Cover image of The Ruminant: Audio Candy for Farmers, Gardeners and Food Lovers
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Rank #190 in Food category

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Food
Science
Natural Sciences

The Ruminant: Audio Candy for Farmers, Gardeners and Food Lovers

Updated 2 days ago

Rank #190 in Food category

Arts
Food
Science
Natural Sciences
Read more

For people passionate about farming, gardening, food politics, food security, and the intersections among these topics. Jordan Marr, a certified organic farmer in British Columbia, interviews farmers, gardeners, academics, and journalists about stuff farmers and food system nerds care about. If where and how your food is produced matters to you, this podcast is produced for you!

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For people passionate about farming, gardening, food politics, food security, and the intersections among these topics. Jordan Marr, a certified organic farmer in British Columbia, interviews farmers, gardeners, academics, and journalists about stuff farmers and food system nerds care about. If where and how your food is produced matters to you, this podcast is produced for you!

iTunes Ratings

54 Ratings
Average Ratings
45
5
1
1
2

Frequency

By zwart witt - Oct 07 2018
Read more
Thanks for the insights from you and your guests. No problem about taking much of the summer off. I prefer quality over quantity.

Enjoyable with great information

By Better than Mike & Kyle - Apr 10 2016
Read more
The episodes discussing soil was my favorite.

iTunes Ratings

54 Ratings
Average Ratings
45
5
1
1
2

Frequency

By zwart witt - Oct 07 2018
Read more
Thanks for the insights from you and your guests. No problem about taking much of the summer off. I prefer quality over quantity.

Enjoyable with great information

By Better than Mike & Kyle - Apr 10 2016
Read more
The episodes discussing soil was my favorite.
Cover image of The Ruminant: Audio Candy for Farmers, Gardeners and Food Lovers

The Ruminant: Audio Candy for Farmers, Gardeners and Food Lovers

Latest release on Jun 18, 2019

Read more

For people passionate about farming, gardening, food politics, food security, and the intersections among these topics. Jordan Marr, a certified organic farmer in British Columbia, interviews farmers, gardeners, academics, and journalists about stuff farmers and food system nerds care about. If where and how your food is produced matters to you, this podcast is produced for you!

Rank #1: e.68: Epic Tomatoes

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I stumbled across Craig LeHoullier's book, Epic tomatoes, by accident one day when I was trolling the internet looking for episode ideas. I bought his book on a whim, and am I ever glad I did. Many years ago, Craig fell in love with growing tomatoes, and then, specifically, heirloom tomatoes, and he eventually put everything he learned about tomato history, and the art and science of growing beautiful tomatoes, down on paper. I roared through the book. And then, impressed with what I read, I asked Craig to come on the show to talk about his passion. And, it is a passion. Craig figures he has five thousand tomato varieties in his collection, and that he's personally grown out more than 2000 of them. This episode: part one of our conversation, which focuses on heirloom history, and practical considerations for starting tomatoes in the nursery and pruning them in the field. Part two, which includes a best-of varietal list for commercial growers, comes out next week.

Jan 23 2016

46mins

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Rank #2: e.92: The Farmers Aren't All Right

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Farming is tough work. The unpredictability of the job and the pressure to present a curated, bucolic version of the work can easily lead to various kinds of mental health problems: despair, feeling overwhelmed or like a failure, or even depression. In this episode, co-produced with Jessica Gale of Sweet Gale Gardens, we discuss the prevalence of mental health problems among farmers, and how to address them. 

Mentioned: Professor Andria Jones-Bitton's work The Market Gardener (JM Fortier) The Urban Farmer (Curtis Stone) Sustainable Market Farming (Pam Dawling)

Mar 03 2017

45mins

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Rank #3: e.31: Best practices for farmers selling to restaurants and chefs part 1 of 2

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Selling your farm goods to chefs can be lucrative, but there are idiosyncrasies to this type of marketing that a farmer should understand if she wants to keep and increase the business she gets from restaurants. In this episode and the one to follow, I speak to two chef-owners of a high end catering business that has built its reputation for great cuisine on a devotion to sourcing and serving local farm goods.  Cam Smith and Dana Ewart of Joy Road Catering in BC's Okanagan Valley really want to support your farm, but they but they also insist that you take the customer service you provide them seriously. Herein, they provide some no-nonsense advice for how to approach and maintain restaurant customers.

Learn more about Joy Road Catering here.

At show's end I reference a couple of farming conferences I'll be attending in February and March. 

February 25-28, 2015: Moses Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin

March 4-8, 2015: Permaculture Voices Conference in San Diego, California

Jan 07 2015

42mins

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Rank #4: e93: Stop Washing Your Children So Much!

