Marjory Wildcraft On Edible Organic Gardens, Food Forests

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Ep #6 – Marjory Wildcraft On Edible Organic Gardens, Food Forests & More – 9-6-2012

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Today was an honor for us to have Marjory Wildcraft (affiliate link – helps to support us) on our show.

Marjory is the “go to” person for all things gardening in our opinion.

After you listen, comment below and tell us what you think!

We discuss the following and so much more:

  • Why it’s important to start growing some of your own food
  • How to compost
  • The importance of chickens
  • How to collect rain water
  • And much more!

Practical tips from Marjory Wildcraft on how to grow edible gardens in your own backyard.Click to tweet this!

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Show Date: 9/6/2012
Show Guest: Marjory Wildcraft
Guest Info: Marjory Wildcraft is the creator of a video tutorial called “Grow Your Own Groceries” with over a quarter of a million copies being used in more than 30 countries around the globe.

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Topic: Gardening, Permaculture, Sustainability, Food Forests, Edible Gardens
Guest Website(s): Grow Your Own Groceries (affiliate link – helps support us)

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Items Mentioned: How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You … (affiliate link – helps to support us)
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Duration/Size: 01:03:42 / 58.31 MB
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Podcast Transcript:

JUSTIN: Thank you so much for joining us everybody. I appreciate you joining us on today’s episode. Today is September 6th, 2012 and this is episode #6. You can find that at extremehealthradio.com/6 and we would really appreciate it if you would click ‘like’ on this page, ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and all that good stuff.

In case you are interested, all the shows are going to be transcribed for you, so any time a guest says something, it’s going to be search-able on our website. If they mention something like a particular product or something like ‘aspirin’ and you want to search for that, any time a guest has spoken the word ‘aspirin’ on our website, you’ll be able to pull that up. So, it will be like an online encyclopedia for you. Just give us about a week for the show to be transcribed . I know a lot of times I listen to podcasts and radio shows while I’m driving or out on a run or something, and to have the show notes on the pages will be really helpful for you. So, anytime a guest mentions a book, or something like that, it’s all going to be in the show notes, so you don’t need to write it down, just visit the show notes. This will be extremehealthradio.com/6.

If you would like to send any questions to the guest, or to me, email them to justin@extremehealthradio.com or you could call in your questions and we will play your voicemail on the air. It’s (949) 391-7363. I just want to say that this show is brought to you by Kombucha Kamp and that’s run by Hanna Crum, who is an awesome lady out of Los Angeles. She teaches you how to make Kombucha and she sells all the equipment, the scobys and all that good stuff. You can check that out at extremehealthradio.com/kombuchakamp.

Before we introduce our guest today, I want to tell you about our upcoming schedule. Tomorrow we have David Wolfe. Next week, we have Markus Rothkranz, who is a raw food guy. We have Danny Roddy, who is a researcher into things like the endocrine system, stress and hormones. We have Ann Marie Gittleman coming up, as well as Susan Schenck and lots of really good people. We have Dr. Bruce Shelton coming on September 29, and typically we do about three interviews per week. We try to stick to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so make sure to check out our show page for more information on all of that.

Okay, so let’s introduce our guest today. I am really excited. It is Marjory Wildcraft. I will read you a little bit of her bio and we’ll get started: Marjory Wildcraft is the creator of a video called Grow Your Own Groceries, with over 250,000 copies being used in more than 30 countries around the globe. The video series teaches people, with no experience, how to turn their backyards into organic food producing paradise. Marjory’s work is highly endorsed by Mike Adams of the Natural News Program, Alex Jones, the Permaculture Activist and the Weston Price Foundation.

Wow Marjory, that is quite a bio. You have sold over 250,000 of your DVDs:

MARJORY: There is 250,000, probably more, out there with all of the current sites. There’s a lot, it’s spread around. I put a lot into it. Those videos are not something that was just slapped together and put up on youtube. They are years of research and then very well crafted. I took almost a whole year off, just making that DVD, scripting and rewriting them and shooting them and editing them. It’s a process.

JUSTIN: That’s great. You are based out of Texas?

MARJORY: Yes, we are outside of Austin, Texas.

JUSTIN: So you have pretty moderate temperatures out there for most of the year?

MARJORY: Well, Texas is a pretty wild place in terms of climate. Here, in the Austin area, we are at the intersection of five different bio regions, which is great in some ways, but in some ways it’s not. You can get the weather patterns from almost any type of bio region at any time. So we go from extremes of drought and went through a four year period, where we only got about 12-15″ a year, extremes of rain, where we got over 60″ of rain one year. Last year, we had 90 days of over 100 degrees and then cold. It doesn’t happen all the time, but we got down to 9 degrees. You just never know when it’s coming, so Peter Bane, who is the editor of the Permaculture Activist Magazine which is probably the most well established permaculture magazine or outlet the United States and he reviewed the video set that I made. He said ‘you know Marjory, as harsh as it is, you are living in the environment we are all moving to with climate change, so it’s really good you’re doing the work you’re doing’. I said, ‘okay, I think I would like to move somewhere nicer’.

JUSTIN: So you have been doing this for how long?

MARJORY: A little over a decade now, a little over a decade.

JUSTIN: I would imagine that you have everything dialed in, in terms of knowing all the tricks and all the solutions to the most common problems people have. Right?

MARJORY: We have a lot figured out. It’s wonderful, you’re dealing with life and living organisms and it’s constantly changing. It’s very delightful in that way,

JUSTIN: That’s amazing. What are some of the reasons you think people should start gardening more and start to grow some of their own food. I know a lot of people have different motivations, but what is your main motivation for trying to get the word out to teach people that they should start doing that?

