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From brown thumb to green thumb! | Listen to my Organic Gardener Podcast journey on the High Energy Girl Show!
2nd December 2018 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 00:48:01

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Here’s my interview on the High Energy Girl Podcast! where I talk about earth friendly practices, growing organic nutrient dense food, and living sustainably.

Tracee: Hi Jackie! So excited to talk with you today!

Thanks for having me Tracee!!!!

Tracee High Energy Girl Podcast Host

Well I think we have a lot in common I can’t wait for listeners to hear from you! Why don’t you tell them a little bit about yourself!


My name is Jackie Marie Beyer and my husband Mike and I have a property in NW Montana and he’s a gardener so I started a podcast called the Organic Gardener Podcast, we’re just about to celebrate 4 years our anniversary we launched on January 29, 2015 I just posted episode 254?

Organic Gardener Podcast logo

Organic Gardener Podcast

I think, with interviews I’ve done with market farmers, backyard gardeners, sustainable agriculture experts, nutritionists and all sorts of people about the conversation all about growing healthy nutrient dense food.

My husband and I are just dedicated to helping people create their own organic oasis. Whether you want to grow, or are just interested in landscaping.

Organic Lawn Care

I have gotten so many questions this summer especially on how to grow an organic yard! You know people really interested in just being more…

One of the things I’ve learned from my podcast is your yard is one of the biggest places you don’t want chemicals! Cause where do

  • babies learn to crawl
  • toddlers and kids run around
  • dogs run around



So I’ve gotten a ton of questions about that this summer, and then he has what I call the


that he planted, so our goal is to grow as much produce as we can possibly grow for us for our family and if we can eventually get to be market farmers down the line, IDK or we’re not there yet, we have limited water resources. We just keep learning.

IDK if I said in the pre-chat, but we’ve been married 25 years so we’ve been slowly building. We started out the first 6 years I was here we didn’t have running water and just we would have like 2 little tiny beds, I’ve just really we’ve come a long way and we are dedicated to helping people create their own organic oasis.

Whether it’s small just growing a tomato plant or some herbs for your food, or growing a bigger place and maybe even starting to sell for market.

Where are you located?

We’re in the Northwest corner of Montana in the Rocky Mountains. We’re about 7 miles south of the Canadian border in Montana. We have a pretty short growing  season so we’ve learned a lot of techniques to extend our season, but one of the benefits I’ve learned after talking to my guests it’s actually a lot easier for us to grow then in the south because because they have a lot more bug and pest problems.

Benefits to growing your own healthy food

So everybody has their challenges, the north east had a lot of rain problems the last few years, and just as our climate is changing gardening is really changing. The benefits to growing your own healthy food that

  • has more nutrients in it
  • you are eating fresh
  • grown locally

are just gigantic!

From brown thumb to green thumb!

I used to say I had brown thumb and I could barely keep a basil plant or a geranium alive and I have learned to grow a ton! I think that is part of what makes my show a success! Is my guests are amazing and it just really produces! I was telling you I am not known for my sand but the quality of the content that is shared we have all learned so much from!

Organic Gardening Podcast Group

We’d love if you’d join  Organic Gardener Podcast Facebook Community!


Garden Friends and Connections

And the friends that I have made! Even people that live a mile from me and then people from the other side of the world, in my Facebook group we have people from Kenya and Australia! And lots of different places, I’ve met so many local people.


That’s one of the things I love about podcasting you meet so many people that are like minded! We have this thing here called a seed fair and seed swap and there are so many seeds given out and classes taught and I’ve made so many friends there that I’ll eventually we’ll go hiking together or work in different gardens or go to the movies together or one friend and I went to an agriculture workshop and she drove me through Glacier National Park!



Jackie Marie Beyer at the Brooklyn Grange NYC 2018

Last year I grew up in NY, so when I went to visit my mom I met many of my guests in person. It was so cool, I talked to  FarmOnTheRoof ANASTASIA COLE PLAKIAS author of The Farm on the Roof: What Brooklyn Grange Taught Us about Entrepreneurship, Community, and Growing a Sustainable Business! 

Anna Peach from episode 105 said she learned a lot of her techniques volunteering at the Brooklyn Grange.




Aiden Finney at Young’s Farm on Long Island


So, what brought you to gardening? Did you have a health issue at one point?

It’s kind of funny, a lot of my guests agree with this and my mom is always like how did you end up with a gardening podcast?

Because I am not really a big gardener, like I said my husband does most of the garden work but I love vegetables! I’ve always eating a ton of vegetables, I’m really big on eating super health food!


Then my husband’s always been a gardener, his mom had big gardens and my mom had big gardens and she was always an educator and passionate about teaching people about organic gardening. She tried to get me to garden. But people laugh a lot, but I don’t like to do what I call

Dirty gardening jobs

as I call them. But like you, I almost always have a full time job, and unless I’m going down to the garden on garden days, because one thing I do like to do is dig new beds.


broadfork new bedIMG_1446


Garden Barriers

IDK why, maybe because my trade by college is I am an elementary school teacher, and also like weeding just reminds me of cleaning the blackboard. So I do like to do that job, but that’s like the day I have my garden shoes on, have my garden jeans on, I don’t care about getting dirty, but when I come home from school I am not necessarily wanting to get all dirty and start picking tomatoes or weeding.

Garden Shoes

One of my biggest barriers is having the right garden shoes

Which my listeners are not like that they are more likely to be like, I’m gonna run down there and be barefoot and be out there all day! My husband and I are just passionate environmentalists, we’re really passionate about eating healthy food and growing locally and he is an amazing gardener! The things that he can do.

It’s kind of interesting since I started my podcast I pay more attention to what he does and we share the things we have learned from the other gardeners. IDK my passion really comes from loving to eat healthy food and the environmentalist in me, caring about our planet! If you are gonna have a garden hoping you’re gonna go the organic way and trying to teach people there are lots of options besides the first time you see a bug growing and grabbing a bottle of pesticides.

Creating a whole environment like I said in the beginning, like my brother is in NY and he has been one of my most downloaded episodes because him and his wife don’t grow any vegetables they just are both busy and they have kids and both work so the big things he talked about was composting in the summer and then growing herbs and fruit trees and their lawn really.



They don’t grow, like my husband grows 100s of pounds of potatoes and cans 100s of jars of green beans and as much food as he can.  We’re totally on opposite sides of the spectrum. So different things you can do if you have landscapers giving them options so they are not spraying your yard.

Tracee: So my husband is a landscape Contractor and he has a division called Green Streak Organic where he does an organic ground management for his clients so they can spray herbicide and fertilizer and all of that but it’s healthy. He does this combination that kills pests but it fertilizes at the same time and it’s all organic.

I’d love to talk to him sometime.


Tracee: We should come on together because I look at it from the health perspective he just looks at it from the business side. But one thing I would like him to do instead of landscaping call it farmscaping.

Oh yeah!

Tracee: Like instead of planting things that are just gonna sit there and suck up water, what if you plant things that are actually gonna feed your family.


applesOnTreecherry blossom

Sure! Or a big one is bringing in the pollinators.

There are so many beautiful herbs and perennials you can plant that if you are busy, or especially a lot of my listeners are in California where they have access to farmer’s markets or fresh produce is growing food for the pollinators!

Mike planting the orchard.

Food for bees and pollinators, flowers for them or having a fruit tree there.

One of the things I’ve been amazed with is, so we dug a 560 foot well here I think in 2013, so just 5 years ago, so we were able to put in an orchard and how much food we get from the fruit trees!

Our cherries are sour cherries, but it feeds the birds and the bees in the spring! The butterflies that it brings in are incredible! It’s just worth it to have those trees! Cause that might be something else to think about, your husband might want to talk about with his clients is having those native plants for the beneficial insects.


Native Plant Landscaping

A lot of my guests have talked about, this one guest that I had lives in this town with 100,000 people and they have a beautiful yard people are constantly stopping by to admire it! But they never water their yard, the only water they use for irrigation is for a small vegetable bed, because they have access to healthy food and a good farmer’s market in their community they grow a lot of specialty foods like hot peppers but that take little water. They have this beautiful native landscaping that doesn’t require any watering!  I think they save some rain water because they are using native plants in a fairly dry climate.

Native Plant Societies

Most places will have a Native Plant Society like Native Plants in Arizona or  New York. You can access to native seeds or plants or transplants!

Tracee: So if you were to offer someone advice on how to get started with gardening, what do you like teach people on how to at least make step one.

So, I always tell people

Start Small in Your Garden

and think about what do you like to eat. Don’t just grow something because those plants are in the store or the nursery when you are going to  plant something.

Think about what is it you like to eat?

You know a basil plant in your windowsill is one of the easiest thing to keep alive. If you like to put herbs or spices in your food that’s a great place to start. I also say I think my mom would grow more vegetables, it would be easier for people if they have a deep bed they can sit on the edge when they plant, harvest, weed! It makes all the difference in the world!



It’s so much more convenient! It’s gonna make it less work! To do all those things, you don’t need a big edge, I like to have one bed that’s hip high and a longer bed that’s not that high. For me

Convenience is key

Sitting on the edge of a bed makes it convenient! And then grow something you like to eat!


Tracee: We have 80 fruit trees!

Oh my goodness!

Tracee: I know it’s crazy! But we planted the ones we like to eat! But what you said earlier about the birds get the cherries! It’s so true! We never get the berries, the birds  just when they’re perfect!

I don’t mind feeding the birds they’re good for the yard! The trees provide blooms in the spring for the beneficials and shade in the summer! And the apple trees and others are just so...