This replay of my interview with Pamela Lund originally aired in March of 2016 but she is an awesome volunteer for Free the Seeds which is coming up March 3, 2018 so I thought it was a good time for a replay!
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It was fun to meet you at the Kalispell Farmer’s Markets. Everything I say is based on one season of experience. For folks, who are thinking are starting. Be in the starting phase, and might have some empathy, with those who want to jump in!
I think you’re gonna inspire some people for something they might want to try…
Full Show notes coming soon!
Some recommended resources:
So I thought I’ll try the straw bales in there and put a little soil on top, he recommends you condition them for 14 days,
this might be useful with your tomato
fertilize and get the composition started before hand because you have heat from the composition I think you can plant earlier then you would here typically in Montana. I wold cover them at night and sometimes it would get down into the 30’s and the heat in the composition in the straw the heat they would get in the soil…
I’ll have to look into that a little more. I belong to a face book straw bale farmers… This woman last year I worked with did the whole straw bale thing… The 2 I mostly go to a re the flower farmers and there’s this Montana gardeners one I go to, mostly if I go somewhere it’s my podcasting group I have to admit…
more detail how do you, it’s one of the reasons it’s not so economical for a larger scale, if you can use them as sheet mulching as something on your garden. It’s not that reusable and he talks about
Mike’s always wanted to build a straw bale house.
well that’s ambitious…
Mike built our house … and last year with this mini-farm, and the drought, we ran out of water with 2 wells, every other day… Because down there at Mandy’s at lower valley farm, and she has like 4, maybe 8 times what he planted and I thought how will we ever water that? Didn’t we just finally raise the temp of the plane 2 full degrees this month or something …
One of my major motivations for putting my hands in the dirt… but I think as everybody might
One of my motivations for putting my hands in the dirt is …. climate change is happening, we might not know, it’s hard to predict what will the effects …won’t be business as usual… decentralizing food production … on a smaller scale, look at what works and what doesn’t work and adjust closer to real time to climate conditions then any big agribusiness will be able to …
And I think it’s time to start planting seeds, saving the sees that did well, and creating very resilient local pockets of growth where we can share what’s working in our local areas and that’s gonna change as the climate changes in my opinion … every one of us can participate with that process even if your in an urban area with a patio, or small backyard.
Every person can help figure out what’s gonna do well in the future so we can feed ourselves as the climate and have a positive impact so we can just wring our hands, this disaster is looming. I’m kind of agnostic about disasters, I just think this is how it is right now and what do we do about it. And so localizing food production is huge to help mitigate some of the effects of climate change.
I think you are not only one of those people and you’re one of those educating us today and when you make your sunflower seeds. I had no idea it made a difference if you use the same seeds it’s better then starting fresh every year with new seeds.
Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?
So, definitely doing that, I’m planning right now, some of the smaller fast growing vegetables, to start in the hot house. If I can get my contractor to speed up, get my greenhouse down before this months out. So then I’ll have more of an indoor area
- baby lettuces
- baby carrots
for market offering
started back in dec
I started some
- artichoke seedlings
have a reputation for being somewhat finicky and not doing well in Montana, but being a small gardener where I can experiment, so I had 10 artichoke seedlings and I have the one I have left if thriving! The one that goes to seed, if it survives that long… I’m all about experimenting. I want to have the options for a green house and climate control, so I have a leg up on the growing season…
be interested if you can get the types of fruits and vegetables that traditionally haven’t grown well may eventually, become adapted.
Can I ask how big is your place? It’s small by homestead standards, it’s 10 acres, most of that is wooded, not heavily heavily wooded… potentially growing in the woods. I need to close that loop so I have manure. Some of the heavily wooded area will be good for livestock. My growing area is relatively small
see how much I can grow in a small area
kind of lazy about getting the garden chores done
where the yard used to be is where the garden is
do my meals and my weeding right close by. My vision is not a giant operation,not a big farm
keep it close to the house,
easy access to irrigation
weeding, good light
Have you read The Market Farmer by Jean Martin Fortier…
What’s your idea of small space, because you’re like it’s small and then your like 10 acres?!
It’s proably 1/8
Oh, yeah and being close by! I’m big on convenience I come home from work, and salad seems to be an afterthought sometimes, dinner’s ready… our garden’s down at the bottom of the hill … I think convenience, ease… I always say my favorite anniversary present was year 14 a compost bin outside my kitchen door…
When I was just in Paris, I just had the most delicious arugula salad, and I trie this thing Mache, that I had never tried and I just loved both of those, the arugula was sooooo good, but they would have these tiny little baby, small
Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.
I wanted to I love little sweet pea flowers, I tried several times to start the sweet peas seeds, different batches, and they say nick the hulls, put them in the fridge. I think I tried 4 batches and I could not get a single one to even germinate.. I asked, I know local grower I asked, and they said I’m doing all the right things…
I don’t know what the trick is
there is certainly a lot of information when you go down that rabbit hole
you get into these very particular
you have to keep it at this temp for this long at this period of it’s growth cycle…
I was gonna say, I’ve had success, I put them in the ground, direct seed etehm, just wait till the ground’s warm enough, they are peas, and they like cooler better then warm…
You’re talking about peas for eating, but I’m talking about the flowers….
Yeah, I know. the same. I’m pretty sure, I’ll look in my records.
Yeah! Sweet peas are nice!
Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden?
Since I’m growing on a small scale, I don’ have a least favorite, we’ll see when I expand the scale.. I like all of it.
What is your favorite activity to do in the garden.
I particularly like pruning, weeding, but like I said, I’ve had a small area and then of course growing in straw bales, you get almost no weeds
I don’t have a good answer for that because it’s all so new!
another advantage for that method….
What is the best gardening advice you have ever received?
I decided that the best advice was “Feed the animals first…” from my dad… maybe because its my dad’s birthday but I was thinking this the other day… my parents always sat down to breakfast, and all meals with each other, placemats, etc. and he always fed the birds and then the cats and the dogs… and then eat breakfast.
Most important piece of advice I have to keep remind myself. There are no negative outcomes, only learnings.
Is there 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?
IDK that this technically falls into the category of a tool, but I love my grow tent. If you want a place to grow all year long, it’s just 4×8, relatively inexpensive to buy on amazon… put the shelves in there, I put the t5 lights in there, I put a couple of vent fans in there and I have the vent fans plugged into the thermostat so it shuts off and it just gives you a super controlled environment all year long… it does take up a good deal of space, it’s such a good investment it’s well worth the investment
great way maybe not for the home gardener who doesn’t have the space
it’s not that relevant
controlled environment that you can grow all year long! I have tomatoes in there right now, and they are like the size of marbles but that is exciting in March.It’s one of those tools that you can if you have the space for it, will give you a big leg up on success.
easy to maintain you don’t have worry about bugs or anything like that. so that’s my favorite.
Sure it counts as a tool. I do have to ask do you have a tool for cutting the sunflower or pea greens?
Scissors – long thin lads, you’ll see them in garden shops, it makes quick work of those….
Do you have any tips for eating or harvesting vegetables or fruit on time?
That was my big learning last year. Is don’t plant every thing at once. This year I took great pains to do a spreadsheet to have things and staggered planting timers, and when to plant the next succession so that does not happen.
if you are going to have a huge garden your going to have a lot of stuff. I love to cook and preserve things.
I bought a nice dehydrator which was another good investment. I dry vegetables and fruits from my friends orchard, that’s a great preserving technique. As far aseating or harvesting them. Just plan your plantings, look at your time to maturity… I think it is worth it to take the time to actually map it out,
maybe be a little tedious but we’ll see if this year it pans out…
Megan Cain has some great tools for doing things like that like a garden planner, and
I’m the worst. I barely looked at a catalog yesterday for the first time…I do have quite a few seeds I bought at the end of the year last year. And I do want to try to get sweet potatoes and listen to Amelia Shcmitez.
That’s a super great experiment… Sweet potatoes.
yeah, she said you get these little slips, they look like the weirdest thing…when you pull them out of the box, although I still love the story of Sarah Harding going down to the post office and they called because the little ducklings are done…We might get a duck this year after talking to Sarah and Amelia said she had the cutest little duck… and also I guess the Market Farmer talks about ducks. So we might get a baby duck….
Do you have any secrets for preserving food-making it last?
