Todd Ulizio from Two Bear Farm in Whitefish, MT shares his journey starting as an apprentice to building one of the most successful CSA’s in Montana.
Tell me about your first gardening experience?
Been planting his whole life/grew up in CT had 2½ acres of veggies
What does organic gardening/earth friendly mean to you?
Certified organic legal definition – mainly sustainable system that recognizes that soil is a living component of the farm.
Who or what inspired u to start using organic techniques?
Dad grew up that way/winter fall cover crop
How did you learn how to garden organically?
Apprenticed at Terapin Farms in Whitefish, MF which was a certified organic farm.
Benefits to an apprenticeship is 0 risk, and learn what a farmer has done. Important thing is picking a farm that resembles what you want to do, need to look at size, scale, practices.
ATTRA – National Center of Tech in Butte, MT – has a map for apprenticeships
10 + hours a day 5 days a week. Depends on the farm.
Tell us about something that grew well this year.
Best corn, winter squash, and eggplant.
Is there something you would do different next year?
Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.
Worst strawberry crop ever
Do you have any secrets for preserving food-making it last?
Root cellar – lots of cabbage, potatoes, onions, carrots
Eating or harvesting vegetables or fruit on time?
Successful small scale farming book – most important goal – planting in different successions multiple plantings of a given crop
Do you have any special techniques for cooking weird or unusual foods?
Romanesco cauliflower/sprouting broccoli
A favorite recipe you like to cook?
Cast iron pan saute everything in garlic and olive oil
Lots of great recipes on the internet
A favorite tool that you like to use?
Tractor – offset cultivating tractor farm all where cultivator is under belly set to one side
1968 international cub
saves so much time hand weeding
A favorite internet resource?
Lots of info out there, whatever you read look for sources that come from university or extension offices
A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can recommend for our listeners?
The Intelligent Gardener Steve Solomon
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?
Easier to enter into selling veggies if you have a full farm because you need to be a certain size in order to supply a grocer. If you just have a few leftover veggies its best to talk to a chef or a restaurant/ farmers market.
Connect with Todd at the Two Bear Farm in Whitefish, MT at their website: Two Bear Farm
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