105. Anna Peach | Squash and Awe | Kamuela, Hawaii

Anna Peach squash Market

The squash and awe blog

Anna Peach writes the squash and awe blog about her gardening adventures around the world as well as how her Irish Wisconsin roots led her to growing heirloom squash in Hawaii’s challenging growing environment. She will inspire you to see how you can easily find simple local solutions that will not just help you grow your own garden but make a difference for the planet as well!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m originally from Wisconsin. So I was raised around farming and gardening. I was also the generation where they were steering you

I have a background in business and art, I did photography and sculpture.

all comes in handy with blogging to capture the world around you comes in handy.

looping and lap back to doing in farming and gardening

I also have that background as an educator so I also like getting that information out.

Do you want to tell us.


I used my artwork as an pop to travel

when you’re free lancing as an artist

tick list from when I was a little kid

fueled by a lot of national geographic

took a job as an organic gardener in Ireland

1994, I also

spent about 3 years in Indonesia the good things about 3 separate trips allowed me to do my artwork and photography there. You are also absorbed into the community

ag and fishing,

all kinds of things and related to farming and gardening wearing traditional ways of putting up food as well, Indonesia, south Pacific, Tahiti and Fiji, Tonga

quite off the beaten path, around

Id say I’m kind of driven by food

I love to learn to cook, the tie between farming, gardening and our food system is all things

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

I really have been thinking about it, I’d say about  kindergarten. Our farm was  close to where I went to school for kindergarten,

Back in the day when the little farm kids all walked together. I just recall, eating, I would pull up maybe 10 carrots and that would feed me on the way back to the farmhouse. So my mother would always try to get me to eat dinner, and eat a snack. I never had an appetite on the days I came home from school. She saw these carrot tops, I never got scolded, to be there

encouraged to have a post of my own, with the family. We had a lots of chicken so I collected a lot of the eggs. lots of potatoes

being Irish loved potatoes I would be in charge of the potatoes left behind.

carrots were really my love

squash grower now,

luckily my mom noticed this is an opportunity for me to have little independence as a little one. Kind of a happy ending, it was of course food generated.

i liked the taste of carrots and it turned out just fine. So thank you mom!

And still at it!

It’s fluctuated throughout my life, I’ve been in the cities, and as you say, traveling where it’s other peoples farms and gardens that I participated in. It’s  cross between an urban gardener and living in a rural area


in NYC volunteering at the Brooklyn Grange which is a rooftop farm, it’s over an acre in the sky. That’s actually the same principals I learned there  I’m using here in Hawaii, using here in./

So an acre high or an acre on the top of a building?

It’s an actual acre on top of the building part of the auto industry and 7-9

What does organic gardening/earth friendly mean to you?

for me its always about the soil… all the cycle of soil. microbes and worms and soil building. I’m finding

here in Hawaii you have volcanic soils

wind erosion

really high winds

5-6 hurricanes stopped county at a certain point expecting about 4 more

by the time they get to Hawaii, winds end heavy flooding.

replenishing the soil constantly is something i think of when I think of organic gardening.

your plants

grow in straight compost, I have a 1/4 acre in squash production, it fans out to about a half acre, but it is a solid bed of compost because underneath is quite rocky

urban farming of building all your soil by hand

Where are you getting your compost because that’s been a challenge for us. 

I went commercial because I had a squash crop fair year that was statewide

Squash Delivery Vehicle

I decided I was going to go commercial in doing that I have a great relationship with area chefs in the restaurants I deliver the squash to them, .

also closed the loop, I collected their green waste

primarily organic produce, we have a lots of fish, ahi tuna, so I will also pick up all their fish scrap and I add sugar,  brown sugar which will ferment the fish and I make my own fish fertilizer.


It’s a little bit of work up front. You have to really think of the chef and the restaurant and their schedule. I drop them off and then I pick them up and process them

The great thing about fish emulsion, it will sit in the shed for months, does fine on its own

pickled it fermented

very much alive

something that is otherwise is quite pricy

stepping up, mine is between a farm and a garden, it’s a 1/4 acre some people gardens are that side.

decided to do no till because it wasn’t gonna work another way

There have been 6 people on the property, where I’m at, and I’m the first one to try and build soil and  I think that’s why I’m there.

relationship within the community

we don’t have in all areas

where you take your green leafy matter. We don’t even have that.

