Living Homegrown Podcast with Theresa Loe (general)

#138: Busting Myths About Backyard Chicken Care

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to keeping backyard chickens or you’re a seasoned veteran – there’s always more to learn!

With each change in the weather, comes a whole new set of considerations about their care.

And dealing with extreme cold, extreme heat or even molting can make us worry about them…a lot!

To help us get a handle on seasonal care of adult chickens, host Theresa Loe brought on Kathy Shea Mormino – better known as The Chicken Chick®.  She gives it to us straight when it comes to what’s essential in backyard chicken care and what she believes we should absolutely NOT be doing at all.

Her recommendations might surprise you!

You will learn:

  • How to know if your coop is too cold or too hot
  • If you should ever heat your coop in winter
  • The best ways to add ventilation
  • The best way to break a broody hen
  • The truth about food-grade diatomaceous earth
  • The truth about adding vinegar to the chicken waterer
  • Tips for helping your chickens through their molt
  • And more...

As always, you can go to to get more resources, links to other chicken related episodes and a full transcript of the show in PDF format. 
This podcast episode was brought to you by Theresa Loe's membership site, Living Homegrown Institute.

Direct download: 138_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:27pm PDT

The basics of worm composting (Vermicomposting)

If you’re a gardener, you totally “get” that compost is awesome. But you may not have jumped on the DIY compost bandwagon because you either don’t have the space or you worry it’s too complicated to do well.

Fear not!

Vermicomposting may be the answer for you.

Also known as “worm composting”, it’s one of the easiest ways to compost kitchen scraps in a small space. And to be honest…the little worms feel more like pets than worms.

Yeah…sounds weird..but it's true!

But ask anyone with a worm bin and they'll probably admit that they develop a fondness for those little wigglers that they never expected.

On this week’s podcast, host Theresa Loe brought on author Michelle Balz to chat about everything vermiculture – which is the process of using worms to create compost.

You will learn:

  •      How composting benefits your garden & the earth
  •      Where you can set up a worm bin (hint: Inside your home is ok!)
  •      Why it won’t smell if you do it right
  •      Which worm is best and where to get them
  •      The step-by-step directions for setting up a bin
  •      How to care for and feed your worm bin
  •      What NOT to feed your worms
  •      And more…

As always you can get more links and free resources at including a full transcript of the show. 
This week's episode is brought to you by Theresa Loe's membership, the Living Homegrown Institute.

Direct download: 137_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:06am PDT

Using Design Principles for Our Smaller Veggie Gardens

Just because we have an edible garden does NOT mean it can’t be beautiful. In fact, it should be even MORE beautiful than the average backyard.

In this episode, host Theresa Loe brought on garden designer Susan Morrison to talk about some simple design principles we can use to make our backyard space more usable and beautiful at the same time...even our veggie garden space!

You will learn:

  •      The biggest mistake most homeowners make these days
  •      Why we may not want a lawn if we have kids
  •      Create ways to make the backyard usable
  •      The 3 W’s of a good design philosophy
  •      The best 2 vegetables for dramatic color in a garden
  •      How to use containers to bring the design together
  •      And so much more

As always, you can get all the links mentioned and information about Susan's new book at as well as a full transcript in PDF form. 

Direct download: 136_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11am PDT

How one homesteader balances family life with raising farm animals and bees.

There's so much processing done to the food in our grocery stores today that much of that food is unrecognizable. And that processed food has certainly lost most (if not all) of it's nutritional value.

Homesteading is one way to take back control of the food that we eat. When we grow our own food, we know EXACTLY what's on our plate and where it came from.


This week, host Theresa Loe invited Kristina Urquhart, author of The Suburban Chickento talk about raising a young family on a homestead. They dive into the challenges of producing your own food, raising meat rabbits, and everything you could want to know about beekeeping.

Kristina shares the story of how she and her husband struggled at first to get a financial foothold on their dream, and how dedication, hard work, and some creativity made that dream a reality.

You will learn:

  • Why it’s so important for our kids to know where their food comes from
  • Which meat rabbit is good as a full service animal
  • Where should you start if you’re interested in keeping bees
  • Which books are best for beginning bee keepers
  • Why sometimes homesteading doesn’t always go as planned
  • What can keep you motivated to keep going
  • And there's some bloopers at the very, very end...LOL

As always, you can get more free information and all the links mentioned at and you get a full PDF transcript as well.

This episode is brought to you by the Living Homegrown Institute - Theresa's online membership for living farm fresh without the farm.


Direct download: 135_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26am PDT

Learn how mead is made (in a sustainable way) with local honey and fruit

Mead is an old-fashioned drink that's been around for centuries. If you aren't familiar with mead, it's an alcoholic beverage made from fermenting honey and it can be DELICIOUS.

Host Theresa Loe invited Nick Lorenz of Nectar Creek Brewery on to talk about the art of crafting mead.

This drink is experiencing a resurgence thanks to companies like Nectar Creek. But they're doing WAY more than just producing a tasty beverage. They use locally sourced honey and educate their taproom guests about the importance of honey and bees.

We can all say 'Cheers' to that!

