136. Small Scale Life | Tom Domres | Minneapolis, MN

Organic Gardening Podcast Group

We’d love if you’d join  Organic Gardener Podcast Facebook Community!

To learn about the iTunes giveaway visit our website at the organicgardenerpodcast.com

Im excited to introduce another podcaster! His show is called the Small Scale Life and of course you know I believe in a theory of abundance and that if you get something from my podcast and his podcast and someone else’s we’re all the better for it!


Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a husband, 22 years tomorrow so that will be great and an awesome anniversary! and we have 2 boys 21 & 17

My background professional civil engineer

working on light rail projects

2 billion light rail project, right now I’m


work for the federal govt

120 feet of raised beds but I’m renting so I can’t till up the backyard and plant all of it, so it’s been sort of an interesting ride!

small scale life

My blog is smallscalelife.com launched a podcast launched on Jan 1… BUT WE’RE moving forward

The mission of small scale life to develop a healthy life, through

  • gradening,
  • healthy living frugal living and also having some adventure and fun along the way
  • weight loss
  • adventures and doing some fun things
  • frugal living

We talk a lot about gardening, the latest piece that we have aded is the frugal living piece my wife is taking charge of trying to make our budget work and make our dollars stretch, I’m plugging in with that to, so we’ve got a lot of content coming and we have a lot out there.

We only started Small Scale Life in November before that I started small scale gardening which was all about gardening and I got into blogging world. I wanted to talk about a little bit more and so we’re opening it up now.

What’s your wife’s name?

Julie she is a Wedding florist, she has a studio business here at home called Julia’s Blooms

She does all kinds of events and weddings here in the twin cities for years.

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

I’m actually from Wisconsin, my wife will start snickering over at her desk, because I’ve lived most of my life in Minnesota, we also lived in Illinois for 9 years for job purposes. My roots are back in Wisconsin, so hopefully some day soon… wel’ll move back there.

all but my first gardening experience

been around gardening ever since I was a little kid, my grandparents, they were the kind of gardens where you have a plot, till it up every spring, plant some things tomatoes, squash but over- weeded over by mid season overrun with grass and weeds, so punishment was going out and weeding, I had my own space carrots and lettuce etc

rabbits ovule deer

My dad was a professional foot ball player, and retired and said what are we gonna do?

120-140 acres

hobby farm

pigs and chickens

what are we doing?

made some friends

got sick and had to sell it


fast forward

we were moving around with my job and everything and we were living in Illinois and right around crash of 2009, I was an office leader… and I tried some tomatoes but they were measles tomatoes

I didn’t know what I was doing, and my neighbors across the street were

not enough sun

what are you doing?

Square Foot GardeningAll new square foot gardening book I have it in my hands!

I don’t want to do the weeding, I earned my stripes doing that what I was.

My wife looked at it and said they have cells, it’s organized we can do this.

1×1 foot area

for this certain vegetable

We read the book, and had a big harvest that year. So we got excited and built some simple compost bins out of wire and then I got excited, it was a big stress reliever, I’d be at work and then I’d come home water the garden, it was a lot of fun! I thought that if the crash comes, you know learning some skills, and I didn’t know if I would have a job so I thought if nothing else we can go home and eat from the garden.

Best part about the raised beds, you don’t have any weeds, put a couple of layers underneath.

I always tell people when you have limited water, you only get water on the roots, and no weeds are getting any water. I’m thinking we need to build my mom a raised bed! I think that’s a great price of inspiration for people and that you were able to come home from work and do it when you came home from work after a full time job.


don’t go back

beans aren’t gonna yell back at you unless they and think I see the bird over there it’s nice, it’s soothing and hey let’s pick a few cucumbers it’s ripe! and you get a lot of pride out of that, and think we built this, we made this happen!

I hope my friend Daniela is listening because she just built a deep bed herself. this weekend.

water shortages. You have the watering bans, using rain barrels is a great way to capture in.

illegal in some states

ways to try to water

article last week

one of my readers, said my husband is extremely frustrated

growing tomatoes

got a blight

turns out he was watering the

2 zones were hitting the leaves and that just encourages the blight and the encourages the fungus


so how you water…is important.