What we do have is fire ants, it’s an invasive ant that is spread around the island

invasive plants don’t want to be transported around

I decided to find some of these other things, the brewery in town their waste will be hops which is nitrogen rich. There are so many coffee houses

public library tax forms are fun to use, so it’s cheap mulching. I use the cardboard and the papers are a layer. I also have mulch I chip right on the property. It’s finding a balance for your region. It breaks down very fast, the sheet mulching technique is good because our winters are pretty mild.

stormy in the 50s only gets down to the 40s, things really you can compost all year round, so we’re lucky there.

so many great books on composting

think creatively who has what in your community. It’s not to run ourselves ragged and drive all over looking for things.

close to an area where fishing is big, and the fisherman love it and I can bring them back that fish fertilizer

they feel like nothing was wasted, people are starting to have that feeling again. 0 waste

use everything that you can

once you’re there you feel content, that closure, it’s sone you’ve got it and its not just going into our landfills!

Who or what inspired you to start using organic techniques?

I was raised in the 70s and you we’re really steered away from it. Where I lived was really pretty and you never want to have pretty farmland because it can become a pretty subdivision! My farther passed away when I was quite young. Big ag, huge combines. It was kind of exciting for my brother and I, we would go out and play and watch. He started using these giant piles of pink pellets, sort of like bbs, of chemical fertilizer. My brother and I wanted to run on the piles, and I remember my mom scolding us, all of a sudden there was this safety hazard on our farm, even as a little kid I was confused. If he was growing food, I didn’t understand what those had to do with food, little simple questions from children these are questions, I never bought that idea, that we need to do that. My family did very well using just very sustainable methods! That’s why for me, I grow heirlooms, I am a food historian, as well, I’m a plant historian, is what I have become I’m trying to connect more my grandfather’s generation their way of doing things. My grandmother was excellent at doing all kinds of things, canning and pickling and using everything and being grateful everything around you.

Perfect for the day after Thanksgiving!

How did you learn how to garden organically?

when I decided to do this, I stepped up from, I built gardens here for  a friends o mines family. Just my local library, I’m old fashioned I pulled out a bunch of agriculture books. People think

There’s so much info out there, that’s why you and I are trying to do is get more of that info, so this knowledge isn’t lost, food historian and a seed historian, William Woys Weaver I read anything he’s published. He’s written for Mother Earth News, he’s in Pennsylvania, he has several books out, he’s also a chef and cook! He’s the one, I want to say back in ’78 got Julia Child to get out of the kitchen and into the garden and learn about heirlooms. He was really at the forefront of making heirlooms a culinary treat for all of us. He’s just one off the top of my head. It’s completely possible to use your library system.

And pool information and remember not everything is going work for you but sometimes you’ll find things that don’t work for you and that knowledge is more valuable.

Im big fan of falling on your face a little bit.

I’m a super big fan of local libraries. Our local library is pretty tiny, but their interlibrary loan program is awesome and I’m always getting books. The access in the US through our interlibrary loan program is so amazing!


In the state of Hawaii, includes Honolulu, which has a huge population amazing books over there, as compared to where I am! much more remote location

keep our libraries going… wonderful programs.

I always say if I was president I would make our libraries open maybe not 24/7 but pretty close and expand adult ed, which a lot of people do use but could be expanded for sure!

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

It was a tough year, a lot of the squash! The ones that did well,I really enjoyed growing, a complete surprise! It was a black corn, an heirloom corn from Peru,. It grew beautifully! It grew to 8-9 feet tall! Putting out multiple ears on a stalk.

I use the 3 sisters technique

where you take one variety of squash and one variety of bean and one variety of corn. And one shelters the other, creates learning now with the 3 sisters, They’re saying now that squash, the reason they were grown at base of the corn, they secrete a chemical that surpasses weeds, so it might have been more then just shading the grown there maybe a better choice it prevented weed growth!

The 3 grow in harmony together, if you’re not familiar look it up because it’s great for small gardens! Because you just grow them right there together.

benefit each other

chose as a wild card for the are

just for thanksgiving

took some of the black corn, I looked up the history

it’s a flint corn

it’s the national drink of Peru, when you go to someone house, you’re given a cup of, it’s like a hot tea, it’s it’s made with pineapple piles as well as cinnamon and lime juice.

honey, boiled together looking at this majestic corn it makes almost like a cranberry tea, but it has its own flavor and its really beautiful but who knew?