MARJORY: You’re right and I do have several motivations. I’ll tell you a story of how I got started. What got me started was that I was volunteering with a group in my community to have local grown vegetables over at the elementary school. It seems like a slam dunk, as one of the people who lived in my county, his name was Steve Bridges and he happened to be the president of the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Steve had this vision and this dream of having fresh produce in all the schools across Texas. I said ‘Steve, I do a lot in my community, let me help you, we’ll get it going even though I’m home-schooling. Let’s do it at this elementary school down the street from me. We’ll get the template figured out and then we’ll replicate it everywhere across Texas’. We were so on it and we had so many really talented and capable people on this project. And it wasn’t until the third meeting that the whole thing fell apart. But up until then, everybody was very excited. The Federal Government had plant money and the State, they wanted healthier kids, they just mandated that no vending machines could be in the schools and they were trying to move toward it. The parents and teachers, they know, there was study after study after study that has shown that when kids eat good healthy food, they are better behaved, they make higher grades and are generally all around much more pleasant to be around. They do better in school and, from my personal experience, they smell better.

We were totally on this. We were going to make this happen, but in the third meeting, it all fell apart. We were at the local community center and sitting on those metal folding chairs with a folding table, and we put pen to paper. Between all of us in the group, we practically knew everybody who was growing organically in Texas. We realized there was not enough locally grown food, in the county to provide part of the vegetables for one small elementary school. We were not done, and we realized we would have to draw on a tri-county area to get enough vegetables for part of the need. It then dawned on me, how little locally grown food there is. A lot of people have heard that, especially people who are aware have heard that, that your food travels to you1500 miles, according to research done by the Leopold Center. Absolutely, because there is nothing growing out in the countryside. All the small family farm networks have been completely dismantled. There is no locally grown food and when you combine that with whether there is a lot of people who are aware that there is only about three or fours days we have this just in time delivery system. There is only about three or four days worth of food in grocery stores. When you look at that, I couldn’t stop shaking when it started to dawn on me the possibility of what could happen and how destitute we had become, in terms of all the food supply. I really couldn’t stop shaking for hours. And I’m a big body centered person and when my body is like that, then I know this is, and when you see a problem and you say wow, this is a huge problem, what am I going to do about it. Somebody ought to do something about it, right? Then you go, wait a minute, that might be me. And I really felt that I was the wrong person, because I didn’t know anything about growing food. I had been involved in business and engineering, corporations, running meetings and giving presentations. Every house plant I had died, I mean I had a black thumb. I thought, wow this is universe, you’ve got the wrong person here. God, look I know you’re infinitely alive and all that, but somebody else would be a whole lot better. There are people who have been growing food for 20, 30 and 40 years.

JUSTIN: I feel like we all feel like that, right?

MARJORY: But, you know, and I really really struggled in the first years, because I had so many failures. It really turned around, with pretty simple principles, and once you start to get that and start really producing and eating really good food, it totally transforms and changes and becomes this wonderful game to play.

So, I got started really out of fear and panic, and I tell you, that still moves me. That’s a big motivation. Now that I’ve been at this for so many years, the motivation is my health has so improved and I enjoy it so much. It’s just an incredible lifestyle that I wouldn’t give up, and it’s something that I didn’t realize, that I had been looking for for years and years and years, that really complements something that I had needed and had been missing from my life, you know working with the soil and the joy of eating something that you’ve grown and then saving those seeds and planting that plant again, or planting some plants and there’s some prickly pear plants that somebody gave me. You know, free on CraigsList, so I got a whole bunch of them and planted them around the farm. Just recently I had a big abscessed tooth and used the prickly pear, made a poultice. That plant healed me. Man, you want to talk about a connection with the earth and with that plant. When I go by that plant, we have a relationship that’s really deep. I helped it and encouraged it in it’s life and it helped me and healed me and fed me. That’s the carrot.

JUSTIN: Yes, I think the motivation is two-fold. One is, like you were saying, to have the ability to control your own food in case something happens. Like you were saying, some of the motivation for you starting, but then also, someone may not be all that scared of possible grid outages or whatever so they just may want to be able to control their food in terms of nutrition. Just because something is organic, doesn’t mean that it’s watered with good water, right? I mean, there’s still things you can control.

MARJORY: In fact, I think you may have seen that study that just came out last week from Stanford University. They were saying that organic foods is really not that much more nutritious than the conventional food. The only thing is that it has less pesticides. I could have told you that a long time ago. I have been eating organically grown food for a long time and it has deteriorated. The point where you can tell where the organic brand was completely usurped was when the USDA got involved in the organic standards, and you could tell, as soon as the government got involved with it, it was no longer going to be a process that people with integrity and fairness and rightness had something to do with it. It has been corrupted and usurped and the Cornucopia Institute is a good watchdog group of the USDA and they’re constantly filing lawsuits because they are allowing chemicals into the organic standard that are in no means in alignment with what the spirit of organic is.

You know, the food supply is so corrupt and there is very very little in the grocery store that I feel comfortable eating. Most of it is just outright toxic in one form or another for the human body. Getting a clean food supply, I feel that either you’re making a lot of money and you’re paying farmers that you trust, or you are doing it yourself. And, to be hones with you, doing it yourself is just a measurable pleasurable activity. You get a hose and a backyard and you’re halfway there.