My husbands always yelling at me watch the leaves, dont water the leaves. I this especially if you do it during the day, it’s maybe not as bad in the night or early morning… I know Shelley Clark talked about keeping the beds clean…

pruning of tomatoes…side stems get those low hanging branches out of there.

How did you learn how to garden organically?

it really came back to Male Bartholomew

raised gardens with compost

fertilizers do have a lot of chemicals, they have a lots of salts in there. Over time you’re really poising that soil.

really looking at organic was

build rich soil


folks out in Utah, it is very productive. There’s things I like about it like the

  • Raised beds
  • intensive plant spacing

almost like a market gardener

how tight they plant the plants

they use fertilizer weekly, water it in, they treat the soil, and call it like a medium

soil is that key ingredient, that key building block

it gets all of it’s nutrients

really rich compost



lot of life

compost tea

if something happens don’t need fertilizer

got to figure it out


Mel is a civil engineer

Mel Bartholomew in Square foot gardening,

Curtis Stones

and Jean Martin Fortier.

You can have a commercial business and use compost.

Do you have any tips for building compost, I know my mom always had compost when we were kids and I don’t know if it’s cause my dad’s gone or what’s going on? She’s worried about squirrels and animals etc getting in her compost. Which seems weird because we live in the wild and nothing gets in our compost except the chickens.


It’s all about layers, I use during the season

I’m using

  • vegetables scraps
  • potato peels
  • apple peels
  • you know stuff you cut off
  • no meats attacks the raccoons



generates a lot of heat you really want the compost or soil to heat up

gonna cook any weeds or seeds that’s in your compost pile

a little brown matter like

  • cardboard or
  • shredded paper or
  • even some crunched up branches.

Also in the fall the leaves…

  • leaves
  • compost full of leaves

layer of leaves on the beds before you button em up for the year

soil getting better…That’s what you want to see! Your soil getting better!

Our compost can go from kitchen scraps to compost in almost 2 weeks. It’s funny my bother came on and he talked about his compost bin and they have 2 kids on long island and he just alks about it just sits through the winter and he does about one a year, but Mike and I we keep ours going and try to produce a lot more of that.

I wish I had another 2 sections, I’d let some compost age for a little bit, and then a third  and be flipping between the 3

past 2 years just using a tote, but I was generating too much so I went and took an old pallet and some scrap wood, boy that thing holds a lot, but I need another one!

We do too, mike built another one for bigger stuff and we bought a chipper even too !

chop up the bigger stuff…

yeah like watermelon rinds, banana peels! 

  • egg shells
  • coffee  grinds…
  • fish bones

That was something we’ve never done before was just egg shells.

One thing about the egg shells, I did the same thing, when I plant tomatoes, I put coffee grounds in the hole and then the eggshells and I’ve heard put some aspirin

egg shell is calcium to help with blossom end-rot



What I found digging up in my tomato bed this year is that the eggshells didn’t break down like I thought they would, so I looked online and it said that would create a concoction with vinegar, that would make a slurry of the water and egg shells


research on that…

You asked another question about fish bones?

Funny story about that.. fish will break down in the soil and really add a lot of nutrients to the soil

My grandmas secret my grandpa was a great sportsman, he was an insurance salesman in Wisconsin, he had a heart attack and so they actually bought a resort in Central WI and they lived there for 50 years. So he would go catch all these fish, that he brought home supper. So she would sneak some and bury them in the garden because she was like I can’t cook all these! So 1/2 the fish would end up in the garden but she must of got it deep enough where they couldn’t smell it! I know I have enough trouble with squirrels I’m not gonna entice raccoons, we have 3 big ones in the neighborhood.

One thing I’m gonna say is listeners, whenever Mike plants tomatoes or anything he puts a coffee can full of water in the hole and let it soak in before he plants anything to moisten the soil. Then he puts the plant in. The other thing I was thinking she said to crush the egg shells in the blender.