That’s the great thing about researching in the culinary books, all of these plants have been celebrated in parts of the world! That’s what keeps me excited is looking into the history of these things and finding, that’s a welcoming drink into everybody’s house!

I do share it with the community and the chefs who are ordering  the corn.

I’m gonna just say really quick, one year I was  so sick and mike had just harvested the corn and I had been in bed for like 2 days and somehow I got some the broth from the corn and I swear it was like Chicken Noodle Soup for 

Corn and squash

you can do it in lots of different ways

my farm is in a clock if you will, what there are these raised mounds, because squash like to be grown

raised mounds, I have about 10 in a circle

irrigation that goes off every day. Just to give people and idea of where I am, Im up at 2700 foot elevation.

almost desert conditions, its not the Hawaii most people think of .

I’;ll get the corn started at first, there’s lots of guides to that, I’ll plant them quite close about 8-10 inches

apart, I plant really close, and make mini blocks

I also made a big block of maybe 40 plants

Keep in mind I’m growing in straight compost so they are getting plenty of nutrients. Of course the beans at the base of the corn, once the corn out is up out of ground then I plunk in the beans.

stage it.

squash isn’t always a team player

big and fumbling and vining so you want to make sure theater ones get a chance to grow upwards before you put your squash in. The beans what they do is use the corn as a trellis, pick any kind of pole bean

great when we get dry weather


love rattle snake pole bean, it’s very versatile it can be a green bean or as a

used a dry bean


Plus when I go to the kindergarten, the kids all want the rattlesnake.

hawaii has no snakes

none, zero

interest in snakes too, because we have none!

The beans will be climbing up corn and of course the squash grows outwards away from everything. So they like pole beans and the squash grows up the corn? Like the corn is the pole.

Beans grow up the pole


Popcorn only grows about 4 feet t

might have to add poles

I’m finding a lot of these beans that can be big climbers

lima beans as well, and Here in Hawaii the lima beans can get to be 16’ tall?!

We don’t have the normal if you will seasons with a real spike in temp when it holds that temp for several months. Our weather comes and goes,

yesterday was was quite warm, today was cold and windy and raining, our weather fluctuations sort of ebb and flow

great long season

comes and goes

plants are long land raised squash

adapted to those conditions

lima beans need a long season, a very long season, so here they are almost perennial plants, believe it or not people don’t really grow them, Lima beans went out of fashion for a lot of people. But Fresh Lima Beans are fantastic. I use them in my chili. Because Lima Beans are the best I have tried

The reason for the blocks is for the pollinations. That’s

pollen can transfer . That’s where the blocks come in, if

will not get kernels developing, it could have been stormy weather comes

kernels are still good, they look funny, those ones, the pollen needs to touch each of the silks

each strand of silk, it needs to touch, it needs to transfer from the tassels downwards, so the block comes in handy because it ups your chances of the pollen transferring.

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

Rare squash for seed

Every year I do squash trials. I definitely want to grow that black corn again, and more of it, I really loved it

Every year I get the heirloom seed catalogs, I’m sure you can relate to this. I’m actually getting ready to plant again now, which seems really strange, but we have a funny winter season, if you time it right you can get things to grow in the winter time, certain things.

I’m looking to get planting in the next month, always I’m trying new varieties of squash, new to me.

new to me

old varieties

ones that I haven’t explored

Species Mushata, there’s 4-5 varieties, I should say species of squash, and within each species there’s  lots of varieties to choose from

eggplants are something I grow in the summer time

I adore growing chili peppers

6 days of flooding, now keep in mind I’m out in the dry arid part

lot of overcast days, high winds.

this year, was a little bit, I don’t want to say it was a complete wash, IO just celebrated Thanksgiving, I was very successful, I delivered to different chefs and markets and things


Ghost Pepper Olive Oil Infusion

hard to judge based on this year, I got all of these new varieties of new eggplants and chili peppers. One of my favorites is ghost peppers put it in olive oil for 2 days and do an olive oil infusion

So you capture all that flavor without al the heat, still has a lot of the heat and then you can take that olive oil infusion and drizzle over the squash and back it and  taste that

great way to use some of these peppers

better then the jalapeño in this area

some that failed, didn’t produce this year I’m gonna try

lemon drop pepper chili pepper

some eggplants from Taiwan do wonderfully here in Hawaii, so I just encourage people. if one doesn’t do well with you, there are hundreds of other varieties. And keep that creative spirit of trying things. The great thing of being able to connect with all of us, the seed banks, there’s seed banks sprouting up around the country. There’s so much regional research there’s national seed saver exchange I encourage you to find these resources.