JUSTIN: I think people are staring to wake up to this and I think that trusting the government for everything that we trust them for, is not a smart idea in my mind, because God only knows all the ways they lie to us and don’t tell us the truth. Just the other day, I was out at the Farmers Market down the street here, and a lot of the people don’t even want to go for the organic, because of the labeling it costs so much money to go through that process. I think that that is happening more and more and just because it’s organic doesn’t mean that its even close to as healthy as you could grow yourself.

MARJORY: That’s the other thing too. As I’ve gotten into this more and more and had been coming to the same conclusions at about the same time that I stumbled across Dr. Weston Price’s material on nutrition and physical degeneration. When I started a decade ago, I was actually a raw vegan and I was very much experimenting. I loved to hear that David Wolfe is going to be on tomorrow. I am a huge fan of his, and you have some great speakers lined up. I am honored that I am allowed to be in that lineup. I was a raw vegan and I ended up not being, as it’s very difficult to grow that type of diet. Finding food that you can trust is a whole other component.

JUSTIN: For someone who may be living in an apartment or a small house with not much space. I know, my wife and I have to small raised beds, and that’s really kind of all we have right now. What would be the first thing you would tell people what to do, if they just want to start growing something, just to get the momentum going. A lot of people start with sprouting. What kind of things would you tell people to do?

MARJORY: Sprouting is excellent, and in your community, I’m sure a lot of you are aware of wheatgrass and some other options, which are a great way to get that nutrition. What we’re really seeking is nutrition and trying to increase that, as it’s just not available in the commercial food supply. It’s actually fantastic that all you have is two small raised beds. When I started out, my husband’s grandmother was one of those women who had an acre of garden. She grew up pulling weeds behind her mom and dad’s, and by the time she was an adult women, she could manage and make her garden and she was feeding her whole large extended family and part of the neighborhood. So, when I said I’m going to start growing food, was husband was thinking of me and he went out and ploughed an acre, and I’m going to tell you, we had an acre of weeds and frustration. It was horrible. So, thank your lucky stars that all you have is a couple of raised beds, or even just a window sill produces a tremendous amount.

One of the other things that I recommend to a lot of people, and just because it’s so impactful and so powerful is to grow some culinary herbs, like basil, rosemary or maybe some chives. You can grow them on a window sill, a sunny window sill, do it in the kitchen where you are frequently. That way you won’t forget them. Try to get as big a pot as you can to sit on the window sill, because the more soil that’s in that pot, the more it’s going to retain water and the easier it will be on you and you won’t have to be as careful about it. There is a couple of reasons for herbs and one of them is this. Everything you are learning about those three or four little plants that you have in the window, and you notice that you did not water then and you see that the leaves are drooping. You see how it’s responding and you see how it rejuvenates. Maybe you remember Marjory told you I can do this and you went ahead and shot it up with some Miracle Grow and then you see it totally turned yellow with these black spots, and you can see what it looks like when it’s been over-fertilized. Or maybe it’s not getting enough iron and you see it turning pale. Everything you are leaning with that one plant or those two or three plants in that window sill, is the exact same thing you’re going to need to know when you have a garden bed outside, maybe at a community garden center or maybe in a neighbor’s yard. Or, later on, if you’re managing acres of crops, those plants are going to respond the same way, and what you’re leaning right there with just a few in your window sill, is the gateway and the exact same wisdom you are going to need throughout your career of growing food.

There is a lot of power in that. That other power is, of course, that when you go to buy a tiny bit of herbs, and it’s $6 or $10. It’s pretty expensive, you’re never going to make pesto by buying it from the store. Right? You gotta grow your own basil in order to really get the quantities you want to make a wonderful fresh pesto. The other thing, even if you even just have a little bit, and I have heard this from everybody, a little bit of fresh herb will totally transform a dish. You know, my family, we all kind of get in the recipe rut. Right? We all say, we’re going to have this this time. Put little bit of fresh herb on there and my family will say ‘is this a new recipe, this is really good mom’, and I’m getting compliments, whereas before it was just dinner time. Just a little bit of fresh herb will totally transform a dish. There is a lot of power in just starting with a few herbs.

I’m a huge fan of sprouting and I’m also a big fan of wheatgrass. These are some areas where you can really start to vamp up your nutrition. Where were we going with that other question, before I forgot. It was about Dr. Weston Price, and the piece of information I got out of that that really stunned me with Price’s work was, if you remember, he not only went to visit all those indigenous people, but he took samples of their food and had it analyzed for nutritional content, and then he said ‘what’s different about these people’ and one thing that really struck me is that he did that back in the 1930’s. So, we are really talking before conventional versus organic and the conventional was just starting to happen then. An average modern diet at that point was basically organic. He was finding out that the nutritional content in the indigenous people’s was 4-10 times what the equivalent of a modern diet, back then, was.

JUSTIN: Yes, that amazing. I have heard that. I heard some stats a while back about someone, even in the 1950’s, today would have to eat 56 pizzas in order to get the equivalent nutrition of one pizza in the 50’s. It’s just crazy. When we come back, I want to ask you a couple of questions about compost, because I had a little disaster a few months back with my compost, that perhaps you could help us with and other people with.

And Marjory, I’m going to run this little spot here and then I’m going to call you on your land line, as on skype here we’re getting some weird feedback. Would you mind if I do that?

MARJORY: You know what, our land line phone, the reason I’m getting that cell phone call is because the land line phone isn’t working right now. The telephone man has to come and fix it. You can call me on my cell phone if you want.

JUSTIN: Okay, we’re getting some cut out here on skype. Let me run this little spot and then I’ll pause the interview afterwards and do some fancy editing. I’ll get your cell phone off the air.

