Episode 20: Organic Savage gardeners Katie Savage and Aaron Nicholson share their Indiana journey into edible landscaping.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Arron Nicholson and Katie from Muncie, Indiana are striving to grow an abundance of diverse edible plants for humans and wildlife. They are focused on getting the most out of their yard by planting edible perennials, fruit trees and berry bushes. They utilize permaculture techniques and organic gardening practices. Lose the lawn, gain a habitat is a movement meant to encourage people to grow edible plants instead of grass. To work with the flow of nature, rather than against it. Together we can help regenerate our local food systems. Organic home gardens, not massive monoculture. We should all know where our food comes from.
Aaron Masters in Art from UMinn.
Katie big garden
Tell me about your first gardening experience?
Katie – alongside with Dad in a standard vegetable garden and eating right out of the garden.
Aaron – Mom was a ferocious gardener – took master gardener classes
What does organic gardening/earth friendly mean to you?
Soil building composting not needing chemicals nature
Who or what inspired you to start using organic techniques?
Katie – Mike McGrath – NPR show
Aaron – YouTube
How did you learn how to garden organically?
Every season learn something new, this year learning about companion planting borage with strawberries. Info is out there and getting easier to find. Jackie talks about her journal here and you can see pictures here in her blog post about her journal.
Tell us about something that grew well this year.
Blackberries. Got a cutting from the master garden sale at the Muncie Fair.
Kale – enjoy baby kale
Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?
2 perennials Hardy kiwi from Heirloom Seed Company (I didn’t find an Heirloom Seed Company but I found this article from Mother Earth News on Heirloom seeds) and Goji berries.
Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.
Radishes didn’t grow very well. Ate seed pods.
Something that you find is easy to grow and is generally successful every-time.
Do mostly perennials. Cherry tomatoes. Herbs – oregano.
Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden.
Mowing – hoping to not have to use lawn mower after this season. Implementing a pathway system so only step on the path. Went to lecture about water usage in Indiana and learned that the biggest waste of water is watering lawns.
What is your favorite activity to do in the garden.
Aaron – go around and pick and eat and watch insects. Birdwatching is therapeutic. Amazing how they find food and water source. Watching nature. Hop vine training.
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.
Katie – Compost bin.
Aaron – Shovel
Eating or harvesting vegetables or fruit on time?
Eating while working lots of salads.
Do you have any secrets for preserving food-making it last?
Froze a few things.
Have canned in past. Hot jars.
Do you have any special techniques for cooking weird or unusual foods?
Sunchokes – Jerusalem Artichokes: Sauté them in garlic and olive oil.
Gonna grow some mushrooms. Kits where rods are inoculated with mycelium, cover with beeswax. Got some oyster mushrooms and waiting on shiitake. Easy way to grow – low maintenance protein.
A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?
Salad – baby arugala and kale everyday almost fresh foraged salad daily.
A favorite internet resource?
YouTube if you find the right words to search and verify your sources.
Should have an educational channel to make things easier to find without so many advertising.
A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can.
All Natural Gardening Books
Lots of encyclopedias on trees, herbs, fungus, etc.
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 earth either in your local area or on a national or global scale?
Less importance on peoples lawns. Implementing urban food forest.
Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?
Collect some seeds in the fall. Find a seed and figure out what kind of plant. See how easy, cheap and REWARDING it is. For every tree we see get cut down we should plant 2.
Connect with Arron and Katie at their website organic savage.com
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