens this week. We are discussing garden design on a teeny-tiny scale. It still involves design principals, plant choices and yes...maintenance...but with a fork instead of a rake. It can be a fun way to create the garden of your dreams without having to move the tree in your backyard. Sure you can turn a tiny garden into a fairy garden if you want to - but that something different. On today's episode, host Theresa Loe brings on Janit Calvo - a small gardening expert. They discuss Why miniature gardens are so popular, The therapeutic reasons you might want one, What makes them "real", How to create them yourself and get the scale just right, Why pathways are so important, The trick to laying teeny brick or stone, How these landscapes are perfect for people who can't get outside and Tips for creating them. As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/112 for a full transcript of the show and all the links mentioned. 

Direct download: 112_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:02pm PST

In this episode, host Theresa Loe interviews community gardening expert LaManda Joy about the incredible work she does in Chicago with Community Gardens. You will not only be inspired by her story and her work, but you will also learn: How an old Victory Garden photo sparked an entire garden movement in Chicago, How LaManda grows new gardeners and generates community, What is the "Grow To Give" project, What you should look for in a community garden in your area, Why community gardens are the best places to learn, How to find a community garden and the importance of NOT being a perfect gardener. As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/111 to learn more, get all the links mentioned in the episode and download a PDF of the full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: LH_111_LivingHomegrown_Podcast_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am PST

Have you ever stepped away from your garden in the summer time, only to discover an edible (like carrots, celery, cilantro or basil) bolted and went to flower before you used it?  Ugh!  Once it goes to flower, it's on it's way OUT.  But fear not…You can still enjoy something extra from that plant – the flowers.  In this week’s podcast, host Theresa Loe shares her favorite tips and tricks for homegrown flower arranging. And you can use these tips for some of those edibles in your garden that have bolted and gone to seed. We're talking about carrots, celery, fennel, cilantro...anything with a bloom. You’ll be amazed at the stunning arrangements you can create with very little effort.  And you can use these tips to create daily arrangements throughout the entire growing season.

 You'll Learn: 

  • The pro secret to fixing wilted flowers (It’s not what you think)
  • Why woody stems sometimes need a hammer
  • The recipe for making your own floral preservative
  • Tips for best color and shape of your arrangements
  • The secret for getting your stems to stand tall
  • The step-by-step instructions to the perfect bouquet

As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/110 for more tips, resources, a free PDF Flower Arranging Tip Sheet and the transcript.

Direct download: 110_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

In this week's episode, host Theresa Loe interviews Kirsten Shockey about her new book: Fiery Ferments. But don't let the name fool you!  Not all the recipes are super hot! This book teaches you how to make fermented foods that just have a little kick OR that will knock your socks off. YOU can get to choose and control the amount of heat as you make the recipes. It's a fascinating discussion about flavor and how to take your ferments to a whole new level. It doesn't matter if you are a complete beginner or an advanced fermenter - there is lots to discover on this one! You learn: How fermented condiments can really expand your pantry, Why fermentation is such a safe thing to do, What you can use that adds spice WITHOUT the heat, Which pepper really opens you up to other flavors, Why fermented foods are more nutritious than raw, How to ferment using standard kitchen equipment (nothing to buy), Which salts are the best to use, What is pepper mash and how can we make it and use it, Why pepper mash is an excellent way to use up the extra peppers in your garden, And so much more!  As always, you can get more links and resources at: www.LivingHomegrown.com/109 including a PDF download of the complete fermented pepper mash recipe and the full transcript of the episode. And if you want more behind-the-scenes, bonus content or even extra bloopers - check out www.LivingHomegrown.com/sponsor to learn more about becoming a listener-sponsor of the podcast. It's a great way to get a deeper connection with the content.