Yes I use  motor and postal, those chunks I found… but I got a a thrift store a Cuisinart Coffee Grinder so I went through and ground them up really small.

compost eggshellseverything…

yeah you don’t want eggshell to scratch your Ninja or Nutrabullet. Yeah a cheap $7 coffee grinder or something did great!

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

The tomatoes! They did great over 13 feet tall… Really big fan of Amish Paste and Packaroma

Seed Savers Exchange

aroma s

don’t have many seeds

Amish Paste is more of a juicier tomatoes

really big on cutting back the side stems

trimmed them up to the lowest fruit and take off any suckers

really grew well

this year I’m gonna see

cut the growing tip once they are 8 feet tall,

tall is nice… but I want production.

When you say trim them up to the lowest fruit. When you plant it and it startes to grow and this is after they have flowers?

I wait till they develop some tomatoes on them, you might get some low branches getting. I’m so paranoid about fungus, I’ll let them grow up a little bit.

Another thing I do is I trellis them

simple trellis built of

2 by 4

string to a conduit. I also have an old clothes line that’s along the base of the box where the where the stem of the plant is

tie off around the line, and start rapping tje line around the stem of the plant

I just use these lines

technique I learned from the Mittleider folks. Again take the best of what you learn. Almost like a greenhouse style of gardening. Once those plants grow up I’ll start taking off those side stems

not right away

once the first fruit starts to set, Ill take off those lower branches, they  are just taking energy from plant, when you do that it tells the tomato, I need to stop growing my stalk so tall I need a thicker stalk.

Mittleider Gardening Method GrowFood.com

Jacob Mittleider was a plant dude at the University at Brigham Young

Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?

One thing I’m finding, I planted too many seeds this spring, so I only have 120 sq. feet. I think I have everything booke, all my raised beds so I think I’m gonna try some vertical gardening. One of my followers on Instagram, started his own urban farm using rain gutters, I’m gonna tray some rain gutters filled with soil and with drain holes

leafy greens with basil in those

Im gonna try to go vertical

foot spacing between the rain gutters, they’ll have rain holes in them, I’ve toyed with the idea of adding a water source underneath but that would addd some costs.

Now you’re still working full time and doing all this? You much have a bundle of energy!

My wife thinks I’m kind of crazy

weekends get into project mode, I just spend all day Saturday and sunday out there, I mean the beds are in place already


Are you selling any of this?

not selling anything yet.

small scale life


In my second podcast, Small Scale Life I talked about the growing the greens challenge. I want to knock the leafy greens off the grocery list. I have a ton of greens kale etc growing. I’m gonna see if I can knock the leafy greens off the grocery list.

We’re big into canning… big into salsa so I make a lot of salsa

  • salsa
  • killer pickles

part of the healthy frugal living is to stock the pantry and freezer, so when we get into the winter months

  • pesto episode that and freeze it up
  • pickles
  • corn relish from last year
  • jellies and such

try to use as much we can. I’m not selling anything yet.

I know I know listeners are always looking for a challenge because they download the episode but no one has signed up. Last year I said let’s grow one vegetable for a season one or two months and a half a dozen people signed up, this year I made it really easy just plant anything and no one has signed up!

This is all me…

how much would it take

he’s a speedy runner

work out freak

loves salad!

supply enough …

for his demands

compost eggshellsNinja

Julie got a Ninja for Christmas! And she loves it! That has been great! It’s just so versatile! Throw some kale and spinach in there, it’s green but it’s awesome! We’ve got salads at night.


To see if I can

Romaine hearts and 5 in a pack, so I have to get aggressive and see if I can grow it, what it takes to actually do it…

so far it’s not growing fast enough I’ did finally get a salad this week so I’m winning!

Congrats. That was always Mike’s goal to grow enough of our food, for us so we dont have to buy product. I met this guy in Paris, who has a vertical grow system, the guy came from boston or New Orleans but he had these systems from Wyoming (Check out Dr. Nate Storey coming soon!)