What made you pick squash?

The area where i’m doing the garden, they had this standouts they had this sort of wild squash in the background , what is it and can you keep it going? So I started cooking.

Probably came with the immigrants from japan.

Anyone who knows about fruit flies. here’s this beautiful squash growing naturally.  What was coming to the store, things were coming in minimum 3500 miles. I started looking at Why is this squash in the supermarket not what is growing here?

As I started pulling up ag data,

we were down to one farm in the state! We were importing 97% of our squash

already imports 90% of it’s food, we’re not real proud of, but we need to encourage people to grow their own food. We’re on a shipping route, so it’s too easy to ship in.

area farmers,

I went around so I volunteered, I’ll work for you for a day, do whatever needs to be done. At the time I was working on cars too, I have this mechanical thing that was also taking flight. I do my own auto repairs bring back old cars, I’ll work on your tractors, whatever you need, but I wanted to know why they are not growing squash.

It opened up so many opportunities because so many new farmers want to know what to grow, but I wanted to know what

so they told me a whole list of ones who had failed here.

this other one that is growing wild why is it succeeding, so it started this whole chain of evens,

understanding the property of plant breeding, and land races, and what heirlooms meant. Because I didn’t know all of this stuff 3 years ago, it’s been a fast turn for me

Anna Peach squash harvest

that’s really what I’m known for culinary squash in particular, ones that taste really good but ones that are resistant, naturally resistant to local bugs and pests. So that’s what started it all

I love the taste of it. and

push that questions

if this is growing well, why do we need to import generic  butternut and generic acorn and generic

we’ve gotten used to

based around these same hybrid veggies that have a number attached to them. I’m more like what if we think about the history of food, say the food of Thailand is not the same of the food of Italy. Neither is the produce, the pumpkins or eggplants grown in Italy extremely different. the pumpkins are very dry, very much for savory, they also have sweet pumpkins but they are bread for gnocchi and ravioli

for savory dishes,

In Thailand the pumpkins can be sweet for the curries to kick with that spice

we have all these generic, I always say we have eggplant #4765

culinary traditions, that’s not how it was, and it doesn’t need to be that way. So each of us when we plant our gardens can think, I love cooking Italian so let me see about an Italian heirloom and family and neighbors will appreciate it

nobody excited about a generic.

no one

It was really a fascination

That’s great because people always wonder what to plant. I have a ton of oregano, some of my guests suggested I could make pesto with it. So I’m gonna work with it and figure out away to use it instead of how to get rid of it.


look at what wants to grow, like you and your oregano. We have a variety of Mexican Oregano, used as an ornamental, has more of a succulent leaf, a big fleshy leaf, but what’s great about it you can grab just a machete and get an armful of it, chop it and feed through food processor.


Same kind of thing, I’m a big olive oil fan. I love olive oil, take some of your oregano, put it in ice cube trays, herbs drop that into your soup. stir fry, so many great cookbooks, what to do with abundance,

different environment a mile away from where we Im farming, 1000s of micro climates

Chiolte squash, it’s a big climber, known each region of the country, they also name it alligator pear. It’s a  pale green climber of squash, and what people do they cut it down. But we research different parts of the plant, but we can use the tops of radishes in stir-fry

We can be really quite thrifty, the pipinola, it’s really between a cucumber and squash, the leaves and the vine tips are a delicacy. People here eat the vine tips stir fry with some soy sauce, and a little bit of chilis makes a beautiful appetizer

