Don’t forget if you haven’t already listened to my interview with Kristin Ohlson where you can post a comment to enter the contest to win a copy of her amazing book
the last day to enter is Monday, July 31st 2017!
I listened to this episode on the way home from the Farmer’s Market today.
(If you haven’t seen it I put my very first livesteam on Facebook up today because I was thinking about Farmer’s Markets and things to think about going to the market!
It’s held at FVCC our local community college which just recently added dorms. If you’ve been thinking about getting a degree in the sciences or any degree really and what to do it close to the amazing Glacier National Park at a fantastic affordable school Flathead Valley Community College might be just the place for you!
I saw lots of cool business ideas at the Farmer’s Market like wood rocking chairs, picnic tables, lots of aprons and potholders, lovely skin care products and lots of yummy baked good treats!
Cottage Food Industry and Farmer’s Market Regs
I guess in Montana you don’t have to do anything to sell baked goods at the Farmer’s Market. Yesterday I listened to my interview with Ed Evanson from the state department about Montana’s new cottage food bill.
So after being completely inspired by my interview with Jennifer Ebling from the Still Growing Podcast which you can listen to RAW, I haven’t edited it yet, yesterday I finally got out in the garden and worked to find our Secret Garden as I’ve been calling it this year but really it was just overgrown and need a good cleaning! So today, I went to the market in search of some fresh herbs to put in my beds down there.
On the way back I was thinking about the contest and that I should remind everyone to enter and then I thought I should listen the interview with Kristin again myself.
So the biggest things that really stuck out to me that I wanted to spread to my coworkers, family, friends etc that was what was what I felt were the biggest golden seeds is that soil doesn’t like to be naked!
And so you should plant cover crop cocktails!
What I loved most was her Potluck story about the different Betties all bringing a different chicken casserole: one with olives, one with cheese, one with peppers, each one had chicken but each one had it’s own individual recipe. She said
Cover crops are things farmers have used for millennia to protect soil during fallow periods.
When you’re out driving around, I see it so much here in Oregon. When you’re going through the Willamette Valley and there are farms on either side and there are bare fields on either side.
In Willamette, their fields last crop in the fall and they wont work that crops again till April and so it’s been months and months that soil is naked and exposed in the air. The carbon is volutalizing and drifting away and the soil being subjected to wind/rain erosion all those forces that are just so bad for it. Nature never intended for soil to be naked. So cover crops is an idea that is coming back, because more and more scientists and farmers are understanding,
- What a plant does for nutrients and water control
- How a plant services that community in the soil
that the plant relies on for
- water control
- plants are continually pumping out a carbon based fuel
- plants through photosynthesis are making a carbon based fuels
Plants thorough photosynthesis
- build their stems
up to half of that carbon fuel is leached out through the roots to feed those microorganisms
The scientists and the farmers started understanding how important relationship is for anything to grow, for any plant to grow. They started understanding that it’s a terrible assault against natures when you have those fields bare for 6 months!
So they started investigating and investing in cover crops over those fields.
More and more farmers are doing that. Still only around 3% of nations farmers who do that.
More and more farmers are using cover crops
Lets get lots of different cover crops
Plants instead of 2-3 plants lets’ get 10, 15, 50 in
Some are experimenting with up to 60 different cover crops in a field in fallow field or rows in between or along their other crops. If they are growing corn they will have these companion crops growing alongside
The idea is to never have bare soil and to have as much plant biodiversity there was possible
that’s what some of these young progressives are talking about building up carbon in the soil instead of depleting it!
I did do a lot of exploring. It all sort of fell under the category of soil health.
Once I started to understand there is a different to what I thought of good soil
- pliable and
- and all that
- really good soil meant that it had this healthy populations of soil microorganisms
- that when you look at plants and growing plants
- trying to do as a gardener your trying to support the relationship of those micro-organisms
- there’s like billions of micro-organisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil and they are all interacting with the plant
Not that they just environmentally successful
no just producing a crop that is not only not hurting the environment but it’s nourishing the environment
They are also really successful financially
One of the things I learned is that Non-organic seeds
Plants that are expect to have chemical fertilizers.
- they are not naturally resilient
- not naturally good at foraging for nutrients from the soil
- naturally good at repelling insects and diseases
- not naturally good at foraging for water
Organic plants people were selling seeds to those are the plants that have flourished without chemical fertilizer! They have flourished without pesticides! So if you are an organic gardener you’re giving yourself a leg up with these seeds!