Direct download: 109_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:53pm PST

We all go through ups and downs in our lives and those things can actually impact our garden. Usually a traumatic experience changes us as people. But you know what? It can change the gardener within us as well. And that can mean we need to completely pivot our garden style or even location. In this episode, host Theresa Loe brings on garden designer Rebecca Sweet who happens to have one of the most beloved private gardens near the San Francisco area. People have been touring and admiring her garden for many, many years. Rebecca shares inspiring and insightful tips for when we may feel the need for a massive change in our own gardening lives. It’s a very touching interview! You'll learn: How any life change can make you see your garden differently, What to take when you move, Design tips for a brand new garden, How to make the experience a happy transition, Why care sheets for the new owners can save your garden's future, How to send off your old garden with a treasure hunt. As always, you can get more resources at www.LivingHomegrown.com/108 as well as a full transcript of the episode.

 

Direct download: 108_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am PST

In this episode, you learn how to make wildcrafted cocktails with foraged ingredients. You learn about homemade syrups, bitters, infusions and garnishes from garden-fresh plants. Host Theresa Loe brings on foraging expert and author Ellen Zachos to give us the full scoop. You learn: All the different ways to use garden ingredients for cocktails, The basics of a good cocktail, How long infusions last on the shelf, Which plants make the best flavorings, How to forage safely, How to create the "Santa Fe Sundowner" Cocktail. As always, you can go to: www.LivingHomegrown.com/107 for more information, resource links, full transcript and a PDF of the lavender-infused cocktail recipe on the show. And if you would like bonus content only available to our crowd-sourced sponsors (including an after-the-show interview with Ellen), then go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/sponsor for more information.

Direct download: 107_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:39am PST

If you are looking to eat local and in-season during the winter months, then you should be preserving some of the harvest now. The harvest can come from the farmer's market or your own backyard. Of course, you can break out the canning jars and put food up that way. But there are other methods that are super easy and preserve a lot of food at once. Today, host Theresa Loe brings on author Barbara Pleasant to chat about two such methods and whole lot more.  In this episode you learn: Which produce is best for cold and dry storage, Different ways that you can save foods in a dormant state, What it means to "cure" a pumpkin, The best pumpkin to grow for flesh and seed, How to prevent powdery mildew with a common kitchen ingredient, Which tomatoes are best for drying, Should you Steam veggies before drying, and How to store foods after dehydrating. As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/106 for the show notes, transcripts and links to more information. 

Direct download: 106_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:28pm PST

Chances are your garden and farmer’s market are bursting with summer flavors. It’s time to save those flavors so that you can enjoy them later...Which means, it's canning season!! In today’s episode, host Theresa Loe answers several listener canning questions so that you can stay on track with your summer preserves. You learn: If you can use coconut sugar in canning, Which pectin product is preservative free, Some common jar mistakes, Detective skills for determining why a jar breaks, The difference between citric acid and ascorbic acid, When should you be concerned about bubbles, Why wax sealing was eliminated from canning many years ago and more. As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/105 to get all the links and free transcription of the show.

Direct download: 105_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:29pm PST

Did you know that here in America the Monarch butterfly is in serious trouble?  It has had a 90% decline in it's population in the last 20 years. In this episode, you learn all about this beloved butterfly, the surprising reasons for its decline and what we as gardeners can do to help. Host Theresa Loe interviews author Kylee Baumle about this fascinating butterfly. You learn: Exactly why the Monarch is on the decline, The most important plant we need in our garden, The unusual migration of 3,000 miles the Monarch makes every year, How to create a Monarch Waystation, What is tagging and how we can do it, How we can become citizen scientists in our own backyard. As always, you can get more info and resources at www.LivingHomegrown.com/104 as well as a full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: 104_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41am PST

It doesn't matter if you are looking for something new to add to your current garden or if you are a beginner, looking to get started in fruit growing - Today's episode will inspire you with new flavors. Host Theresa Loe interviews author Dr. Lee Reich about growing some of the less common fruits. He gives tips on everything from pawpaws to juneberries. You learn: How Lee uses his backyard as his fruit laboratory, Which kiwi is hardy (even in New York), The benefits of growing juneberries, What is a lingonberry, Why you should never grow a lot of pawpaws, How Asian pears ripen differently than European pears, Which American Persimmons have the best flavor and so much more.  As always, you can visit www.LivingHomegrown.com for more free information, resources and a full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: 103_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:32am PST

