Kavita Bay shares her story of gardening and raising bees in NW Montana at the Rivulet Apiaries and Hindu Hillbilly Farms.
Tell me about your first gardening experience?
Early 20s. 38 raised beds.
What does organic gardening/earth friendly mean to you?
Simply not using anything synthetic…taking care of the soil – biodynamic
Who or what inspired u to start using organic techniques?
Not a conscious choice…
How did you learn how to garden organically?
Reading and talking to lots of old timers, farmers in area, and still do especially at farmers markets is a great resource. Took masters gardeners class with Helen Atthowe with an incredible masters gardeners bible. Heavy on soil science which is your foundation.
Tell us about something that grew well this year.
Tomatoes and asparagus.
Is there something you would do different/new next year?
Green cover crops
Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.
Didn’t get any beans
Something that you find is easy to grow and is generally successful everytime
Kale – first and last thing to grow
Something you would steer new gardeners away from that u find is typically challenging to grow in your climate.
Eggplants and peppers – don’t put out until mid-June don’t like cold at all
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.
6 inch kitchen knife for weeding.
A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can
Master Gardener Manual
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?
beesource.com – membership site.
Use high quality wholesome products and essential oils and just start with one product.
Western Bee Supply in Polson.
Get one or two because that will give you something to compare it to. Plus if you lose one you haven’t lost everything.
Action steps people can do is provide biodiversity – lots of plants for different pollinators, wasps, bees, any native bees, pay attention to plants that you buy and where they are coming from. Being hyper local and vigilant about where you buy your starts. Many box stores are selling plant starts that already have Neonicotinoids in them and that can affect plants so people are unsuspectingly planting things thinking they are green/organic, and not realizing they already have pesticides etc on them.
Support local economies/organic gardeners/farmers markets.
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 planet either in your local area or on a national or global scale?
Pay attention to how we eat and what we eat which can make a difference on a larger scale and who’s growing it. Love to see food systems more local and sustainable. Each individual choice can make a difference.
Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?
Eudora Welty ”“Gardening is akin to writing stories. No experience could have taught me more about grief or flowers, about achieving survival by going, your fingers in the ground, the limit of physical exhaustion.”
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