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The microbes that colonize us when we're in the womb and as infants have lasting impacts on our health later on. My conversation with Claire Arrieta, author of Let Them Eat Dirt.

Marie-Claire is the co-author with B. Brett Finlay of Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World. 

After that, I talk about lego for farmers.

Mar 18 2017

50mins

Play

Rank #5: e.46: Growing Great Potatoes

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This episode, Ruth Genger, a researcher with the University of Wisconsin in Madison Organic Potato Project, joins me to talk about the finer points of getting your potato production off to a great start. Ruth explains how to ensure your potato plants "jump out of the soil" by starting with high quality seed potatoes, and employing a few other important techniques. 

Apr 16 2015

55mins

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Rank #6: e.29: Matt Gomez on Online Marketing for your Farm Business

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This epsisode features a recent presenation by Matt Gomez, founder of Soilmate, a new website that aims to connect eaters with the local farms, wineries, and farmers' markets. 

Matt gave this presentation to a group of young farmers at an event in Kelowna, BC in March of 2014. He's got an impressive pedigree as a digital marketer and passes on a lot of practical advice for making the most of your farm's website, social media accounts, and email newsletters. 

Mar 14 2014

43mins

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Rank #7: e.06: Better Nutrient Managment for your Soil

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This episode, a rerun from 2013, when Soil Scientist Clare Sullivan joined me to talk about managing nutrient cycles on the farm.

After that, I talk about the results of my effort to attract more beneficial insects to my garden using lots of mulched annual flowers.

Jul 24 2015

45mins

Play

Rank #8: e.32: Best practices for farmers selling to restaurants and chefs part 2 of 2

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Selling your farm goods to chefs can be lucrative, but there are idiosyncrasies to this type of marketing that a farmer should understand if she wants to keep and increase the business she gets from restaurants. This episode features part two of my conversation with two chef-owners of a high end catering business that has built its reputation for great cuisine on a devotion to sourcing and serving local farm goods.  

Cam Smith and Dana Ewart of Joy Road Catering in BC's Okanagan Valley really want to support your farm, but they but they also insist that you take the customer service you provide them seriously. Herein, they provide some no-nonsense advice for how to approach and maintain restaurant customers.

This episode: what chefs expect in terms of quality, how they like to be billed and when you should start to worry about unpaid accounts, and Cam and Dana's thoughts on the relationship between high-end cuisine and food security.

Learn more about Joy Road Catering here.

Jan 14 2015

29mins

Play

Rank #9: e106: How to Gross 250K on 1/2 Acre

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This ep: my conversation with urban farmer Kevin Sturdy, author of a book getting a lot of buzz: You're Welcome: How to Crush Your Dreams By Grossing More Money on Less Land Than You Ever Thought Possible.

Kevin claims that by following his guide, you can gross 250K on a half-acre urban farm.

Episode Sponsor: Dubois Agrinovation

Many thanks to professional thespian Kirk Smith, who co-produced this episode with me.

Feb 20 2019

16mins

Play

Rank #10: e.05: Irrigation Tips from Troy Peters

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This episode: Troy Peters, an irrigation expert with the Washington State University Extension Service, talks about best practices in crop irrigation. We discuss a cool new smartphone app that helps farmers decide when and how much to irrigate, I learn techniques for deciding when it's time to water, and Troy explains how to approach irrigation of different soil types.

Sep 24 2015

37mins

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Rank #11: e.42: Molly Haviland on the Soil Food Web, part 1 of 2

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This episode, we hear from Youssef Darwich about cool ways to plan your farm using GIS and other tools. Then: my conversation with Molly Haviland, a soil biology consultant who aims to convince you to take your soil's microorganisms more seriously. Molly argues that the complex relationships that develop between many different types of microorganisms in our soil are the key to unlocking the soil's true potential to produce healthy food. We abuse and ignore the soil biome at our peril, in fact.  

Improving the soil biome starts with reducing tillage, reducing or eliminating the addition of soil amendments, and making great compost, and then, if necessary, applying compost teas and extracts to fine tune microbe populations. I've broken our conversation into two parts, which will be released concurrently. 

Mar 26 2015

46mins

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Rank #12: e.99: Incubating your own eggs

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My guest today, Pascale Deffieux Pearce, is a vice-president with Brinsea, a producer of egg incubators for the farm and home. She joins me to talk about ins and outs and pros and cons of hatching your own eggs, or those of your hens'. 