MARJORY: Okay.

JUSTIN: Stay right there. What’s up everybody? I hope you’re enjoying this podcast and interview so far. I just want to tell you a little about a product I think you might be interested in. It’s put out by a lady named Marjory Wildcraft and it’s called Grow Your Own Groceries. You can find it at extremehealthradio.com/groceries. This product is really amazing, and I think right now she is selling it for $67 and it’s two DVD’s and comes with a separate DVD with over 60 supporting documents. The DVD basically teaches you how to grow and be more sustainable. One of the main reasons for growing your own food, well two in my mind, the first one is you never know how long able the grid is, and if something should happen that you don’t have access to a grocery store, there could be some real problems. You just don’t know how stable the grid is, and being a little more self-reliant is, in my mind, a wise choice. So, growing your own food, for that reason, is really ideal. You don’t have to grow all of it, but some of it would be a good start.

The other reason to grow your own food is that you can control the minerals that go into it. She is a former raw foodist and she does eat somewhat raw now, but she understands the role of key minerals and having a high quality nitrogen rich soil so that each vegetable you grow and fruit that you grow can uptake many minerals. She is really on the cutting edge of all this stuff and in her two DVDs she walks you through how to create a completely sustainable garden that is based on the principals of hemoculture and so I really, strongly suggest you check out the DVDs, which are a really high quality product and we are due to have Marjory on our show soon, if she hasn’t been already. You can check it out at extremehealthradio.com/groceries to learn more about it. I think you’re really going to like it.

Also, if you want to visit our store, we have a lot of high quality products. We only promote the best quality products that we know of. In our store, we have chemical-free glass cookware, rebounders, blenders, dehydrators, workout programs, workout equipment and all kinds of really great things for you to benefit from. So check out our store if you would really like to support us in that way. If you would like to just support us by sending us a donation, you can donate as little as $1 and we would really appreciate that. That would help us to continue our work. Also, if you ever make purchases on Amazon, please visit the bottom of any one of our web pages and make a purchase that way, and we’ll get a little commission from that. That would help us as well.

If you are not interested in any of that, that’s okay too, so continue using our site and learning as much as you can. Consider hitting ‘like’ and following us on Facebook and Twitter, and we would really appreciate that.

Thank you so much for listening and spreading the word. We would really appreciate that. Now, let’s get back to this interview.

Okay, thank you so much everybody for joining us today. We really appreciate that. If you don’t know, we have Marjory Wildcraft on. We have actually changed the audio and she is now being called on her cell phone, so we have gotten off skype. She was trying to get a little better audio quality. So Marjory, I wanted to talk a little bit about some compost issues that my wife and I had recently. We had some compost that we got from a local farm and we were doing everything good. I think we put too many wet things in there like scraps from juicing and things like that. I learned later that I think you have to balance the wet and the dry because there’s flies all over it and it’s just, it went bad pretty quick. Is that kind of a common mistake that you see people making?

MARJORY: Actually, usually it depends on your bio-engine. Here in Texas we can almost never get enough of the wet stuff. So our piles are usually too much on the dry side but yeah, it sounds like that’s, if you’re doing a lot of juicing and green stuff and I bet you are with the raw foods diet, then you’ll probably have a lot more wet stuff than you do dry and just balance that out with a, if you can find leaves or hay or your junk mail you shred up a little but, or old clothes, natural cotton or wool, or natural fiber, you can mix them with almost anything, it’s surprising what you can put in there. A rough guideline you want about 50 percent dry to 50 percent wet. I often tend to go three quarters dry to 25 percent wet.

JUSTIN: Okay. Is there an issue with putting some of your old newspapers and things that have that glossy print and the colors? Is there an issue with that kind of ink because I’ve heard on some receipts there’s chemicals and things, is that an issue for composting?

MARJORY: As far as I know and I need to check this with what the latest is but up until very recently the main story I had gotten from people who go into this in infinite detail was that most of the inks are soy based and believe it or not, that the glossy stuff like on magazines is actually a clay based type of thing so composting that should be just fine. I even end up sometimes if it’s a plastic or something in there too I just often end up composting that. It takes long for it to break down but it does eventually. I’m not as totally completely concerned. Composting is magical, magical bacterial process that’s really miraculous and it can often fix a lot of things.

JUSTIN: I’m learning the power of composting and I think it’s really beneficial. I think it’s probably one of the most beneficial things you can do for starting a healthy garden and making sure your soil is nice and healthy right?

MARJORY: It is the secret to a green thumb. It really is. Compost fixes everything. It fixes sandy soil. It fixes clay soil. It fixes when you don’t have soil. It really is the magical stuff, and it’s the black gold. Our species has spent most of it’s time destroying most of the top soil and I feel going forward the job of humanity and it remains is to rebuild soil. And fortunately, you and I working with nature, we can rebuild it a lot faster than nature can on her own. But that really is the secret.