I have the other thing… a lot of people I hear say “how do you preserve eggplant?”
the best way to preserve eggplant in my opinion is to cube it up into 1 inch cubes preferably with a coarse salt
thick grain salt
let the liquid drain out overnight, so you just put it in a colinder with a dish, overnight
then freeze it flat
once you dry it off with a paper towel
freeze it in a single layer in your freezer and once it’s frozen you can bag it up, the great thing about that is it takes out the bitterness of the skin, then it’s the most amazing substitute for meat if you have vegetarians
great thing to keep in quart bags freezer
toss it in a little olive oil put it in the oven and roast it till it’s soft, like 40 min or so
then you can put it in vegetarian chili or ratatouille, I often think eggplant is a magic plant
as long as water content out of there, it’s like the perfect meat substitute.
I feel like I should pay you $10 just for that recipe… no matter how hard I tried I I still ended up with eggplants in a crate
They prepare their eggplant that way for their vegetable
the course salt with dry out the liquid, then it drains out, gets rid of that bitterness
A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?
To me there’s nothing better then fresh slice of ripe tomatoes and sunflower greens and some home made crusty bread with some salt and olive oil. Its not really a recipe, its shut when you can get vegetables out of the garden
as a recipe as a good way to eat
really like the roasted eggplant
A favorite internet resource?
hip modern farming advice and stories! I really love their writing and often they have great resources and to me the stories are really inspiring….
an internet resource… I stumbled across the archives of the Mother Earth News, bundle that they send you all their articles back to 1970, in electronic form.
search all the archives for any keywords
entertaining and nostalgic
another off the side road resource…
starting with bees this year
research all these articles on beekeeping…
A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can recommend?
The Modern Farmer Magazine is fun
so many whatever is drawing my interest….
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 think, getting your feet wet, if your not ready to get into the Farmer’s Market the first year. I’m gonna do the same thing your doing. I felt a little bit intimidated, I would say everyone was so helpful, I don’t think it was anything I should have b
great advantage of
in worried about at all. A f your thinking about this is a potential business
hear directly from customers what they want and have the basis for the business started. But if you just want to get started
grow anything that grows well. I definitley recommend micro greens are quick and you’ll feel gratified by instant success. I you’re not ready, I would suggest reach out to people
have a conversation with them and see what their doing and pick what resonates with you most.
that’s a good babysit.
I knew you would be a great guest.. a lot of people would be intimidated. that you know a lot of what we newbies feel… I was just telling Mike this morning, that driving 45 miles to your market isn’t that much… theres the Eureka market too… My struggle with it has been the Eureka market is at night… I guess the Whitefish market…
I’m just a morning girl… I complain about daylight savings for the whole time… I’ll be complaining about daylight savings.. if you have to be at work at 8oclock in the morning is gone …whatever…
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, I think we touched on this, my big motivation is all about taking advantage of decentralization of food production so we can be responsive to climate change. WE can each do our part, even if you have a NYC rooftop, or a suburban yard or living in a cul de sac, few containers in a window sill
tiny portion of it,
learning what works is a great way to make that contribution and then share that info with other people in your local area, it’s a great process to connecting to new folks of people who have the climate in mind
brings people together, regardless of where you land politically or where you land socio-economically, it’s a way of depolarizing the discussion because we all need to eat! Can help bring communities together and help with long-term viability!
Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?
I wold recommend starting small. Im not sure that’s a quote… Start small, if your not ready to start year, connect with folks doing what you might consider and connect to see if you resonate with that….
How do we connect with you?
My homestead site is planetbgarden.com and you can go to the latest post page for whatever your thinking about at the moment…
go to the
market website fi you are in the area and what to see is planetbharvest.com
if you would like to go to the Free The Seeds Event…. especially if you would like volunteer for the free the seeds event…
Do you want to say what jobs you’re looking to fill.
We have the heavy lifting stuff covered, what we really need help with the moment is to help with the flow, if somebody looks lost, just direct them with ….your workshop is over there, the one you’re looking ofr. since it’s the first annual event surveys, we want the second one to be better…
that kind of thing… It doesn’t have to be a big commitment, not a big time commitment… even if you have …. 1/2 hour or an hour
it’s a totally free community supported event
All the help people give makes the workload a little lighter…. for the other folk who are participating etc….!
Sign up give me a ring!!! Send me a note!
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