Apr 06 2018

31mins

Play

Rank #13: e.61: Growing Perennial Fruits: Jim Riddle and Blue Fruit Farm

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At Blue Fruit Farm in Minnesota, Jim Riddle and Joyce Ford grow a range of perrenial tree fruit and berries of the blue and nearly-blue kind. In our conversation, Jim Riddle talks about why he and Joyce switched to perennial crops from annual market veggies, considerations for establishing a farm like his, and how he and Joyce have approached their marketing. You can find out more at bluefruitfarm.com. More info about Jim's production practices can be found in the expanded show notes for this episode at http://theruminant.ca

Nov 13 2015

34mins

Play

Rank #14: Rerun: e.16 Steve Solomon on Intelligent Gardening Part 2

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Here's a past episode that, until now, hasn't been included in this podcast feed. I've added a new intro, as well as a brand new segment at the end of the episode.

In this long-form interview with gardening writer Steve Solomon, we discuss his new book, The Intelligent Gardener, which he co-wrote with Erica Reinheimer.

In it, Steve argues that the key to growing healthy crops is to combine the return of organic matter to the soil with a practice called remineralization, which involves assessing the mineral content of your soil and then adding the right mix of amendments to ensure they are in proper balance (Steve's contention: few soils are). Along the way, Steve provides an excellent beginner's entry into soil science, and challenges some of the organic movement's tightly held assumptions about sustainable crop production.

This is part 2 of our conversation. In this segment we focus on the assertions Steve makes in his book regarding healthy vegetables, how to achieve a nutrient-balanced soil, and why organic gardeners should be open to the idea of using certain synthetic fertilizers.

May 21 2015

1hr 22mins

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Rank #15: e97: Jean Martin Fortier! Cocaine! Compost Tea!

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This ep: Jean-Martin Fortier returns for a quickie. We talk about fame, semi-fortune, cocaine, compost tea, the tool he's most obsessed with at the moment, and a few other tidbits. 

One of JM's recent projects is an online course. He's pretty amped about it. It's called The Market Gardener's Master Class. We discuss that too.

Mar 19 2018

36mins

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Rank #16: e102: Weed Management in the Pasture

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This episode my guest is Mark Renz, an extension weed specialist at the University of Wisconsin. He joins me to talk about weed management in the pasture.

Sep 19 2018

40mins

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Rank #17: e.73: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

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In The Hidden Half of Nature, David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé suggest we are in the midst of a scientific revolution of our understanding of the role that microbes play in the health of many other life forms on earth, including plants, as well as our own. I devoured this book, and for this episode, David, a geologist, and Anne, a biologist, are my guests.

Also: the winner of The Salatin Semester giveaway is announced. You'll also hear a couple of ideas for replacing expensive specialty farm parts with their hardware store equivalents.

The intro to this episode is kind of long. Skip ahead to, I don't know, 9 minutes to get to my conversation with Anne and David. 

Feb 26 2016

54mins

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Rank #18: e.65: Your weeds are trying to tell you something.

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Jay McCaman has spent many years observing  and cataloguing the weeds on his and his clients' farms, and over this time, by also observing the soil types, conditions, and nutrient levels of the countless fields he's worked with, Jay has come up with, well, sort of a grand unifying theory of weeds, and what they're telling us about our soil. Jay has written a few versions of his book on the topic, but the only one currently availble for sale is called, simply, When Weeds Talk. I spoke with Jay in November of 2015. This is our conversation

Dec 12 2015

26mins

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Rank #19: e.48: Less Stressful Fencing

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This episode, Wisconsin farmer and fencing wizard Randy Cutler joins me to dish on the finer points of fencing your livestock for less stress and happier animals. We cover some of the main considerations before buildilng your fence, and finish with species-by-species considerations for electric fencing.

Randy will be giving a more in-depth, live webinar in May, 2015. You'll be able to ask him questions directly. Find out more here.

Apr 30 2015

47mins

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Rank #20: e.30: Krista Rome on Growing Grains and Legumes on a Small Scale

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Krista M. Rome runs a website called Backyard Beans and Grains, and has published a great manual on selecting, growing, processing and storing various legumes and grains, with a focus on small-scale production. 

From her website: The Backyard Beans and Grains Project (BBGP) was started in 2008 as a response to the challenge of incorporating locally-grown staple foods into the diet. Whatcom County (and Western Washington in general) produces a large variety of vegetables, berries, dairy products, and to a lesser degree, fruits, fish and meat. The missing element, especially for vegetarians, those on low income, or those with dairy allergies, is a variety of storable, high-quality vegetable protein sources, i.e. dry legumes and grains.

Our research is conducted for the benefit of all regional farmers and gardeners who wish to grow dry beans and grains. We record detailed information about varieties, plant spacing, dates, labor inputs, yields, harvesting and threshing techniques, seed-saving, and storage.  

We have self-published an instruction manual, entitled "Growing Dry Beans & Grains in the Pacific Northwest", which contains information on growing, harvesting, and processing dry legumes and grains tailored specifically for Pacific Northwest growers.

In this episode, Krista takes me through the ins and outs of growing legumes and grains on a super small scale.

Mar 22 2014

44mins

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Rotational Grazing Tips with Sarah Flack (e.111)

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Tristan Banwell, BC-based rancher and occasional co-host of the show, recorded this interview with Sarah Flack, author of The Art and Science of Grazing: How Grass Farmers Can Create Sustainable Systems for Healthy Animals and Farm Ecosystems.

From Sarah’s website: Sarah Flack is an author and consultant specializing in providing practical information on grass based and organic livestock production to farmers, organizations, institutions and individuals. She has a diverse background in sustainable agriculture, which includes both on-farm and academic experience. She is nationally known for her public speaking, workshops, books and numerous articles on a range of agricultural topics.

Jun 18 2019

51mins

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Participatory Plant Breeding (e110)

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This ep: my interview with Alex Lyon, a UBC Postdoctoral Fellow focused on seed systems and plant breeding for diverse farm environments. Alex is involved in a number of projects that recruit commercial farmers to assist in the development of better seeds, and she joins me on the show to talk about them. 

Show sponsor: The Small-Scale Meat Producers Association of BC

Jun 03 2019

44mins

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Farming is Gay

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This ep: a few perspectives from members of the LGBTQ community who farm

This ep: a few perspectives from members of the LGBTQ community who farm

Show sponsors:

BCS America

BC Small-Scale Meat Producers Association

May 20 2019

1hr 15mins

Play

e108: Aliwawa?

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In which your host tells you all about his experiences sourcing certain farm equipment using Alibaba, the massive, China-based gathering place for buyers and manufacturers. He'll take you through all the steps, from confusion to suspicion to curiousity to impulsivity, before cruising through anxiety and ending up at ambivalent satisfaction. 

Plenty of tips in here! All the Alibaba tips!

The specific supplier mentioned in this episode is Shijiazhuang Daoliangmou Trade Co., and my contact there is Ada Guo.

Show sponsors: BCS America and Dubois Agrinovation

Feb 22 2019

35mins

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e107: A Cynical Farmer Rebuffed

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My guest this ep is Stefan Morales, producer of the Working Together podcast. Stefan and I both care about food and farming. I brought my passions to farming; he took his into the non-profit and government sphere. We compare notes, things get mildly awkward, and a farmer's heart grows by a couple of sizes. Or: a guy with good insights about the workings of bureaucracy offers advice for reformers about how to engage with it.

Episode Sponsor: Dubois Agrinovation

Feb 21 2019

51mins

Play

e106: How to Gross 250K on 1/2 Acre

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This ep: my conversation with urban farmer Kevin Sturdy, author of a book getting a lot of buzz: You're Welcome: How to Crush Your Dreams By Grossing More Money on Less Land Than You Ever Thought Possible.

Kevin claims that by following his guide, you can gross 250K on a half-acre urban farm.

Episode Sponsor: Dubois Agrinovation

Many thanks to professional thespian Kirk Smith, who co-produced this episode with me.

Feb 20 2019

16mins

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e105: Ramial Wood as Soil Amendment and More with Karl Hammer

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This episode I speak with Karl Hammer, founder of Vermont Compost and all-around soil fertility expert. We focus on the use of wood chips as a soil amendment, and Karl also shares his thoughts about managing soil fertility on bio-intensive market gardens.

Show Sponsors: BCS America and Dubois Agrinovation

In our conversation, Karl refers to research done by Laval University and Cornell University on this subject. Go google for it! But here's something to get you started.

Feb 20 2019

38mins

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e104: Silvopasture with Steve Gabriel

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This ep: Ruminant co-host Tristan Banwell interviews Farmer and Author Steve Gabriel about his book  Silvopasture: A Guide to Managing Grazing Animals, Forage Crops, and Trees in a Temperate Farm Ecosystem. 

Bonus content (more conversation) should show up in your podcast feed, otherwise: get it at theruminant.ca  Tristan and Steve discuss what to do with tree biomass you remove from your silvopasture system, a good approach to pruning, and current gaps in the knowledge of this topic.

