Here to tell us about their journey is Marissa Paykos!
just a few years ago, on Whippoorwill Way in Hardeeville, South Carolina. An unlikely pair, Marissa Paykos and James Young, then neighbors, realized they shared so much more than just a street address. They shared a love for all things simple, all things real, all things dictated by mother nature. Their first dates were spent picking 5 gallon buckets of tomatoes that would later be canned, camping trips to Georgia, South Carolina and Florida State Parks and sitting around many fires on many starry nights talking about the things that made them feel alive while Whippoorwills sang their spring time songs in the night.
Tell us a little about yourself.
kind of a whirlwind
Decided I can’t take the cold
started in Savannah GA
worked in the Hospitality Industry
completely abandoned education
tried to find out who I am
now what do we want to do
always because of animal rights
not a crazy super passionate activist.
Just a personal thing for myself but when I got pregnant I had a lot of issues
Drs needed me to eat more protein
unfortunately liked eating meat
told my husband if I’m gonna do this I’m gonna do it right
found a couple of acres outside Savannah
For the last 2 plus years getting this land
we now have our farm
Oh sure!I found you on instagram right?
I think I had a commented on another podcaster’s Facebook page and you found our FB page….
really active from social media
aside from my farm
I work a regular full time job
I’m a digital account executive for Savannah morning news and I do all the marketing and advertising for their digital platform.
How do you do all that and take care of the farm and your daughter??
I’m not sure, it just happens.
See and people try to tell me millennials are lazy and I totally disagree.
Tell me about your first gardening experience?
if your not familiar
It’s a very common misconception that NJ is all industrial but it is the garden state for a reason because we have a summer that’s not super humid but it does get really cold in the winter
My dad was an AP Bio teacher
From the minute I can remember we were always outside.
he and I
I have a sister but she was never really into the gardening
I have pictures and he would make a mud puddle for me and I would roll around a hog and I’d be covered in mud ~ it was great!
We would go out to the garden and pick out our veggies
so special to me
I had horses growing up
so I was always around animals always outside
Natural the first time I met my husband was when he was actually my neighbor
he was gardening
he said he loved me right then because I told him what a green thumb he had!
We have that in common and My dad being such an influencer in my love for
growing your own food
not doing anything with meat growing up but garden was so an important part of my childhood
I lived in NJ when I first got out of college, I always remember my parents had cousins in NJ, and we went to Sparta Glen to visit my cousins I can still remember playing with my brother in the creek and we still talk about that trip!
field working where I’m always working with the public
and it’s very clear that your not from here
it’s hard to break the idea of being from the North
even though I’ve been in the south for 10+ years
ideas about northerners
My husband’s been here since the 60’s and they still consider him an outsider I will always be considered an outsider, the kids are always like why do you talk so much. You don’t have much of a southern drawl, you’d think you’d pick that up.
I try to keep very close to my roots
my mom still lives
I’m the only one not in NJ
I can get away from the cold but Mom and Dad will still visit me
That’s kind of how I ended up in South Carolina.
dad would always come and visit
he always makes me laugh of the things he says and the way he says them
I’ll be like can you repeat that? What did you say?
yeah, I mean we never used any chemicals
I don’t even remember us using miracle grow
it was always
sometimes we would get manure form the horses and mix that in.
Our soil was good healthy soil.
We didn’t have ~ in NJ IDK if there’s a ton of issues with bugs
Here in South Carolina, it gets hot pretty quickly
I talked to Mandy Gerth who talked about how much easier it is to grow here then in Indiana where you get super heat and bugs.
for the most part
We had a problem this year, Mike brought in this head of broccoli the other day and it was like it was moving! But I went down there and it’s funny it seems like it’s only on that one plant. I have had listeners talk about leaving a plant as a sacrifice, so I’m thinking about just leaving it down there.
I certainly don’t know what plants would be best. We don’t have a lot to hav ea sacrificial plant.
the other thing
we grow in such
when we grow our tomatoes plants
for our first crop, we have 60 plants
Your gonna get some that are successful and some that are not but we still got a ton of tomatoes
I still got tomatoes from the plants that had the infestation
This is the great thing about having a diverse farm is the tomatoes I wasn’t able to eat myself went to the chickens or the hogs
So there is not very much waste on the farm in general
For people who don’t have chickens it’s a bit different but
I probably gave to the animals throughout that harvest probably 4-5 buckets of rotting tomatoes from bugs
We do so many in different areas on the land find what works best…
We didn’t give that head of broccoli to the chickens because we are in fire pre-evacuation mode, so I took the chickens to town but I finally got them because after 4-5 days I couldn’t leave them in that little cage…
but it reminds me of this story about my dad, calls us from the train station and says you have to come pick me up because here he is with these 2 giant bags of elephant manure from the circus at Madison Square Garden. He could talk to anyone. I lost my dad just about when you did in 2013.
So we had cucumbers that did excellent
that did really well
a lot of our crops did great
Im still getting cucumbers
I’m about to do my
south the weather is so good
started with my planting and seedlings
back in March
so I’ve been going at it for a while
finishing off in the spring
let the chickens into the broccoli patch habbits
everyone had a field day
We don’t have a big house, we actually live in an RV
everything is paddock
There is still more land that we can do things with
I do a lot of raised beds for the gardening I really like that because it also gives me the opportunity to move them if I can
We live in South Carolina and commute to Savannah, GA.
vegetbables that we have
haven’t done anything official yet
if I don’t get to butcher chickens
don’t get to pick my plants
Gives myself the freedom to market
as we are growing and getting more established I’m looking more for a regular schedule with it…
You’re just amazing, how you do all this, plus your posts are so cool, they suck you in and your captions match what is going on but you do have that digital background…
Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?
Our winter garden is normally lame
I finally have a schedule down of all the possibilities of all the things you can grow without a greenhouse
pumped to utilize the list and diversify the products I’m bringing
husband is incredible handy
We have a lot of projects that we’re gonna be starting
in the next year we want to
In October we’re gonna have an offering where 10 people can come and they can see how the chickens are
Pay a certain amount of money and they get to experience and go home with a fresh chicken
3 pig getting ready to butchered
Maybe an event maybe not see the actually slaughtering of the pig but the
Open the farm up to people who are interested in learning more about how this type of life works as well as kids who have no idea where there food comes from
My sister came down to visit
best thing they could do and run free like little animals
I wanted to do some butchering
my sister was like “No, No, No, I don’t want them to see that”
But my nephew who is 7 was all about butchering
I think it was great for him!
my sister would think
I think people would
love to bring
offering up our guest house
stay for a weekend
they don’t have help on the farm if they want to they can just sit and read
One of the big things is that you used to be a vegetarian so there is probably a lot of compassion in your butchering and your probably the person to do this and one of my most downloaded episodes is Kim Romeril who talks about cruelty free living.
And I love that because millions of people come to Glacier National Park this summer and I always think that people come and one person wants to go do this monster 15 mile back country hike and the other person wants to do a short hike and sit and read at the lodge all day and there should be some way for people to connect and do what they like on a trip.
Like with your sister with the 3 kids, do all 3 want to learn about butchering probably not but for that one boy, who knows he might become a scientist because you touched him in that way.
This has been the rainiest summer we have had
it’s great for a lot of reasons
Because I don’t use a green house focus everything outside
kind of planting my seedlings
yes I got 60 tomatoes which was great but I had cucumbers
trying to start 60 cucumber seedlings and I lost every single one
that would have been for the second go around for the cukes
carrots were the same way
once I got past the March, April time period and started to plan for my July and Aug seedlings
all of my work was washed away
water is excellent
doing a little of a different style
It’s hard because it rains a lot and then gets hot
battle with the climate this summer
right now I don’t have many crops
People are like what vegetables do you have now?
Im like I don’t really have any?
That’s the beauty of not having a CSA don’t have to stress out
I so appreciate this, my husband this is our first year we can get our mini-farm off the ground. He has grown so much more then any other year, and I feel so much pressure, why aren’t you growing more food? Why aren’t you selling more food? Why don’t you go to market?
And I look at these people near us Jay and Mandy Gerth and I see their market stand and think how do they grow so much food? I look at how much my husband’s done and how much he’s producing. I used to ask about harvest and I feel like things come on at once. I can see it already carrots, green beans it’s coming any day and I’m about to go back to school so…
I’m pretty organized I have to be
always been an organizer and planner
But I don’t have an Excel spreadsheet?
I basically have some things written down
IDK what your listeners – what your feed stores like
We have feed and seeds everywhere
The other beautiful thing about my job
So if I have the opportunity to go into a Seed and Feed and connect with someone on a level that is more personal
gain some knowledge for myself
Savannah is a big city but you drive 30 minutes and there’s nothing there
internet is great
I do have a little farm
list just like a word document that they print and leave in their store and it has the dates
March through April what should you plant
growing his own plants for a long time
“Old school knowledge meets new school ideas on sustainability, gardening and animal husbandry geared for both consumption and pleasure.”
we’ve wanted to plow a portion of this garden
tractor would get stuck
more of a headache
making more beds
do what feels comfortable
important in anything that you do
tell me that I need to do something I’m gonna do the opposite
mom when she found out I was pregnant
oh the bugs?!
she comes down and go inside and take breaks
loves coming to visit or lifestyle with our daughter
3 years ago, she would have told me, you’re riding down a very slippery slope
She loves our lifestyle
Is your plan eventually to make a living off your farm and quit your day jobs?
the goal would be to do this to the point where I can consider living my dream
we can do this
farming is really hard
That’s the dream
work toward our goals
hopefully we can achieve to the point where our dreams are becoming a reality
John Lee Dumas was saying that $70k is about the level to keep people happy more then that is too stressful to work and less then that is uncomfortable some study or something.
Start to qualify yourself for that more expensive lifestyle
at $70k doing really good living within our means
desire for an expensive lifestyle
It’s scary right now
we don’t have like a big
our property has grown substantially
At the end of the day if something were to happen
We’ve been so focused on growing our business
I always tell people cause I’m on like job 53… you never know when things are gonna change, when we got laid off at head start… my mom was baffled how can I work 40 hours a week and not have health insurance. You just never know our center closed… things can happen, it’s better to work towards your dreams and enjoy the journey. Who knows we’re in fire season and our whole place could burn up.
I can’t stand weeding
IDK why I can’t stand
I have to force myself to weed
I don’t patches and beds that get to the point where I can’t even see the strawberries
It’s the off season can’t even see the plants anymore
IDK why I can’t stand that maybe because it was always a chore growing up, Marissa you need to weed the garden I was like aw man… like vacuuming the pool.
I love harvesting I love harvesting with my daughter. She comes out and picks tomatoes.
she just turned two!
Learning her colors
just picking them all
she eats any color and it doesn’t matter.
My husband gets annoyed, I’m like dude, just chill… we have plenty of tomatoes, if she gets a tummy ache we’ll deal with it later…
She’s great she helps with the cucumbers
best gardening advice
buy the seeds and buy the plants
it can get expensive
at the end of the day it’s the learning curve is huge
what always works
WE have a really hard time with pumpkins and one year Mike got these watermelon seeds from Russia or something and they were cute and tasty, tiny but good! IDK if he has them this year.
If we plant watermelons it doesn’t work but what works for us is to
I’m not gonna rip it up
put some seeds around.
That’s a good tip to hear, seems like all the watermelons here anymore are the seedless kind you can’t even find a watermelon with seeds here !
I was looking at this questions trying to think about
I don’t use a ton of tools
I use a lot of raised beds
maybe a spade
but I think my gardening gloves are my prized possession.
because I work all the time
my nails are always disgusting
I put rubber surgical gloves
to keep my scrubbing at the end of the night at a minimum
Fried zucchini flowers
Everything is better with cheese
So, IDK somebody told me once that when you’re picking the zucchini flowers you have to get the male flowers and not the female flowers, I can’t see the difference. How do you tell a difference between the flowers. She told me don’t pick the females I think.
Idk anything about males and females but I do know when the flowers get on the very high stem there are some flowers that are on very short stems near the base of the plant and then there are some that grow up towards the leaves.
I always harvested those
If they are on a long stem their not gonna turn into a zucchini
doesn’t get more complicated
We have so many flowers this year, just monster flowers.
I love goat cheese
we live int humidly
hoop cheddar cheese
Kraft singles that have plastic on them.
whenever I’m in Savannah I want something special I’ll grab a thing of goat cheese.
interesting that unless you travel 40 minutes to a grocery store in a more populated area you’re not gonna see the really good stuff.
I haven’t really tried goat cheese, my friend Marisa talked a lot about of goat cheese
I never met a cheese I didn’t like
everything goes better with cheese
I listen to a lot of podcasts.
I love this podcast
google and different with our birds
theres a lot of Facebook groups that you can join
people that have chickens and ducks
ask them a question and they’ll give you an answer
if you’re lost on where to look on something that’s going on, you can post a picture few people will give you
Facebook groups are the best! IDK how people can survive without Facebook.
Sometimes can be frustrating you can hear things that are ridiculous.
I’m working on my website right now so that is coming.
millennial seeming ap
transfer directly to my bank account
I can pay people from Venmo
photography something I always enjoyed
putting out the energy
making it happen
I use Facebook $50/month advertising
join my list I send email blasts
lots of different things you can do
put the energy into building an email list
You’re so ahead of us we don’t even have an egg jar.
quite a few chickens almost a 100 chickens
Good thing you have all that set up. We went to this farm business workshop and this woman from the Farm bank said you have to have 3 years of taxes that claim farm business even if you don’t have an income yet.
Tractors are helpful. We have some neighbors who come but it’s definitely on our list.
I keep going back to Jay Cummings and Mandy Gerth from Lower Valley Farm but she talks about a walking tractor…
if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?
So, Gosh, what a complex questions
I think first of all how can we all get on the same page
America is so divided in our beliefs and what’s happening
first of all we need to figure out how to get on the same page
Until we all as a nation and as a world together can get on the same page nothing’s going to change
I would love to see a change in the education system
learn more about you environment
Everybody taking a smaller step
I know I have a lot of friends who are activists more then me
One lives in Miami, Florida and another in California
They are so down in the dumps because of what’s happening
You just have to do what you can do
everybody chooses to use
not gonna have any luck in selling in Savannah because chicken’s $1.66/lb
Yes, $1.66/lb for boneless chicken breast that’s excellent
if that’s what you want to put into your body
if that’s what you want but you can pay just over $2 more you’re getting
what it’s like on a factory farm
maybe if they saw
first time experience they would say that’s not what I want
opening up our minds to
maybe the things that we’ve been doing for the last hundred years is not the way to do things. It’s time to do something else
taking care of
I’ve been kind of going through the data, my listeners have a definite theme of caring about the environment and cruelty free living etc.
So, I talk a lot about fear and how scared to take that step
picture of my daughter and her her nannie’s two kids being the shortest of one.
They are looking out
4 miles down the road
An old man looking out into the cow field
They really want to go see the cows
How scared are you to take that leap. If you’re worried you’re not going to succeed in a small garden
not to do thing
everybody says that you should
if you don’t start living your own dreams you’re gonna be working for someone making their dreams a reality.
living for somebody else
When you work the 9-5 job feel like your in the corporate hustle you can at least feel fulfilled outside of your regular job because youre living a life that makes you really proud.
JLD who taught me how to podcast says all of the magic is outside your comfort zone.
beautiful bird that comes out at night in the
know that cold weather
shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
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