I talked about the challenge and the rain gutters thing is coming…

funky growing system

high red rain gutter grow system like an aquaponics system without the fish and running water. I have a 3inch pipe with net cups

pipe is the water reservoir, self watering, the water wicks up into the baskets of soil… it’s been great for the past two years, really productive.

small scale blogging

my first blog, that article is still the top post…

I’ve got some other plans how to make it so simple

try that as a garden


That’s amazing, I think listeners will be inspired because you work a full time job and have time to garden and blog! I can’t do that. I thought when I started I would be blogging and I can’t keep up with any of it, the social media piece is really hard even for me a techy, having new phones really helps. I would be happy if I could just consistently post 3 days a week!

OK, I’m a night owl, so I might stay up a little later and then I try to write something on the weekend, one or two articles. It’s been an evolution too, my first ones we’re really long and then you kind of get into a flow that might be too long, people don’t want a wall of text. They might want a

  • photo

we live in this content rich environment these days, you have to get the message, get it quick and let people spend more time with it.

Someone was telling me about my show notes, quit transcribing …

Nick Ferguson with his podcast, its’ kind of useful

you might miss it, and there it is right there, different folks, for there it takes…

I’m kind of like that, I’m a reader, so I like to go back and see, sometimes it’s annoying on my phone, from 2010- 2013 0 and then like 200 in 2014 … In 2015 I had like 2000 people and then I’ve already had more then that this year…

Finding Your Voice Joel BoggessWe’re all still learning. It’s about finding your voice and that thing… being yourself.. finding that niche that works!

That’s funny my friend Joel Boggess wrote a book called Finding Your Voice



Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.

Would have to be my peppers, last year that was a struggle! I tried to jump start things, peppers just take a little longer to germinate, I was getting kind of frustrated. What I did differently this year, I planted them in a seed flat, last year I dropped them right to a red solo cup and said grow.

I have to grow things in my basement, I don’t have a lot of good southern facing windows so I keep them in the basement under grow lights and then another thing was I used a heating pad.

Heating Pads/Seed Flats

This year:

  • grow lights
  • seed flat with a heating pad


Last year I just dropped them in red solo cups and said grow and nothing happened and nothing happened, so someone said put em in your oven, and leave them in your oven and just put the light on and that will keep them warm enough and  they’ll grow!

I was getting a little desperate so I’ll try this, thinking I figured nobody would mess with those… and I had a meeting or something and I left and I come home and my wife is laughing, and she says we were gonna put a pizza on, hit it up to 350º and started smelling something and looked in the oven and said, “There’s dirt! and There’s cups and they’re melting! So needless to say that experiment too well… but this year I finally got some to grow, it was just a comedy of errors, I didn’t get as much as I wanted to, but I learned a lot!

This year I started with the heating pad


changed methods

what do you mean cells?

get the packs

9 different little cell

flat of geraniums

pack of the cells, it’s a package where each, you can fit 8 packs in an 11×22 seed flat and you grow plants in these little cells. Some people use the little peat pucks…

mmme…. I’m thinking of when I go to the store and buy like a 6 pack or 4 pack of broccoli or cauliflower packs… The people we got our sheep from, we went on a little farm tour down there a couple of weeks ago, and this woman, Lynn Hendrix from Walking Bear Ranch in Whitefish, MT  is just a powerhouse and she grows like 72 beds  and has 4 greenhouses just for her animals and she’s like 70 years old…. just amazing…. what she using for a heating pad, is just these strings of Christmas lights. What are you using?

I bought these, IDK what they’re called, they’re little, I got them at big box, we call it Menards you know like home depot or Lowes. They’re pads that fit under the seed flat, the same size but a thin pad and it just plugs right in, it’s almost like a heating pad,

homemade winemaking

I have 3 of those, put the seed tray, seed flat right on top and it warms it up nicely. I also did some home, some homemade wine making, keeps the basement warm and the

fermentation around that

My son is on the varsity basketball team, and I used it to kept the pasta warm

cost about 20$

I have heard of the rope lights…

Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden.

