I’m super excited because I have a guest who is going to talk about cooking and nutritious food and I’m very excited because I’m trying to improve my healthy cooking and diet for 2017! Sally Fallon is here from Washington, DC on this cold morning.
Farm owners Geoffrey Morell and Sally Fallon Morell co-founded the Weston A. Price Foundation in 1999, a non-profit nutrition education foundation that disseminates the research findings of Dr. Weston A. Price.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am, my expertise is not gardening, I am a writer and I wrote the book
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats
I live on a farm. My husband and I bought this farm in 2009. We have been farming for the last 5 years.
We have a dairy herd
- We make raw cheese
- raw pet milk
- pastured pork
- pastured eggs
- pastured chicken
- pastured turkey
We have a store on the farm where we sell local products. As far as vegetables are concerned we sell lots of lacto fermented foods:
- natural pickles
- beverage called beet kvass which is fermented beet juice
- natural ketchup
- crispy nuts
We do sell fermented vegetable foods.
This is so exciting because we just passed a cottage food bill in Montana encouraging people to have more businesses like that that sell these kind of products and Mike has wanted to sell pickles at the farmer’s market. (or even just pass them out to kids)
We do try to support local businesses, we have a gal who makes the sauerkraut for us and a gal who makes the beverage. We sell a natural ketchup and some crispy nuts which are nuts that have been soaked in salt water….
It’s interesting about the produce, last year for the first time in my life I had a greenhouse with vegetables in it, a hoop-house with vegetables. I have a lot of respect for people who grow vegetables… it’s not easy.
I can talk about some of the problems i had… of all the things done in farming vegetables take the most skill … I definitely did not know what I was doing!
I am the big vegetable eater, but my husband has the green thumb and he is the grower! Even what my husband has done, he has perservered thorough some tough times.
We started out, put some raised beds in with some railroad ties, put 5 beds in…
I have had some luck with
- asparagus is doing well
more tender things I’ve had problems with, not the weather but my biggest challenge is groundhogs
They can eat a whole raised bed in one night! You come out the next day it’s gone!
One of the challenges I made was I want to grow french beans, the real tender beans… but the groundhog liked them even more then I did… so last year I bought some cute little cages that went over the beans, but the cages were too small and the beans were a little bit stunted, they grew into the cage and couldn’t grow any more but they kept the groundhogs today.
I had a guest on, Naomi Wheat who runs our Farmer’s Market here said:
“You know what I think is working the best I can’t even say this for sure, but I dug holes and put wine bottles all around the entire garden burying them every couple feet or so with the next sticking out and they said the wind blowing through it would create a sound that they didn’t like… it would scare them… They don’t like noises and smells. The wind blows over them… And dumping coffee grounds down the holes too!”
So she said she puts little umbrellas she makes out of a stick and a tin can over the top so the rain doesn’t get in. So they would stay dry and make more noise and the noise seems to scare the pests away.
Well, I invested in these cute looking french looking cages, they did work. I grew some lettuce with those cages fairly successfully. I did put a hoop house in a pretty big one … last spring I planted in the hoop house
Some did really well. The chard did well, peppers did well. No tomatoes. Literally 0 tomatoes. The parsnips had these beautiful green leaves. I was so proud of them, let them get big… and I walked in one day and the leaves were eaten clean. There was a hole at the end of the greenhouse where the groundhog had gotten in, we ate them but they were kind of small.
Here was the real bad thing. I’d go in and weed every morning. I was gone 2 weeks to a family wedding in California. I have a funny picture of this greenhouse! It was unrecognizable, the grass the weeds grew so tall, in just 2 weeks.
Perfect growing conditions.
Here in Maryland there are a couple of months where things grow so fast it’s scary. My husband is from New Zealand and said he’s never seen growth like we get here in May and in June.
I’ve learned a few lessons
One thing I did not do was fertilize at all. This year I’m gonna put some organic fertilizer on.
Tomatoes can be tough.
We put it on at the beginning … we didn’t do it at the end.
2 ways of preparing vegetables
There’s salad vegetables you make a salad with and cooking vegetables you cook.
- always have that with some good butter we eat our vegetables swimming in butter
- always you put salt on your vegetables
You get a lot more from the vegetables when you cook them that way!
- Maybe you add butter
- eggplant fry in lard
- put cream on them.
YOU want some kind of fat with those vegetables!
The other thing is the lacto fermentation
- fermented salsa
a whole range of things you can do
That you do with a culture starter, I use
- whey and salt
Lacto Fermented Foods
It’s a great way to preserve your garden, you have those all winter long! The nutrients increase when you lacto ferment, the level of Vitamin C go up tenfold.
10 times more vitamin C
That seems to be the big thing today… lacto fermented foods.
That all started with my book Nourishing Traditions, I have the way it’s small scale, that’s fool proof and you don’t have things that go wrong when you do it according to my method
2nd basic way of preparing vegetables
end up with a big crop of tomatoes
- actually peel them,
- dip them in hot water
- cut them in half
- squeeze out the seeds
- chop them
- saute onions in butter or good fat
- chopped seeded peels
- cook at low temp for a long time, even all day
- put your wiz or soup blender and blend it
- and go ahead freeze it
makes a beautiful slightly carmelized sauce and it really make those tomatoes delicious!
always end up with lots of tomatoes, don’t know what to do with them, so I spend a day with them!
That’s a great answer, I used to have a questions for preserving and harvesting because that’s always one of my big challenges.
So things like beets
beet pickeled beets
- take a jar, quart size jar
- chop up about 1 large beet,
- peel it,
- corsely chop it and put it in there,
- fill it with water,
- add a table spoon of good salt,
- 2 TBLSpoons of homemade whey (you make by starting culture, yogurt)
- leave on the counter,
- then it goes in the fridge
These will last for a year or longer…. it’s a very healthy medicinal drink
Potatoes and onions will keep a long time if you keep them cold. Things like zucchini, if you end up with tons of zucchini you don’t know what to do with.
I don’t have that problem as much with zucchini, because I like to eat them when they are really small, just the size of a quarter in diameter and so I put them on everything, but I pick them so frequently I don’t end up with tons and giant zucchinis, they keep producing. My challenge is more eggplants.
Now, we love eggplant. Here’s how I prepare eggplant
- slice them
- sprinkle salt on all the slices on both sides let them sit, black juice comes out
- wash them off and dry with paper towels
- then I fry them and make a platter of fried … they are so delicious that way
- sprinkle chopped garlic
I don’t peel them because I like the peels… and then actually wash em off and dry them.
I don’t can dip them in batter, breading, make a thicker slice, bread them…delicious!
And the other thing you’re making me think, I get so spoiled with Mike’s beets and things, I usually put beets on my salad instead of buying tomatoes in the winter, I didn’t realize I’m getting the benefits of fermented foods!
When you do this the right way, the true lacto fermentation…
When you eat sauerkraut, or the pickled beets, you are getting a lot of digestive enzymes and beneficial bacteria for your own digestion
We really should be eating these fermented foods with every meal
If you grow your own…that’s like the BEST Of the BEST!
I thought just a tablespoon a day is good.
That’s what I meant with lunch or dinner.
Have you ever grown celery? I thought I would try that this year.
I haven’t been the most successful, but one thing, I did find a great deal on celery seeds, was at the health food store in the jars where they sell the celery seed for cooking with in bulk. I remember putting a milk carton or orange juice carton.. What I do is swiss chard beause it’s easier to grow..
That time when the weeds has grown up, the only thing that was alive was the swiss chard, because it’s vigorous…
I love swiss chard!
I have not had good luck with cucumbers…
Mike has always had good luck with cucumbers…
I want to hear a little more about the Weston A. Price Foundation. Will you tell us a little more about that?
So it’s named after Weston Price, who was a dentist who traveled around to study isolated people, found 14 groups with healthy people who had good teeth, good fertility, their babies were healthy, they were healthy, not much disease.
Their diets were very different.
The South East diet was different then the Eskimo diet in Alaska… and the other diets.
He wanted to answer this question? What’s a healthy diet?
The answer is nutrient density. These diets were all
- very dense in nutrients
- high in minerals
that’s where your organic gardening comes in.
3 vitamins that we only get from organs and fats.
Vitamins A – D & K
without these vitamins
put the butter on your vegetables you will be able to absorb these vitamins and nutrients.
because of the butter, when you add butter or cream to your vegetables
turing them into a nutrient dense food
all these cultures had salt
Salt is very important.
The word for salt comes from the Roman word for salad.
salt is very important to put on our vegetables for reasons not entirely understood…
Dr. Price, we founded the organization because we are concened about government guidelines that
don’t include nutrient dense foods
- organ meats
- egg yolks
- fish eggs
- whole raw milk
these are things we promote. So you get good quality organic vegetables and if you eat them with fat, you really get the most out of them.
