This is the year that everyone seems to be getting into gardening, which makes sense since a lot of people have more time on their hands and there are also threats of food shortages in the future.
Sometimes gardening can seem like a daunting task, especially if you've had the bad luck of always killing your plants in the past (I've been there). This is why I brought on Melissa K. Norris to help walk us through steps to make gardening easier and more successful.
One of the common themes of this episode is we both recommend going out and getting your hands dirty. The best way to learn is to try because you'll learn a lot about your environment, garden area, and which plants grow better in your area.
Below you can also find a lot of great resources to learn more about gardening, and more about the zoning of your local area.
What To Expect From This Episode
- What are the common mistakes people make when first starting a garden
- The easiest plants to get comfortable growing
- Which plants are great for long term storage and how to store them correctly
- Best ways to get rid of pests without harming your other plants
- [2:15] What is Melissa's background and what got her interested in homesteading
- [5:45] Chicken was considered a "treat" for Melissa because she didn't grow up raising chickens
- [7:15] What are some common mistakes people make when they get started gardening
- [10:00] One of the common mistakes with soil is that people don't use the right soils or composts to plant in
- [11:30] The simplest way to get started with gardening without the overwhelmed is by growing herbs
- [14:15] Would you use potting soil for raised beds
- [16:15] When planting herbs in pots, do you have to pay attention to the amount of light they get
- [17:30] After planting herbs, what are the next best plants to grow for a bigger harvest
- [19:30] The plants that provide more bounty per seed, are you able to harvest all summer long
- [23:30] Which plants are great for long term storage
- [30:00] For plants that don't store well long term, how can you still use them all year
- [34:00] If you are inner city and don't have much room to grow a garden, what options do you have
- [37:00] Can you use hydroponics as a way to grow some plants
- [39:45] Which companion plants work really well to protect your garden
- [44:30] What tricks work for slugs and snails
- [47:30] For watering your plants, what methods work the best
- [50:30] The best way to get started is to get the plant or seed and just start doing it
Resources From This Episode
Some of these resources may contain affiliate links, which provides a small commission to me (at no extra expense to you).
Transcript For Episode (Transcripts aren't even close to 100% Accurate)
Bryan Carroll: [00:00:14] You decided that this will be the year. You will have your own garden. There is nothing quite like having homegrown foods because of freshness and the taste is so much different than what you will find at the stores.
And today I want to help you have a successful harvest this summer. What's up everyone. I'm Bryan Carroll and I'm here to help people move more, eat well and be adventurous. And I have Melissa K. Norris joining me to walk through some tips and tricks to growing a beautiful garden. She has a ton of expertise on gardening and feeding entire families.
And while sometimes gardening can seem complicated. She does a fantastic job of reassuring us that the best way of learning is by trial and error. Everyone's a garden plot will be a little bit different and you will learn what works best for your garden. And Melissa also has available and organic gardening workshop, which you can learn more about @ summitforwellness.com/gardening101.
So let's jump into my conversation with Melissa. Melissa K. Norris helps hundreds of thousands of people each month raise their own food and create Oh, homemade and homegrown kitchen, home garden, and barnyard through her website, popular pioneering today, podcast and the pioneering today Academy and her books.
Melissa is a fifth generation homesteader and lives with her husband and two kids in their own little house in the big woods, in the foothills of the North cascade mountains. Thank you for coming on the show, Melissa.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:01:44] Yeah, thanks so much for having me. I'm looking forward to it.
Bryan Carroll: [00:01:47] Of course. And I'm really excited to chat with you because right now we are living in a very interesting time where there could potentially be some food shortages coming up.
People are starting to think more about, You know, where can I get food that are, you know, more local and better source. And people are thinking about growing their own food. So. That's why you are here. You're going to walk us through these different options. But before we dive into that, what is your background and what got you so interested in homesteading?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:02:18] I'll try to keep this short and sweet, but I was raised I'm a fifth generation homesteader. So it was raised by a homesteader raised very rurally. In fact, I live, we purchased family property from my grandmother and I live on the same road where I grew up and we always had. Cattle for meat. So we very rarely bought meat from the store.
Occasionally my mom would buy chicken and that was like a treat. And so I grew up on a cattle farm and we had a big garden and my mom can during the summer months and she always cooked from scratch. And back then, I just thought that was normal. It wasn't until I was older that I realized it was actually out of necessity.
We always had enough. You know, it was a, we just didn't have the money. Like oftentimes when we would go to town, when I was little, cause we live so rurally, so to go to like big grocery stores, or to go to clothes stores, et cetera, we were driving like 45 minutes to an hour to hit, like where Costco is now though Costco, when I was little, I sound so ancient back in my day, we didn't have a Costco up here, but, like my mom would pack my lunch in a Brown bag and there were McDonald's and there were burger Kings, et cetera.
But. She would pack our lunch and pack our snacks. Cause we didn't have extra money to even go out to eat. But I didn't know. I didn't know. That's why I just thought that was the way that I grew up and I thought that's what everybody did, you know, until you get older. So I was very much blessed. I look at it now as a blessing to be raised in a home where we did so much, that was self-sufficient and raising our own food and cooking our own food, et cetera.
And then when I got out on my own and got married and we started our family, I started working at a day job and we had a garden, but, and I cooked some from scratch, but it was more like buying box mixes of this and that. And then you mix it at home and put it in the oven and think you're cooking from scratch.
It was about 11 years ago. Now that my health really started to suffer. I was in my late twenties at that time and had just had my second child, which was my daughter. And I had really bad GERD and stomach ulcers to the point that I was taking prescription medication six times a day, max doses. And I had to have my stomach and esophagus biopsy because actually.
Thought that I might have cancer. It was so severe. So long story short, I had to completely overhaul our food. and that was how I found healing and was able to get off the medications and everything else. And in order to find that healing and to get food, we had to grow it. Our self at that time to be able to find now, even, gosh, I still settled.
Thank you know, 10 years now we have so much more available to us in the stores that is organic. It is pasture raised. It is non-GMO certified. We actually have really seen it have seen on the store shelves, a big growth and expansion of healthier food. It's not, I wear it by any means where I hope it should be.
I hope it grows a lot more. But we had to raise it ourself in order for us to be able to afford it. And or for me to find it at that time where I lived. So yeah, we started raising all of our own meats. I do still occasionally buy extra bacon or ribs cause you only get so much of that per animal when you're butchering once a year.
but we raised 75% of our own fruits and over 50% of our vegetables for our family of four for a year. So I tried to make that concise, but that's my story.
Bryan Carroll: [00:05:33] So, going back, you, did I hear you say that chicken used to be a treat for you when you were growing up?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:05:40] Yeah. So at that time, my dad, we didn't raise chickens.
