Biodynamics Now! Investigative Farming and Restorative Nutrition Podcast










January 2016
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Sarah Flack is the author of the Chelsea Green book Organic Dairy Production (2011) and, more recently, The Art and Science of Grazing: How Grass Farmers Can Create Sustainable Systems for Healthy Animals and Farm Ecosystems (2016). She is a nationally known consultant on grazing and organic livestock management.

Sarah Flack is uniquely qualified as a teacher in the grazing movement in that she has both scientific training and intensive hands on experience with livestock, not only on her family's farm but, because of her long time work as a certifier and consultant, on many grazing enterprises, both small and large. She grew up on a Vermont family farm that used management-intensive grazing and mob stocking. She later studied Holistic Planned Grazing and pursued graduate studies on pasture management at the University of Vermont. She has written extensively about grass farming and is known for teaching workshops that take a practical approach to applying the science of grazing. Sarah has successfully helped many farmers create positive change in their pastures, soils, livestock, finances, and farm-family quality of life.

The Art and Science of Grazing: How Grass Farmers Can Create Sustainable Systems for Healthy Animals and Farm Ecosystems

By Sarah Flack

Foreword by Hubert J. Karreman, VMD

New techniques for managing grazing animals are producing dramatic results that empower farmers to grazing systems that are truly effective at meeting their farm and quality-of-life goals.

In this comprehensive book, nationally known grazing consultant Sarah Flack builds on a solid foundation of the key principles of grazing management to help farmers design and manage successful grazing systems. Flack’s lifelong experience with grazing began when her family employed mob grazing techniques on the family farm to transform a brushy, overgrown series of fields into high-quality pasture.

Farmers and their farms will benefit greatly from Flack’s message that, in partnership with their animals, they can create profound change in pasture quality and productivity and the performance of the livestock. The book’s unique approach presents information first from the perspective of pasture plants, and then from the livestock perspective—helping farmers understand both plant and animal needs before setting up a grazing system.

Flack includes descriptions of real grazing systems working well on dairy, beef, goat, and sheep farms in different regions of North America. The book covers pasture requirements specific to organic farming but will be of use to both organic and non-organic farms.

Direct download: BDNow029SarahFlackTheArtandScienceofGrazing2.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 9:55am EST

Welcome to Episode 28 of the biodynamics now Investigative Farming and Restorative nutrition podcast. Your host is Allan Balliett.

Scott Pittman taught Permaculture courses around the world for six years with Bill Mollison, the founder of Permaculture. Scott is the director of Permaculture Institute USA in Santa Fe, which he co-founded with Bill Mollison.

With 30 years of teaching and doing permaculture under his belt, Scott Pittman is one of the foremost teachers of permaculture in the world. He has taught the Permaculture extensively on four continents. He is the founder of the Permaculture Drylands Institute and co-founder of the Permaculture Credit Union. The Permaculture Institute is active in North and South America. Scott's experience includes working with indigenous and traditional people worldwide, design projects that range from backyards to thousand-acre farms and activism in promotion of sustainable living. Scott is the lead teacher for most Permaculture Institute programs. He holds Diploma in Education, Permaculture Design, Site Development, and Community Service.

The show notes for today's conversation are at ww. If you appreciate hearing programs on topics as important as this one, please take the time to leave us a positive review on iTunes, there's a link at the show notes at

Direct download: 29_Scott_Pittman.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:34am EST

Pawpaw: In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit

Today's guest is Andrew Moore, author of Pawpaw: In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit.

PawsPaws are the largest edible native fruit in the US. As much as this book is an encyclopedia of pawpaw knowledge, it also investigate the deeper questions about American foodways— how economic, biological, and cultural forces combine, leading us to eat what we eat, and sometimes to ignore the incredible, delicious food growing all around us. If you haven’t yet eaten a pawpaw, this book won’t let you rest until you do.

The show notes for today's conversation are at

The largest edible fruit native to the United States tastes like a cross between a banana and a mango. It grows wild in twenty-six states, gracing Eastern forests each fall with sweet-smelling, tropical-flavored abundance. Historically, it fed and sustained Native Americans and European explorers, presidents, and enslaved African Americans, inspiring folk songs, poetry, and scores of place names from Georgia to Illinois. Its trees are an organic grower’s dream, requiring no pesticides or herbicides to thrive, and containing compounds that are among the most potent anticancer agents yet discovered.

So why have so few people heard of the pawpaw, much less tasted one?

In Pawpaw—a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award nominee in the Writing & Literature category—author Andrew Moore explores the past, present, and future of this unique fruit, traveling from the Ozarks to Monticello; canoeing the lower Mississippi in search of wild fruit; drinking pawpaw beer in Durham, North Carolina; tracking down lost cultivars in Appalachian hollers; and helping out during harvest season in a Maryland orchard. Along the way, he gathers pawpaw lore and knowledge not only from the plant breeders and horticulturists working to bring pawpaws into the mainstream but also regular folks who remember eating them in the woods as kids, but haven’t had one in over fifty years.


Direct download: BDNow027Pawpaw_In_Search_of_Americas_Forgotten_Fruit.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 8:44am EST

Peter Burke has been teaching garden classes since 2006, when he started presenting workshops on Indoor Salad Gardening, Square Foot Gardening, Extending the Garden Season, and many more techniques that empower gardeners. He also started the website to support the need for specialized seeds for Indoor Salad Gardening. Peter lives and gardens in Calais, Vermont, with his family.

His book is on Chelsea Green. It's called:
Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens

This book is an inviting guide for both !rst-time and experienced gardeners in rural and urban environments. No matter what size home you live in, there’s room for a garden of soil sprouts. In fact, Burke has grown up to six pounds of greens per day using just the windowsills in his kitchen and mudroom. Soil sprouts are also an engaging project for kids and can be used in the classroom to teach students basic educational concepts like math and science.

Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening offers detailed step-by-step instructions to mastering Burke’s method (hint: you can’t mess this up), including tools and accessories to have on hand, seeds and greens varieties, soil and compost, trays and planters, shelving, harvest and storage, recipes, scaling up to serve local markets, and much more.

As we look to become more sustainable and self-sufficient, Burke believes this is one small step we can all make and be rewarded for the effort. Give soil sprouts a try and discover the fun and productive world of indoor salad gardening.

Forget about grow lights and heat lamps. Soil sprouts are the easiest and
most productive way to grow salad greens “ all year long. ”

Growing “Soil Sprouts”—Burke’s own descriptive term for sprouted seeds grown in soil as opposed to in jars—employs a method that encourages a long stem without expansive roots, and provides delicious salad greens in less than 10 days. Of all the ways to grow immature greens, soil sprouts are the easiest and most productive technique requiring the least amount of work. The secret: start them in the dark. The result: healthy, homegrown salad greens at a fraction of the cost of buying them at the market.

Direct download: BDNOW026PeterBurkeYearAroundIndoorSaladGardening.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:21pm EST

Welcome to episode 25 of the Biodynamics Now! Podcast. Our guest today is Toby Hemenway, one of the leading practitioners and teachers of permaculture design in America.

Toby Hemenway is the author of Gaia’s Garden the first major North American book on permaculture, which was published by Chelsea Green in 2009. His most recent book is The Permaculture City, is also published by Chelsea Green.

The Permaculture City provides a new way of thinking about urban living, with practical examples for creating abundant food, energy security, close-knit communities, local and meaningful livelihoods, and sustainable policies in our cities and towns. The same nature-based approach that a good permaculturist uses so beautifully for growing food—connecting the pieces of the landscape together in harmonious ways—applies perfectly to many of our other needs. Toby illuminates a new way forward through examples of edge-pushing innovations, along with a deeply holistic conceptual framework for our cities, towns, and suburbs.

The show notes for today's conversation are at

If you appreciate hearing important programs like this one please take the time to leave us a positive review on iTunes, there's a link at the show notes.

Toby Hemenway

After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Toby worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology, first in academic laboratories at Harvard and the University of Washington in Seattle, and then at Immunex, a major medical biotech company. At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture, a design approach based on ecological principles that creates sustainable landscapes, homes, and workplaces. A career change followed, and Toby and his wife spent ten years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He was associate editor of Permaculture Activist, a journal of ecological design and sustainable culture, from 1999 to 2004. He teaches permaculture and consults and lectures on ecological design throughout the country. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Whole Earth Review, Natural Home, and Kitchen Gardener. He is available for workshops, lectures, and consulting in ecological design.

Visit his web site at

Direct download: BDNOW025TobyHemenwayPermacultureCity.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:19pm EST