Mandy Gerth who I interview in episode 119 was the first one to talk about nutrient dense food and the Weston A. Price. They are amazing that they farm 2 acres of vegetables and her husband does most of the cows and animals and she does a lot of the vegetables and they also raise 3 kids while they do it all!
We were the first organization to talk about fermented foods
We were the first organization to talk about bone broth and how important that is!
One of the best ways to eat your vegetables is in soup
made 2-3 pots of soup a week
that was how I got them to eat their vegetables
do that with a beautiful broth…
fat soluble vitamins
soup is such a wonderful food …. lots of people don’t like to eat vegetable… I say the best way for people like that is to eat a delicious soup.
My husband likes to eat a lot of soup.
ok, so I actually wrote a book called nourishing broth…. One of the things they all had in common they all made use of the bones
- in very primitve cultures
- took the bones of little animals
Indians of Gulf Coast of the US, first people there described exactly that they would grind up the bones and added to food
any kind of cooking
bones in water
Indians of Northern part of America, would cook by putting rocks in a pitch lined basket to make the water boil, and would put the bones in there. They would consider that bone broth more healthy then water. So all over the world you found people made soup with the bones….
what your getting … joints and cartilige, melted collagen … melted then we have more collagen then muscles
broth fees and supports that collagen so you get good joints and skin
We have collagen everywhere in our body… just like we need the muscle meats we also need collagen part as well.
Do you want to talk about the animals on your farm that you sell?
Our signature product is artisan cheese.
It is cheese that we make with whole milk. It doesn’t go through a pipe. We are very gentle with our milk.
The cheese is made according to old time methods … ages … natural yellow color
Cows eat grass, the cheese like that is a powerhouse of nutrition.
Cheese has everything in it!
It has all
- the right fats
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
best source of vitamin k
if it’s made from raw milk … it’s a probiotic food … cheese has more good bacteria in in then yogurt! It’s a real probiotic food!
That’s our centerpiece.
Of course when you make cheese you have whey leftover, that’s aproblme in the industry but not us, because we feed it to our pigs…
whey from parmesan cheese is what you use to make prochuto ham.
I just want to say reall queik I have this friend who lives up here in the middle of nowhere wher eyou have to snowmobile in in the winter, on top of a mountain and she makes the best mozzerella cheese!
16 cows now, next year it will be 23, our goal is 30 cows
We sell raw milk. We have to label it as pet milk, but we’re on of the few farms in Maryland that sells raw milk. Sell our pigs and our pork
We make our own grain mix
- field peas
basically. We grind it on the farm and add their minerals to that
Raise laying hens for eggs. In the warm months we raise meat birds.
They are all pasture raised … moved them every day to pasture, we actually butcher them on the farm.
It sounds so beautiful. When I went to college, I grew up in NY and always dreamed about going to Montana and I came here and met this gril who talked about Maryland and was like doesn’t that just sound so pretty.
It is a beautiful state, it’s green, lovely landscapes, close to a river, and we have the Chesapeake Bay, It’s very lush and a rich state in that case.
Agriculture is not doing so well in Maryland. They used to raise a lot of tobabcco and so that has been replaced with corn and soybeans and they’re not’s much money in that for the famrre.s
I would think there would be lots of farmer’s markets..
- Washington DC …
Tell me about your first gardening experience?
I actually come from a family of gardeners, both my parents like to garden. My grandmosther on omy mother’s side and my grandfather on my father’s side was a great gardener. There were always gardens in the houses where I lived. I always planted flowers
if I could I would have a little herb garden. I never had a vegetable garden til I came to the land. I just didn’t have the room for it…
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Let’s Get to the Root of Things
Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden.
I don’t mind weeding… I like all of the activities of garden… either planting the seeds, weeding a row, what I don’t like is a sense of not having enough time… because I’m so busy here with other things. I wish I had more time, this year I do have someone who is going to help me… it’s frustrating to see the garden get garden overrun…
Time is a big one. My thing to do in the garden really is to paint, the flowers, or take pictures and then paint them in the winter. I want to grow more herbs. Got any tips?
I did really well with basil, big crop of basil
what I do
- tip for the basil
- keep cutting off the flowers
- really have watch it and go out every day and cut off those flowers.
pick off the leaves
and freeze that,
basil is very easy to preserve that way
another thing I love to have is chives
they will grow through the winter
if they look clump if they look
What I love about chives is they’re one fo the first to bloom nd the bees love them.
another easy to grow is rhubarb
2-3 crops per year, and it’s expensive.
What’s stewed rhubarb?
