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202. OFF GRID with DOUG and STACY | youtubers | Northern Missouri | Part 2
27th November 2017 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 00:57:47

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Northern Missouri

We have a youtube channel called OFF GRID with DOUG and STACY

I’m Doug and I’m Stacy!

Basically we post daily videos about our daily life. We built a log cabin in 90 days from scratch. Built it with no carpentry skills. We have an organic garden with raised beds. We use the Back to Eden method. This year we just built a greenhouse to extend our season.

Did you have a whole team? 90 days?

Yes a whole team, 3 people and Me, myself and I

We bought a tractor, when we first bought the land.

We were city slickers when we got here. We have 11 acres

I have this great big tractor, it had a bucket more then adequate

notched the logs and put them up, it’s still standing and we’ve been here 6 years!

we grew up in the city….

jumped in with both feet  and it’s been an awesome ride.

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

We’re from the St. Louis Metro area.

Stacy – I grew up, we live in a residential area with an acre lot. My dad was Mr. outdoorsmen. I wasn’t really interested in it at all. We had all the produce and I didn’t pay attention to one thing that he did. I could kick myself for but now that I’m older, I get it now. 

We had grapes on our fence rows.  We grew everything, raised rabbits. I was only child.

Doug grew up in an apartment with a sister and a  single mom. I left home when I was almost 16, and there was 0 interest in that stuff. 

How long ago did you pack up and go off grid?

6 years ago

It was just like we were sick of it. We wanted to know where our food was coming from and what was in it, GMO’s etc. 

We wanted to live off the land

be organic

What’s been the biggest challenge?

every day has been a challenge

first got here we had no idea what we were doing. When we first moved in, trying to figure out what we were gonna do

off grid with doug


didn’t have running water. Just got running water 2 years ago. For 4 years hauling  water into

We charge our equipment

via our truck

videos on our channel to describe that

Turned out we were 7-8 miles away from the Amish and we befriended them

being the adventures guy I am, I ended up getting a team of belgiums  and a plow

plowing with belgians

  • harrowing
  • discing
  • seeding

totally old fashioned

10,000 square foot garden

  • a lot of weeding
  • physical maintenance to get the food to harvest.

So if you had to start over again. Your place is wiped out or you move to Montana what would you do differently what would be the first thing you would do.

Doug and Stacy Squash Photo

One of the first things we would do

  • plant our fruit trees
  • bushes
  • berries

first thing

get right into

what kind of gardening we do now.

  • raised beds
  • back to eden style
  • less labor intensive

Our first year here we had over 100 degrees for like a month

  • drought
  • hauling buckets from the pond
  • next year we had rain
  • bugs

never know what’s gonna happen

This past year put our minds together

gonna get raised beds


made em high enough they are waist level my favorite way to do it.

over the years getting kind of smart

Raised beds that are waist level are ingenious.

Yesterday I went to home depot, and took pictures of all the boards I want mike to design some beds, people are always asking me how to make them. We started out the same way, no running water. We started with 2 small 8×10 beds. WE’ve always had these really nice raised beds. The new mini-farm have deep beds but they are not raised beds. Yesterday I planted a fall crop of lettuce to see if it will grow and I was like it’s so nice to sit on the edge of this bed.

Need other mediums to grow

  • pumpkins
  • squashes

mulch type garden

cedar is the best wood to use for building raised beds.

We try to get raw cut cedar, we have a lot of 

We have a lot of saw mills in our area

they’re gonna last the longest

  • heat resistant
  • bug resistant

He’s always arguing with me, who’s gonna go to home depot and buy wood you use recycled wood, I’m like lots of people don’t have access to recycled wood like we do. We have one that’s an old water bed frame.

In your beds you have a lot of water


hardier wood for fluctuating expansions

raised beds

no matter

do what you can where you are

Better then to stand still till I have cedar

We have

  • pallets for compost bins
  • wouldn’t suggest using treated lumber

I’m glad you said that, people asked the other day about using railroad ties, but they have creoste I think or something.


compost your toilets

basically a humanure composting system, has been around thousands of years. You can youtube it or google it

5 gallon buckets

  • sawdust
  • 2 bins outside
  • pile up for a year
  • sit for a year

And then it turns into the most black luscious great compost

  • in your garden
  • around your trees
  • much more organic
  • eco-friendly


JR Jenkins


The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure

Get yourself educated on that there’s a certain stigma, but people are like ewww did he just say that? We get such great compost out of that and if you watch some youtube videos. 

On our way!

We’re just programmed. You have a toilet and flush it. Even here, Ill say that the amish

have an access panel in the back

animal stuff and just spread it out in the fields. I’m not so cool with that system. But this system that you

  • age
  • breaks everything down

creating compost for vegetables gardens

Tell us about something that grew well this year.


my favorite thing to grow


Anthocyanin rich fruits and vegetables. 

I like to talk about health

some foods are better then others and I like the ones with bright colors.

  • reds
  • blues
  • violets
  • chocolate browns

Anthocyanins type of flavonoid a powerful antioxidant. They yield 2 times the amount of antioxidant

  • blueberries
  • currants

have these bright colors

help protect

  • brain
  • aging
  • memory
  • liver
  • vision
  • immune system

done very well

heirloom tomatoes

  • black beauty
  • darkest
  • cherokee purple

lush inside

put it with little tomatoes or mozzarella

Armenian cucumbers

look like snakes

  • huge
  • mild flavor
  • melon family

taste just like a cucumber

Rainbow chard

I have done very well in my beds

Last year they weren’t quite as good because we were trying to get the soil just right

super star projects

  • peppers are done well
  • chocolate pepper

anthocianin rich

  • black beauties


really done


All my greens have done phenomenally

  • arugula
  • romaine
  • lettuces
  • green beans

planted a new basil

Love herbs

spice up my herbs

  • lime basil

grew out the Wazhoo lime taste

Mexican or something you want a lime flavor.

Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.

I am the worst at growing eggplant

I tried and it never works, I tried in different medium

I like to add a caveat to everything that did good section in our raised beds

Back to Eden garden


some of the plants

  • aged mulch
  • wood chips
  • nitrogen fixing problems

We’re gonna heavy compost it and let it set.

Do you get a soil test?

We’re not that nerdy.

I think I was telling you in the pre-chat you’re like episode 202 but it’s been recommended, we haven’t done it either, I finally talked mike into doing it this year and then with school was so busy never did it either. I think they were talking about Eliot Coleman that found out he needed some obscure thing like Boron and sometimes they talk about putting gypsum which is dry-wall. And one part could be missing one thing and another part could be missing something else. Cause I asked about Mike’s new mini-farm versus our regular garden by the house.


As far as eggplants, one thing I know Mike has told me what finally worked for him was putting them in the same bed, he used to put like 2 here and 2 there and one  there in different beds with tomatoes etc and he struggled for years. he would get beautiful plants and purple blossoms but no fruit. That was his answer.

I want to ask you about a swiss chard recipe because I went to the market with a  huge bag and I was thinking I need to teach people what to cook with it. I like to use the stalks for celery with dip, they’re a little stringier but they have way more flavor. 

What’s your favorite swiss chard recipe?

I use it in everything? I blanch it, freeze it and use it instead of spinach because that’s hard to grow and I put it in eggs, lasagna, anywhere but do you have a favorite recipe?

Swiss chard is one of the power houses or nutrition

  • potassium
  • magnesium
  • calcium

loaded in vitamin

so healing

I ferment mine

fermented kimchee

It’s to die for if you like spicy foods

You can do it without making it spicy if you don’t like spicy food


on fermenting


cut the stalks in little pieces

take the green part

pull it apart

  • carrots
  • pepper flakes
  • garlic
  • ginger

mason jar


  • salt and water

so wonderful!

I don’t do a lot of it, but I’ve had a lot of guests and I just interviewed the Kombucha Mama

That’s basically how we preserve a large portion of our bounty by preserving. 

6-months to a year

versus canning

more nutritious value

You’re not killing all the beneficial...