Episode 13: Karen Carpenter Montana Artist and Gardener

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

Rebellious kid who’s mom said OK, do what you want with your garden which led to an important lesson.

Karen Carpenter's Organic Garden

What does organic gardening/earth friendly mean to you?

Chemicals aren’t always good.

How did you learn how to garden organically?

Talking with people in the area

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

Karen Carpenter organic garden bedsKaren Carpenter organic garden beds

Broccoli, cucumbers, peas, the cold weather crops are good. Zone 3 because of elevation – 3800’

Onion crop

Is there something you would do different next year?

Concentrate on soil – Marl soil like clay so going to add dairy manure and an organic mulch.

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

Only get about 5 hours of full sunlight a season because location is on north side of mountain so have to do everything possible to promote growth.

Something you would steer new gardeners away from that you find is typically challenging to grow in your climate.


Do you have any secrets for preserving food-making it last? 

Can or freeze veggies

Carpenter Canned Vegetables


Do you have any special techniques for cooking weird or unusual foods?

RePickles exotic pickles – for potato salad

A favorite recipe you like to cook?

Zucchini bread with pineapple

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 that you just couldn’t live without.

Fork with 3 tines, but 2 fell off so it’s like a hook for digging that breaks through hard soil.

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

Mother Earth News

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

Just do it. You’ll learn as you go what works and what doesn’t every year it’s different.

Thanks for visiting Mike’s Green Garden. If you like what you heard on the Organic Gardener Podcast we’d love it if you’d give us a 5 star rating on iTunes so other gardeners can find us and listen to. Just click on the link here:


If you have any comments, questions, guests you’d like to see, or topics you’d like us to cover please send us any feedback positive or negative. We’re here to serve our audience and we can only improve with your help!!! Thanks for visiting Mike’s Green Garden changing the world one garden at a time.

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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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