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243. Organic Living For Moms Facebook Group | Kara Grant | Albuquerque, NM

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Sound Trouble Again!

I do want to apologize for the sound once again. Part of it is on my end, idk what happened but maybe my headphones weren’t plugged in so Kara’s voice is on my track too, I tried to edit out this echo/double voice over as much as possible and then there are still sounds in the backgrounds throughout our conversations. So sorry listeners :((

Kara Grant Organic Living for Moms Facebook Group

I’m excited to introduce this guest because we met on Facebook and she has a great group I think you are going to be interested in called Organic Living For Moms Kara Grant

Tell us a little about yourself.

So I own a bed and breakfast, Ive been doing that for about 12 years, I was born and raised here in New Mexico. My parents were actually farmers and ranchers here.

I grew up with a love for the earth and gardening.

 

 

homeschooled my kids

original education is in elementary education.

2 boys and 2 girls

  • married
  • college
  • graduates

I’m 12 years into my B&B business

I’m actually more freed up

Organic Living For Moms

My son, he’s a digital marketer

So many women and people who would like the knowledge you have, this would be a great way to share it. You found me in that group.

So many questions I’m so curious about that B&B, what’s that like. 

It was kind of an accident, we had been restoring properties

  • historic neighborhood
  • We were living in it and we ended up buying the one next door
  • home with our for kids
  • I was like I’m up fixing breakfast anyways

We started with that house doing the work

  • restoration
  • landscaping
  • everything

It has challenges because it is a business your on 24 hours a day. I actually got a phone call yesterday at 5 in the morning! People are in different time zones.

You get up and do breakfast, my kids have grown up and raised in it

My personal experience cooking and growing organically. We raised our own chickens so we cook their eggs and they are served to the guests

tomatoes are coming like crazy. 

fresh tomatoes

Canned up some jellies and the guests some times buy that. It’s a fun way to use some of the joys doing and passionate about in my business as well

It has its challenges, it’s a full time 24 hour a day

Fun business and a chance to meet a lot of intersteing people.

I feel like your kids got to meet some amazing people that way

They did! One of my fun stories is my son played the flute and they had a flutist convention. One of the big performers was actually staying with us and he worked with my son and he taught him some special techniques.

It’s been really and interesting and fun! But the kids sometimes say, where’s our private life? Sometimes you get tired of people too.

again

I do have a property 15

more of my chickens

It’s quiet place I literally just dive in and lose myself everyday

away quiet time

I grew up on a farm and a ranch so I enjoy people but I also love my solitude.

My parents only stayed at B&B when were kids, I don’t think we ever stayed in a hotel.

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

That was probably my first

growing up as a kid

to the side of the house

my parents always had an amazing big garden

time when it wasn’t

not fun

playground

as well 3 other siblings

found some unique way got us in trouble

that was probably some of my favorite things in the evenings as the sun was setting going out with my dad, and picking a cantaloupe him pulling out his pocketknife and us eating the whole cantaloupe together.

older

longing for that type of life 

mentality

way that it is so connected with the earth

a little bit more space! That’s why I am really grateful I can pursue that passion that I love. I actually enjoy going out and weeding.

How did you learn how to garden organically?

You know the thing about it, my dad being in the farming stuff he would always say, “I’m not an organic gardener”

I remember us growing up and him and getting a shipment of ladybugs and us going out behind the tractor and us throwing the ladybugs out into the earth. He took care of the earth by 

  • rotating your crops
  • not taking all the nutrients out by planting the same thing
  • putting the right nutrients into your soil

a lot I did learn from him. 

Some of the things like making my own compost and stuff like that are things I have expanded on from my experience growing and continuing researching on my journey on my own.

Can I ask you about compost? Because I’ve been working on building this organic gardening course and to me compost is this easy extension of building soil, I can’t even imagine not composting? But I’ve been getting feedback from a lot of people I am talking to that it’s not that easy, for them. Or people are really struggling with what do I keep it on my counter that’s not going to let flies in or ants, etc. 

We keep ours in a bucket on the counter, and one on the porch and I have a compost bin right outside my kitchen so IDK, we don’t have that problem. How does your compost work for you? Do you keep it in the house?

It is what you said, people feel it’s tricky I mean you have to keep it rotated

we try to keep very green and keep all food scraps.

We have two buckets

One is the food off the plate that we scrape that’s for my chickens to enjoy

  • eggshells
  • coffee

that’s what I dump into my compost pile. 

For the coffee you can add the leaves you rake up

food is what I save to feed to my chickens

Some of the waste from chickens you can add to coffee grounds. I don’t feed them their own eggshells because we found the more you add eggshells to their feed the more prone to eat their own eggs.

soil compost my eggshells

I just have a large trough outside and when I move it from inside the house I just dump everything in that  large trough that’s covered and keep that then for my soil compost.

I don’t find it that hard at all. It’s just two buckets.

I dump it each day, it is important to keep them rinsed out, because that’s when the flies happen.

I do, what I use is I have big stainless steel cooking pots, almost for canning. I have a 2nd sink in the B&B so I leave those sitting in the sink and clean them out each day. They have a lid on top

like that

 

IMG_2369.JPG

Our enamel compost buckets

We’re actually a lot like you, we have enamel buckets on the porch for the coffee grounds, and Mike also doesn’t let the chickens eat anything that isn’t vegetarian.

OrganicLivingForMomsFBlogo.jpg

Tell us about something that grew well this year, I know you had pictures of okra in the facebook group the other day.

omgooodness

that grew really well

tomatoes

cukes

three batches of dill

sick of canning dill pickles

I got a recipe for cucumber jelly

organic living for moms Facebook group pickles picklingcukes

a lot of okra. I went to OK to visit my grandson

you have to keep it picked

once it gets to a certain level

overly mature

I’m gonna save some for seeds for next year

I found drying it  I’m gonna make it into fall garlands

In New Mexico chili wreathes are popular and I have an idea to make some of my over-mature okra into like a wreathsta!

I love those chairs that you weave the seats, they came out so nice. I love the colors etc.

I was hanging one upside down, I was with my mom, I said lets make an okra-wreathesta! 

You sound like such a creative person. I thought you were so young, I thought your kids were toddlers.

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

One of the things that I want to try different next year, you know, this year IDK why I struggle with it but it was even worse this year then it’s ever been.

Squash Bugs

I had squash bugs so so bad, that’s the fun thing with my group page, someone was telling me, she said they waited till July 1st and they didn’t have any problems so thats something I am going to try!

I did use the diatomateous earth you have to stay on top of it

infestation

doing different trying to plant that particular part of my garden later, to see if that works, idk the correct name, we just called them

squash bugs

  • little flat bug and they lay eggs on the underside of the leaf
  • you can try to squeeze and kill them underneath
  • if you kill them while they are young
  • once they get mature that doesn’t work

tenacious little creatures and what they do is kill the vine and it starts withering and they won’t completely mature, the vine is not getting the nutrient

  • squish them
  • adult ones

once you get an infestation

in the past

every single vine

turn the leaf upside down

eliminating the eggs

there comes a certain point especially if you aren’t on top of it where they just take over and then you’re done!

Someone in my facebook group just posted about that and she said she was gonna charge $41.95 a zucchini for all the work she put into them.

I’ve talked to them at the extension office

where you planted them this year

move them and plant them in a different place

where the garden is planted I have flowerbed areas up close to the house, cause I said I am not going to put them in the area where the garden is and they were worse there and I was like what in the world? They say a lot if they are in an area, just don’t plant squash there the next year again.

soil in that area

that didn’t work this year 

Ia m going to try the tip of planting them later and see if that works. If you hear of anybody else. 

I know I did a bunch of research on this because someone asked about a vine bore or something I can not find the blog post if I didn’t write that I went into email? I can not find it, I know I did a lot of research on it.

Once you get a good crop of them there’s some seasons I’ve had so much I’m like I’m so tired of getting zucchini and squash. But this year, if I get very much I’m like the lady you said is they’re gonna be worth $100.

We got zucchinis but we didn’t get many cucumbers. It’s been a tough year, my poor husband with his corn, such a great crop and it’s gonna be a miracle if he gets any before the frost but we’ve also got some things we never get tons of pears, apples, plums! Some other things have just been a challenge.

some seasons

every year I found that I garden not every thing that comes out the best

last year I couldn’t get an okra plant to grow and this year I’m so tired of okra so it’s making up for last year.

I told my husband maybe we won’t need to plant green beans next year because I think he canned like 92 cans which is like 2 a week, and I said, maybe next year you won’t and he was like what are you crazy!?!

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

mostly the zucchini

the one thing I really just struggled with

I love zucchini bread

My mom shocked them all once, she brought an apple pie to a community function and after the whole pie was gone she told them all it was zucchinis she use.

I would love that recipe!

Now Let’s Get to the Root of Things!

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Over half of Health IQ customers save between 4-33% on their life insurance.

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Now Let’s Get to the Root of Things!

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

Let’s see what is my least favorite activity?

Right now it is my little place of solitude and enjoy, probably right now, my least favorite is to deal with the creatures that I don’t want in there.

I enjoy

  • weeding
  • cleaning
  • planting part of it
  • harvesting

probably when I get things that are causing problem in my garden

hard to know how to care for and treat it, that is probably the one thing I hate to struggle to keep things I want them.

What is your favorite activity to do in the garden?

Definitely the picking and harvesting! I love doing that! 

I have little baskets I take out there and I love sorting things and filling my wheel barrow and coming and thinking oooh! This is what I got today!

When I am not getting to do that is go through catalogs!

sort through and desire what to plant

different things out there I haven’t tried

looking at seeds

experimenting

I’m gonna do a better job of that next year! I bombed with the seeds, I’m gonna work on that next year, I don’t have any arugula this fall, I thought how could I not have those seeds?

Also, what you said about baskets, I have written a couple of posts now about tools, and I have some baskets I love I think should add to that list.

pick your carrots

root vegetables like beets, and carrots, I don’t like bringing them in to the house until I’ve cleaned them off. Sounds kind of like a strainer?!

GarlicHarvest

CORNcauliflower2015harvest

That’s exactly what it’s like!

Actually it’s just like this flat,red wire coated in a red plastic thing, it almost looks like graph paper in a way, it has two wooden handles, it is about a foot and half by a foot and you can run it under any kind of spigot.

 

 

harvest baskets

Two of my favorite collecting baskets over the years I miss ~ the big one is gone and the left one the handle is broke :(((

What is the best gardening advice you have ever received?

Probably the best, even my dad does to me often, because I get so super excited to get out there when the weather just starts to warm up and get out there and gardening and stuff!

“be patient and not get overly anxious”

I have planted stuff and got all excited and thought:

  • it’s ready!
  • its time!

starter plants are looking

freeze

lose all of them

for me

being patient

gardening

period is patience

seed in the soil and I’m like nothings coming up yet, I want to see things happening. 

My dad is the best he says “just be patient! It just takes time!”

best gardening advice

be conscientious of your seasons

even when you’ve planted and be conscientious of letting  them have the time they need

I think that’s why gardening is good for me, because like you said, I like to be creative and I get to moving in projects too quickly so gardening lets me slow down!

I have 2 questions isn’t Albuquerque in southern New Mexico is it at a higher elevation, I was surprised it freezes there?

It’s in the middle of the State of New Mexico.

We are more in the valley, we do have the Sandia Mountains here. We are elevation over 5000′. We do get freezes.

It’s a great thing here, I actually harvested my corn a month ago. My corn is finished. I actually put in a really nice crop of 

  • spinach
  • arugula

can’t plant those a really

early spring

late fall

again plant some of those things

really we don’t get our first freeze

middle late November

couple of things like that in

freezes

don’t get as much winter

Herbs like

  • oregano
  • rosemary
  • lavandar
  • sage sometimes

will pretty much stay green

pick from them all year long sometimes.

Do you have anything to say about frost dates? Her question was I’m struggling to understand frost dates? I wasn’t sure what she was not understanding. 

Farmer’s Almanac

Old Farmer's Almanac https://amzn.to/2QI47iVYou know what’s one thing that’s kind of old school but a Farmer’s Almanac is amazing!

those are good to look at to know for understanding for your area general frost dates typically hit

that’s the thing that’s even tricky

I went to college in OK

fourteen years

gardening is so different honestly there from here

tricky thing

  • commend you on what you do because gardening is so different in each area
  • look at seeds they show those colorful little grids
  • look at those and understand your area and where you’re at

You hit that right on the nail, she’s from Florida and moved to NJ. And the other thing, Mike and I found this summer is planting on the moon cycles and the phases of the moon.

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 am not, I have a few,

  • a little spade
  • a  hoe

I don’t like to weed even with the hoe, because all a hoe does is loosen the root of the weed so it an reestablish itself and keep growing.

I like it out so I just pull weeds and toss them out!

My favorite tool is a wheelbarrow!

That’s what I said. 