The fruits themselves are  little

40 years of

looking at me, for this rainy day, I have this bushel sitting in front of me and it’s like what do you do with a bushel of anything? So I started fermenting it like a Kim chi sauerkrauts, salsa, biggest things Im excited

crawls and covers your whole garden, climbing the banana trees, people don’t like it with all of this wet weather, let that grow, harvest fully, vine tips, leaves that are edible, prune back

depends on where you are growing, we all have different, you have listeners from all over the country. And learning too, squash flowers, of course the seeds are edible,  and you have leaves too, so you have four things that are edible in your squash,

cooked up ag data from central Africa

growing a very rare plant, picked from me rare seeds from a giant pink banana variegated squash. so it’s pink with white stripes and it’s just fantastic!

looked up the crop data

listed breakdown

we think of it in terms of pumpkin period. We’re really missing out, and that’s what’s great with home gardeners

really stop and think, research is there anything else that this can be used for

weeding doing all of that it can be more excited you can clip some greens here and there and make a fresh spring salad, not have to wait for summer harvest! Just a side note of being thrifty and grateful!

One of my guests (Robin Kelson) sent me a recipe for carrot top pesto which I also didn’t try because I didn’t get to cooking but it’s a great thrifty recipe because someone didn’t like to thin their carrot tops.

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

All of my chili peppers are pretty

2inches tall

I planted at them at the peak of summer, but we really got wintery weather in the middle of summer, ready for transplanting now going into winter, day-length  is an issue

sun is down shortly after 6 o’clock, which we think, that’s just one of the things, putting them in the ground now basically their gonna hit the pause until we get the long days again.

so many of the squash, I trailed them weren’t great performers because we didn’t get the heat this year. The land racers

so many

WE had a very early harvest of tomatoes, we grow cherry tomatoes here, we cant grow the big ones outside of  a greenhouse because of the fruit flies.

it was one of the years where I had a really fun harvest of both tomatillos

heirlooms recessed them selves.

Ready to prep

invasive grasses, that I use for sheet mulching

mow the whole perimeter, so these beautiful tomatillos

tomatoes come up

rest of the tomatoes didn’t do as well because we didn’t have the heat.

heirlooms reseeding themselves grew where then traditions were right, while I was too busy looking at the calendar, really what I should have done!


Lentil Underground BookI was just reading the Lentil Underground and he said he waited till this tree blooms. And order your yummy lentils from Timeless Seeds website the hero of the Lentil Underground!

Worked with local library did a couple of resources related to the kind of thing I am doing

and that was one of the books we pulled


I love coconut oil, take baby steps, one of the things I started doing, always doing trials and doing things in the kitchen at the markets

and new ways to work with

drizzle of the coconut oil goes really well with the sweetness of squash.

another funny strange trick, the dogs absolutely love roasted pumpkin, and you just smash it up and add a trickle scoop of the coconut oil, maybe add some cooked brown rice as well. It can be even the leftover pumpkin or could be the parts that you’ve trimmed away

Simple Pet Food

shiny glossy from having that oil

a lot of the really expensive gourmet pet food has coconut and pumpkin in it. Depends on where you live in the country, some places squash where is hard to grow

easy to grow

area where you have too much squash

thinking in terms of that


That same mash, I will feed to the baby chicks or wounded chickens, I also have an Hawaiian pig who’s 250 lbs

kind of an exploration to do

different flavor, I believe it can be heated to higher temp. I just recommend people play with it and work with it. I happen to love, one of my favorite things is to make a coconut curry with canned coconut milk, and then using the pumpkin and some Thai chilly paste. The coconut, it’s gonna be new for people and it’s really good for you

finally getting imported into Hawaii

land costs are so high, we don’t have the land to make those products.

I wanna say Samoa has a tree very specific tree. I’d have to look into that.

I’ll have to look into that too.

Thailand has it going on in a lot of the tastes that I enjoy… Ive never been there, I grow several thai squash as well as several peppers.

what do you want to grow, I’d love to grow some of the thai melons.

several thai melons they have tropical fruit flies

heirlooms that have the same pests that the have, we have a better chance because they have already adapted.

wasn’t hot enough, its a little too mild

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

I hate setting rat traps. Keep in mind I am a commercial farm. So I have to keep the health and safety and up to par, more enjoyable now, 2 dogs my landlord has, my dogs

Ones a pointer mix, one is a Dachshund Chihuahua

had really good tracking skills, in Hawaii we have these cycles, when we get rain we get a lot of mice and rats after, sort of like a population boom. I also think in terms of life the cycle of life all around the farm

trap for rodents

great thing

giving the dog a job

differentiate they know we’re trapping for mice

know where’ trapping for rats. they will locate the next day, guaranteed they’ll be done.

taking a traps

Where it’s been a little bit better the dogs have been a great help, efficient

kept production high because they do not have

The extra bonus we have the native owl, as well as a barn owl taken up residence around the area, but them on a log, an owl will swoop down, took bad,


had owls,

helping to patrol the area, have really created a nice safe, nothing that’s going to hurt them

helps their family and keep population in check and also keeps the farm dongs so they have something interesting to do.