Weeding… I really don’t like weeding, it just takes me back to being a kid and that’s been the beauty of raised beds! I have a

No Weeding Deep Beds

layer of newspaper

  • layer cardboard
  • newspaper
  • landscaping fabric

and if they do they’re really easy to pull out. I really don’t like weeding, it takes up too much time and they’re unproductive.

What is your favorite activity to do in the garden.

picking everything

  • harvesting
  • preserving it all
  • trellising
  • pruning

I do like trellising and pruning the tomatoes! because you can see the results.

Singing to Plants

My wife would probably say she sees me singing out there to the plants!

That helps them grow. Isn’t there something about the carbon dioxide is coming to your mouth and also I always think that if your singing to your plants, you know what they need more because your paying more attention to them….

“When you sing or talk to your plant you are expelling carbon dioxide which the plant needs to absorb to allow it to go through the process of photosynthesis and grow. In turn, the plant releases oxygen back to you, which is both beneficial and important for your health. per the Farmer’s Almanac

The other day I was subbing, the kids asked me a question the other day, and I was like IDK, google it? They all have chromebooks, they all race to get tot the answer. I think it’s awesome! 

What is the best gardening advice you have ever received?

That was a tough one to answer

I do like Curtis Stone he’s up in Canada, doing Urban Farmer,  $70k on a 1/3 of an acre! His philosophy is “get in production!”

Get in Production!

we all sit here, reading a book or blog, not actually doing it, but that’s the way you learn, practicing trying, failing, trying, just try!

get in production, grow something

see what happens

I gonna forget

if it dies it dies,  but it might grow! And you might learn something…

I have to say, it does help to have those  tips and tricks. My husband and I are just the total opposite I’m the brown thumb and he’s the green thumb! I like to grow a little bed of lettuce. And I just made a pdf for listeners if you want it jump over to the website and grab a copy of 7 Awesome Ways to Find Time to Garden… and when I posted it in my podcast group… I thought I grew that stuff and I took those pictures… which is funny cause usually I just post pictures of what my husband grows…

I think people just get

oh my



there’s no time

just start

just try

Even those meager little tomatoes in containers in Illinois

And then when I opened the garage doors and there were chives inside! I thought they were dead!


Yeah! And bees love chives. That’s one of my goals this year is to plant more chives because they’re one of the first plants to bloom in the spring and the bees love them and their these big beautiful purple pompoms! No maintenance! And they are easy to care for they bloom for a long time! And they survive! I don’t think you have to do anything to them, they are drought hardy, I don’t even eat them and I just love the purple blooms!

I put them on my baked potato! Im the only one but I figure you grow em why not!

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.

I was thinking a garden hoe…it’s a multipurpose tool…

  • you can break up some soil
  • furrow
  • make a whole to put the plant in
  • you can defend yourself if a wild animal’s coming!

I think it’s good all around tool!

I’ve got small garden beds

a trowel

Will you describe your deep beds?

  • I’ve got 3 deep beds
  • one is a 14×8
  • the 18 inch
  • is 12 inches deep
  • 2 foot wide 8 feet long
  • 3x8x12
  • 2 2×4 foot so it’s basically a 2×8

the 3×8, I tried potatoes

6 peppers and herbs

They’re not super deep beds, because I have that weed barrier in there. It varies from 6 inches where the herbs are gonna grow.

foot deep

highbred, rain system, they are basically

foot cylinder so foot wide by a foot deep…

I always think deep beds are hip high because the frist ones Mike built were but we do have lots of beds that are only a foot deep. I just like them because I like to sit on the edge if there is any weeding or harvesting… I can sit on a lot of the foot tall ones… and some I can’t 😉 

you could…

  • I usually take out a pad or
  • kneel on a garden pad
  • seat cushion

beauty of the vertical

I know where do you get dirt to fill your pots, beds? That’s a problem here

that is a struggle

I’m using

more of  a mix from the square

tried the sand and peat moss mix but that didn’t work for me so I went back to the