The challenges and benefits of moving a garden. If you decide to move to a new location (new home, new climate, etc.), what would you do with your current garden? Would you take plants with you?  Would you leave it all behind? And how would you go about starting over? What sort of things should you consider when moving to a new growing zone, new soil conditions and new challenges? In today's episode, host Theresa Loe interviews horticulture expert and garden coach, Robin Haglund. Although Robin regularly helps clients with these types of decisions, she recently moved her own garden from the city to the country in Washington state. She shares with Theresa her challenges, decision making process and the big wins along the way. You learn: What should you consider when assessing a new piece of land, Should you ever use landscape fabric, How to handle masses of weeds, What to consider when moving a garden, How to change your mindset around wildlife, How to raise chickens among country predators and more. As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/102 for a full transcript and links to everything mentioned as well as more free information on living farm fresh. 

Direct download: 102_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:43am PST

In this week's episode, host Theresa Loe answers some listener's gardening questions. You learn: How long your garden seeds really last, What is the best way to test seed viability, Should you feed your vegetables or not, What are the benefits of fish emulsion, Can backyard gardeners do cover cropping, What insect makes those round holes on rose leaves...and should you be worried or not, Which herbs do best in containers, Can you grow coffee, allspice or pineapple at home. As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/101 to get the full transcript and links to all the resources mentioned in the episode.  Enjoy!

Direct download: 101_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:18am PST

We are halfway through the year. Have you reached the goals you set at the beginning of the year?  Or did you even get around to setting any? It's okay if you blew that all off. If you still want to hit a few milestones before 2017 is over, June is a great time to regroup and start over. If you have farm fresh goals centered around your home, food or garden, you can take business strategies and adjust them to reach those goals. In this episode, host Theresa Loe walks you through how to pick, set and achieve the goals you have sitting on the sidelines...Those things you want to achieve before you hit the end of the year. They can be goals around food, diet, your garden/home or personal goals. It works for them all.  She shares tips for getting those goals off the ground so that you can check them off your "to do" list before the end of the year. You learn: The exact steps to reach the goals you want, How each goal will require a payment from you (but that can be a good thing), The best time frame for working on goals, How to set up your motivations so you stay on track, How SMART goals can help, The secret to preventing procrastination, Why reverse engineering works. As always you can get the full transcript of the episode at www.Livinghomegrown.com along with other information.

Direct download: 100_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:11am PST

Learn what it REALLY means to make the leap from the city to farm life. In this episode, host Theresa Loe interviews Amy Boyd as she shares her story as a brand new lavender farmer. She and her husband are building their dream of farming Hillside Lavender in PA. You learn: How they planned for the transition but then had to make the leap, Exactly what they are creating and the need to de-stress these days, The driving force that keeps them going when things go wrong, How their adorable goats greet their customers and help provide soap, cheese and milk, Which lavenders they planted and why, How they have been handling setbacks and roadblocks, The most valuable lessons so far. As always, you can learn more at www.LivingHomegrown.com/99 where you can download Amy's lessons learned so far and get links and a full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: 99_LivingHomegrown_Podcast_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:12am PST

Learn exactly how a garden book is born - from concept to book store shelves. We all have beloved garden books that inspire and inform us. But have you ever thought about exactly what goes into creating it?  A lot more than you think!  Garden books have the extra burden of being seasonal. And that can make things like photography super tricky. 
In this episode, host Theresa Loe interviews garden book editor Julie Chai about exactly what went into the creation of one of the top garden books of 2017: Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden. Author Erin Benzakein was featured on episode 95 (where she shared how the book can help us grow better backyard flowers organically). But this week, we hear about how a book like that is born. It is a massive project and yet, the resulting book is both beautiful and is having a huge impact in the gardening world. You learn: What goes into creating a top garden book, The first thing you should do if you want to be an author, The secret to writing within the seasons, How many people does it really take to produce a book, The first step in garden research, The "angle" on flowers that most people wouldn't think about. As always, you can get more information at www.LivingHomegrown.com/98 where you will also find a full transcript of the episode. 