You know how I was talking earlier about how I struggled for a lot of years, and quite frankly I didn’t know anything, but I would go and visit other gardeners and other farmers. I remember this one yard planted some broccoli, in the Fall and broccoli is a plant that should be able to withstand frost or freezing pretty well. My broccoli was getting up, it wasn’t doing great, but it was growing leaves and doing okay. We had that first November chill and mine all died. I thought ‘what’. I was going around visiting all the other farmers and gardeners I knew, and was asking around and looking at the differences. My one neighbor, Brandon, who had the most vibrant garden of anybody I’ve ever seen, just incredible and beautiful and healthy green leaves, and his broccoli was bursting with life. I’m going back and forth and scratching my head, but really the main difference at the end of the day, and since then I’ve seen this over and over again, was that Brandon was gardening in 2 feet of composted horse manure. He had this unbelievably rich and fertile soil, but he also amended it with all kinds of other things, but those plants had all the minerals that they needed. They had all the life and vitality that they needed and those plants were incredibly healthy. The really good news about that soil being so healthy, and why I’m so delighted that you brought up the question about compost, because compost is so vitally important. Everybody should go out and start at least one compost pile today. I actually have numerous of them around for different things, but the really good news is that those plants that are grown in that mineral rich soil will have those minerals in them, and those plants will be stronger and will be able to withstand all kinds of temperature ranges, or lack of water or whatever you throw at them, wind and a lot of the other factors that nature is going to bring. They will be able to withstand that with no problem. In fact, those kind of plants don’t have insect problems either. They are healthy, and when you eat them, you get those minerals and you become healthier. I can absolutely verify this. I was born and raised in Florida and am a native Floridian, and I really sincerely, all my life I thought when it was 75 degrees, I was reaching for a sweater or a jacket, as I was very very cold and never thought I would live in a cold climate. But, after years of eating my own hand grown food that was raised in really rich soil, I am now very comfortable in walking around barefoot in 40 degree weather, and that is not a problem for me at all. My ability to withstand heat and cold and those sorts of things is so much more improved because I have basically been remineralizing my own body, through eating food that I’ve grown in rich soil.

And going back again to that Weston Price thing again, you get 4-10 times the nutrition, it’s unbelievable what you need if you really want to be healthy. My understanding is that the RDA, you know recommended daily allowance, that’s the nutrition you need not to show symptoms of disease. It’s not the nutrition you need to be healthy. You know, there are big gulf between those two.

JUSTIN: Yes, that a big difference. I wanted to ask you too about technologies that are out there these days, like I know of a product called
Thalassa Mix, I’m not sure, I forget who puts that out, then there’s things like rock dust or ocean water and I you run more of a self sustainable permaculture situation where you are but are those kinds of things good to put in your compost or good to put right on, directly on to your soils or what do you think about those kinds of things?

MARJORY: In the beginning I was pretty diehard of we’re going to try to do this scenario of the whole grid being down and nothing’s available and see if I can make it on my own like that. And since then I’ve said you know I’m going to make life a lot easier for myself and I recommend in the beginning absolutely getting some seaweed or getting some rock dust or rock powders or azomite or some of the things which are minerals in it and build up you soil and then continue to take care of your soil from that point on. So in the beginning very much so, get some supplementation. Also in my own diet I used to not take any supplements at all, I’m very very leery of the supplement market and recently I have started taking some supplemental vitamins just because even with what I’m doing I’m wanting to get more nutrition. So yes very much so and again I’m always thinking, it may not be your concern, but I’m always thinking what if, what if the trucks stop rolling and I built a whole system that’s dependent on me needing an input from the feed store and the feed store closes. Let’s use those systems while they exist and lets help them just start us and get us up growing faster, but in my mind I don’t want to be dependent on them. Actually that’s one of the reasons I went as a transformation from a raw vegan to, I do incorporate a lot of raw fill into my diet but that’s why I ended up eating meat products was I found out growing meat is much much easier than growing the rich fruits and vegetables and also in any kind of a system you need the diversity of forces because, well things aren’t always really reliable so you always want to have a whole lot of different things going on. But growing meat is actually easier, and it’s not just here in Texas, I’ve traveled all over since then, the upper northeast the west coast and the pacific northwest and some of the western interior, Idaho, and also in Costa Rica and Hawaii and talking with the farmers and permaculturists and the gardeners there and growing meat is easier everywhere than it is growing fruits and vegetables. So when I was a raw vegan I’m looking at the label and I’m going okay, Himalayan sea salt, maca from somewhere in South America and I’m getting mangos from here and the bananas from there, none of the stuff grows in the bio-region and I’m loving that diet I truly love the raw foods diet it’s just really worked for me really well, but I couldn’t grow any, really what you can grow here in Texas, it’s a meat products place and that’s the food force that’s here.

JUSTIN: I was a 100 percent raw vegan for seven years and recently, since 2010 I think I’ve been doing some meats and doing some grass fed organic chicken and been doing some stuff like that as well as eggs and things. For me I find that it’s working really really well and I would imagine having a farm or backyard with chickens and with a whole sustainable thing each part of your system would help every other part and you would do certain things to contribute to the whole, right?

MARJORY: Well that’s the other big benefit of having animal ears, the ear is 70 percent nitrogen and nitrogen is one of the big, big elements that plants love and need and want more of, it’s the N on the NPK on the fertilizer bag that you’re not going to be buying at the big box stores. But that plants can’t really can’t get nitrogen themselves but you and I in our excrement and also in our urine there’s an abundance of plant available nitrogen just because it’s a by product of breathing in and breathing out and it gets incorporated into our waste products. And the same is true of animals and animals can really help you jump start getting fertility going in your system so they’re a real important part of that in my system, and you can do all completely vegetarian it’s just going to be a lot more work.

JUSTIN: Now how long is your DVD set?