1/3 vermiculite

1/3 peat moss

1/3 compost

I get the compost at a big box store

not all black dirt is the same. I could go to the municipal lot and grab some but I just don’t know where it came from and especially in this town where we have a history with big industry with contaminated soil

any dirt

pay a little bit, I don’t have that much garden space

when we move to more homestead, this is all setting up to be, I’m hoping that the soil is on…

That’s where some animals come into it…

A big thing I’ve been learning about this year are cover crops to produce soil. I’m gonna interview this woman from Bountiful Gardens and it seems like 60% of what they grow is soil building cover crops to grow food. And the whole point is to grow enough to feed your whole family… we actually recorded it and had to rerecord it… 


That’s where these urban farmers and Market Gardeners are going…

using cover crops

  • nitrogen fixers
  • dried turkey compost
  • rabbit poop

I know that’s what Curtis Stone is doing…


if you can build the soil

This woman Liz Carlisle just wrote this book the Lentil Underground dn. they are doing this on the east side of Montana and she talks about why suburb we doing this fi we know this is best practices? She investigares in the mid-west why … that’s why we got our chickens years ago… the eggs are just bonus.

can have chickens for a suburb, I’ve never had chickens, but my parents did

something we’re gonna

I’m a renter, so I’m doing this don’t own any of the property

area was full of junk, full of thrown all this junk and brambles

When I’m done I’m gonna have to take out the raised bed and just plants some flowers…

Unless the next person wants to garden, it would be a shame to take that out…

small scale life

Part 2 starts here


Small scale life salsa fiesta contest 2016


A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?

Salsa. Love to make salsa when you can make the ingredients

  • tomatoes
  • garlic
  • onions
  • cilantro
  • jalapeños

and now garlic, I throw some garlic in there too! I really enjoy that. We had a little contest last year, actually the year before, where we brought in some different salsas from  my brother-in-law and my mother-in-law and I won!

It’s part of our awesome April! We’re holding our second annualsmall scale life

 Salsa Fiesta contest, and we’re gonna do it during earth week too!

We’re gonna put up our salsas, and we have a couple of folks, and we have a semi-pro salsa guy, and he through in a couple of his salsas and we’re all gonna test, maybe well get a couple of more. I said my crown is on the line, so I put in $50!! We’ll see who the winter is!

So who’s judging it?

My family, but I’m gonna be bringing in a couple of other folks… it’s part of Awesome April!

Do you want to say something about Earth Day? Cause it’s coming up, today is April 7th, so barely 2 weeks away from tomorrow! 

It’s part of our Awesome April that we got going on?!

What’s Awesome April?

We got the cards… this month … everything is lignin up, I relaunched my podcast… broadcasting a new one. Julie and I are going to 2 different schools, and the kids are gonna plant some seeds … teach the about gardening… 2 different classes in 2 different cities! During Earth Week, talk a little more about gardening, not dumping roundup

Some are in an ag environment, used to Mom’s and dad’s going out in the fields and maybe don’t even think about gardens and stuff so just trying to introduce it and not beat it over the their head,  and just have to be fun! It doesn’t have to be this huge thing! A giant productiong! Just put this in and see what happens?!

Plus I have got some other guests for the podcast, really just starting to branch out.

Julie’s gonna put some posts out on the Small Scale Life Blog; A fun month lined up,here gonnabe productive…

So how’d you find the schools, in 2 different cities!

Part of my job, my real job is to do some public ed around railroad tracks, we don’t want kids going out and playing and so I go out and do some safety, great crossing railroad safety, and I’ve gone to schools and we have a lot of teachers in the family, family members teaching at different schools… and they were like you could come back and teach about gardening. So i said ok that sounds like a great idea. It’s a great opportunity, one of the schools, kids living in apartments! It’ll be great and it’s lots of fun!’