Direct download: 98_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:28am PST

If you have wanted to grow your own blueberries but thought it was too hard, this is the episode for you. Yes, blueberries have specific requirements. BUT...if you know the tricks, it is easy to have success! In this episode, host Theresa Loe interviews Lee Reich - a well-respected author and authority in fruit growing. Lee knows a thing or two about blueberries. In fact, his PhD is in blueberries! In this episode you learn: How growing blueberries is easier than you think, The pros and cons of each type of plant, The exact formula to adjust your soil pH, The secret to creating the best soil, How to best prevent birds from eating your harvest, How to prune each type of blueberry plant, The trick for knowing when your blueberries have the best flavor...and no...it has nothing to do with color! As always, you can get more information at www.LivingHomegrown.com/97 including links and a full transcript of the episode. 

Direct download: 97_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:23pm PST

This week's podcast is a group podcast where host Theresa Loe brought on 5 different guest experts in the areas of Organic farming, Foraging, Fermenting, Wellness and Cheesemaking. Each of the experts answered the same question about living farm fresh. But they all had VERY different insights on how to live more organically and flavorfully. In this episode you learn: A simple trick for meal planning, How to find new organic flavors in your own backyard, Where to source inexpensive organic produce, How to get over the fear of fermentation, Simple steps to reduce stress and why we sometimes need to embrace failure when we try new food crafts. As always, you can get more information and all the links at www.LivingHomegrown.com/96 as well as a full transcript of the show. In addition there is a free PDF download in the show notes with a summary of all the tips. 

Direct download: 96_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:03pm PST

Learn from the top organic flower farmer-florist in the country. In this episode, host Theresa Loe interviews farmer-florist Erin Benzakein of Floret Farm. Erin is well known in the organic flower world because she grows massive amounts of flowers in a relatively small space in the state of Washington while using organic practices AND she creates stunning bouquets that include edibles, vines and other farm-fresh ingredients. Her reputation earned her the Martha Stewart American Made Award for Floral and Event Design. And she has been featured in countless magazines and bridal websites. In this episode, Erin shares how we can grow and enjoy organic flowers in numerous ways ourselves. You learn: Why supporting local flowers is SO important for us and the earth, How Erin transitioned from city life to flower farmer life, The big impact you can have from a small handful of sweet peas, The counter-intuitive technique for reviving wiling cut flowers, The best pro tips for getting long vase life, Just how little space is necessary for growing, How the home gardener can get started, How to prevent wind-blow garden plants in less than 5 minutes, and so much more. As always, you can get al the related links mentioned in the episode in the show notes at: www.LivingHomegrown.com/95 as well as a full transcript AND a free PDF of all Erin's pro tips on getting a long vase life from cut flowers. Be sure to visit the website for more information and links to more articles on growing and enjoying organic flowers.

Direct download: 95_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:32am PST

Learn how the simple mason bee can be incredibly powerful in our backyard gardens and in helping farmers around the world. These gentle creatures are much lower maintenance than a honeybee and yet, they can do just as much if not more to pollinate our food. In fact, they can boost our backyard food growing yields with just a few bees. In this episode, host Theresa Loe interviews Dave Hunter of Crown Bees to shed some light on this important topic. You learn: Why these gentle bees are so valuable to us, The differences between honeybees and mason bees, The mason bee's secret to massive pollination, Why it's important to ID what makes holes in your garden plants, How mason bees can be like zucchini (LOL), How we can participate in a citizen science project to help bees and farmers around the world, and the easy way you can raise and share these bees with friends. As always, you can get a ton of more information at www.LivingHomegrown.com/94 as well as a full transcript of the episode. 

Direct download: 94_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:18pm PST

What? We can eat the hostas??  Yep, you can - If they are grown organically, of course. In this week's episode, host Theresa Loe interviews author and foraging expert, Ellen Zachos on the subject of foraging our own backyards. Learn exactly which common garden plants are edible AND learn how to prepare those foods after you harvest. You will learn: Important safety tips when it comes to foraging, Why starting in the backyard is a good idea, Which common plants are safe (and delicious) to eat, The one plant people are shocked to learn is edible, Why eating daylilies makes you a better gardener, Which tuber flavor changes dramatically with each species, The surprising plant with 4 edible parts, Which evergreens are safe to eat and how to do it. IMPORTANT: Always be absolutely certain of a plant's identity before consuming. Many toxic/poisonous plants look similar to the safe varieties. You must be careful and not assume everything is safe until you have it properly identified. As always, you can get all the links mentioned by going to www.LivingHomegrown.com/93 as well as a full transcript of the episode. 