MARJORY: Well, gosh I’m not sure. There’s two full length DVDs there and in the first one we go over overview of what the climate and soil are like here, we go over water, water is the most important thing in your system and having different sources of water and having different types of salt water, which water is better. We go into the garden and what is the, my whole thing is like what is the fastest the easiest and the most fun way to grow food. Because look, this is what I’m probably going to be doing the rest of my life. I love it, but what is it, you know, realistically it does take some time. So what are the fastest, easiest most efficient gardening techniques? We go over that in quite a bit of detail and also other things, how do you know when you water too much or too little and what other factors, such as shade and when do you need it and when you don’t, whole lot of creativity there. When I got into rabbits and my rabbit hutch is right next to my garden, talk about a synergy there. The biggest thing people usually hate in gardening is leaving. I absolutely hated leaving I mean, who wants to spend time growing up plants, but now I am not leaving. I am collecting free rabbit food. I tell you what it changes the whole thing in fact, now I’m looking at some grass that’s grown in one of my beds, in fact I was just looking at it this morning, hum we’re not big enough yet, I ‘m going to let you grow a while longer, a couple more days, and then I’m going to pull you out and feed it to the rabbits so I’m, letting stuff grow even more. So having that rabbit garden synergy and I showed up a lot of other synergies and things like that, that just make the whole concepts a lot more enjoyable and a lot more fun. I also go into butchering and home butchering and I demonstrate how to butcher a rabbit and I have had, and I went through the whole emotional and psychological process of being a raw vegan, for being a vegan for a lot of reasons, and one of them not really wanting to ever kill anything was one of them to realizing that I’m going to be taking life and eating before I show this animal and how do you do that with honor and with integrity and with compassion? In fact I’ve gotten tons and tons of E-Mails and feed backs from vegetarians that say, you know I may not be ready for this but you did that so lovingly and so well I could if I had to. That’s a huge step.

JUSTIN: I think it’s important to understand, I mean it kind of brings people into the cycle of life and it’s like getting a dog for a child, they learn about birth and death, you know I think that’s an honorable thing. We’ve got to take a break in a couple of minutes, but I was wondering how much of your food do you grow, do you grow all of your food completely yourself or do you grow like 90 percent of it?

MARJORY: I grow about half. I grow about half, yeah. We’ll get right back into that after the break, but that’s a great question to continue on more.

JUSTIN: I’d like to find out more about your system and what you have going on, we’re going to take short break but we’ll be right back with Marjory Wildcraft.

Hope everybody is doing really well today and enjoying the interview. I just wanted to tell you a little bit about a product that I really think is a good, a really good product actually. It’s put together by Jenny over at Nurse Kitchen and it’s called How To Ferment Anything. It’s an E-Product that teaches you how to ferment everything from pickles to sauerkraut to breads to milks, so you make cheeses and you make yogurt and all kinds of really amazing things. Now it you are someone who has been listening to this show you know the value of fermented foods and how fermented goods basically provide you the bacteria that keeps your immune system strong and that basically is your immune system. So eating some fermented foods on a daily basis is critical to your health and she teaches you how to make anything you want fermented and it’s really really as awesome program. I think it’s got 50 video tutorials, 12 E-Books more than 100 recipes, tutorials, articles and fact sheets all devoted to fermented foods along with workshops and facts sheets and tips and guidelines all done by video. It’s recommended by Donna Gates, if you know who she is, she wrote The Body Ecology Diet so I strongly suggest you check it out. You can learn more about that at extremehealthradio.com/ferment. You can also visit our store for other great products like this. In our store we’ve got food preparation products for how to cook real food, how to prepare raw food, workout programs like qigong (chi gong), yoga progams and how to grow your own food and make a really healthy garden for you to be more sustainable, parenting programs, cancer, weight loss, cleansing all kinds of great stuff so check out our store I think you’re really going to like the products we have over there for you. And if you want to make a donation you can do that too. You can donate a little as $1 as it’s all done through PayPal and it is so greatly appreciated. I can’t tell you, so many people donate and we just are so grateful for everyone who sends in a donation so thank you so much for that. And if you ever make purchases on Amazon consider going to extremehealthradio.com/amazon or the bottom of anyone of our pages and you can click on that link and anything you buy from Amazon we’ll get a little commission that will help pay the bills as well. And feel free to ‘Like’ us on Facebook too, ‘Like’ us on Twitter, send our link to your friends and all of that stuff is so greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for listening, for supporting us, I can’t tell you how much we appreciated it. So with said let’s get back to the interview.

So Marjory we just want to give out your website to our listeners. Is it backyardfoodproduction.com or it is growyourowngroceries.com?

MARJORY: Actually, both of them. Both of them will work just fine.

JUSTIN: Are they two separate websites or are they combined?

MARJORY: They’re two separate websites but they are the same product. It’s all the grow your own groceries product. We started out originally calling it backyardfoodproduction.

JUSTIN: Okay. Excellent. So people can visit that website and check out your DVD. Before the break we were talking about the amount of food that you are growing and you said it’s roughly 50 percent?

MARJORY: Yes, about half, and there are a couple of good reasons for that. One is that if I can do half, if I need to switch it on at any time and start going full production, I can. Also, I’m running a small business, I’m a wife and a mom, have two kids and am involved in my community. I spend about an hour or two a day, on average, working in the garden or working with the trees, the animals or the livestock, and that for me is a good amount. Actually, that amount of time for me is my most precious time, it’s my yoga, it my tai chi, when I’m watering, it’s my zen. Sometimes chasing down the loose rabbits is aerobics and that’s a whole other story. For me, that’s what I like. I really enjoy the outside physical real world. That’s a good amount, because there are some mornings that I don’t have time to cut the feed for the rabbits, so I’m just going to grab some pellets I bought from the Feed Store and dump it in there, because we’ve got to take the kids to the dentist, right? It’s the real world. And I feel like I’m still getting a good quality amount of nutrition this way, and supplementing with what we buy or trade from neighbors and local farmers, in a little co-op we’ve got.