That’s awesome and a lot of my guest have said, when I was a kid I didn’t garden, and if your students etc resist a little…

Boy scout groups/4 h/church groups they do this stuff, I imagine, i was never in 4h.

people… there’s ar real interest right now … we’re so crazy in our lives. …and look back and maybe they think my grandparents used to do this…comes back to 2009

my wife read to the kids Little house on the Prairie… and there’s some amazing stuff

not that I want to churn butter… but don’t want to have to rely on the grocery store all the time… It’s nice to see … I’m seeing a lot of little gardens popping up all over…

A lot of people are fearful or resistant to social media and the online world… 

It’s fun to see the kids lightin’ up and the kids get so excited and they really want to learn and they really want ot learn. They get excited when they have people in the classroom!

A favorite internet resource?

I would love everybody to stop in on the Small Scale Life !

And remember if you like it give Tom a 5 star review because that would help people find him!

there’s some really good stuff out there

Gary Peliarcheck

Rusted Vegetable Garden

he has a lot of really cool videos on YouTube

He really walks you through how he’s doing things… He has a whole channel set up for new gardeners and he just walks you through things…

There’s some Facebook groups, they’re always the know it all trolls but a lot of other people really helpful, a lot of people are in the same boat as you they have problems…. they have a  bug

I run a couple including the Small Scale Life Group  and Im in a bunch, another one that’s good is the Regenerative Ag Facebook group… chickens and ducks… multiple ways to go about it

2 Facebook groups

I’ve got the Small Scale Gardening FB Group that’s all about gardening stuff…

I put a lot of content out there, Instagram photos and I have a lot of family friends and others, who want to share… I found that with the Facebook page it was just me telling my story all the time…. other people they have a story tell to… I want to give them the opportunity to plug in, ask questions provide their information and that’s been kind of fun!

Organic Gardening Podcast Group

I run another one that’s called the Minnesota Wisconsin Regenerative Ag fb group, The Regenerative Ag group is it’s up to about 12-13k people, its a lot of permaculture conversations and  got animals and discussions and the whole shmear…

I thought, there’s people in my area, that want to talk about local agriculture  issues, but they might want to meet up? My thought was let’s build a network of people here in WI

MN-WI Regenerative Agriculture Facebook Group

that are all together that are all thinking the same way and maybe want to collaborate

  • barn raising
  • plant a bunch of trees

It’s called the Minnesota Wisconsin Regenerative Ag fb group. You don’t have to live in Minnesota or Wisconsin…

Facebook Groups Rock with Katie Krimitsos Biz Women Rock

It’s true, my friend Katie who has that Facebook Group Course says that all the time.. the difference between a page and a group is that in a group people can talk to each other and so fi you are in the Organic Gardener Podcast group and you live in Kentucky and there are 6 other people from Kentucky you might decide to meet up… they can comment but Facebook

to develop a group of people who are interested in

… you;ll find that only  10% are really active but many are reading…

I know in my podcasting group they always talk about in 30 seconds you’re gonna get an answer if you post a question and it’s true!


Raingutter grow system book Larry Hall from MN he started it, it’s really interesting what people are coming up with, it’s really creative…

Another site is Growing North with Pam Tallon she’s up in Thunder Bay, Canada about Greenhouses in the Northern hemisphere.

I’m gonna invite everyone to join the  Organic Gardener Podcast Facebook Community!

A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can recommend?

Square Foot GardeningDefinitely, still looking at Square Foot GardeningMel Bartholemew, it featured one of the guys was a local guy from here in St Lewis Park, MN so it was fun to bump into that guy! I still look at that book full ofreally good information.





I also like UrbanFarmerCurtis Stone‘s The Urban Farmer: Growing Food for Profit on Leased and Borrowed Land a relatively new book it has a lot of detail on how he runs his business.

Then there’s

Bret L Markham I know Bret, very detailed guy, He has a lot of good info

  • on composing rotation
  • timing
  • pests

probably the most expensive of the three.