- you just chop up the rhubarb
- put it in the pot with water,
- maple syrup or organic sugar
- add some chopped apples
Makes a delicious desert or freeze it.
What is your favorite activity to do in the garden.
Planting in the spring, there’s always hope and anticipation!
What is the best gardening advice you have ever received?
I think the last year the best advice I got was put some fertilizer on my tomatoes…. so we’re definitely gonna try that this year.
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.
Narrow trowel, can use it as a trowel, plant with a trowel.
What I really do like, the soaking water system from Gardener’s.com … between the beds I have the regular hose, and on the beds I have the soaker hose … cut and attach really customize it for the garden … I did the same thing in the greenhouse…. between the rows I had the regular hose … hooked up to the tap with the timers… so watering was all automatic.
I’m so glad I talked to you today. You are like the golden seed. Two of my guests talked a lot about eating healthy fats, she’s like the epitome of a healthy person, don’t buy low-fat yogurt or low-fat milk, get those healthy fats. I talked to another woman who talked about her favorite tool was the automatic drip hose, and my husband said do automatic hoses matter to the backyard garden?
The thing is here.. .in Maryland it’s so hot, you have to water every day or you lose things. So you switch it to everyday and it’s done!
I don’t think I would attempt gardening water, it also saves water too!
I’ve been working on this book for years, called the Green Queen… it’s about this little girls who has a sunflower wand and she either yells if your wasting water or hurting our planet and beams when you’re caring for the planet. That would make a good page for her. I love the idea of using the times.
A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?
- Well I think I told you what I do with the tomatoes
- cook some onions,
- cook all day long,
- boil down and caramelize
- add chicken stock
- cook a little bit
- blend that
- add a little creme fresh!
- The most delicious tomato soup ever!
A favorite internet resource?
little cages I put over my beans …. some products have not worked for me … tents that you un-fold and put over your lettuce in winter, they blew away, they just wouldn’t stay. I couldn’t keep enough pins in them to get them to stay.
A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can recommend?
The book is called an An American Family in Paris: Letters from the Seventh Arrondissement
Most of my writing is about health and nutrition, people alwasy ask me about my life. They want to know about my life. The 3 most interesting years of my life are when I was in Paris. I had 4 children, one of whom was born in Paris. We decided to live right downtown in Paris … And experience the whole life, our children were put into bilingual school, mostly going to school with French children, and learning to speak french. It’s a short little book, with illustrations! I have gotten a lot of feedback. It’s funny. A lot of the funny things that happen to us. …
I just went to Paris so it’s kind of on my mind! And my all time dream is to be a children’s book illustrator.
Lots of funny observations … Well wait and see what happens this year. We’ve added the compost and we’ll see how it goes!
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?
I used to be very casual about saying… you should have a farm… I’m not so I don’t without warning… you need a lot of resources to get your farm going… First of all you need at least 2 people who know how to work really hard, you do need some money, you can’t start from nothing.
If you have infrastructure and want to switch to organic that’s one thing… but if you are starting with nothing… that is very difficult! I’m not so casual you should go into farming. It’s a hard lifestyle and you need resources in the beginning.
That goes’ good with my nexxt episode to post after my friend Dacia is with Julia Shanks, who wrote a book about the business of farming and how to make the numbers work… maybe you love growing tomatoes, but you’re only making 2¢ a pound and you’re making a ton in lettuce. But she says in the beginning you need to realize what it is, that i’s a business, and ou might like working outside, but you have to work…
YES! To be able to keep books… We have a staff … several full time and part time … I do the books and all the permits … there are about 10 permits that we need … safety …. our farm manager does marketing…
I would say if you just want to be outside, do something else for money and have a garden. Don’t have a farm, and don’t expect to make money on a farm. It’s a ton of work!
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?
Well the most crucial issue facing our planet today, is the demise of the human race because of poor health!
We simply must get back to nutrient dense foods, get off processed foods which lead to infertility. We are not gonna make it as a culture as a civilization, unless we et back tot he foods that nourish us. I would love for your listeners to look at the Weston A Price Foundation, become a member … and support the work that we do!
Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?
Well, it’s very satisfying it’s a lot of fun! Especially for someone who like me people who are doing so much work with our heads, on a computer all… put our hands in the dirt.
How do we connect with you?
Southern Maryland … We do give tours and talk about pasture and sustainable farming at 11 o’clock every Saturday, the best thing to do is get a Groupon ticket
We do them through the winter, unless it’s a really cold day.
Thank you so much for sharing with us today!
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