JUSTIN: If something were to happen, I know I think there is like a 3-day window where food at the grocery store is on demand for about 3 days and that’s all they really have in storage. If something were to happen to the grid that would put our food production or food in jeopardy, how long should people think about having food available, that they can grow themselves.

MARJORY: The 3-4 days of inventory that’s in the grocery stores will be gone long before 3 days. Everybody will start connecting with cell phones and flash mobs and flash whatever, and we’ve seen that in the hurricane states. You know that stuff has just gone off the shelves almost instantly. I recommend having at least a year’s supply of backup food, and as a raw foodist and being fearful, it’s a little bit difficult to do that. I’m looking into sources of whole grains that I can store and other dehydrated foods that I have dried myself, you know, squashes and tomatoes and things like that. I do a little bit of canning of meat. I don’t really enjoy canned meats, but the rabbits from the rabbit production or the chickens and the eggs and that cycle is ongoing anyway, so we don’t really need to store that much. Definitely explore soaking meats and drying meats. I love the fermentation you talked about. I’m a huge fan of eating fermented foods every day, and usually grow a couple of cabbages every winter and then go ahead and make my own kimchi and have that on hand throughout the year for the probiotic boost.

JUSTIN: Yes, I love fermented food as well.

MARJORY: I also find, like last year, I was traveling a lot and had a couple of crop failures, so now I’m really scratching my head and it’s a great challenge you know. I eating more prickly pears and am eating more wild food that I would have, because I’m still keeping up with that and want to use half of what I grow. As you know, when you really stretch yourself and get into a hard place, the creativity comes in, and that’s a good thing. I’m also a big fan of diversity. The average American, I think, eats about 12 vegetables and that’s including all of their meat products. Corn, is a big one, wheat, soy, potatoes, tomatoes and green beans and that’s about it. That’s about all that Americans eat. Just this morning I was having huckle berries and American beauty berries and a couple of eggs from the chickens and some prickly pear fruit we got from a neighbor. You know, there’s a lot more going on with all of that and the more diverse things you’re eating, the more chances you are getting of a lot more nutrition and different phyto-elements and vitamins you wouldn’t get otherwise.

JUSTIN: Right, I’ve been learning a lot about diversity of the diet and that’s one of the things I’m just horrible about. As once I find a food I like, I’ll eat that for years before I change my diet. I wanted to ask you, real quick too, about a special going on for our listeners and we’ll get to that at the end of the interview, in about 10 minutes or so. I wanted to ask you also, what vegetables or fruits are good for each season? Right now it’s coming into Fall, so each season has its own best vegetables to grow. Right?

MARJORY: Yes it does, and to be honest with you, when we started I had no clue, I really didn’t. I thought that bananas and apples were available all year round.

JUSTIN: I don’t really know either.

MARJORY: The absolute best way to start learning that is start going to a Farmers Market, start hanging out and seeing what they’re bringing in. In general, in the Farmers Market, the farmers are much more focused on what they’re doing than I am, as they are making a living on selling this produce. I notice they are often getting stuff in earlier than I do, and they’ll have lettuce show up before I do, as they spend a lot of time carefully harvesting it, planting it, tending it and getting it up, because that’s what their living is based on. You’ll get a good sense though, that broccoli does not do well in 100 degree weather, tomatoes are doing good now, corn is coming in, sweet potatoes are another crop that’s doing really good and starting to come in, squashes are your warm season and your cool season stuff are going to be broccoli, brussel sprouts and spinach and lettuces. That’s the wonderful thing. There’s also I found a lot of the weeds that come up to stir have a super abundance of vitamins and minerals and often are really tasty. They’re not marketable because you have to eat them right away, they wouldn’t last very long on a grocery store shelf but that doesn’t matter to you and me.

JUSTIN: I’ve been wondering for a long time is do you know if there’s a list, some kind of master list out there that has how many minerals each plant will take up or each fruit or vegetable will take up? Because I know a tomato I think it’s like 56 minerals it can take up. I think grass can take up all of them. Is there like a master list that you know of that has this kind of information?

MARJORY: I don’t know. That would be a good one to look at because then on the converse side of that if there’s something wrong with your plants then which mineral is missing. A good rich soil I think there’s at least 64 minerals that plants need to be healthy and conversely that you need to be healthy and then the quantity of big ones are pretty well known but the smaller trace amounts are not, most people just pick up some seaweed or maybe some azomite or something and cover that (inaudible) you know, just cover it as a one swoop thing and not try to focus too much on the micro elements, just make sure you have them.

JUSTIN: I wanted to ask you a little bit about saving seeds and seed storage and things like that. Do you do a lot of that?

MARJORY: As much as I can. Yes, very much so. In fact the bonus CD that comes with the DVD set has a whole full book on seed saving in it as well as a whole bunch of other, it’s a whole library full of books and documents that are useful to the whole program. Very much so and that’s also one of the incredible connections and joys of, gosh you know there’s some veggies that I’ve been growing now for five or six seasons and years I would say, they only grow in the winter so I harvest and sow and harvest and sow and get a relationship with that plant going, and the same with corn, I been growing some corn and then saving the seeds and then planting it again. Not only is there a connection with you and that plant, it just grows in terms of well you understand the plant and there’s something even more deeper in the relationship there, but also another thing is that plant will get more and more adapted toward your soil or your site or your climate, better and better and that plan will grow better for you year after year as you sow these seeds.

JUSTIN: Do you have any books that you recommend outside of your product, which I highly encourage everyone to get. Are there any books that kind of changed your life, as far as all of this is concerned?

MARJORY: Well, the one book that I very much recommend, it only focuses on vegetables and doesn’t add the meat component, but it’s called How To Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible In Less Space Than You Can Imagine by John Jeavons and John was a very forward thinking man, and back in the 1970s there was an oil crisis and all kinds of stuff going on. He started to say ‘what is the minimal amount of land that you need in order to grow a full diet for one human being’. He was focusing on a vegetarian diet , as if you add meat in there, it’s really hard to do the numbers and keep the research clear. There are a lot of places where his methods are used all over the world now. You know, people can’t afford a chicken or they can’t afford a rabbit. That would be outrageous for them. He has totally documented and researched exactly what you need to grow and come up with an amazing method .to grow with. I have interviewed hundreds of homesteaders and organic farmers and everybody has his book in their library and they use it regularly. It’s a very good book for beginners and really lays out the principals. The tables in the back with all the information on seed longevity and spacing and yield to commercial ratios for home gardeners. Those tables are something that 30 or 40 year veterans of organic farming are still using and referring back to. So, it will be a book that will continue be something you want to have. I would highly recommend it. How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible by John Jeavons.

JUSTIN: I am going to have to actually check that out and check out your product as well. Can you tell us bit about rain water and things like that and how to collect rain water?

MARJORY: Very much so. We here in Texas ….rain really is gold. In the bonus CD that comes with the full thing, in the video it shows the different rain water systems that we have. Everything from a massive one off of a barn that collects 34,000 gallons down to even a little tiny one we have on a little chicken tractor that maybe is only 20 square feet, it’s a little tiny thing. So we collect rain water off every roof that we can. In the bonus CD that comes with that library book, there is a whole book on how to make a rain water collection system and examples of every system that is built in different places. Do you want to use cement tanks, do you want to use poly tanks, do you want to use fiberglass tanks and what do the installations look like and what is going to be the maintenance, what is going to be the cost and you know there is going to be trade offs with everything. That book covers the whole thing, and is included as part of the kit.

JUSTIN: Wow, that’s awesome. You know, it’s so great these days, and I know there’s a lot of issues with the internet and things like that, but it’s so great that for someone like me, who really just doesn’t know a whole lot about gardening. I’ve had my opportunities and I’ve tried a few times, but for someone like me, and others out there like me, it’s just so great to be able to purchase something like a product that you have put out, and it just cuts through hours and hours and years of learning. It’s just amazing, isn’t it?

MARJORY: Yes, it is. We live in this wonderful time, we do, and the internet is this magical magical thing, isn’t it? And you’re absolutely right. The one reason I made the DVD is that I used to teach a workshop, where we went over everything that’s in the DVD series, and back to when it was all books and I couldn’t really keep up with it and thought, well, we’re just going to have to find another way to disseminate all this information and that’s the genesis of the video series. It was really trying to reach a demand on a larger scale. Thank God we have those networks. Isn’t that amazing?

JUSTIN: We are just closing out here, but I know you mentioned something about a special for our listeners, and was wondering what that was.

MARJORY: Yes, let me tell you. On the grow your own groceries website, which is the full DVD set I couldn’t figure out how to do this, but if you don’t want to get that, I would highly recommend you get it, as it’s an incredible value and you will be very happy with it. If you don’t want to try that and want to try something I have done, I’ve done an introductory product, and what I did, I’m not a computer person, I’m mostly outside in the garden. At the very bottom of the page, I have put down a special introductory, I call it the ‘instant master gardener course’ and it’s a series of 7 videos I send you, one for each day of the week and we’ll talk about the secret of a green thumb and I will give you some really dramatic examples of why you want to have that good soil. We will talk about how much land you need. If you wanted to grow all the food that you need, how much land would you need? That’s a big question. A lot of people ask, do you need an acre, do you need 100 acres, what do you need?

I also talk about seed saving and interview and expert seed farmer and we talk about the basics that you need to know and then you seeds are going to stay safe and viable and what are some of the realities of seed saving. There are some outrageous claims being made on the internet by these fly-by-night seed companies, but this guy is the real deal. We also talk about the huge advantages of seed saving. There are incredible advantages that you have as a home gardener over a big commercial guy. We will point that out and you can get out of your garden, at least double, than what the commercial growers can do. Plus, of course you’re going to be saving a lot of water and other things. And then, at the very end, I will send you a video on a very powerful fertilizer that you can make yourself and it’s incredible. It’s $7.00 so scroll down to the bottom of the page and that offer will be down there. We will have it up there for a limited time for listeners to this show.

JUSTIN: That’s great. Well, thanks Marjory for staying on for so long, and would you mind staying on after I close out the show?

MARJORY: Not at all.

JUSTIN: Thank you so much for joining us today Marjory. We really appreciate that. Thanks everybody for listening to the show. I hope you got some really good information out of it. I apologize for the sound quality and having to switch over to the cell phone. That happens sometimes you know. Technology acts up and there’s really nothing you can do about it. I apologize and hopefully that was a good interview.

If you would like to purchase her DVD (I am going to buy it) and if you buy it through us, we will get a little commission and that will help us out. It’s http://www.extremehealthradio.com/groceries” target=”_blank”>extremehealthradio.com/groceries and we will get a small commission if you’re interested in buying it. You can always find links to it on the show page.

So thanks for joining us today and I hope you enjoyed it. If you can, ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and all that good stuff. That will help to get the word out. We will see you next time and thanks for listening.

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