MiniFarming Self-Sufficiency on 1/3 AcreMini Farming: Self Sufficiency on 1/4 acre

If you have a business to you have any advice for our listeners about how to sell extra produce or get started in the industry?

Platform Get Noticed in A Noisy World by Michael HyattI don’t have even on the blog or podcast, I’m not selling anything yet, I don’t have any affiliates yet, I’m just finding that voice, documenting what I’m doing…

there’s a couple good books out there… 
by Michael Hyatt is a really good one for getting started blogging.

I love Michael Hyatt he was huge in my website building. That’s a great book!

Michael Hyatt his site is great for  staying focused and being consistent. A lot of good information on that site. A big thing about blogging is on consistency, people get busy, so I find it best if you put a post on Tuesday.

find your site

podcasting I haven’t and a lot of guests yet… I like your schedule calendar….

I got that schedule-once from my podcasting group, when I first joined some people were like if you want to practice sign up with my calendar and I was like wow! That’s awesome it costs me like $9 a month and it’s amazing. It’s funny when they call me to sub, I’m always like IDK let me look at my calendar cause people can just book their own times… and also if they call me to sub or go to a workshop or something I can block out the whole day on my phone easily…

for selling produce that kind of things, try craigslist, put up an add…

gage price points, if people start calling just say, oh, gosh sorry, we’re sold out… It’s a good way to see if your asking too much or your too high, it’s one way to gage interest and

people put eggs out there… I haven’t checked it yet, but you can start to develop a list, take their info, and then when you do have some product

I listened to this woman on Biz Woman complaining the other day who has a business where she just talks about eggs and she said when I first started out I think I made like 40¢ an hour for the first couple of years, but now she’s making 6 figures!!!

kitchen’s pretty small, so I have a

turkey boiler a flame

turkey burner

cook in a pot’


water bath canning out there one night and it was midnight and my son had these friends over and one kids like oh your dad’s out there … doing more crazy stuff!

You have so much energy! I don’t know how you do it all!

My wife thinks I’m crazy sometimes.

As we are peaking an hour and 40 minutes since we got back on the phone!!! The only complaint I really get is fix your sound… I drop my sound a lot, trailing off after my sentences and looking out my windows… my listeners don’t complain about it being too long but they do complaining about sound…

Final question- if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

I thought about this one… Im really big into staying local… though my various projects,  I’ve seen what a group of local people can do, they start small. Everything’s too big. I can’t go to Washington and fix what’s happening there. I can start to do things in my yard, I can make a cool garden and people will stop by and say, “what are you doing there?”

you’ve created a world back here

Im not using any fertilizer

this is a bee friendly yard

your doing it

then you get people to come into your world

then they start to ask question

then they’ll try it

then maybe you can go help them do it

some of the bureaucracies and charities

you can do something small

you and your neighbors there


really small person

doing small things

im impacting

get behind it

see your doing things

envisoin Th. envision

a lot of people

immediate neighborhood

movements start by one or two people getting active…

keep making organic stuff…

That was awesome! IT reminds me of some of my guests, Joe the Mason (who’s in the Organic Gardener Podcast Facebook Community) and then also Bill McDorman who said don’t worry about Monsanto the best thing you can do is save your seeds, and worry about them we’ll take them all back! 

As long as the

Also listeners I want to remind you just because it says organic, the best dirt I could find was at my local store.

Get to know your local egg person, meat person and you’ll find out more!

Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

Again… just do your research just try, give it a start, just try!

Find something you like to eat, and grow that. You don’t have to grow crazy weird stuff, grow what you eat… that’s the best place to start. If you like beans, grow some beans! Eventually you’ll get it all figured out!

small scale life salsa contest

How do we connect with you?

website is www.smallscalelife.com






go pro hero cameragot a go pro camera  with a little microphone and just little strap it on my chest and walk around the garden with that…

The Organic Gardener Podcast is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com


If you like what you heard on the Organic Gardener Podcast we’d love it if you’d give us review and hopefully a 5 star rating on iTunes so other gardeners can find us and listen to. Just click on the link here.