When I go into the barn or shed area, I mentally try to think, what am I gonna need.

headed out

not far where the shed but don’t ant to go back and forth

get everything I need

when I’m picking or harvesting

sort and pull

I want a wheel barrow that’s just for pulling weeds, so I can pull weeds for a week and not have to worry about emptying it. Plus, our house is at the top of a hill, and I’m just not going to down to pick that one tomato that’s just ripe or a radish etc.

A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?

the one that I do the most, I thought about it.

calavacitas

new Mexican stir fry

  • corn
  • squash
  • zucchini
  • tomatoes
  • chili

heated up olive oil and you just fry it in your skillet

vegetable stir fry

don’t really follow a general recipe

do it

put it in there

ti’s so fun

get a bunch of different things

favorite thing to make

A favorite internet resource?

I had to think about this

type in a questions

try to find something

different areas from the county extension

most reputable resources

good answers to questions to things that I need

not just our local one

articles

back to my whole squash bug story

did a whole search

something out there

organic living

don’t want to put pesticides

extension agents

can’t remember what state it was

extension office article

how even the non-organic pesticides can not kill these creatures

them the most

I was just doing research on extension agents.

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

You know,  I pick up all sorts of different articles and books and stuff like that. There’s a magazine that we get that’s a local one called 

EdibleBoston Adobe Photoshop PDF EdibleWisconsin

 

Edible written here for New Mexico area

really great magazine, probably the one when it just goes to magazines. Here in Colorado grain school at one of the Universities. Learn about different grains and cooking with different grains.

Women trying to have a bigger impact on farming and gardening in this area and how they are trying to do more things for women with more incentives, women are natural nuturers and women in the gardening industry. Articles like that I enjoy out of this magazine.

They even have tips in there on canning, a get together with friends, if one person has a lot of cucumbers, doing a pickling party to split up the work and produce!

I think the cool thing about it is whoever does the issue for that area.

Is it an actual hard copy on paper, or is it just online?

They do have online editions but they have the actual magazine as well.

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?

The biggest thing even running my bed and breakfast

being really careful

don’t let your passion become your job

it loses your passion

growers markets

looking at expanding

check into doing

farmer’s markets

doing some stuff like that

trickiest thing

had to be really careful with

cooking that come with the b&b

what is my talent and my love and passion

job

almost lost the love for it

  • keep what
  • I think that’s the thing
  • don’t be so resistant and intimidated
  • I can do that
  • I think  I am so capable in some ways
  • made the biggest mistake of what I enjoy
  • your taking on so many things
  • working yourself

Big Magic Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about that in her book Big Magic, don’t put the pressure on your creativity to make your living and having to do things. I almost think  it’s like a value added project and people talk a lot about having yoga on the farm, or a pizza dinner, bed and dinner? IDK?

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?

Because my background is initially in education, when I was raising my own kids

first graders, and how I would sit down and show kids

make our own butter

milk came from a cow

undereducation

realization value of where our food comes from

how important it is to keepsake care of our environment

property where we have a little

Gunnerson co

community gardens that are pretty big

love to see more

communities get together

where take care of our earth

educating this young generations the value of that

really

with our young people

funding

so much why I wanted to homeschool my kids

testing

just letting our kids understand

importance and value of the earth

protecting it

needs to start there

they’re the ones coming up

thing i would say

community gardens

educating the 

I think the more backyard gardens we get going, I just feel like the food I have gotten from the store is so bland!

I enjoy your podcast and listening to other people’s journey and more people doing the backyard garden thing, because this is where it is going to start for us and coming back to the natural part of life.

I think the more backyard gardens we get going, I just feel like the food I have goettten from the store is so bland

How do we connect with you?

I have a group page that’s called Organic Living For Moms  that’s one of the best places to connect with me.

They could also go to our bed and breakfast page

For the Downtown Historic bed and breakfast in Albuquerque to connect with me as well.

The one Organic Living For Moms is probably where I spend he most time, and I am pushing out a lot of my recipes and things I’m doing in my garden, like you talked about my project with the chair and all the fun projects I’m passionate about.

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Over half of Health IQ customers save between 4-33% on their life insurance.

Health IQ vegetables celebrating the health conscious

  • Health IQ uses science & data to secure lower rates on life insurance for health conscious people just like you green future growers! Like saving money on your car insurance for being a good driver, Health IQ saves you money on your life insurance for living a health conscious lifestyle.

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About the author, Jackie Marie

I'm an artist and educator. I live at the "Organic Oasis" with my husband Mike where we practice earth friendly techniques in our garden nestled in the mountains of Montana.

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