So we didn't have chickens for eggs or chickens for meat, but we had beef cattle. And so we had it, which was probably the opposite of a lot of homes. But growing up, we ate a lot of beef and occasionally we would have. Fish, but we did raise chicken. And so that was a meat source we had to buy. And so, yeah, chicken was actually like a treat in a luxury.
It was something that we didn't have very often.
Bryan Carroll: [00:06:07] I'm laughing at that because chickens is like one of the easiest ones to get started with. And it doesn't take very long for a meat birds to get to full size. So,
Melissa K. Norris: [00:06:16] you know, I think what it was is my dad was self-employed. He was a logger and yet his own.
Log trucks. And then the cattle was something that he didn't have to feed during the summer months because we always did grass. We never did grain fed. so during the summer and spring months, he didn't have to feed them. It wasn't like a daily maintenance thing. And then butchering was just once a year.
And so for him, he was getting up and leaving at like three, 4:00 AM in the morning. He'd get home at like six at night, have to grease and work on the trucks and then just go to bed. So the chickens was a daily thing. He didn't want to deal with though. I know a lot of people. Yes, definitely consider chicken's like the gateway and it can be a quick waste without a lot of land to get some meat.
Bryan Carroll: [00:07:00] Well, as we started diving into this, before we dive into the easy ways to get started with gardening and growing your own food, can you give us a couple mistakes that people make when they first get started?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:07:12] Yes. So when people first get started, especially with gardening, there's a couple of common mistakes.
And one of those is you get really excited. Like we tend to do when we start something new, we're like pumped up and jazz and. Seed packets and seeds and even little starts. They're really tidy when you first put them all in. And so people have a tendency to way over plant. And so then they get really overwhelmed.
So then all of this stuff starts coming on and then there's the weeding and the care for it. And then hopefully it all starts producing and they're like, Oh my gosh, like, what do I do with all of this? and so oftentimes people try to go too big, too fast, which I know. And. And these times with COVID when a lot of us are focusing more on being self sufficient, that's not necessarily a bad thing or a mistake in this year might be a year where I would actually recommend, well, maybe go, you know, don't scale back, go ahead and go a little bit bigger.
But the other two, probably bigger things beyond that, that I see is people not planting things at the right time. So for example, people really like to go by gardening zone. People will hear gardening stone thrown out a whole bunch. And your gardening zone is based upon your average, low temperatures during the winter months by where you live.
So they take those average lows. And then usually in about 10 degree increments, it's going to change. Gardening zone six to gardening zone seven, et cetera. So gardening zones are really important to know when you are growing perennial. So if you're putting in fruit trees, or a lot of your different flower and garden perennial plants that come back every year to know that they will survive through that cold winter temperatures to be able to survive and come back the next year.
However, when it comes to an annual vegetable garden, Your gardening zone. Doesn't real, hardly have anything to do with when you should be planting. That's all based on your first and last average frost States. And so big mistake that I see as people see someone who's in gardening zone six, and they're in gardening zone six, which you can be in totally different States and still be in the same gardening sewn.
And they'll see this person is planting. And so they think, Oh, that means I should plant now, too. But it's those prostates. So knowing your first and last frost States and planting, according to those, by the type of plants that you're putting in is much more important than trying to go by gardening zone for planting dates.
the, the other thing I see is. This is really true for the foundation and the health of your entire garden is your soil health. And so most of the time when people are having issues with their plants, so they, they get them in and they're starting to grow. And then maybe some issues start to crop up like a yellowing leaves, or they're just not starting to produce.
Or the plants seem to be rebuild, really struggling is soil health. And so one of the common mistakes that I see people make. Especially when it comes to like container gardening, which is great because anybody, even if you don't have a big yard, you can grow something in pots. Like anybody can, I still growth rings and pots and we have acreage.
but people get confused. They hear, yeah. Compost and compost is wonderful. Addition to your soil. Compost, brings in a lot of good organic matter. It can help with drainage. If you have hard compact clay, it can bring in macro and micronutrients, which our plants need, but compost is not the same thing is soil.
So if you try to plant and just straight compost, then. The plant is not going to grow very well. Yeah. it's not going to have all the nutrients it needs and it will likely get really waterlogged and be too damp. And you're going to deal with a lot of mold and a lot of fungal issues. So compost is awesome and amazing.
But when it's mixed in with actual soil is where the magic really happens. So I think those are probably the biggest mistakes that I see off the bat.
Bryan Carroll: [00:10:59] So for someone just getting started, those mistakes could be a little overwhelming, right. Trying to figure out the soil, trying to figure out the frost and trying to figure out how much to actually plant and not over plant.
So what are some easy ways that aren't so scary to get someone started with gardening?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:11:18] Yeah, so really this simple, one of the easiest ways that I like to get started. Herbs are a great way to go. Especially if you have a small amount of space and most herbs aren't super picky. especially things like Faisal is a great one.
It's pretty easy to grow anything in the mint family, but with your herbs, Putting them in containers, especially anything in the mid family, because they like to spread like crazy. So I like to say when you're starting with herbs going into taters, like, I don't feel like you can go wrong with putting herbs in containers, lavender, Rosemary, Sage, like you name it.
I've pretty much growing. It grown that herbs in a container. And so when you're doing containers, the biggest thing is making sure that whatever container you plant it in has a drain hole. I have no idea why. When you go to garden centers, I don't know why the manufacturers do not always put drain holes and pots because you absolutely have to have them.
It's kind of a pet peeve of mine and like put the drain holes in the pot please, but not all of them do so it's easy. You could get a drill. You can even take like a nail and a hammer, as long as it's not like. Pottery right terracotta. if it doesn't have a drain hole in it, but make sure that it has some drain holes in there that that's an absolute must.
If it doesn't come with them in there already. And then second is when you're dealing with your containers is you can just purchase. Yeah. Make sure it says potting soil, is what you want when you're going in a container. So. That's important because with your containers, you don't have gravity and metric pressure working.
We still have gravity cause we're on the earth, but it's not the same as when you have in ground soil and the way that it pulls the moisture through. and if you try to just go out to the garden or just out in the ground and just dig up dirt that's in the ground and put it in a container, oftentimes it will compact and it won't drain.
Right. And so you'll. Kill the plant you'll have a lot of it'll really struggle and have issues. so actually getting container potting soil is really the best way to go drain holes, and then just putting your plants in there. making sure if it's something that's deep rooted, which you don't really get to a whole lot with herbs, especially when they're small, is that the.
Pot is large enough to support the root system. So if it was something like a tomato plant that actually has a very expansive root system, you'd want to make sure you got a really large pot, like five gallons or larger per tomato plant. But when we're talking things like Faisal and Rosemary lavender, even oregano.
Time, they don't have these big, huge root systems. So you're pretty good to go.
Bryan Carroll: [00:13:58] Before potting soil, would you use potting soil for a raised beds as well, or just for pots?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:14:04] That is a great question. And it's going to be, it depend on your definition of race, but so the reason I bring this up is because
Literally in my book, the family garden plan, but also in my book, like, like the way I define a raised bed is a raised bed. Does not have a bottom. You immediately merely have structures on the side that allow you to go deeper. And so there is no bottom to it. Whereas in a container, we obviously there's going to be a bottom to there.
Cause sometimes people will build what looks like a raised bed, but it'll actually have a bottom in it. So in my book, that's still a container. So a raised bed. That just has structure on the sides, but not on the underneath and the ground part that the plants can still go down into the native soil for raised beds.
then you can use whatever type of dirt you want. You don't have to buy it. Potting soil, particularly cause potting soil is formulated with usually perlite or some different things so that it doesn't get too compact. And it helps with the moisture retention to keep things, even because you don't have that gravitational force, but with a raised bed that the bottom is open to the ground, then you do have that gravitational force.
I'm still at work there and, and that it will pull things down and help with drainage. So, with that type, with the raised beds, in that instance, you don't have to purchase. Formulated potting soil, but you can use potting soil. You can bring in top soil kind of depends on how large your raised beds are and how many are doing.
And what's going to be the best economical choice for you. some people will choose to have a topsoil brought in and then they'll mix like some compost with that. or they'll fill them with some partial with garden, dirt, and then mix in some compost and that, et cetera. So. Those are a little bit different.
I have a little bit more availability choice wise to you on the dirt with raised beds.
Bryan Carroll: [00:15:52] And then going back to the pots that have herbs and starting out with herbs. Do you want to have those position in a specific place on your property? Do you want them to get a lot of light, not much sunlight, medium light, or does it depend on the plants that you're planting?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:16:09] Great question. It can depend on the plants that you're planting. Most of your herbs are gonna require six hours of full sun. Now there are some that tend to like. Hotter attempts than others. So for example, Bazell really does well and really warm temperatures, whereas like your Sage and your mint, things like lemon balm, anything that's in the mint family.
they will be okay if they're in a little bit more partial shade, so they still are going to require some full sunlight. They're not going to really do well in. Absolute full shade. They're going to kind of struggle and you're not going to get a really big harvest off of them. It's going to take them a lot longer to produce, but you can have them where they get morning and early afternoon sun and then are shaded in the late afternoon, early evening.
And they'll do fine. As long as they're getting about six hours of sunlight. Perfect.
Bryan Carroll: [00:17:02] And so we started with herbs. We're doing really well. We're getting more brave. We want to go bigger with our harvest. What are the next best plants to start with to provide more food for the table?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:17:14] Yeah. So if you're really looking at getting more food on the table, we're going to be picking plants that produce.
More than one thing of harvest, which might sound kind of weird. But when you think about like a beet, you think about an onion, you think about a carat per seed. You're getting one beat. Well, technically is a cluster of seed. So you're a, we'll send them to one beat, but you're going to be getting per beat, plant one beat, right.
One carrot, et cetera. So if you're really looking to get food on the table, you're going to want to look at things that produce multiple points of harvest. So for example, zucchini, we know zucchini are super prolific. It's kind of like a joke in the gardening world. you know, in the summertime. People will sneak zucchini on your porch.
Don't leave your cars, unlocked your car, windows down. You're going to come and find your Kini. Cause Suki are typically I'm very prolific and for most people, so things like that, we you're getting a lot of, a lot of harvest off of one plant. So your summer squash, so. Zucchini, you know, Patty pan crook, neck, and then cucumbers are another one.
And even your winter squash, you don't get quite as many winter squash per se plant as you would as a summer squash, but you're still gonna get multiple pumpkins, multiple butternut, multiple acorn, you know, all those fun things. So squash are great, great way to go. Both winter and summer. You're being plants as specifically a pole bean.
We'll give you more pounds per plant than a Bush bean variety, because it's going to grow taller. Obviously it's going to need a structure. So you've got, got to provide that for it, but you're going to get a lot of beans per plant peas are another one that are great. tomatoes. Of course, you're going to get hopefully a lot of tomatoes off of one plant.
And I still grow of course, carrots and beets and all those fun things and, you know, even cabbage and broccoli. But if you're really looking to put a lot of food on the table, those other options are going to provide more for you per square foot.
Bryan Carroll: [00:19:11] And on a lot of those types of plants, are you able to harvest typically all summer long or does it depend on when they are ready to harvest?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:19:21] Yeah. Great question. So there is a little bit of variety dependent. So for example, with your tomatoes, well, there's a ton of varieties when it comes to tomatoes, which makes them really fun to grow, but yeah, you've got determinant in determinant varieties. So usually your indeterminate varieties are the ones that really will vine and you're going to need a lot.
A more heavy duty support for them in the form of tomato cages or trellising, et cetera. They'll bind up. They'll get really tall, but those will also produce until they get killed by your first frost in the fall. So once they start producing, they're going to produce pretty much all summer long for you.
Whereas your. Determinant varieties. Usually you're just going to get a harvest for a, maybe a two to three week window, and they don't reach as tall. So if you don't have a support system or you're like, I don't have room to build a support system, I don't want to deal with that. Determinant varieties can be a great way to go for that instance.
But typically your harvest window is quite a bit shorter now. When it comes to your beans and your peas and your squashes, especially summer squash, I should say for most growing areas of the country, even though we call it a winter squash, it will be killed by frost. So it's a warm weather, annual, but.
They're not really ready to harvest until right at the fall at when, around that time. And then they'll store through the winter and like a root cellar or a basement pantry type environment. where's your summer squash. Won't it's it's not gonna, you know, keep very well. It's going to rot very fast. If you try to do that, that's a little bit a difference there.
Yeah. The summer squash, the more you pick from it, then the more flowers that we'll produce and therefore the more squash you will get. So that's the advantage. I would say on summer squashes, you can get more of a harvest throughout the summer months than you can with the winter squash, but the winter squash is going to store for you.
And then with your beans and your peas, same thing. Once those flowers then form into the beans and you pick them. Then the plant will produce more blossoms, which is their form, or be being sand or piece for you so that you can harvest off of it pretty much all summer. The only thing, especially for your bean plants piece as well.
Is when you hit really hot summer temps. So for me in the Pacific Northwest, this rarely it happens and it doesn't really have much effect on me, but if you live in a more warm Southern state and your temperatures get above 90 degrees, and you're kind of averaging 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks on end, then the flowers don't actually set fruit.
So. During the heat of summer, the bean plants won't necessarily die. They just might not be producing any fruit for you. They'll flip. The blossoms will form, but they won't actually form into beans. But then once your attempt start to cool back down, then those blossoms will start. So if you live in a really hot Southern state where that happens, a lot of times people will choose instead to plant their beans in the fall.
Cause they're not getting those early frost like I have here. and in the earlier part of summer and the spring through the summer months, and they take kind of that. Middle summer part off from those crops.
Bryan Carroll: [00:22:38] And you had mentioned, one of those squashes being able to store longer in the winter. And I know a lot of the foods that we've been talking about, they don't really store, they spoil, unless you figure out how to use them are Canam or whatever.
so can you talk about different plants that are really good for that long term, long term storage?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:22:57] Yes. So I will say to get the long term storage. On these plants, you do need to cure them and I'll walk you through those steps too, but I want to preface it with that. So onions, garlic. Pumpkin spaghetti, squash, acorn, and a butternut squash are all ones that I personally I have experienced and have tested on the story methods now, like, there's Hubbard, there's other varieties of winter squash that would do the same.
Should follow the same principles and you should have the same success with, I just personally have not grown though. So just a premise with that. This is the ones that I I've had pretty extensive experience with. So with your onions and your garlic, you want to pull those from the garden. So when they're ready to harvest, which for me is typically mid July.
Through August and then you want to cure them. So the process of curing, same thing with those winter squash, when you're picking them, you want to make sure that you are leaving the STEM on. If you want to do long term storage. The reason for that is the STEM is going to help prevent oxygen from getting into the plant and breaking it down faster as the reason for that.
So make sure that you pick them with the STEM on, or if you're going like a local farmer's market or a you pick farm. Keep the STEM on or pick the ones that have the STEM on, then you want to cure them. So the curing process is where we are putting them not indirect sunlight. So we have a covered back porch that has, will reach warm temperatures, not direct sunlight, so it doesn't burn them.
and really good airflow. And so you're going to be curing them ideally at 85 degrees, Fahrenheit or warmer for about two to three weeks. And you will see on your garlic and your onions, that those green stems at the top, they're going to dry. They're going to wither. And they'll also start to afford, you know, the skins, which we see onion skins all the time at the store.
And it's, you know, they're, the outer skin is nice and dry and usually it's Brown. So that's what we're looking for on the winter. Squash spaghetti squash is another one and I have to say actually, spaghetti squash has the longest storage shelf life for me. once it's been cured, just. In the, Oh my kitchen shelves, sit on the pediatry floor.
but you are wanting any little Nicks to be hardened up. You'll see the outer rind of it is gonna get harder. So when you like, press your fingernail against it, it's not as soft and it becomes hard. And then the stems that we have left on are going to be more Brown, more withered, more dry. So that's the purpose.
Of us securing. It is to really dry everything out. But then because heat is the enemy of longterm food storage, right? So we use our fridge and freezer after that time period, then you want to move them into a cool environment. So ideally and root cellar situations, they were kept up about between 40 and 50 degrees, 55 degrees Fahrenheit with a specific amount of humidity.
I don't have a basement and I don't have a garage and I don't have a real root cellar. So I have been able to in our back pantry, which doesn't have any outdoor windows, it was actually the, like the cleaning closet. We converted it to a back pantry and it's the furthest away from our heat source. So we use a wood heat, a wood, excuse me, what stove is our heat source.
And that room is the furthest away from that wood stove. So it stays. Relatively cool. Usually about in the low sixties throughout the winter months back there and no light, I'm able to keep, I still have spaghetti squash that I harvested and cured last September. And at the time of this recording, it is June and it is still good.
pumpkin. And acorn squash. I have had go as far as the end of January from harvesting in September, and I still have onions and garlic we'll go a full year for me doing, doing these techniques. so, but really that, that curing time is really essential. And I will say here in the Pacific Northwest, by the time we hit September and even the end of August, I don't always have a full two weeks of 85 degree Fahrenheit weather.
So if it's. Cooler than that, then I just need to extend it. It may take me one or two more weeks longer for them to get cured and dried out. And there have been times where I've actually just had to bring them in next to the woodstove to get warm enough, to finish drying out. But then after they've reached that curing part and they're dried, it's really key that you try to get them into as cool of environment as possible.
That's not the fridge, but yeah. And dark.
Bryan Carroll: [00:27:28] Yeah, I was going to ask how you do it up here in the Pacific Northwest, because it's not often we get two weeks of 85.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:27:34] No, no, it's very rare. Actually. It's very rare. It's all try to time it. Like you look at the weather forecast and you're praying that the weatherman actually got an accurate for the next coming week and I'll try to time it so that.
When they're at, they are ready to be harvested. Of course. So, yeah. Aye. for onions and garlic, especially if it's soft knit, garlic, the stems will all begin to fall over and the same thing with your onions. So when the stems start to lay towards the ground, I know that the bulbs are then ready to be harvested.
If it's hard net garlic, the stems will never fall over, but the top, like three or four leaves will start to turn Brown and winter. So that's your sign and then you can pull one and see how big the bowl is, and that's your real test, but those are your visual signs. So once those signs start to happen with the first ones, I'm like checking the extended weather forecast and looking for when we're going to have at least, you know, hopefully five days of sun in a row, which sometimes happens, and then harvesting them right at the beginning of that period.
But then sometimes it's three weeks that I have to let them go and I have had to finish them off in the house. So yeah, there's workarounds. But if you live in warmer parts of the country, then, You'll be lucky. You will have a lot shorter curing period than I do.
Bryan Carroll: [00:28:40] Yeah. And just like you, we harvested our spaghetti squash back in September.
I did not cure it because I didn't know that was a thing. And we still have some, and like you said, it's June right now when we're recording and we still have actually quite a few that have not rotted out or anything, so that are still good.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:28:59] Yeah,
Bryan Carroll: [00:29:00] definitely. It's more. Yeah, they saw it really well.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:29:02] Yeah. I have to say spaghetti squash have been best.
They have went the longest for me. without having any of them go bad or starting to show, you know, any, any soft spots, et cetera. Yeah. Yup.
Bryan Carroll: [00:29:13] Yeah. They're amazing. And they taste really good too.
So going back to the plants that aren't very good for long term storage. Do you have any strategies on how to still have access to those type of foods all year long?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:29:28] Yeah. So we use multiple ways of food preservation here on the homestead for those crops. And so canning is one that I use a lot of just because we put up so much food that there's no way I could have enough deep chest freezers. To store it all, you know, for our family afford to take us through. If I were to just try to use the freezing method, we also lose power quite a bit.
So I like to know that my food storage is not dependent upon the electricity being on the, we do have chest freezers and I do have meat in the freezer and a few vegetables that don't lend themselves well to canning or other forms of food preservation. So, But I like to do a lot of canning. So pressure canning the non acidic foods, which unless you are pickling your vegetables, that's going to be all of your vegetables will need to be pressure.
Can't of course your fruits and pickles though. And tomatoes with added acid can safely be water, bath canned. So I do quite a bit of canning, but I also do a dehydrating and fermenting. So. With the fermentation. I am limited because I don't have a basement or a garage that really stays cool enough for longterm fermented storage.
so I do do up half gallons of quite a few of our different favorite ferments, and then just keep them in the fridge and they will last if we don't go through them that fast, it depends on how fast we go through them. I've had 'em. I had one jar of, sauerkraut. That was, I think, nine months old before we eat the very last of it.
and so they'll last for a really long time. Your ferments, once they get moved into the fridge. And again, like if the power goes out and you have a ferment in the fridge, It's going to be fine. If it gets up to room temperature, it's just the longer it stays at room temperature. the more it's going to ferment and if it stays at room temperature for too long, where it's warm, then it can develop mold.
Most of the time, it just gets super tangy though, more so than we actually like. but dehydration can be another great way to go. And it really depends for me on how I know we eat that food, you know, in what format and how we, we like it the best and that, and safety wise, as well as how I decide what type of preservation I'm going to be using per crop.
Bryan Carroll: [00:31:40] Have you ever done freeze drying?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:31:42] I haven't just, I'll be honest. Okay. Cost of the freeze dryer, the maintenance and this base. So we live in a manufactured home. And again, I don't, I don't have a garage and I don't have a basement. And, So, I don't really know where I would store it and where I would be able to run it without it being like in the middle of the kitchen, which is where I do all of, you know, I'm in the corner of my kitchen doing my podcast and all my videos and everything.
And knowing that that thing is sitting there running, I'm just not sure how it would make it work. Freeze drain can be great. I have friends that freeze dry and love it. It's just not one I've personally jumped into yet.
Bryan Carroll: [00:32:19] We do it a lot for backpacking food. That way we can control what we actually eat compared to what you buy in the store.
but we do do some of, well, some of what we harvest we'll freeze dry it for storage for later, too.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:32:31] So do you find that the machine is noisy or that big, or is that like overexaggeration.
Bryan Carroll: [00:32:36] It's it's noisy. I do know some people that have theirs inside that we have ours in the garage and we can't hear it, inside when it's going in the garage.
But, it'd probably be equivalent to like a washer or dryer. That's going okay. But it's going for like 36 hours.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:32:52] Okay. So yeah, I totally get a garage or a barn or something outset that it would be safe. And I think I'm going to have to hold off though. I am very intrigued by them, but that's just. So that's just the reason that we haven't dived into that.
Bryan Carroll: [00:33:08] So I know there's a lot of people that live more in our city. They don't really have much room to grow on. Is there different ways to still grow food in a very small or minimal space?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:33:20] Yeah. So if you're inner city. There's a couple of different options, honestly. So there's community gardens, which some cities and some communities will have and some won't.
So I would say like, look in, look into that. If you're wanting to do more than, you know, what you feel. Your yard, or if you don't have a yard, what your, maybe your balcony or your patio, et cetera, will allow. so community gardens can be a great way to go, but otherwise is to do vertical gardening and vertical plants.
So there are vertical stackable containers. That actually stack and they'll go up like five feet tall, right on top of each other that you can use. I actually have one, we have all of our space, but I grow my strawberries in that teeth, the slugs and the sales out of them on my, on our back patio. and it works really great over winters, et cetera.
and then again, like in your. In your containers, is putting, you know, trellises in there and putting supports in, or going up fences, or if like you have a balcony or even a portrait and, you know, put a container at the bottom of where one of your posts on your porch fits in full sun and planting a, a P or a pole bean, or even a cucumber.
you could tell us, you know, a cucumber cause the cucumbers themselves aren't. As big as like say a pumpkin, et cetera. So those are going to be easy for you to tell us, if you've got arbors maybe coming into your yard or your walkway, instead of doing a climbing Rose, you could do grapes or a Kiwi, you know, anything that is a, is a climbing and Vining plant.
Like that can be easy ways to just kind of tuck food in. To those different spots. if you do have a railing or some type of balcony, they make the planters that hook right over there and you can grow really easily. Like a lot of those shallower rooted plants, like they're fast growing to really like lettuce.
the little breakfast radishes. Many, almost all of your leafy herbs and like Swiss chard, you know, those types of things. They don't have big root systems that don't require, you know, a ton of support. So those can be easy to grow. And again, like with the herbs that we talked about, those are some of my favorites, but you really can get.
Most people can get pretty creative, and putting in, even if it's just different race, beds and planters here and there, and you can touch quite a bit in even to landscaping, you know, you can get some of the purple, all the different, beautiful cabbages, like there's the purple cabbage and the red cabbage and all those different things.
And you can even sneak even with it. If you have strict hos, I know some people deal with, pretty strict and they can't do like a vegetable garden in their front yard, but you can get kind of sneaky and play it quite a few things in with it. More traditional landscaping plants that are edible.
Bryan Carroll: [00:35:54] I would not want to be in that HOA that can't let you grow food.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:35:57] Oh yeah, yeah, no, same here. No way. Let's get those changed. If you're in what, like figure out a way to get those rules changed.
Bryan Carroll: [00:36:06] Yeah, especially now, like now's the time to push for that
Melissa K. Norris: [00:36:11] and maybe have success because they would be thinking the same thing. Yeah,
Bryan Carroll: [00:36:15] exactly. have you ever tried hydroponics before?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:36:19] No, I have not. Well, okay. Let me. Let me, yes. Let me go back on this. I have not done hydroponics and the way that most people think I have grown Bazell in a Mason jar with water and a little bit of silica. it had, it had fairly good results, but I haven't done like big hydroponics for the majority of our crops, just because.
We are here in the Pacific Northwest and I have the space and I have the soil and it, you know, it's good soil without having to do a ton of amending to it. Just some compost and aged manure once a year. So I just haven't delved into hydroponics.
Bryan Carroll: [00:36:52] Yeah, I forget what the method is called, the crack chemo method or something with the Mason jar.
but we did quite a few starts this year and then transfer them to the garden. And actually for the most part, it worked out better than I, I expected
Melissa K. Norris: [00:37:05] it. Did you have to put any, air, did you have to do any air stuff with them or not?
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:10] no. Like in the ground or in the
Melissa K. Norris: [00:37:12] water itself and the water itself when you were, when you were doing this, starts in the Oh yeah.
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:19] Yup. So we didn't add any air. What we did do is, we had, I forget what, they're the little starters that you can put seeds in. And then we had that surrounded by clay rocks and then all of that was emerged and they would grow from there.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:37:33] Okay. Oh,
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:34] cool. Yeah. And then, What we discovered is the more established the plant was the worst.
It was trying to transplant it into the garden, because the root systems were too established and being on water. They're not as Hardy as what they would be in, in soil. And so the younger, the younger sprouts Putting those into soil, they thrived, they just took off because they weren't. So you're accustomed to not having to dig.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:38:02] That makes sense. Yeah. Cause it's very different medium from yeah. Being water fed and then going into the ground. So, Oh, that's cool. I love it. When people do experience though, I like my whole garden and homestead as a total experience. I split test stuff all the time. I just, I guess it's like the geeky, nerdy science part of me comes out and I think it's super fun.
Bryan Carroll: [00:38:22] Yup. Now, even when, you know, like if I do my garden this way, I know it's going to produce a lot of food, but I still want to try something different and see if this works as well. That's kind of what we do.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:38:34] Yeah. Yeah. That's a fun experiment. Well, good to know though. Good to know if you try that to it sooner, do your timing so that they're not having to spend too much time and the water media before they go in the ground.
Bryan Carroll: [00:38:46] Yup, exactly. And then, Are there different types of companion plants that you like to put in your garden that, or, You know, companion plants to help get rid of pests or they're either, basically a decoys, so that pets eat them instead of the main plants or what do you do for that?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:39:01] Yeah, so I love companion planting.
it's a lot of fun. It can feel really overwhelming to some people when they first hear about companion planting. So I'm gonna start with my, my basic absolute favorites. So. The first ones that I love to put in is dill. And oftentimes people don't even really think about doping, a companion plant, because dill is a great herb.
If you're growing cucumbers or doing dilly beans or any type of pickling, you probably are growing some dill. but Dell is actually a great companion plants. And the reason that Dell is such a good companion plant is because it attracts a lot of the good. Predatory insects. And I know a lot of times when we think of gardening, we don't always think that there's good and bad bugs.
but your dill is, can be a great attractant and it can help attract ladybugs and ladybugs like to eat. Hey feds. And so you'll often see common advice where people will say to just bring lady bugs into the garden, but if you don't have plants established for those lady bugs, They are just not going to hang out.
They're not going to stay around and we need them to stay around in order to eat the aphids, obviously. So I really like to do dill plus I'm going to be using it. It's a food source too. Right. So it's not just a plant. That's good for companion wise, but it's also a great food source. So Dell is one of my top ones and I just let dill self seed kind of all over the garden, honestly.
And then if it's in the way, I just pull it up. But most of the time I just kind of let it go Willy nilly everywhere. some of my other favorites is orange nasturtiums. So mr. Shims are a great companion plant, but when I was doing a lot of their research for my book, the family garden plan, cause I have a companion chart in here.
Okay. That walks through it all. We were really looking at not just anecdotal or what I've experienced or kind of like stuff that's been handed down, you know, like, I don't want to say gardening myth, but so there's certain things that's handed down, you know, from generation or gardeners, you hear it around all the time.
But I was really looking at some scientific studies that would have some proof, like why, or, you know, in a. In a study study setting did this work. And all of them said that orange nasturtiums showed the best results to helping repel the cabbage moth. So if you've ever grown brassicas before, so cabbage, broccoli, you know that the little moth that lays those little worms that tend to love eating are cabbage and broccoli.
And I don't like sharing with them. Planting oriented assertion can help repel them. So I plant orange Cistercian amiss plus there it's edible. So mr. Shams are a peppery great addition to any salad or green that you got going on. So they're edible as well as pretty, but I intersperse them. With my Brussels sprouts and my broccoli and my cabbage and it doesn't eradicate.
So it's not like you're going to plant them and you're never going to see a cabbage moth again. I wish I could tell you that was true, but it's not, but it definitely definitely cuts down on the amount that I have. So it significantly has reduced the amount of damage I have from cabbage MAs. by putting them in it, usually what I do plus assertion seeds are super cheap.
And then if you let them flower and go to seed, then you can just seed save them. So I seed say my assertion seed every year. but I usually will do one nasturtiums in between about every two to three plants. so it's, it's in there pretty decently in between them. but I would say those are probably my, like my top two go tos that I have everywhere.
I will say, though, I forgot to mention with the dill, that it does really well with the brassicas, corn, cucumber, lettuce and onions. but a lot of, gardeners say not to plant it near carrots and tomatoes. When I was doing my research, the main reason it said not to plant it near carrots is when you, if you let your carrots go the second year, I'm into flowering so that you actually get seeds.
If you're going to be seed saving, that they will. They can cross some sources said that, and then other sources said, no, they actually won't cross. So if you want to be on the safe side, just pull your Dillup away from your carrots. and don't grow them near one another, but yeah, the orange nester and the dill are probably my two biggest biggest ones.
And the search term also helps to repel white flies and Beatles as well. Hmm.
Bryan Carroll: [00:43:24] Do you have any tricks for slugs and snails?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:43:29] Oh, those slugs and snails. so honestly it's probably gonna sound gross, but handpicking them things off is really like the most surefire way. So what I. What I do because common myth eggshells do not for the love eggshells, do not repel sucks.
At least they never have. Maybe I have supersleuth slugs. I don't know, but eggshells has never kept slugs off of my plants. a lot of studies have just shown that they're just not sharp enough. So I will use food grade D E except living in the Pacific Northwest, as soon as it rains, it inactivates it.
And so it's like almost. Pointless to apply it here. So it's really handpicking. I go out in the early morning and I have a little container with a soapy water in it. It has to have soap in it because I didn't know that when I first started and. I put slugs in a pail of water and they just climb right out.
They don't drown. Okay. Just FYI. Yeah. You have to have some soap in there to kill them unless you want to just smash them with your foot. That's up to you. I don't know why I feel better just putting them in a soapy flyer. So I just go out in the morning. And I hand pick them off. you can like, if they're on a leaf, you can kind of like shake them in there, but there's been some I've just had to plug and put in there and the soapy water.
And of course just wash your hands while afterwards. So I'm really just doing that and being really diligent, especially in the beginning of the season, when it is really cool and rainy, or if you have a really like it's been dry and then you have a rainy day, like do it that rainy day, that first rainy day after a dry spell.
And the first couple of days you'll do it. Like I will have a whole bunch, but I've been the handpicking now. I think I'm unlike week three from when our plants and everything, this actually came out and like now, you know, I might go a couple of days checking in the morning and I won't find one. And then, you know, the next day I'll find like one or two, whereas before they were literally like, they decimated three broccoli plant in like.