I like that is’a solution 

What is your favorite activity to do in the garden.

I like to eat. I like to do in the garden. I always plant things, same as I was 5 some things never change. Same thing pull up the carrots. I love to make sure. Tomatoes, are random tomato plants are scattered throughout the squash field. That’s why it’s my lunch. Let’s say Pruning the vines Keep them really healthy, produce I’ll prune them, it’s nice to have a fist full of tomatoes to keep going.

Not really a job, makes when you have to do those things ,clipping the leaves off to keep the vines really healthy, select that what the land raises, they can live for 2 years, and still produce, the become b….

Tomatoes and things.

This is what I was gonna say, when you say the pumping, do you just mean the part of the squash 

Several times you said something about squash pruning and maintaining, Chile pepper

I don’t grow ornamental pumpkins, halloween pumpkins just for o

within the winter squash family, we have a classification.

loose term

tends to be, here in Hawaii

Kabotcha is the term for pumpkin in Japanese

way the terms are used. All pumpkins are winter squash, but not all winter squash are a pumpkin. A lot of the varieties I choose to go ware in species mutate, some are winter squash.

tend to have  a deep orange flesh. Straight forward winter squash, majority of what I grow would be technically

makes a great cattle feed…

not intended

1000s of varieties out there and something like that

species papal

Connecticut field pumpkin

pie pumpkin


we get out here, not great for

would not want to make into a pie

outside can look different

know what the variety is

sugar pumpkins are fantastic for pie panthers

tiny jack-o-lantern

can’t generalize dealing with so many growers and varieties

What is the best gardening advice you have ever received?

I always appreciate learning when about our pests in Hawaii, it’s important to learn about them and be warned about them.  I really appreciate that the farmers why their crops failed it was really important for research what’s the name of this pest

get a lot of invasive species

when you import a lot of your food,get pests and diseases

do their best to keep them out of the state

to refine and looking at

what is this pest, came in 2007

added clarity to my research to at least have some starting word.  knew it was a moth, worm, find the name,

being called picked worm, critical advice, as one of the farmers said,

]you cracked the code

it’s a puzzle

Have you ever entered a fair? How’d that go?

Got an opportunity to speak at the Heirloom Expo in CA, have an ocean between our islands, don’t always come together to together, we feel a house

to go to the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa CA brought a wonderful pop

can’t export from Hawaii, because of the fruit fly.

some ag products we can

that’s why value added things

can’t bring pumpkins the pumpkins with me.

we have melon fly

had a great opportunity present itself

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds organized the national

do a crop trial

every year, squash and tomatoes and watermelons asked if I’d like to participate that

found growing here on the property

I could participate in the fair, by growing sending the seeds to them

flew me out

collect data

learn all of this, have actually

a ag gathering, worlds fair of food

people come from all around the country

gathering of farmers and

Mid September

in Santa Rosa CA

wonderful to have the Hawaiian Black Kubota be in that line up

photos in stead of actual

Hawaii doesn’t get to participate

ex of

Squash Line Up

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.

Hoe, I do a lot of work with a hoe. Because I’m doing No Till I turn a lot of the mulch with the hoe, works with hops I get from the brewery, get the air circulating with the mulch so it doesn’t get bogged down with water.

A favorite squash recipe you like to cook from the garden?

Well, I think what I love about squash is it can be used in some many different things from sweet to savory, main course to

yesterday was invited

I made a pumpkin toffee cheese cake, it was really decadent with a graham cracker crust!

I also did a roasted pepper in the olive oil, little bit of the chili pepper oil

sage and sea salt ground up chili peppers

I did both a sweet and a savory. I love doing a coconut curry with pumpkin. A vegetable lasagna with a whole layer of sliced pumpkin in there.

