Hobby Farms Presents: Growing Good is a podcast with and about hobby farmers, small-scale farmers and sustainable farmers. More than that, it’s about the important work these folks are doing for themselves, their families and their communities on and off the farm. Each episode, host Lisa Munniksma sits down to chat with someone doing the good work to discuss how they started, what they're doing now, and what drives them to keep growing. (A presentation of Hobby Farms® magazine, an EG Media company.)
Episode 34: Meighen Lovelace is back to talk community food, the Farm Bill and more
Hobby Farms Presents: Growing Good brings you part two of the conversation with Colorado farmer Meighen Lovelace. In this episode, Meighen talks about the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger and John Ikerd’s work in bringing to life a community food utility—like a rural electric cooperative, but for regionally produced food. Learn about zoning, what you need to know about these rules that dictate how you are allowed to use your property, and who you need to know to change the law, whether you farm in the city, suburbs or country.
Then, get a Farm Bill primer! The Farm Bill is that massive piece of national legislation that is renewed every five years and affects pretty much everything that touches your life, from energy to conservation to nutrition to beginning-farmer programs and more. Meighen breaks down the parts of the Farm Bill and flags areas that you as a small-scale farmer should pay attention to. And Meighen and Lisa offer a little pep talk for you to call your legislators and share your Farm Bill wants.
Listen to the end for Meighen’s favorite farm meal. (This is the first time we’ve heard this veggie as a favorite from all of the podcast guests!)
Be sure to listen back to Episode #33 for the first part of Meighan Lovelace’s conversation, including talk about farming in a water-scarce area, year-round farming with the Salvation Army, permaculture forest greenhouses and more.
Mountain Harvest Consulting
Meighan Lovelace on Twitter
Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger
John Ikerd on community food utilities
Episode 33: Meighen Lovelace talks water issues, permaculture, food systems and more!
On this episode of Hobby Farms Presents: Growing Good, Colorado farmer Meighen Lovelace talks water issues in the West, empowering people to grow food in community, and your chance to speak truth to power with the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. This is episode one of two with Meighen. Check back in for the rest of the conversation in two weeks!
Listen in for Meighen’s take on how to work with your land, including the hard decision she’s made to put her San Luis Valley farmland in cover crops for a couple of seasons, and the challenges of working with water rights of farmers and communities throughout the Western US. Meighen tells us about a gardening project she helped start at the Salvation Army when she was a client there herself and how it’s grown into a year-round urban farm with a four-season greenhouse and a training and job placement program. Then, Meighen talks about her Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute training and the permaculture forest greenhouse concept (including the simple climate battery, which you have to hear about!).
Listen in to the end for details about the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health—the first to be held since 1969. As a small-scale farmer and someone interested in food systems, you have a chance to have your voice heard! Meighen tells us about how.
Mountain Harvest Consulting Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute The Alliance to End Hunger White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health
Episode 32: Felicia Bell
In this episode, fourth-generation Mississippi farmer Felicia Bell talks about traditional agriculture, family business, farmers helping farmers, and more.
Find out how you can get free sustainable farming advice and technical assistance from the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) from a specialist like Felicia.
Felicia explains what she means by “traditional agriculture” and why she prefers this phrase to describe popular agricultural methods instead of saying “sustainable agriculture” or “regenerative agriculture.” Hear about Felicia’s self-sufficient homestead upbringing on what she now calls RD & S Farm and how the farm has changed since her grandparents were teaching her their farming ways.
Listen until the end for Felicia’s advice for maintaining healthy pasture for grazing animals and to learn the most inexpensive way to keep deer out of your garden!
National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
RD & S Farm on Facebook
RD & S Farm on Instagram
Episode 31: Aaron De La Cerda on becoming a "plant person," urban farming, natural-systems growing and more!
Aaron De La Cerda is on this episode of Hobby Farms Presents: Growing Good to talk about the Acta Non Verba Youth Urban Farm Project, fruit gleaning, growing cannabis as a teenager, and why he prefers to be a “lazy” farmer.
