Farm Small Farm Smart Daily

This episode is a special episode, it's a replay of another podcast, specifically someone else's podcast.

The episode that you will hear today is an interview that Marianne West did with me on a subject I am very passionate about - being a dad.

Marianne is going to talk to be about being a dad and how that first experience of being a dad dramatically shook up my life, and not just in a good way.

Marianne did a great job with the interview, and it's an episode that I am very proud to have been a part of.

If you like what you hear in this one, and you want to hear more be sure to check out more episodes with Marianne and her co-host Janice at

With that, let's get into it, with me on the other end of things for a change, it's me on being a dad.

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Direct download: VOC_E223_2017_Fatherhood.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

Today it's back to Kelowna and Green City Acres as Curtis and I take a look back at his experiences with inter-planting, planting multiple crops in the same space .

It's something that he's done for a few years now, and something that he's doing again this year with his tomatoes.

We first stated talking about this subject back in 2015 when we did an episode touching on the subject in Season One, then we hit on it again almost a year ago in Season Two.

Today we are going to take a look at what Curtis is doing now when it comes to inter-planting and how that's changed since we first started talking about it two years ago.

It's a technique that Curtis has a lot of experience with, but one that's continually evolving as he uses it more.

It's a technique that he uses, because it allows him to earn a lot more in the same space over a given year.

For are going example he made and additional $1100 last year, by inter-planting Salanova lettuce in with his tomatoes. That's an extra $1100 that most farmers wouldn't captured.

That's the benefit of inter-planting. Getting multiple yields out of the same space over the same time period.

But be aware going in, this technique isn't for everyone.

There's a lot of constraints and complications that come with inter-planting. And it's a technique that doesn't make sense if you have a lot of land.

None the less, it's a technique that can be a game changer for those of you who do feel like you have a limited amount of land.

For you all, this is just another way to get more crops and more money, without adding land.

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Direct download: FSFS_91_2017_CurtisInterplant.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

There's a lot to worry about out there in the world right now - climate change, GMOs, the financial system, debt, terrorism, disease, water insecurity, a fragile food system.

What if you could insure yourself against some of these worries?

And get that insurance through land, land as insurance..

It would be a way to take insurance back into our control and put the fragile dollars into an anti-fragile system - an ecosystem.

Today Rob Avis of Adaptive Habitat and I will be discussing the idea of owning land as insurance against disaster in depth.

We'll get into models that don't exist yet, and ways that anyone can start to create some anti-fragility in their life now, regardless of where you live and whether you have land or not.

I guarantee, this one will get your wheels turning.

The Antifragile Property Series with Rob Avis - Part 1

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Direct download: VOC_E222_2017_RobAvis2.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

Today I'm going to be talking to another small scale farming making a go of it as we go to Sebastopol, CA to talk to Caiti Hachmyer of Red H Farm.

Caiti's a farmer who started out her farming career on the advocacy side of things.  She was living the Bay Area advocating for farmers and looking to play her part in changing hte food system.  But after a while she felt something was missing.  And she felt like she needed to get on the ground and see what life was really like for some of the farmers that she was advocating for.  So she picked up her California roots and moved to Minnesota to spend some time working on a production farm.  

It was step that would change her life forever.  Giving her perspective of the on the ground side of things which helped her on the policy side, and one that would give her a nice experience ot have in her back pocket.

One that she would need to draw on when she moved back to California and needed work.  

Caiti's gone on to continue her work on the ground and policy side of things.  

It's the dual nature of her work that we focus on today,

Here it is Farming For A Change with Advocate Farmer Caiti Hachmyer of Red H Farm.

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Direct download: FSFS_90_2017_Caiti.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

Today I'm going up to Vancouver to talk to Microgreen Farmer Chris Thoreau with the goal of focusing in on 10 base principles for growing high quality microgreens.

Think 10 things that are critical to growing a good crop regardless of where you are growing them, when you are growing them or how you are growing them.

These base principles help ensure that you get a successful crop that is free of disease and of high quality.

It’s not enough just to go through a successful process without knowing why you are doing what at different parts of the process.  

Because if you don’t know, and a variable changes, you need to be able to know how to react and adapt.

While everyone’s process is likely different based on the crop that they are trying to grow, today’s show it’s all about what’s the same, the base principles.

Learn more about Chris's course at

Show Notes at

Direct download: FSFS_89_2017_ChrisThoreau6.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

"Farming is as much about growing yourself as it is about growing vegetables."

One of the big lessons shared in this episode with farmer Chris Gilbert from Bettendorf, Iowa.

Welcome to world of Farming Small and Farming Smart.

Today I'm going to be talking to another small scale farming making a go of it as we go to Bettendorf, Iowa to talk to farmer Chris Gilbert of Gilbert's Grapes Farm.

Chris's is one that many of share - going from hobby gardener to production farmer. It's a journey that's had its up and it's downs.

As Chris describes it:

“When I first started gardening, it was to supplement the lack of income my family had. It also had been something I had never tried before. I simply started gardening for myself and my family, but ended up producing much more than our family could use from a small 4 X 20 ft. garden.

A lot of cards fell into place in the fall of 2013 and we were able to buy our first home that had an acre of land just outside the hustle and bustle of the city. I had thought of starting a small roadside stand, or selling in the parking lot of several locally owned businesses in the past, but decided I would try to get into a large farmer's market in the area.

Expectations - I had none. I had blind passion. I really wanted to do something on my own and had started several other business ventures such as graphic design, a t-shirt company, and being a musician.

I came into farming naively and childishly almost, and I think that is important. It seems idealism gets rooted in our thoughts and goals, and sometimes ideal goals may not be realistic goals. I think goals are important, but I think it is important not to beat yourself up if you find some challenges along the way and are not able to reach your goal. Every year is a new learning experience and provides new inspiration and knowledge of how to refine your farm and farming plans the next year.”

Chris may have stated out naive, but he's no longer naive learning from the school of hard knocks. He's grown the farm over the last few years taking it form a small plot to now farming 1/4 of an acre. And he's grown as a person having to manage the farm while being a father to a growing family and dealing with the challenges that come with it.

It has been a journey where Chris has grown, just as much as some of his vegetables.

Here it is the story of farmer Chris Gilbert.

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Direct download: FSFS_88_2017_Chris_Gilbert.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT