Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could apply some of the same regenerative principles from the farmers we profile……to your backyard garden?
Get ready to start growing the best-tasting fruits and vegetables with these tips and the newly created Indigenous Micro Organism Solution - or IMOS educational system.
It turns out you can use the same principles that large-scale farmers do to bring more life to your garden or yard. In our feature interview in this episode - you’ll get some great tips for creating your own regenerative garden – as well as the ability to sign up for an in-depth course created by regenerative farmers – that will take you step by step through a process to enhance the native life in any soil.
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You. Wouldn'T it be fantastic if you could apply some of the same regenerative. Principles from the farmers we profile in. This show to your backyard garden? It turns out you can. And in our feature Interview in this episode, you'll get some great tips for creating your own regenerative garden or yard. As well as the ability to sign. Up for an in depth course created by regenerative farmers that will take you step by step through a process of enhancing the native life in any soil. Get ready to start growing the best tasting fruits and vegetables. With these tips and the newly created indigenous microorganism solution or IMOS educational system, not only will you be enhancing the life in your soil, you'll be able to taste your own terroir. How cool is that? Welcome back to our podcast, Tasting Terroir, a journey that explores the link between healthy soil and the flavor and health of your food. I'm your host, Sarah Harper. It's great to be back with you all and I want to extend my. Apologies for the long absence. I decided when I launched this project that it was going to be about quality versus quantity. So when life intrudes or guests that you'd like to interview can't fit it in their schedule, well then I decided that we're just going to wait until the time is right. I know that this is marketing heresy, but I don't really have a lot of respect for the marketing industry anymore. It just feels like a giant game. That we could all do without. So I'm going to try to bring you great episodes on a regular basis. But if I can't do that, I'm not just going to put something out there to fill the space and make. The stats look good. I respect your time more than that, but while I was away, I have been working on a number of things in our private community which you can find and join by going to member Globalfoodandfarm.com. That's all spelled out. Or you can always find us through. Our main public website, globalfoodfarm.com or Globalfoodandfarm.com. Either way, first we have added a free WhatsApp? Chat group. That's right. It's free. You can now submit questions and see great pictures from regenerative farmers all over the world and chat with them about soil health and regenerative farming and as. Well as ask questions to Dr. Jill. Clapperton and just really get a great sense of what's going on around the world by some of these amazing farmers in our network. Why? WhatsApp? Well, it turns out that many farmers around the world, and particularly I think some of those on this regenerative journey, prefer to use this way of communicating with each other, so it makes sense for us to join them where they are. You can learn more about how we will use this powerful communication tool on our blog post about this new feature. Check out the link in the show notes to take you there or go to Globalfoodfarm.com blog and you'll be able to see all the latest stories that we are featuring. To get access to the WhatsApp Chat group, just sign up for our email updates and you'll receive a link to join us. Also, we have launched a new monthly newsletter that provides a roundup of some of our best monthly content. It's easy to lose track of all the great original and curated information that we provide each week to our members. It's aimed at helping them learn more about the science of regenerative farming and soil health, as well as latest breakthroughs on nutrient density measurement and building a better food system. This newsletter brings all the best of. Our content together in one place, with links that make it easy for our members to go directly to the protected content we have posted in our mighty network. Again, that can be found at member globalfoodandfarm.com. If you subscribe to our email list. You will already get a copy of the newsletter. And even if you're not a member, it's still a good way to get an overview of what's going on in the regenerative farming nutrientdense food space. But to access the full content, you will need to be a member of our mighty network. That's only fair, right? So to become a member today, go. To member globalfoodandfarm.com and we thank all of those who are supporting us and making it possible for us to share all the information that we think is needed to help expand this amazing way of growing healthier and more flavorful food. All right, now that we have that housekeeping out of the way, it's time to turn our attention to your garden or yard and how we help you turn it into a regenerative haven of your own. The first step is to make sure you have the right mindset going in, and there's no better helper for doing that than the spring season itself. Depending on where you live, you may or may not be enjoying the warmth and new life that spring brings. Here in Virginia, it's been springish at least for quite some time and I. Couldn'T be happier about that. Spring is such a great time to think about where our food comes from and how affected our food is by how it is grown. It is also such a great way to understand what we are talking about when we describe regenerative agriculture, that we're talking about a system of growing food in a way that works with the natural processes that renew life in the soil each year. Principles that then translate into more health and flavor in the food grown in that restored and constantly regenerating system. The renewal of life we see during the spring season, from our gardens to. Our backyards to the fields that feed. Us, are a constant reminder that nature regenerates itself each year. And many times within a year, we don't have to do anything for that to happen. But sadly, we can do things that get in the way of this powerful life force as it works to rebuild its resources after a much needed winter rest. As we've talked a lot about on. This podcast, regenerative agriculture is all about working as nature's constant companion to renew life. This clip from our interview with Kansas farmer Gail Fuller, one of the farmers in our network, helps explain the difference between this approach and either a conventional or organic system mentality. Summarize it all down. I'm going to ask you to fill. In the sentence regenerative agriculture is in. A couple of sentences. Regenerate agriculture is life. Wow, that's good. I used to talk about when I started out of the conventional world and started cutting back on pesticides and I was doing a lot of speaking at conventional conferences and I got started being asked to speak at organic conferences because cover crops are pretty new there also. And I was shocked because I just viewed organic as awesome outside of Tillage. But I realized sadly that organic and conventional agriculture are basically the same. They're both systems designed to kill. Both those farmers wake up every day, what do I have to kill today? Is it a bug? Is it a weed, or what? And we need to start waking up every day thinking, what do I need to grow today? Not what do I need to do? What do I need to do? Summarize it all down. I'm going to have ask you to fill in the sentence regenerative agriculture is in a couple of sentences. Regenerate agriculture is life. Wow, that's good. I used to talk about when I started out of the conventional world and started cutting back on pesticides and I was doing a lot of speaking at conventional conferences and I got started being asked to speak at organic conferences because cover crops are pretty new there also. And I was shocked because I just viewed organic as awesome outside of Tillage. But I realized, sadly, that organic and conventional agriculture are basically the same. They're both systems designed to kill. Both those farmers wake up every day, what do I have to kill today? Is it a bug? Is it a weed, or what? And we need to start waking up every day thinking, what do I need to grow today? Not what do I need to do? What do I need to grow? Now that we've had a good reminder of the life focused mindset that makes up a regenerative farming approach, you're ready to learn more about how you can actually apply this way of thinking to your own garden. Our feature interview this week is with husband and wife farming power couple Kelly and Deanna Lizinski of North Dakota. You may remember Deanna, we've interviewed her a number of times on the podcast. She and her husband grow ancient grains using a regenerative approach and have launched a food company called Guardian Grains. They have also been quietly testing and documenting the way that they have helped bring more native life back to their soil, enhancing the gut health of their land, if you will. By boosting the natural and beneficial biology on their farm, the system, they created a series of educational how to videos and a premeasured kit to help you do the same on your land is not just for farmers who grow a lot of food. It is a system that you can use in your garden or backyard to boost the life there and the health and flavor of the food you grow in that land. Let's learn more about it in my future interview with Deanna and Kelly Levinsky. Well, hi, Deanna. And Kelly. How are you guys? Good morning. We're doing well. How are you? Good. I'm so glad to have you guys back. You're, of course, one of my favorite farming families. And this time we get Kelly. We get Kelly along with Deanna. Usually we just get to have Deanna, so it's an extra treat. So you guys farm in North Dakota and you have a company called Guardian Grains. Tell people a little more about what you farm and the products that you make. Sure. Well, we farm 2000 acres in central North Dakota in about a two mile radius, and we grow a variety of small grains. And also yellow peas and flax and mustard and oats are a part of that barley. And then we grow some heritage grains. So we grow a French heritage wheat called Rouge de Bardo. That's a red wheat and spelt and Egyptian Hollis barley. And those are what we've been focusing on and marketing through Guardian Grains as our heritage grains that we grow. And turkey. Red winter. Thank you for that. Turkey Red is new to us and that's our hard red winter eat right. How long have you been farming? I scored 1999. All right. My first year grain farming. And prior to that, I was raising livestock, I don't know, 1012, something like that. I had feederlands and sheep and stuff like that before I started grain farming in 99. And I came to the farm in 2005 from the city. Really? I didn't know that. Deanna. Yeah. I thought you grew up on a farm as well. No, I didn't. I did not grow up on a farm. Seem like a natural. It suits me. It does. I came here in 2005, and in the beginning I joked that I traded my high heels for cowboy boots and I couldn't be more at home than I am. That's a good trade. I know that we've featured you on the podcast before, talking about the great pasta that you make. And I love that line that you have that you're not interested in making more of the same kind of nutritionless blonde pasta. And I was like a dig it blonde. Sorry. But I love that you're really building substance into the food that you're creating. And recently in our community, Global Food and Farm, we were able to host you guys. Talking to the other farmers about a system that you've come up with that is explaining to other farmers how they can enhance their soil health in ways that really help them cut inputs like fertilizer and things like that, and build the soil health in this really natural, amazing way. And as you were talking about it, I was really struck by how much this explains all the things that we're talking about. The building up of soil health that then leads to more minerals and mineral availability and then the flavor that comes from that, the health that comes from that, all of that. It's kind of at the root of all of that. And you guys have created this system called IMOS and a series of videos to help people understand it and learn how to do it on their own farm. And as we were talking more, I also was thrilled to learn that this learning process for you came from working on your own garden. And so it's something that obviously people in their own gardens can do to really bring health back to their backyards. And how exciting would that be for people to actually do something tangible as well as, of course, buying your pasta. So to start out, maybe both of you just give them an idea of what is IMOS, first and foremost, the high level view. What is this imo system you've come up with? Yeah, it's our indigenous microorganism solution. So that's something that we started in our garden, in our high tunnels and our vegetables is where it all began. And we saw the benefits from restoring indigenous microorganisms, how it affected our crops at small scale, that we rapidly scaled that on broad acres and it spread across our whole farm pretty rapidly. But basically what the whole concept was is we went out into our native areas on our farm, our natural habitats, those areas that are the grass grows green every year for some odd reason that we don't exactly understand why, where the fruit trees are plentiful. The fruit's not diseased. The fruit is sweeter, it tastes good. We went to those areas and we borrowed small amounts of soil from those areas. We brought them back to the farm and we simply copied that. So whatever was there, where we're not exactly sure, but we know it works. We know it functions. It's been working for 3.8 billion years. So we've accepted that. We can accept that it's scaled. This is nature we're bringing back home. So it has scaled, it has proven itself. We simply brought that back, multiplied that biology at very high numbers, which initiates quorum sensing. So we bring those numbers to extremely high concentrations, so high population levels, and we reintroduce that onto the seed and in the soil in our gardens. So we brought basically nature's microbiome back into where our food was growing. It after you've had a round of antibiotics as a person, and that kills off all the life. And then you need to take probiotics to kind of help rebuild the life. But ideally, you're taking native probiotics, not just off the shelf probiotics that might not be the right ones, which is why the antibiotic issue is such a challenge, because we don't always restore our own microbiome well after that. But that sounds like something like akin to what you're doing, right? Yeah, exactly. And I think that's key. A lot of people think probiotics come from that little jar. They all come from the soil. All of those official microorganisms exist in nature, in our soil. That's where they all come from. We're not creating anything new. We're not creating new microbes, as Kelly likes to say. We're borrowing it from a thriving, functioning system and counting on those to come back into our gardens and come back into our farm fields. And so that we can get the benefit of that microbiome in our gut. Microbiome into our food, then we eat our food, and that transfers to our gut microbiome. So that's where our probiotics are all coming from. They're contained naturally in our food, a biologically rich system like that. Which is why that's so important to combine the prebiotic and the probiotic. Like to eat the apple that you raise, let's say, in this soil health, this healthy soil. So then on the apple, it has the good probiotics, and the fiber in the apple is a prebiotic that feeds the probiotic. Yes, we should all understand it the way you understand it. That's also why your whole grain pasta is so important, because without the fiber, you're not feeding the microbes, the healthy microbes in your gut. And that's why we all have these chronic inflammation. And without the fiber, there's no digestibility, there is no nutrient absorption. Right. They become super important. But in order for those nutrients to be available in our food, they have to first be available in the soil. Yeah, such an important point. So our people are sick, and that's the thing. They're there in the soil, but they may not be available to the plant, or the plant may not be getting them right. Or the plant just hasn't utilized them in so long that they're no longer functioning dormant. Right? Yeah. They're no longer called upon to go to work because nutrients have been supplied to our plants so easily and readily that this biological pathway is no longer called upon. Right. And understand that a little bit about our system for your viewers that don't know. So in our farming system, in our gardening system, we are a no till system. So no tillage ever. That's how we start. That's what we do to protect the soil. Microbiome first. And so just so people understand, then you're able to plant a crop by using a drill to just drill down and drop a seed. In our big fields, it's just a drill and it makes the tiniest slice in the soil to disturb it as little as possible. And in our gardens it's the same. So whether that is just making a hole with our finger or the smallest hole we can with the smallest implement to put our seeds in the ground, that's what we don't get out the. Rototiller no. Happening here. Looks like the sound the micro is making, right. No, you can hear the microbial community, the die off with the diligent instance. Gardens, the soil is always covered, so you never see the soil, never visually see it with your eyes. Right there's. Always covered. Well, that's a good rule of thumb, even for somebody that's not a full scale farmer. But that has a garden, a nice garden in the back, because that's the thing we're always taught you need to weed everything. You need to keep everything clean looking and get the plastic and have all the rows and it's hard to make a mindset shift for a gardener as well as a farmer that no, actually you should not see bare soil when you look down. And that was our gardens. We were still tilling gardens and doing no till in our farming fields. Right? Yeah. There was a huge mind shift that had to happen for us to go to no till in our gardens, which makes complete sense. Right. If we can do it on our broad scale fields, we should be able to do it in our gardens where we're growing all our vegetables. But it was it took us a little bit of time to wrap our brains around that and so the idea is as little disturbance as possible, right, whatever that might be. We want to disturb the soil microbiome as little as we can and to feed it the best we can with the plants that we're growing. Right. I do have to ask you just since you have had experience with a garden in notill so I can see where you do just like the finger push or a spade, whatever, just a small to get it planted. But then as it's growing, how do you give the new seed the advantage over the weeds that are already there? How do you mitigate that so that you actually have vegetables as opposed to just the weeds taking over? Well, ideally we would have had a cover crop from the fall on the garden fire and have that winter kill and lay down. Last year we didn't get a cover crop seeded on the garden. So what we're counting on is soil cover with whether that's mulch that means like leaf litter, grasses. Yeah, a lot of good biology on leaf litter just to reintroduce that on. Such a great point because I see oh, how many times do I see all these big bag, big plastic bags of leaves bagged up everybody's got them in there, pick them up, take them to the trash. Like, hey, how about pour those on your garden? That's perfect armor for your garden. Okay. And if that means putting cardboard down first as a weed barrier, oh, that's a good idea. Wet that down and cover it then with leaf litter or grass clippings, assuming your grass hasn't been weed, and feed it, right, like heavily fertilized, right. And so just gather that up around and use it and then wet it down. And you'll get weed suppression, you'll get moisture retention. There are lots of benefits from using your clippings and leaves and things like that around your yard. And then, because it's not living anymore, your new plants in your garden aren't struggling or competing against anything. But that's the critical point, I think. People, when they think at least when I think, no till garden. Okay, well, I guess you just go out to a patch of it's already like fully grass and like, oh, just stick the seed in and oh, hey, it didn't turn out. I knew I should have tilled it. Well, you do have to do some preparation to help the new seeds. Right? And the weeds, you'll be surprised when you're not like most gardeners will till it a lot. And then they'll think organically and they'll think, well, we'll bring in some manures to replace nutrients in those. Well, when you're bringing in high levels of nitrates and phosphates, that's going to signal weed growth. And they're always the big bad ones, right. The dandelions, they're the huge broad leaves that like the nitrate. And they're trying to get that out. They're serving a purpose. But we don't like to see them in our vegetable gardens competing. So we basically use a lot of leaf litter, and actually we grow spelt, right. And we have to dehaul that because there is a hard hull on it. We save the holes when we dehull and that becomes mulch or are in between our rows and around the plants. Because there's a lot of biology just on that hull from that grain. Yeah, well, like grass clippings when you mow the lawn, too, and you have it in the bag. And the thing about grass clippings, right, is to let them sit a while. So let me dry out, right? You don't want them too green because it attracts a lot of slugs. So you want them to kind of mature a little bit and get kind of dead looking, dried out. And then they become a great source of armor to keep your soil cooler, to keep moisture for moisture retention and also as a weed barrier, right. Because that's why people till, right? Because the weeds get so insane. So cover up in between the row with something else. The soil doesn't have to call those big bad weeds to cover it because we're doing it for it. Leaf drop is the perfect balance because when a leaf falls off a tree, it's at the absolute perfect moisture level to go on. So, I mean, nature has already done the work for you. Just pick them up from underneath your trees and put them on your garden. Yes. That's fantastic. I love that people can actually have. An experience with regenerating their own, like a piece of their own yard. It's like such a simple concept, right? Like, oh, my gosh, you're using leaves from your trees. That's a simple solution. And that's what we're finding the best solutions for us on our farm or in our garden, they're the simple ones, the ones that seem to be overlooked, but such a simple solution, and the. Ones that you don't have to pay anybody for. That's why there's not a market to tell people about it, because who's selling you leaves I won't probably sell. Right. We all either rake them or we mow them and bag them, right. With a mower with a bagger, you're doing something usually in the spring to clean that up a little bit. So instead of bringing them to wherever people bring them in town, use it. And once you switch over to a biological system, that soil becomes hungry, so it'll start cycling that residue faster than you can replace it. We're experiencing that on Broad Acres right now with droughts coming up. We're having a hard time even supplying enough organic material on top of the soil to keep it covered. But you will find that out even on a garden once you switch to fertility, where you're not adding a lot of nitrates or phosphates. And I will say manure is fertilizer. A lot of people don't associate that. They say, I don't use fertilizer, but I've all in a ton of manure. It is fertilizer, right? Synthetic or organic, it's fertilizer. And once we let biology do that, go down that metabolic pathway, it does start cycling that residue fast, really fast. And the idea is to get the plants communicating with the soil microbiome and feeding themselves from what is there in the soil, right? That's the goal. So we try to interrupt that communication between the plant and the soil microbiome as little as possible. So we don't apply any fertilizer at all. We're not applying synthetic fertilizer. We're not applying manures. We don't put any chemical seed treatment on. We're not using insecticide, we don't use fungicide. So there are a lot of things that we're not doing so that we can keep the communication open for that plant and the soil to feed itself, right? So that's the idea. And that's where our biology comes into play. That's where IMOS comes into play, and it becomes a biologically active system. And we're feeding the plants through biology rather than chemistry. So once they've got their garden, let's say, set up and no till planted, and they've got the biology kind of working for them, then your system is. Too much of a stretch. Minimum disturbance. Yeah, minimum disturbance. Just the row? Yeah. Okay. We're not asking for anybody to perform miracles. Right. Disturb the row that you're seeding one. Inch if you're going to plant the. Little row and then your walkway, because everyone needs those. Leave those, right? Yes. Minimal disturbance. I am a big advocate for no till. Right. Everyone who knows me knows that. But even on a garden scale or in the field scale, minimal minimal disturbance. Right, right. Okay. So I just had to say that. No, you're absolutely right. It's not all nothing. Right? That's right. That is right. So as I understand it, what you're doing is when you say you borrow a piece of soil, right? You dig up a piece of soil from your and how do you decide where to get that soil from? So I should say you dig it up and you are going to brew, like a tea almost. You're going to brew a tea out of it and encourage all of the good biology to multiply. And then you're going to use that as a liquid that you pour onto your garden. So that's kind of overall where we're going, what you're doing with the system. But how do you decide which piece of the soil to brew, which piece of the soil to be the tea bag? We use the plants as the biological indicator. So we'll look in our natural environment, and we'll look where that grass is greener on the other side of the fence, where that grass just naturally is green. We'll start out in grasslands. We'll move into tree areas, so we'll move up in succession in our soils. So as our soils go up in succession, we'll start to lose our grass species as we get closer to our trees. So we'll just gain a broad range of diversity from all of those functional groups in nature. So we'll work our way from our grasslands to our trees in areas where disease doesn't seem to be a problem, where the grass looks start green, where the fruit grows disease free, where the insects don't bother it, where it seems to have plentiful water. And when you do look in those areas, you'll notice that you don't see the soil. It's covered up with plants or litter or leaf litter or something. It's not bare. The soil in those areas will be well aggregated, so it'll be nice and crumbly. Good structure, so the water infiltrates through it. You'll notice a smell. So you'll take a handful of that soil and you smell it, and it smells like the forest floor. It's not going to smell like that in a tilled garden. Let's see here. You'll stay out of areas that will stand with water because we don't want anything that's been underwater or water logged, because that can go anaerobic. So we'll stay out of areas that possibly could have been flooded. Stay out of areas that have runoff from city feedlots. Barnyards manure applications fields, garage native as. Native as we can find to us as we can find. It's surprising you get into those areas and I mean you just sit down and look around and listen and everything seems to be functioning, everything's just working together and no one's in there influencing any of it. It's an area that we've just left alone and biology has taken over and seems to function and work without us being in there. So that has taught us on the farm to try to do as minimal amount of impact as possible and try to tiptoe around these processes and not manipulate them in any way. And what I love about that is the first thing you're telling people to do is observe. Look around you, look at what's working, look at what nature is doing. Nature has already figured all of this out. Like here this is the optimal spot. This is where things are going well and you can see that because of what's going on above ground because it's a reflection of the health below ground. It'S just mimicking it right? Biomimicry it's just observing what's working and bringing that back to our fields or to our gardens and replicating it. That's all we're doing. Should you move your garden to where that spot is? If you have the ability? I guess I don't think you know. Because you're going to bring that biology. Over bring the biology to where you're at. Right? And the idea is when we started using it in the gardens it made sense that we could bring this biology back to our farm fields, to our cropland that maybe it used to be there and it wasn't there anymore or it was there in such small numbers that we weren't really seeing a benefit. So that's the idea with biology you're getting bacteria, fungi, algae, all of it together, yeast, everything together from a native system or as native as possible and then we're reintroducing it on an annual crop land whether that's our garden or the farm field. Right? But when we borrow from those areas we have to observe what those areas look like. So when we borrow those native microorganisms we can't bring them home and put them on a black tilled garden with 2000 pounds of cattlemen are applied to it. They won't survive there. They're not going to know what to do. They won't survive in that kind of habitat. So we have to mimic that habitat where they came from. So we've got to come to the full understanding that that soil has got to be covered that that soil has got to not be disturbed to let those bacteria and fungi go to work to build aggregates, to build soil structure so all your water goes in and goes through it. Once we provide them a home they'll stay there and they'll repopulate. Right? It's not something you have to continue to do all the time. Once you give them food and habitat. That's what they're going to work for, food and habitat. Then the plants are going to give them the food they need. That's where their prebiotics are going to come from to feed those probiotics. So we feed them with seeds and plants. So you need to get your garden set up well, and you do this IMOS process is a way of generating this, bringing this extra life that's native, and that's the indigenous part. That's the important part, as opposed to because there are things that you could buy, natural buy, and they call them bugs in a jug. And it sounds good, but it doesn't work as well if it's not suited to your specific area. Because every piece of ground is different, very different, has a different thriving community. Different things should be in different places. So the beauty of this is that it is your own natural biology. It's what's best suited for your area, just enhanced. But that does bring up a question. If you are let's say you're in town and maybe you don't have a whole lot of you have a backyard, but there's not a big thriving natural spot. One of the things that in talking with you guys before the interview, I think you mentioned, Kelly, is the potential of syncing up with a farmer in the area or with someone that's in your same general area, but that has more biology and borrowing a piece of their soil. Or she'd have to build a relationship first. You don't just go taking soil, but this could be a great way to build a relationship and education between farmers who are doing this and gardeners that want to maybe bring more of that life that's native to their area, but maybe not already in their backyard. Yeah, and those gardeners could go to those farms and speak to those farmers, because those farmers are the ones that are going to know that area better than anyone else. They grew up on those areas. They've been on those areas for years. They're going to know where the grass grows greener for some reason. I mean, you start asking those questions, they'll think back. And they might have walked over it and not really looked down. But it will trigger a memory that they will know why they will know there are some areas on their farm that are naturally enhanced for some reason or another. And it might just turn a light bulb on in their own head that, hey, you're onto something, and you can go out there together into those spots. Maybe that's going to spark something that they can bring onto their own farm as well. And they might not have even been thinking about it. It's that simple. That's the thing with our system. It was so simple. And we're asked that a lot. Like, can it be that easy? We're not manufacturing anything. Can it be that easy? Yes, I believe it can. Nature has already done it for us. Well, so then that brings us back to your system. So if you're a gardener and you want to try this, it is simple, but there are still steps you have to take and materials you need to gather. And the beauty of your Imo system is that it is both a series of videos where you guys show them exactly how to do it and a kit that helps you put it all together so maybe share more about what's involved. If somebody goes to your website and signs up, buys the IMOS package, what do they get? So to start, just to give a little bit of context to that, so this will be year five for us on our farm, on all of the field acres that we've been leaning on native soil biology. So this is year five for us. And it has taken me a couple of years to convince Kelly that this information should be available to anybody who wanted it. So whether that's farmers or market gardeners or home gardeners, anybody that's growing food should have the option to learn how to harness the power of indigenous microorganisms in their system. And like I said, it took me a couple of years of coaxing him to put together a video series. And so that's what we did. It's a five part video series. It's three to 4 hours in length. You go to Guardiangrains.com, click on IMOS. IMOS, that's indigenous microorganism solution, right? It doesn't get any easier than that. And you can purchase the video series, which they will have unlimited access to. And they'll also have access to all the videos that we add on this spring because when we recorded the video series, it was not well, we were buried under about two or 3ft of snow. So there's a lot of things we'll be adding this spring and into the summer going forward. And so they have access to those videos, they can learn exactly the way we're using it in our system and then they can take some liberties and use those in their system. And then we put together a couple of kits that are very easy and foolproof of foods that you feed these indigenous microorganisms. So your indigenous microorganisms, you feed them certain foods and we have developed kits for those and it makes it very easy and they're in water soluble packaging and there's no waste. And it makes it very easy to brew a 30 gallon batch, which might sound like a lot, but when we go out into our garden and I'm watering in the row by watering can or backpack sprayer or anything, 30 gallons doesn't go that far. And you have to remember, what we're brewing and what we have is a living biology. It's life. So spray it anywhere. We spray it on budding trees, we spray it on fruiting trees. I spray it on all my ornamental flowers, right? My yard looks amazing since I'm spraying native biology on my perennial flowers. So if there's extra, we can put it anywhere and it'll dilute it. Or can you put it on straight? We put it on straight. So whether that we apply it to seed that's biopriming, that's what we do on our broad acre fields. And then you can also apply it foliar over the top of your plants. You can apply it to the soil and so it just comes 30 gallons straight into your watering can if you're doing it on a gardening scale or right onto the seed, whichever. I mean, there's lots of ways it can work in different types of systems. And that's what's great about it, is that it's super flexible to be used for anyone, right? And the idea was to make it available for anyone wanting to lean on biology and further away from synthetics or even from manures, right? So to help their soil system communicate better with the plants they're growing. And there are a lot of biological options out there, like you had mentioned before, there's lots and there's more coming on board all the time. And some of them may be good options, some of them may not be, but there isn't anyone that is actually showing you how to borrow from a native system to do it yourself. And there are a lot of people teaching compost methods and that can work great. There were just too many hurdles for me to be able to manage a compost pile by myself or like a Johnson Soup bioreactor and keep it watered for 365 days. These systems work, but they were too complicated for me and so I didn't do them. And we use a native biology and we wanted everyone to have access to the information, whether they want to buy their bugs in a jug or if they want to grow them from their indigenous microorganisms and actually have it be a live solution. And when they do that with IMOS, I mean, there's going to be thousands of species in there. So unlike a bug in a jug, where you're going to get two or three things or one thing, that's magic silver bullet, you're bringing in thousands, thousands of things. And when we do that, we establish that group behavior. So then now you've got a whole group of organisms working with each has their own talent, each has their own specialty, but now they're able to work together and produce things that weren't able to be done before. And that gets to quorum sensing. I know you mentioned that before and it's something farmers are familiar with, but maybe consumers or just your average person isn't. So maybe share a little more about what is quorum sensing. How does that work? Well, that can happen even in our own gut. So when we establish a massive population of beneficial organisms, those beneficial organisms will outnumber disease causing organisms or pathogens or viruses or anything like that that were to come into attack us. When we have these natural suppressive systems in high numbers, so they're able to activate microbial messengers, so they can turn switches on and off, start closing gates. Batten up the hatches like, hey, a virus is coming. Now we can defend ourselves against this. So those are all the different things that work together to allow those processes to happen to protect us, so we don't have to lean on antibiotics or vaccines or something. That's the things that are going to defend our plants. They defend our plants, they defend our soils, they defend our own gut that. Each other are around. That's the crazy. That's the sensing part. When there's enough of the population, they sense that they're there and then they. Do what they're supposed to do together to create what is needed, which is incredible. If there's not enough of them, then that sensing isn't triggered and they don't perform the beneficial act. They can't actually communicate. Then you open up those lines of communication. Now all of a sudden talk, so. To speak, talk to each other, talk through chemicals. That's the amazing thing. You have a chemical language. Yeah, it's really incredible. And the key to that, like we've said, is diversity, volume, right? Not just a few. You need a lot of a lot of different things to come together to make that work. And the same thing, it works in our gut microbiome is the same way it works in the soil microbiome. And so if we can work out a balance of the microbial community in the soil system, the plant will have that balance. And then the people and the animals eating that plant, or the seeds from that plant or the fruit from that plant get the benefit of what's happening in the soil. And that's how we can make it be a cycle, right? Yeah. Restoring metabolic function right, between if we. Can heal the soil, we can heal the people and the animals. And it sounds like a huge task, but if everyone can just do it in their little biome, it works. Well. That's what I love about what you've done, because you basically created, I think, one of the most practical college courses you could have, or a high school. I mean, I think about homeschoolers, too, that do a lot of project work as part of supplementing or just supplementing your school work with a kid. A project that you could talk about really grounding your kid in understanding how healthy food is made, how biology works. There's so many great lessons that can. Be taken and experiences that can be. Had by working on this project within your family. In addition to obviously giving you much better vegetables and fruit healthier tastier. I'm sure your garden is its taste has improved, too. Have you noticed that over time, right? Yeah. Our gardens changed in flavor, our grain fields have changed in flavor. We've noticed that across everything. And I mean, that started for us on a 10th of an acre. Right. And it spread 2000. And that's the tasting terroir. It's exactly what you're going to do. So it's the native flavor that you are getting to taste. Yes. And you talk about it in your podcast. Right. If a place could have a taste. Well, that's the thing. Places do have taste. We've masked them because we're putting all the same synthetic things on or organic things. We're putting the same kinds of food on the soil. Well, then that's going to make sense that that would create a similar kind of blot out of that type of wheat or in that place. That wheat in that place gives you a different bread than the same variety of wheat in a different state. Well, even in a different town. And that's how important it is to source those microorganisms locally because that's why you're experiencing those different tastes. There's different sets and populations of microorganisms and different soils around the world. So keep those as local as possible to keep those intact. So we do have a wheat here in North Dakota that might taste different than one that's grown in France. Or we're using that same biology. We're not taking all the biology from Florida and just shipping it all around the world. Right. And I want to talk about a little bit about the indigenous microorganism that we borrow. Right. We're not going in and clearing whole areas. We are talking about three pounds of native soil. Yeah, that's very important. I don't think we talked about how much you need. Handfuls, shovel, scrapers. Yeah, we're going in and excavating areas. We are talking about three pounds doing 30 gallons of native biology to be applied to your seed or to your plants or to your trees. And when our system is developed in a way that you borrow the soil, you replicate all the indigenous microorganisms that are in that soil for a 24 hours period. And when you are done with that soil, you return it. You're only borrowing the soil for 24 hours. Well, okay, so it brews in an Aer rated it's an aer rated system for 24 hours. We actually feed the imo for ten days prior. Okay. It's ready to receive it. Yeah. It's fed for ten days prior to the 24 hours aerated brew cycle. So in all actuality, it takes twelve days from start to finish. The labor is pretty low. There's not much time involved there in borrowing. And then once we got it in the containers, we just watch our moisture levels. But I mean, that's been a lot of the challenge with composting, is the labor intensive. It's so intensively labor to do that at scale when we're talking acres. So this was pretty simple, easily managed for anybody. And when he says easily managed so when he developed this system five years ago, he was wanting to introduce biology into our fields and all of the options he was putting in front of me were way too labor intensive, way too many things I did not know and too difficult for me to manage on my own. With the newborn, I think paisley. They were four and two, so still not a super amount of extra time. And it needed to be something I could do by myself while he was in the field because like I said, we are bio priming our seed, so all of our seed is naked and then we bio prime it with biology. So it needed to be something I could do by myself. And this video series is broken down in such a way that if me as a mom or as a wife or a home gardener wanted to go down this route of IMOS, I can actually build my own little brewer using hardware store supplies. We have a video series on how to do that, how to be able. To it explains everything. Low cost. When we developed the system in the video series, I said I need to be able for anyone to be able to watch this video and be able to build this, so even I can build it. I mean, I'm confident, but even I can I'm not that hands on technical, but even I can watch the video and understand what to do. And that was the idea, was that anyone could do it, and it could be something that I can manage on my own. And it works for us. And it's worked for us. For this will be the fifth season. And like Kelly said, it's not something once we introduce the biology, this isn't something we're going to have to continue to do forever. But we have been coming out of a D Four drought for the last couple of years and we have gone through a very tough winter where we've had a lot of snow, a lot of cold. And we are going to reintroduce some biology this spring again, just to wake everybody up and get everyone functioning and remind everyone, like, hey, we can get together and work here because we're in. A row now during drought where our fall cover crops have not made it just too limited. So, I mean, we're lacking some liquid sun being put into that system. That's the curveball she threw at us. So we're going to reintroduce some just because it's going to be beneficial. And also it's so easy. Why not? Well, one of the things that I did want to ask you about you're dealing with biology and as anybody who's left something out and then gone on a trip and comes back, biology can get kind of scary if it takes a turn, is there anything that people would have to worry about? And maybe your video series helps them be on the lookout, like if it wasn't Aerated well enough or can this go horribly wrong or is it just friendly biology? Nothing to worry about, it can go wrong. And we did a lot of testing on with the two meter and stuff during brewing and that was why we chose to prepackage all the foods and supply air pump for the brewer so we could match our oxygen supply and we gave the dimensions of the holes in the diffuser on the bottom. So all of that remains constant. So when we keep our oxygen levels constant and our food levels constant, then so far what we've seen any soil going in there can be done with minimal effort. So whoever is using it isn't going to have to go in and monitor two levels and do a lot of microscope work, right? You absolutely can, but you don't have to. That natural system is I mean even the top scientist and the biologists in the world haven't uncovered, have barely seen the tip of the iceberg on what's under our feet there. So I mean we don't get too in depth of a full understanding of that, we just have to come to the understanding that it works. And the idea is that the reason for the kits rather than just giving people a recipe what to do for these foods. There are so many variations in quality of the foods that we have chosen that there was just no control to be sure that people were going to get the same results that we get. And so we have chosen the foods that we have found to be the best quality and by prepackaging that, that makes it so nobody has to source, try to find what we have found and nobody has to measure it. It becomes very easy. It's all prepackaged and water soluble. It's as easy as we could possibly make it. In fact, it's so easy now my job is going to be even easier this spring because for the last four years we haven't had premeasured soluble packs. So that's going to make it even. I didn't think the system could get any easier, but it is. Because whether in a garden or in a farm, once you jump down that rabbit hole of everything getting easier, there's no coming back. When the watering becomes easier, when the harvesting of the fruit becomes easier, when the bugs leave you alone, it becomes easier. When the diseases leave you alone, it becomes easier. I mean everything just becomes easier. And once everything's easier, there's no going back to the dark side. What he's saying is true. The biology in the soil has the capability to create a suppressive system where insects are not going to be a problem, where disease doesn't become a problem. Right? So a functioning system, that's all because of the microbial community that's in the soil. If it is there, we can build that suppressive system. So like you said, we're not dealing with excessive pest, pressure or disease. The biology is all responsible for that. And so by giving our soils or the seed or the plant a head start, by applying this indigenous microorganism solution, then it has a better chance of being a more suppressive system, where we're not having to treat sick plants in the fields or in the gardens because they are defending themselves and thriving on their own. Which is the goal, right? To observe more and interfere less. No, that's really great. And I just want to remind people that they can get the email@example.com and you can buy it right there and get access to the videos. And then can they buy the kit? They buy the kit through the site, too? The kit, they buy through the site. After they've purchased the video series, they get a link to a members page. Okay. On that members page. Then they can purchase the kits. So the idea is, know what you're. Doing first and then buy. Let's not just run out there and start willynilly putting it together like an Ikea couch. Let's actually learn a bit. It is biology. You have to have the knowledge and the understanding before we actually put something into practice. That's the idea. The biggest investment was that education in themselves. That's the biggest thing they're going to have to invest in. Right? And then it becomes very simple. But it's a joyful thing. It's like unlocking the secrets of nature and learning about the system that's already. Been working without our knowledge. And we've been disrupting it, not intentionally, and we do it in our lives, too. The kind of food that we eat that disrupts our gut microbiome, that's like a similarity to the artificial things that we put on the soil. Well, how much processed crappy food have you been using in your body that suppresses your microbiome or makes it hard to recognize? What the heck? What did you just give me? We have to remember that we shouldn't be feeding anything to the soil that we would need ourselves. That microbial community doesn't deserve that, right? So we need to be as conscious of the community that is under our feet because it's the largest ecosystem on the planet. That becomes a very probably the oldest. For sure. Yes, for sure. Without a doubt. And with IMOS, you don't have to worry about your pets and your kids and stuff when you're out there applying. It and spraying it because it came from there. And then also, our IMOS members are invited to join our WhatsApp chat in the community. And that has been awesome for Kelly because we are getting to see how IMOS is working for other farmers, and it's been because they're sharing pictures and. They can ask questions then, too, and. Everyone can ask the questions, and we can all learn from each other, which has been a huge help. It's just like the Jill Clapperton network and what you guys are doing, where we're learning together, right and that's what we've done with this. WhatsApp Chat? We didn't know what WhatsApp was until we opened the Chat line for IMOS, but it was the best way that we could connect. And that way, if there were questions, we might not be the only ones with, I mean, we might not have the answer. Somebody else might. And that's the great thing, is that we can all learn from each other. And there's other others trying things with IMOS that we haven't even done ourselves. That's true. Once you're caring for native soil in a container this big, it's like a. Nine by 13 size. You really are conscious on how you're caring for that. You're not compacting it, you're keeping it covered, you're keeping it moist. You're doing all those things, and then you all of a sudden see all this life that benefits health come to fruition in a little container. Now you think, well, how can I do that on my entire garden? How can I do that on my entire farm? Let's spread that out. There's a visual mental thing that happens there, too, as you're watching how you're caring for that that small amount of soil in that container. Yeah, I love that. We've thought about this for home gardeners, too. I mean, it's great, obviously, for farmers, and it's starting to take off like wildfire. I know there are a bunch of farmers that are wanting reaching out to you, and like you said, this can't be this simple, but it is. And you've had really good farmers I know say to you, like, this is it, that this makes all the sense. This is like all bringing it all together. And that's fantastic. That would be fantastic by itself if it just stayed in the farm side. But I am really excited about the ability to apply this to the garden level because not just the benefits that people can see and bring into their life with some fresh food that's enhanced with life, but then it opens that whole door to understanding why it's important to source the food that they buy with care and why it's important to maybe just pick one thing, one product a month that you buy direct from a farmer. We understand you can't buy everything this way, and people have limited budgets and time and all of that, but make it a priority to buy one thing directly from a farmer that's doing this kind of regenerative journey. And obviously, you could buy many different one things at your site. Guardian grains, you've got great pasta and flour and amazing stuff. The ability to buy that, and it's a real gift that you're giving to people. And I think a lot of people don't fully understand or appreciate all that goes into that. We just brought in flake to breakfast, barley, yesterday, stone mill. I mean, I never thought I'd be. Doing that kind of that's. The thing is, we had gotten to see. The benefit on our farms, in our gardens, from regenerating the soil. Right. We'd gotten to see it. But if that doesn't spread out into the community, then it ends at our farm, it ends at our gravel road. It shouldn't end there. For it to have the regeneration of our farm, to have a lasting impact, it needs to spread out into the community. And the best way we can do that is through food. And it's not about stacking enterprises. It's not about making things more complicated. It's not about vertical integration. It becomes a moral obligation to make these things available for people. And while our lives had gotten super simple and super easy, and there was a need, when there is a need, we need to find a way to provide it. There was a need in my area, somebody looking for desiccant free wheat berries. That's how it started. I didn't realize that people didn't have access to that. And then when I realized that people didn't have access to grains that weren't chemically sprayed over the top, it became something we had to do and had to offer. And that's how guardian grains started. And it has just been an evolution since then. And yes. Am I adding more and more to our plates? Absolutely. And to our customers plates? Absolutely. Kelly said we just started with plate barley. We've been enjoying breakfast barley on our farm for a full year, and now, finally, we're going to be able to offer it full scale for our customers. And that's kind of like an oatmeal replacement, right? I mean, you can use it like a hot cereal. Yes. And you can do it like overnight oats, but it's overnight barley. And the benefit of barley over oats is the protein content. Right. It's one of the things, the protein content of Egyptian Hollis barley, besides it being one of the oldest grains ever, it predates wheat. So besides that, it has a protein content about 17 or 18%, where our milling oats are only at about 11%. They both have a great source of betaglucan, which is the Immune System Function Activator, which we all need for our gut microbiome. And so yes. Am I adding things? Always. And like he said, I had him at our production facility yesterday learning how to dress our granite stones for our new American Stone mill. So the learning never stops. But that's because people need access to better. No more, just better. And I do think IMOS being brought in to the gardener will give them a better understanding of exactly what we're trying to accomplish here. Absolutely. Yeah. One of the challenges, as you know, and I talk about it a lot on the podcast that is so frustrating. To me is there's a massive amount. Of marketing about regenerative that's out there. And it's very confusing. I mean, everything from one additional practice thrown on to a system to a complete life filled system like what you guys are doing and everything in between is called regenerative. It's very confusing to know what's real and what's what, especially when it doesn't lend itself to a checklist to be measured. How can you put a checklist toward all this life that you're restoring? And so for people to get experience with that and to experience the difference. In the taste and the health, just. In seeing the vibrant nature of their garden and the bees that are attracted to it, all the other insects that are drawn to it, because life draws life. So to see all of that experience, that that's the kind of transition that a conscious consumer really needs to have that experience. It's not something that you can just pay a little extra for and it's not the same. I mean, that's certainly fine. That's a good thing to do too. But wow, talk about a whole other level of understanding what's important and what to prioritize. And then when you go into the marketing stream, you're better prepared as a consumer to sift through what you think is really worth paying for, what is really bringing back this complex web of life. And it's certainly not just one or two practices in a fancy picture with a glowy farmer. It's not that you need to tell me a little more before I believe. You, that you're, everyone should be growing something in that backyard garden, a plant in your house. It can be anything. Or a patio tomato, anything that you can actually say you grew and get to pick from to nourish your body. There's a whole other sense of satisfaction being able to do that. And it doesn't have to be a whole garden scale. It can be a patio garden. It can be anything. And if you don't want to go to somebody that does that, does want to. And that's what I really appreciate about podcasts like this, is you're introducing people to the farmer and if they can't grow it themselves, find somebody that does. The nice thing about the garden, though, is they can visit that every day in their home. They're going to see those things happen. They're going to be able to sit there in the silence and listen to the bees come in. They're going to be able to experience all those things where if they just go to a farm and visit once or twice a year, they might miss a lot of that. But right there in their garden, they will see that sea biology take over and see how nature functions. And then they'll be able to smell those smells that come along with it and those tastes that come along with it. And then that'll really trigger some things mentally that will establish a whole understanding of what we're trying to do on our farm when they can see that every day in their backyards. You've been listening to Tasting Terroir, a. 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