Direct download: 93_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58pm PST

This episode is a Q & A session featuring several listener questions and answered by host Theresa Loe. You learn: If sterilizing is necessary when bottling up homemade liqueur, The biggest worry when infusing alcohol, Which "proof" is best when making liqueur infusions, The trick to getting a clear vinegar, Is it possible to reuse the fruit of one food project for another, How does homemade Greek yogurt work and Do you need a yogurt maker or not. All that and more - Plus you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/92 for a full transcript and all the links and resources mentioned in the episode.

Direct download: 92_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:12am PST

Learn how to enjoy all sorts of garden harvests including fruits, veggies, flowers, seeds, pods and roots. If it has a harvest, there is a way to utilize it!  In this week's episode, host Theresa Loe interviews garden designer and author Stefani Bittner about her new book Harvest. Stefani co-wrote the book with Aletha Harampolis and together they create a book that is filled with gorgeous images, delicious recipes and tons of tips for adding a harvest to your life. You learn: How to create a useful and beautiful garden, Food safety in urban gardens, How to use all parts of the plants, A recipe for making a shrub (no - not the garden shrub! The drink!), How to garden through the seasons, How easy it is to add productive plants to your landscape. PLUS...You can enter to win a free copy of Harvest simply by going to the show notes and leaving a comment!  Two winners will be chosen - so leave your comment by March 16, 2017. Also, in the show notes there is a PDF download of Stefani's special quince paste recipe. She was nice enough to share!  Just go to: www.LivingHomegrown.com/91 and the recipe and a full transcript will be waiting for you. And don't forget to leave a comment!!  Tell Theresa what productive plant you are ready to grow next!  Your comment automatically enters you to win a free copy of the book directly from the publisher. Enjoy the episode. 

Direct download: 91_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:12pm PST

This episode is all about flavor enhancers. It doesn't matter if you grow your own herbs or buy them fresh at the farmer's market, nothing beats the fresh taste of herbs in your cooking. But sometimes, you can't have fresh herbs at your fingertips. The good news is that there ARE ways to preserve those flavors for later so that when you find yourself in a pinch - those flavors are at the ready!  Host Theresa Loe has covered preserving herbs in different ways on other podcast episodes (which are listed in the show notes). And today, she covers two more methods that you can use: Herb Salts and Herb Butters. You learn: How to preserve herb flavor in salt, The best salts to use and why, Her favorite herbs to use, Two herbs you should NOT use, Why citrus is the perfect "secret ingredient", A method for freezing herbs that is very versatile, and How to take advantage of those flavors. As always, you can get more free information, links and a full transcript at www.LivingHomegrown.com/90 as well as a free downloadable recipe sheet with the recipes of the day.

Direct download: 90_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:02pm PST

Learn what permaculture is and how to apply it to your own backyard to create more sustainable and eco-friendly garden. In this episode, host Theresa Loe interviews garden author Jessi Bloom. Jessi is an ecological landscape designer and the author of one of the top permaculture books in the country. You learn: Exactly what permaculture is, Why it is important, How to put it into practice this coming season, Why garden size doesn't matter when apply the principles, What the systems are and how they work, And how permaculture is about a lot more than gardening. As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/89 for more information, links mentioned in the show and a full PDF download of the transcript.

Direct download: LH_89_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:14am PST

This episode is about taking a natural approach to pest control and avoiding sprays and pesticides...even organic ones. You see, many people think that switching to organic gardening methods just means changing from synthetic sprays to more natural/organic ones. But the truth is that if you have a more balanced ecosystem in your garden, you don't need sprays AT ALL.  And that is what we cover in this podcast. 