One night, like I came out the next morning and they had totally ate them all up. So I wish I had like a facet easy. This is going to keep slugs and snails away, but I don't. Okay. Okay.
Bryan Carroll: [00:45:36] It always seems like they show up, right. When things are ready for harvest too, it's like, okay, tomorrow I'm going to pick this and I need to wake up and boom, there they are.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:45:45] Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. So that's what I feel like, especially early in the season doing the handpicking that way they're not breathing, you know, so you're, you're knocking it back for later, later in the season, hopefully. at least that's my theory. So yeah.
Bryan Carroll: [00:46:00] Yeah. We've used a DIII before as well, but Yeah. Coming back to the rain and the water, You know, we figured it would just wash it away or it would make it useless. So, with that for watering purposes, are you using some type of sprinkler system or are you watering down that the, the base of the plants or how do you water?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:46:22] Your garden. Great question.
So we as a couple of different methods, honestly, for my tomatoes and my peppers here, where we live in the Pacific Northwest plus we're up in the Northern, I'm really in the foothills of the cascade mountains. So we'll have where a town, 30 minutes from us will be sunny and I'll drive home and we'll be raining.
So we get a lot of rain and the only way I've successfully been able to grow tomatoes. Without having blight is to grow them in a high tunnel, undercover all summer long. So for them, because I, I don't want to deal with blight and I've went through the work of putting them under this high tunnel. I use soaker hoses and I don't have them on a timer.
I just go out and I put my finger down in the soil. And if it's dry to the first knuckle, then I go ahead and water and I do a deep watering. This time of year, only once a week in like August when we are a little bit drier and warmer, I'll usually about twice a week. so for those that use a soaker hose for the other part of the garden, Really, I usually only have to water maybe the end of July through August.
So pretty short period of time, really. but we do have a big overhead sprinkler that I just go and turn on, in the early morning or the evening I prefer to do early morning. So that way the sun comes up and dries it off the leaves to help down any type of powdery, mildew, et cetera, and like the squash plants.
but sometimes it gets done in the evening too. So. I use a combination of both, but I it's just, we put a, like a six or an eight foot, T posts in the center of the garden. And then we wire one of the big sprinklers, you know, that circulate all the way around and go into a full circular oscillating, I think would be the correct term.
and then I just hooked my host to it. So I don't have like a sprinkler irrigation system that's like permanently in the ground.
Bryan Carroll: [00:48:12] Oh, yeah, that sounds like a really good system. I've heard before, and I don't know if this is true. If you water at night, then that could shock the plants and And do some bad stuff to him.
Have you heard that before?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:48:22] I've heard it or is that just I've heard it, but I've never experienced it to tell you the truth. Because, but if I start so this, you know, the sun goes, starts to go down and it starts to cool off. And so usually if I'm at a water at night, I'll start at like 7:00 PM and you know, it still could be like, depending on the day, it could still be in the seventies, maybe low eighties if it's really, really hot out.
But I have never experienced. Now maybe if you live like an Arizona where it's like a hundred to 110, that may be a different story, but I personally have never. Experienced any issues?
Bryan Carroll: [00:48:57] Well, Melissa, do you have any final, little tips or tricks that you want to share with us on how to, were you successful with growing your own garden
Melissa K. Norris: [00:49:04] yet?
You know, there's, there's lots of like best practices, honestly. I mean, and we've shared quite a few of them here today, but really it's just to get the seed or the start and plant it and get growing because you will learn and. It is good to do our research and find out, Oh, this plant is not going to survive a frost.
I don't want to plant it too early in the season or too late, et cetera. Like there are some good things that you do need to know and some basis, but honestly, You're going to just learn the best by doing and experimenting. I mean, you've heard from both me and Bryan, like we, we test things out and so just get going and you'll learn as you go and you'll learn what works best in your garden and what doesn't.
And the only way to do that is to just get personal experience and just start growing.
Bryan Carroll: [00:49:50] Yup. I totally agree. And, I'm doing that right now. Not with the garden, but I got honeybees this year and I learned a little bit about them before I got them, but I knew that I would learn a way more having them and I'm going through that same process right now.
It's like, I'm learning stuff every single day about it, but I wouldn't have known that unless I got my hands in there.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:50:10] So yeah. There's, there's just, yeah, exactly. There's just something about. You need to have, do a little bit of basic research and then you just gotta dive in. Honestly. So that's exciting though, that you got honey bees.
Bryan Carroll: [00:50:22] Yeah, they're fun. There's a lot to them though.
Melissa K. Norris: [00:50:25] I haven't dived into them yet. There is a lot to, I do Mason bees to help for pollinating wise. Obviously I don't get a honey crop on them cause they're, they're not a honeybee. So, my hat off to you, you're a step ahead of me there. Yep.
Bryan Carroll: [00:50:37] Like I said, there are a lot of fun.
and then my final question to you is what do you do every single day to keep yourself healthy?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:50:43] Oh, that is such a good question. I love it. I have to say the one thing that I try to do every day to keep myself healthy is some quiet time. So just some time where like right now I can go out and spend it in the garden during the winter months that doesn't always usually happen, but just taking some time, even if it's just like 10 or 15 minutes, to, to decompress, to unplug, for me, maybe it's, you know, reading, reading some scripture, it's some time in prayer.
And maybe it's prayer out in the garden, or just kind of just walking through the plants and time where I'm not actually like working in the garden. So there's a little bit of a difference there, which we're getting the garden can be very therapeutic. I have worked through some issues, weed in the garden.
Let me tell ya, but just, just the quietness of not have, if not being work and not actually doing something, but just kind of walking through and enjoying the plants and just kind of being there. and just being. Restful, which might sound kind of weird. I don't know, but I found that if I do that, then I'm a lot better able to handle and respond in a gracious manner to all the other things that may crop up throughout a day.
Bryan Carroll: [00:51:54] Awesome. Well, people can find [email protected]. You've also mentioned your books a couple of times. Do you want to talk about your books and your podcast?
Melissa K. Norris: [00:52:03] Yeah, so the pioneering today podcast is where I share all the things about growing your own food and creating a homemade life. So from making, you know, homemade soap to canning and jams and jellies and pickles and.
Curing, like we were talking about today, doing all those kinds of things. And then my book, the family garden plan just came out this January with talk about timing, had no idea that, you know, obviously none of us that COVID would be happening when, when I was writing the book. but it's the family garden plan in it.
And it shares how to grow a year's worth of sustainable and healthy foods. So all the way from the planning stage to seed, starting to actually planting and then companion planting, crop rotation, but all broken down for a backyard gardener. So not like huge scale agriculture, with charts, And it's all from like a natural organic.