You will learn:

  • Why supporting the local farmer can support the bees and visa versa
  • The science and process of making mead
  • What fermentation science is and how it relates to sustainable agriculture
  • Why it's important to these brothers that their mead be farm to table
  • Which yeast gives the best results
  • How a mead is flavored and the nuances of those flavors

As always, you can learn more and get all the links at including a full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: LH_134_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:36am PDT

Why Grow THIS, When You Can Grow THAT

Who wouldn't want to grow something like purple sugar magnolia peas, cape gooseberries, cucamelons, or dragon's egg? These unusual and heirloom varieties of vegetables add an element of fun in the garden and flavor to the table. Plus, they make our veggie gardens more magical...especially if we have kiddos.

So let's change what we grow this year and dive into the HUGE variety of tasty, exotic looking vegetables that honestly take very little effort.

Host Theresa Loe invited Niki Jabbour, author of Veggie Garden Remix, to share her tips on getting experimental with our vegetable varieties this year.

You will learn:

  • Why amaranth beautifies your garden while expanding your flavors
  • Which undervalued plant tastes like pineapple with a hint of vanilla
  • Why French gold, dragon's tongue and red swan beans are all "must haves"
  • How Sugar Magnolia has a purple pod, green peas and tastes amazing
  • When to pick a loofah gourd and how to cook it (yes, they're edible!)
  • How hand-pollinating will guarantee a more bountiful harvest
  • Which varieties are so beautiful, they are Instagram worthy

As always, you can get all the links mentioned and more free resources at including Theresa's Favorite Seed Sources PDF, a full transcript and Theresa's handy guide for garden/food experts looking to create online courses. 

Direct download: 133_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:36am PDT

LH 132: Behind the Scenes of the Elliot Homestead

This episode focuses on what it's really like running a homestead - from raising dairy cows, laying hens, meat chickens, hogs, sheep, turkeys, and growing produce in a large organic garden.

Host Theresa Loe invited Shaye Elliott, author of Welcome to the Farm and blogger for The Elliott Homestead, to talk about running a super active homestead that's full of animals, food gardens, four active children, and how she manages to make it all run and operate at the same time.

Shaye shares how ordinary, everyday moments can be magical and THAT'S what life is all about.

You will learn:

  •      How this popular blogger balances home and family
  •      The possibility of a new Food Network series on REAL FOOD
  •      Why having a diary cow was so important to her family
  •      What is raw milk
  •      All the ways to use the extra milk from a dairy cow
  •      How to make “Junket” and why you’d want to
  •      Why a popcorn maker can make the best coffee EVER

As always, you can go to for the free recipe for Shaye's Junket (PDF Download), all the links mentioned, the Farm Fresh Success path and a full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: 132_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18am PDT

LH 131: Farming The Rooftops of New York City

This podcast focuses a lot on working with the space you have to grow your garden. Whether that's a backyard, a farmstead, or simply container gardening - where there is a will there is a way to a farm fresh lifestyle.

This episode is about a very creative and inspiring use of space - right in the middle of New York City (and it's not Central Park).

Host Theresa Loe invited Anastasia Plakias to talk about an actual farm that is acres large on top of buildings in New York City. She shares how this project is changing the way city folk think about agriculture and organic farming in a way that no one was expecting.

You will learn:

  •      Why build a farm on top of NYC Buildings
  •      How this farm produces over 50K pounds of veggies/year
  •      The challenges of building a 2 acre farm over the city
  •      The motivations behind the mission
  •      What turned out to be their biggest win in all this
  •      How they added rooftop chickens and bees to the project
  •      What they hope the community gains from their efforts

As always, you can find more links and info at including a full transcript of the show.

Direct download: 131_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:14am PDT

Creative Ways to Use Your Garden for Health and Wellbeing

Explore how to get 'more bang for your buck' (in terms of health benefits) when it comes to your backyard gardens.

Host Theresa Loe brings on author Shawna Coronado to share her tips on the most nutritious foods we can grow and the best ways to use our gardens for wellness.

You will learn:

  • Which homegrown foods pack the biggest nutritional punch
  • What are the best homegrown "fast foods"
  • The best shade tolerant veggies
  • Shawna's secret recipe for making top-notch potting soil
  • Why moving more in the garden is so important
  • Ways to de-stress with sensory plants

As always, you can go to for related links and a full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: 130_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:51pm PDT

How to Better Understand Your Backyard Chickens

If we understand the behaviors and mannerisms of any of our pets, we can have a better relationship with them.

And so it is with chickens! Everything they do (and say) has meaning.

In this week’s episode, I invite author Melissa Caughey to teach us a thing or two about chickens and their personalities.

You will learn:

  • That chickens are smarter than we realize
  • How they communicate without sounds
  • The main factor that determines pecking order
  • The role of the sentinel in your flock
  • Why your hens all cackle at once
  • The sound they make as greeting
  • Why chickens might growl and why
  • And other interesting facts about our feathered friends

As always, you can visit for relate links and a full transcript of the episode.

Direct download: 129_LivingHomegrown_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:25pm PDT