Host Theresa Loe brings on author and organic gardening expert, Jessica Walliser to share how we as organic gardeners can shift our mindset when it comes to bugs. You learn: About the ecosystem of your own backyard and how to balance it, Making the shift from sprays to no-sprays, Do plants have immune systems, Can a plant send out a distress call, How to change your mindset about bugs, How to attract the "good bugs", What is a beetle bump and why in the world would we want one in our backyard and much more. As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/88 to get all the links mentioned in the episode, more free information and a full PDF transcript of the show. 

Direct download: 88_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:15am PST

In this episode, host Theresa Loe interviews author Shawna Coronado about simple organic gardening tips that we can do to save money and time. The tips range from practical time-savers to clever ways to reuse and repurpose items for gardening. You learn: How to use empty wine bottles in the garden, Why rotisserie chicken can lead to greenhouse growing, A shortcut to saving tomato seeds, How to grow edibles from kitchen scraps, The secret to sprouting potatoes, The magic of manure tea and How to reuse cooking water. As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/87 to get all the links mentioned and full transcript to the episode.

Direct download: 87_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:14pm PST

This week's episode is the story of one man's journey of discovering his true calling in garden design while helping families along the way. Host Theresa Loe interviews Doug Scott - the owner of the landscape design firm, Redeem Your Ground. Doug helps families connect through the nature in their own backyards. You learn: Why sometimes school and business aren't the only measure of success, How to following your passion can lead to following your dreams, Life lessons that come from raising chickens, What nature deficit disorder is, How redeeming your ground leads to other redemptions, and three steps to getting started in your own backyard space. As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/86 to get all the related links and a free PDF download of the transcript. 

Direct download: 86_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am PST

In this week's episode we talk about small livestock for those of us with have super small spaces. We've covered backyard chickens and ducks on previous episodes. So it was time to discuss raising backyard rabbits for their nutrient-rich manure or their fiber (hair for spinning). And yes, some people raise rabbits for meat. But that's not what we go into here. Instead, host Theresa Loe interviews author and farmer Chris McLaughlin about what it means to raise backyard rabbits. They discuss raising one cute little family pet for composting their manure, to what is involved with raising them to sell their "wool".  You learn: The different shelter requirements for rabbits, Combining rabbits with vermicomposting, The benefits of rabbit manure, The difference between wool, mohair and fiber, How to properly groom and care for fiber rabbits, Where to go to learn about speciality breeds and more. As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/85 to learn more, get related links and download the free PDF transcript of the show.

Direct download: 85_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:33am PST

First everyone wanted backyard chickens. Now backyard ducks are gaining in popularity - and rightly so. Their eggs are incredible. And in many ways, they can be easier than backyard chickens. In this episode, host Theresa Loe interviews author and poultry expert, Lisa Steele of Fresh Eggs Daily. And they discuss all the benefits of raising ducks in your backyard. You learn: The benefits ducks can offer your garden, How they compare to backyard chickens, Are they fed differently than chickens, What do you need to provide so they are happy and healthy, What's the deal with having all your "ducks in a row", Do ducks have a sense of humor, Can ducks and chickens live together, Where should you go to get the more unusual breeds and so much more!  As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/84 to get all the links mentioned in this episode as well as the full transcript and a free PDF Tip Sheet on How to Raise Ducks.

Direct download: 84_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:29pm PST

This episode is a little different!  Host Theresa Loe brings on eight different garden authors and experts to all answer the same question: "What do you know NOW, that you wish you knew THEN?"  In other words, if they could go back in time...What important piece of garden advice would they tell their younger, gardener-self?  This episode is packed with nuggets of gardening wisdom because each expert gave completely different answers.   You learn: Each expert's top piece of gardening advice, What type of mindset you should have when you garden, When you should ask for help and when should you "wing it" and so much more!  As always, you can go to www.LivingHomegrown.com/83 for more information including: a free PDF download of all the garden tips (plus a few extras), a full transcript of the episode and links to all the garden experts previous podcast episodes. And there is a lot more free information on living homegrown and farm fresh on the website. Enjoy!

Direct download: 83_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:27am PST

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