So if you've got issues going on with your, your plants, different methods there on how to deal with them. Yes. Slug and snail picking by hand, is that organic method as gross as that would sounds, that's probably probably the worst one that you'll go to, but also like how, you know, when something is ready to be harvested.
Cause oftentimes we go to the store and we see things that are on this. On the, you know, the produce shelf, but if you've never grown it yourself, you're like, Oh goodness, like, how do I know when this is actually ready to harvest? Or like with a curing tip to harvest this and leave the STEM on. and so we've got charts in there that walk you through that as well as like how much fresh produce, like how many cups.
strawberries, for example, actually equals a pint if I want to can or freeze this. and in case you're wondering it's six to eight cups of fresh strawberries is going to equal one court or two pints of canned strawberries. Once they're processed. So anyways, that book is out, wherever books are sold.
And if you go to family garden, plan.com, I actually have my publisher, let me put up for free, which has been awesome, the planning, and then the worksheets on how much to plant per person for a year's worth of food. And that includes both your perennial fruits, as well as what we think of as a regular vegetable garden.
So you can get those worksheets for free and have those. Perfect.
Bryan Carroll: [00:54:14] Awesome. Thank you so much, Melissa. There's a ton of really good information in here and I'm sure your book is going to have 15 times more in there, so people should run out and get that book, especially now that we are in the gardening season, right.
We got to get stuff into the ground. So thank you again for coming onto the show. I appreciate
Melissa K. Norris: [00:54:32] it. Thank you. It was a lot of fun.
Bryan Carroll: [00:54:36] So, are you ready to grow your own garden or have you already started yours this year? Hopefully you get your hands dirty and start to see what you can grow at your own home. I love being able to go out and grab fresh plants to add into our meals and it just makes the food taste so much better.
So make sure to head over to the show notes that summitforwellness.com/114 to get all the links to her book and podcast. And she also has her organic garden workshop that you can join, which you can find@ summitforwellness.com/gardening101 and did you know that we have our very own store with different herbal support for the body.
We have different teas for adrenaline support, immune support, and even as a sleep aid and other tinctures available as well. Everything in the store utilizes what nature has to offer just in more potent forums. So head on over to mountainsideherbals.com to learn more. Next week, Reed Davis is coming onto the show.
So let's see what Reed will be teaching us. I am here with Reed Davis. Hey Reed, what is one unique thing about you that most people don't know?
Reed Davis: [00:55:46] Well, I'm actually a gardener, you know, I love doing artistic gardening. I create these vignettes all over my property and I play with plants. I don't know all the names of them and things that, but I know what I like to look at.
And I put little figurines and little things like that, and there's very artistic and hardly anyone would know that.
Bryan Carroll: [00:56:06] So that's a different than at gardens where you would like grow your own food with it's more visual.
Reed Davis: [00:56:13] Oh yeah. It's just a form of art artwork and expression. And it's my hobby. I've planted 2000 plants on my property.
Bryan Carroll: [00:56:23] Yeah. Wow. That's a lot of plants. Well, what will we be learning about in our interview together?
Reed Davis: [00:56:31] Well, we're going to talk about, the contributors to metabolic chaos. So, you know, it's the underlying health problems I've told you before I was in the environmental business. So I take a very holistic environmental approach to health and restoring a healthy host.
So we'll talk a little bit about parasites, bacteria, fungus virus, and other contributors to metabolic casts, but it's really the host that matters most.
Bryan Carroll: [00:56:57] And what are your favorite foods or nutrients that you think everyone should get more of in their diet?
Reed Davis: [00:57:02] huh. Well look at food as macronutrients, protein, fat, and carbs, and that there's a right fuel mixture for you.
So the answer to your question is get, get the fuel mixture, right? Proteins, fats, and carbs. And there's actually a scientific way to figure that out. It's called your oxidative rate. And so you got to get the fuel mixture, right? And when it comes to which proteins, which fats and which carbs, that's a whole nother, area of study combined together, but you do need vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, it seals some fatty acids, trace elements and so on and so on.
And so a final nutrients and what have you. So, but start with your macronutrient ratios and get that right. You know, obviously we need a lot of carbs and crap in this country, but get, get there, you know, high quality. Nutrient dense foods, get the ratios right. Then worry about which ones and what you might need to supplement with later.
Bryan Carroll: [00:58:01] And what are your top three health tips for anyone who wants to improve their overall wellness?
Reed Davis: [00:58:08] Hey, you better start off each day with the right point of view, you know, and if you're a cup is half empty person, we'll just, just change. It just starts getting up every day and telling yourself the cup is half full.
The cup is half full. It's going to be a beautiful day. You gotta look on the bright side. You have to teach your subconscious to feed you something. Of value, you know, at least this point of view, you'll get more work done. You'll be happier. You have more joy in your life when you do that, I'm going to say get more done.
So that's tip number one is just to wake up each day with a good attitude. And if you don't have one. State the opposite, you know, say it out loud. And you know, I do it with my feet flat on the dirt, outside my, my, a living room window or patio. I do it every day. number two is into almost immediately, you know, and I do that with a cup of coffee.
That's fine. It's been a couple of minutes and reflection like that. and then I go do something useful. it could be just get dressed or make my bed, try to make my bed every day, you know, and that leads to doing the next thing and the next thing. So I'm doing something constructive or useful. And, then I work really hard, you know, I work.
Hard every day, I start using it four in the morning. I go to bed quite early. but if I start at five, that's fine. Or even as late as six, I mean, that's, that's a late start, but, I usually get a lot done for work. Now, then I spent two hours every day outside. I just told you what my hobby is now. I'm also, I have property and I'm clearing brush and I'm burning, you know, I do these burns stuff and I do it myself and I have to fight off the rattlesnakes and, you know, Things like that, but, it's really remarkable if you can spend at least an hour, if not, I try to spend two hours a day outside.
And doing, doing hard physical labor. Now that for you could be, you know, walking or running, I have a acreage and it's attached to, a preserve. It was a 250 acre preserve right next to me that no one ever goes on. It's like my own preserve. And, and I do hikes that make trails. And I. I just have fun doing that.
And again, clearing brushes incredibly hard physical labor. So you get really strong, you get a, let them enjoy and you can process all the crap, you know? So I would say getting up and changing your point of view, doing something useful right away. I mean, it was just making your bed and washing the dishes or something.
then you have to work. Everyone has to work, I think. but I spend, I make sure I get that outdoor time.
Bryan Carroll: [01:00:46] Reed is quite the character and it was fun to chat about GI pathogens. So until next week, keep climbing to the peak of your health.
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