You’ll learn about how a life decision he was asked to make in third grade led to him being known as “the plant person” among his family and friends and shaped his career and life trajectory. Aaron talks about growing up with a family full of educators and how this, plus his green thumb and an interest in social justice eventually brought him to nonprofit urban farming work. Hear about his work with unhoused folks, helping the shelter with a garden, and plotting out fruit gleaning opportunities in Merced, Cali.
Then, get up to speed with the work of Acta Non Verba Youth Urban Farm Project and its kids and family programs. Hear about the community farm at the Oakland A’s baseball stadium, as well as two other urban farms, and the wild growth of ANV’s Beet Box CSA program.
Finally, get Aaron’s advice—hat tip to Masanobu Fukuoka’s book One-Straw Revolution—for hands-off, natural-systems farming, consider the current crisis of “local” food, and hear Aaron’s thoughts on the role and future of urban farming. (Spoiler alert: It isn’t to feed the whole city’s population.)
Acta Non Verba Youth Urban Farm website
ANV on Facebook
ANV on Instagram
Episode 30: Chereen Leong Schwarz talks local food, from raising to serving and more
Chef and farmer Chereen Leong Schwarz is on this podcast episode to talk about “local” food from all perspectives. Hear about why Chereen has never eaten a McDonald’s hamburger and how that ties in to her from-scratch, locally sourced food philosophy and her love of cooking and eating country-style food. Chereen tells us about farming in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where they have just 59 frost- free days in the growing season. Listen in on the intimate details of what it’s like for Chereen to help raise animals from birth to harvest and then, as a local-foods chef, to carefully prepare the meat and to be sure the people enjoying the meal understand the value of what they are eating.
Use this farm-kitchen hack: Chereen offers her best tips for using all parts of the food you’re growing, including cabbage cores, carrot tops, and random vegetable scraps.
Also hear about her Emerging Leader in Food & Ag Award, the community being built by young farmers, and what’s giving her hope for food access and her local farming scene. And listen in until the end for Chereen’s favorite meal and to learn a bit about her other socially conscious business.
Wilderbean Provisions on Instagram
Smeeny Beanie Knits
Smeenie Beanie on Instagram
Community Agriculture Alliance
Episode 29: Fatuma Emmad talks farming, foodways, food system politics and more!
Farming, political science and the food system intersect for Colorado farmer, organizer and professor Fatuma Emmad, the guest on this episode of Hobby Farms Presents: Growing Good. Hear about how her family’s immigration and emigration shaped her understanding of the food system and how that led her to become a farmer herself, now at FrontLine Farming in Denver, Colorado.
You’ll learn how Mile High Farmers, a coalition of 60-plus farmers and supporters, connects eaters and farmers with events and education in health and wellness, racial equity, marketing, land and policy. (Fatuma is president of this nonprofit.) Fatuma also talks about the farming work and food justice work being done at multiple farm sites for FrontLineFarming, including food access initiatives, a paid apprenticeship program and their own search for farmland.
Also learn about the ways farm workers are being supported with Project Protect Food Systems Workers, and take some advice on keeping foodways alive through seed saving.
Mile High Farmers
Project Protect Food Systems Workers
New perspectives with a dose of hope
I am finding that this podcast has me looking at the food on my plate and the plants in my yard in new ways. The variety of guests doing interesting and important work provides much needed hope in a world dominated by corporate farms. It also has me thinking about ways I may want to get more involved in my community to support sustainable and healthy farming and gardening.
So Fresh and so Green
It’s refreshing to hear a woman’s voice from the farming world. Thanks for bringing more to this space than simply on growing/raising food. I’m inspired by the above-and-beyond work of your guests in growing a better world, as well. Looking forward to hearing more!
Was hoping for information not coffee shop chat
I was eagerly anticipating this podcast as Hobby Farms magazine is a favorite of mine. I thought that this would be an in depth exploration of the many topics briefly (by necessity) covered in the articles.
So far, it’s coffee shop chats about personal stories with little actual applicable information for the prospective niche hobby farmers.
I will keep listening for a little while hoping that this will evolve into something more useful but it appears that it will not.
I realize that this format will appeal to already active hobby farmers who want to share personal perspectives but it doesn’t do much for the folks starting out.