Living Homegrown Podcast with Theresa Loe (general)

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT