Paying the Bills with Alison Howard of Homestead Farms

In this episode I talk with Alison Howard of Homestead Farms in Millington, Md. Homestead Farms is a USDA Certified Organic produce and small grain farm. Allison shares her experience with starting Homestead with her husband, Luke.

This is a very good conversation which includes the subtle struggles of a true working farm: paying the bills through scale; the ego battles of the farmer with herself; the fact that farming is a commodity business and the mixed messages that consumers send to farmers.

Thanks to Tin Bird Choir for the music and to Tek Management for sponsoring the episode.

 

Foraging for Food with David Siller

David Siller is a forager. He hunts for, finds and then carefully guards the locations of his most prized items.

Wild edibles exist almost everywhere and are in abundance if you forage for them. Edible wild food has naturally grown in almost every corner of our planet for tens of thousands of years. Edible weedsflowersand wild herbs were foraged and used as food (as well as medications); and they provided all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients required for the human body to maintain good health. Foraging for food used to be the way to survive.

Chances are edible weeds are in your backyard, on pathways you walk every day, or in fields you see every day. Many of these plants can be foraged and added to your daily diet to increase your nutritional intake.

There’s a plethora of wild herbs, weeds, flowers, shrubs, trees and vines all safe to eat so long as you identify them properly and know what part of the plant is usable.

Urban Farming Pioneer- Mary Seton Corboy- Greensgrow Farms

Mary Seton Corboy is a true pioneer in the Urban farming movement.
She’s charming as well…

In this episode we get a glimpse of how she and a partner started Greensgrow Farms in Kensington, PA. Kensington is is right off of I-95; something like a mile or 2 from downtown Philadelphia. Greensgrow has grown from scratch. She shares the Greensgrow story and its evolution. From finding abandoned land and the politics behind to it’s current iteration. Greensgrow is something more than and different than a traditional urban farm.

The concept of urban farming isn’t new. There are multiple examples of Urban farming in virtually every city in the United Sates. Greensgrow Farms was one of the first to experiment with this concept.

Urban farming promotes healthy communities and provides food security for many low income persons. In an urban setting, community gardens are part of the open space network. The gardens and those who participate in urban farming contribute to the preservation of open space, provide access to it, and create sustainable uses of the space. The idea is to strengthen community bonds, provide food, and create recreational and therapeutic opportunities for a community. They can also promote environmental awareness and provide community education.

Greensgrow is a not for profit enterprise. They use the non profit model to help experiment with some inner city food programs.

Once you talk with Mary you’ll fall in love.

Hope you enjoy this one.

Mike Traud -Drexel University Culinary Arts Program

Mike Traud is an educator/administrator within the Culinary Arts and Hospitality program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa. The Drexel Hospitality program, which includes the Culinary Arts program is reenergizing itself by bringing on a faculty with high end dinning and business experience.

Mike and I had a meandering conversation about Drexel, the restaurant industry in general and you. Yup all you eaters out there.

What strikes me pretty hard about this conversation is the similarities between the farming industry and the restaurant industry. Remember, my wife and I operate a small certified organic vegetable farm so I know a little about farming. While obvioulsy they both involve food you’re going to also hear about long work hours, low wages, doing a thing for the love of it, and demanding customers all of which happen to be hallmarks of the farming business too.

I have a brand new Facebook page and Twitter account so please like and follow JACK’S FARM RADIO. Thank you for the ratings and the comments on iTunes. They really make a podcaster feel good. And quite frankly motivate me. So keep doing it. Thanks once again to Tin Bird Choir for the intro and outro music.