Living Homegrown Podcast with Theresa Loe

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December 2017
S M T W T F S
     
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31

Syndication

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