They have a great shelf life as well, you can keep them for a long time.

A favorite internet resource?

I love seed savers exchange

THere’s a lots of seed saving tutorials

A lot of videos that helps to clarify things you may have read … they have a lot of great visuals, you get quite lost it’s like a  labyrinth

so much info drift over to online catalog

heirloom seeds become a member then you participate in the seed swap between members, but I love the tutorials it’s helped me to understand

helped me to keep seed lines pure.

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

If There Aint Squash Bugs In Heaven I aint StayingJust finished a book “If There’s Squash Bugs in Heaven, I Ain’t Staying.” by Stacia Spragg-Braude.  A fantastic book about old ways of farming in NM.  Poetic. I loved my copy enough that I am donating it to the Hawaii Public Library System, so that everyone can read it ! I also have a deep admiration for the writings of William Woys Weaver.  He is a seed saver of distinction, as well as a writer, chef and educator.  I read anything he writes.

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?

Each of us has opportunity CSA’s Farmers markets , do all of it myself, conscious of how to do it how much time it, don’t require refrigeration

They actually cure in the sun

I do my own distribution to chefs on the island.

I just recommend if you are working with chefs, that’s where you

expecting weekly orders understand your production.

Great if you can find a chef who’s willing to do specials, by that I mean a special menus to start

line of carrots all at once, especially for the home gardener, it’s wonderful if it can be celebrated on a menu for a night or two. Then you don’t have the pressure of weekly orders can be

expected to deliver 24/7 because we have that sort of world. Be a good communicator, what you expect to produce  and if the crops aren’t coming in on time, so they don’t put out a special menu.

It’s very basic

communication is key

working with chefs, have different timelines they work within the day every. They’re super busy

moment of time, ordering dinner rushes

finding out what is a good time to deliver, what works for you.

from who you are working with,

You want to deliver during quiet times, because you can glean a lot of info that way, when it’s quiet the chef might be able to say to you, this went over really well let’s do more of that. You get a lot more feedback if the chef is in a place in their day to take a moment.

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?

One of my main concerns as food production is really getting the food grown. That takes so many different shapes we just need to kick it up. I love urban gardening, urban farming. I was a big fan, when I learned about victory gardens. Literally, the back yard garden movement, share the info, and help our neighbors get started, because once people get started I don’t know anybody who’s really stopped.

we kick of sometimes, bite of more then you choose

we cut our grocery bills, I barely buy groceries anymore, which is fantastic. Really think in terms of that.

How do we educate? inspire? it is a lot of work, not something that is going to appeal to everybody, yet at the same time it appeals to so many they just don’t know where to start. The urban garden movement most unlikely place we can glena a lot of inspiration take n over eye sore in a community into a vibrant place, not just producing food, but also building community working side by side what the are about, doing all that labor, it’s a great time to talk as your’ shoveling, its a great time to talk and learn… that’s where I focus on small food production crops.



You know what Im sure what everyone’s wondering, is Anna Peach your real name?

Yes they love calling me Farmer Peach!

Do you have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

I just recommend: Just try, there’s so many great resources we talk about. I’m farming as one person and everyone said that would never fly and it’s working! I created an impossible farm model in some ways. It’s just possibly.

There’s a quote that I really liked, basically. “this time next year wouldn’t it be nice to say you’ve been gardening, rather then I want to.”

I know I’m guilty, I want to be writing more, I love writing and I don’t write enough.

actions into play

it’s great now, I can look back and say I’ve been farming for 3 years.

It’s exciting now looking back! Just think about a year from now what would you like to say I did this year?

Resolutions coming up? Think in terms of resolutions? Would you like to produce more food for your family.

WE live in such a world of one upping one another. We don’t need to.

Wouldn’t it be just great if you grew a couple of tomatoes for your family and a few neighbors.

I was just gonna say our challenge was just pick one thing to produce for your family for one season, I think what people didn’t realize that one tomato plant will probably produce enough tomatoes or one fruit tree, I’ve been amazed at how much comes from one fruit. We grew 12 eggplants this year and I have eggplants coming out my kazoo, one or 2 eggplant would have been enough.

How do we connect with you?

check out your blog! squashandawe.com

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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