Show sponsors: Dubois Agrinovation

Feb 20 2019

59mins

Play

e102: Weed Management in the Pasture

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This episode my guest is Mark Renz, an extension weed specialist at the University of Wisconsin. He joins me to talk about weed management in the pasture.

Sep 19 2018

40mins

Play

e101: Beneficial Insects on the Farm

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This ep: I wanted to learn more about maintaining and increasing bug biodiversity on my farm so I contacted the Xerces Society, a non-profit that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. They connected me with Eric Mader, co-Director of their Pollinator Conservation and Agricultural Biodiversity program. Eric is my guest in this episode.

I grabbed this episode's artwork from The Pacific Northwest Bumblebee Atlas

Aug 05 2018

50mins

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Foliar Feeding w/ Steve Solomon

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Steve Solomon is back to talk about what's turning his crank in the garden these days: foliar feeding. Steve is the author of numerous gardening books including one of my faves, The Intelligent Gardener.

Apr 23 2018

46mins

Play

e.99: Incubating your own eggs

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My guest today, Pascale Deffieux Pearce, is a vice-president with Brinsea, a producer of egg incubators for the farm and home. She joins me to talk about ins and outs and pros and cons of hatching your own eggs, or those of your hens'. 

Apr 06 2018

31mins

Play

e.11: Adding seed production to your veggie operation (re-run)

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This episode: Part 1 of 2 of my conversation with Dan Brisebois, editor of the seed production blog Going to Seed and co-author of Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers. In this part, Dan talks about the basics of vegetable seed production and suggests how to begin incorporating it into a small scale farm business. In part two, Dan discusses marketing strategies once you're ready to sell your seed.

Mar 30 2018

27mins

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e.98: Breeding for Better Flavour and Row 7 Seeds

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Have you read The Third Plate by chef Dan Barber? Great Book. This episode explores one of the legacies of that book: a brand new seed company, representing a collaboration between chefs and plant breeders, that aims to improve the flavour and performance of our plant varieties. My guest is Michael Mazourek, plant breeder at Cornell and a partner in Row 7 Seeds. 

Mar 23 2018

43mins

Play

e97: Jean Martin Fortier! Cocaine! Compost Tea!

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This ep: Jean-Martin Fortier returns for a quickie. We talk about fame, semi-fortune, cocaine, compost tea, the tool he's most obsessed with at the moment, and a few other tidbits. 

One of JM's recent projects is an online course. He's pretty amped about it. It's called The Market Gardener's Master Class. We discuss that too.

Mar 19 2018

36mins

Play

e.96: A Critique of Compost Tea

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Linda Chalker-Scott is an extension specialist at WSU with a penchant for horticultural myth-busting. 

One of her targets has been the use of compost tea as a disease-preventer/pest-abater/all-around garden panacea. Seeing as your podcast host is about to start a compost tea regimen on his own farm, this seemed like a good topic to ask her about.

Mar 16 2018

48mins

Play

e.95: The Farmers Aren't All Right pt II

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Episode 92, about farmer mental health, really resonated with lots of listeners. This episode features a follow-up conversation with Javan Bernakevitch, a farmer and permaculturalist who emerged from his own depression with insights that he now shares with others. 

Learn more about Javan at http://allpointsdesign.ca

Also this episode: I talk about The Ruminant's brand new gift registry

Mar 09 2018

42mins

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e.94: Better GH Practices

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This ep: First I speak with Andew Mefferd, author of The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook (superb!), about making the most out of caterpillar tunnels. After that, Cornell Extension Specialist Judson Reid joins me to talk about avoiding and managing toxic levels of soil nutrients in greenhouses.

Mar 03 2018

54mins

Play

2018 Season Launches Friday! But first: a teaser.

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Coming Friday, March 2: the first episode of the next season of The Ruminant Podcast. To tide you over, I've produced a microsode. I hope you enjoy it!

Feb 25 2018

5mins

Play

e93: Stop Washing Your Children So Much!

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The microbes that colonize us when we're in the womb and as infants have lasting impacts on our health later on. My conversation with Claire Arrieta, author of Let Them Eat Dirt.

Marie-Claire is the co-author with B. Brett Finlay of Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World. 

After that, I talk about lego for farmers.

Mar 18 2017

50mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

54 Ratings
Average Ratings
45
5
1
1
2

Frequency

By zwart witt - Oct 07 2018
Read more
Thanks for the insights from you and your guests. No problem about taking much of the summer off. I prefer quality over quantity.

Enjoyable with great information

By Better than Mike & Kyle - Apr 10 2016
Read more
The episodes discussing soil was my favorite.