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403. Growing Figs in Cold Climates | Lee Reich | Hudson Valley, NY
10th February 2022 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 01:11:24

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Growing Figs in Cold Climates: A Complete Guide

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Transcripts

Unedited Computer Generated Transcript

All right, I'm going to start it over that way. Oh, well maybe I don't know. Okay. So I do usually tell everybody in case, cause it's been awhile that it's super easy to edit. So like, if we need to, you know, if you need to let the pet out or get a drink or do you want to change an answer or think about something like don't hesitate for me on hold or whatever. And I say, I want to do that over and then otherwise, I guess we'll just go from there. Okay.

29s

Lee Reich

Just one quick question. Just out of curiosity. I don't think it matters, but where are you located?

34s

JackieMarie Beyer

I'm

1m 52s

JackieMarie Beyer

th,:

2m 17s

Lee Reich

Be here again

2m 20s

JackieMarie Beyer

Well in case, cause I do have a lot of new listeners in the last year or two, if they haven't heard your first episode with me, do you want to tell listeners a little bit about yourself?

2m 30s

Lee Reich

Yeah, so I, I switched into gardening sort of later in life, meaning I was a young adult and he was previously studying something else. And then I decided I had started to read about gardening and all of a sudden I decided this is what I want to do. And to make a long story short, I started gardening like a maniac and then went to graduate school and we see a few graduate degrees in agriculture, worked for the USDA, worked for Cornell and then set off on my own as a freelancer writing consulting and lecturing and still gardening like a maniac. And I been doing it after all these decades still.

3m 15s

JackieMarie Beyer

And we talked in a pre-check you are in upstate New York in the Hudson valley in case listeners are wondering. And so the Hudson valley I'm in Northwest Montana. And so, but our climates probably aren't all that completely different. So, and your new book is about growing figs in colder climate. So tell us about that because figs just fresh figs. There's nothing like a fresh fade compared to like a dried fig that you get in the store. I mean, they're like just a completely different fruit. They're delicious. They're either so many things you can do with them.

3m 57s

JackieMarie Beyer

And so for listeners don't know and they grow on a tree, right? Not a plant, it's a fig tree, but they can be small. Like it seems like my mom brings hers in her house in the winter sometimes. Yeah.

4m 9s

Lee Reich

Fig trees. They're very adaptable plants. It's sort of interesting. There's one question concerning the book that I can't figure out is why everyone is so enthralled with growing figs. Something about it. There's something I was thinking maybe because it's such a ancient fruit. It's one of the first fruits cultivated by humans. It's the most mentioned fruit in the Bible, but I don't know. There's something about figs that everybody wants to grow them. And I also am one of those people. And in fact, when I switched into gardening, I knew nothing about gardening. And I, as I said, I entered graduate school in agriculture and I decided to plant something and the first plant and I really did not have a gardening background.

4m 52s

Lee Reich

The first plant that I grew was a fig tree and this was in Wisconsin where it's cold. So, so I also fell prayed to fig. And I mean, obviously one reason that people like it so much is because the flavor, as you said, it's quite different from the dried fig. I also like dried figs, but, but it's like two different fruits, dried fig versus a fresh figs. And

5m 16s

JackieMarie Beyer

I didn't shoe. And like the pizza place near us, sows of fearlessness pizza, where they like marinate the figs and balsamic vinegar, which is like a whole nother flavor. But that's so interesting your whole background and that it's the most named one in the fruit in the Bible. And just, I don't know. It just does seem like there's a major resurgence in fix this year.

5m 40s

Lee Reich

Yeah. And I mean, I think always it's like it's just ended and the nice thing about figs, even though they come from the Mideast where, where, you know, it's hot and super hot, super dry in summer and just like a little cool in winter, you would think it would not be able to grow, say in Montana, in New York or other places where it's cold winters and it it's moister, but there there's a number of reasons why I figure such an adaptable fruit plant and they can be grown. You know, I've heard people growing them in Scandinavia. You can grow them just about anywhere and they're easy to grow. So

6m 19s

JackieMarie Beyer

What, what makes them so adaptable? Well, just tell us like the beginning. I don't know, go wherever you want to go.

6m 25s

Lee Reich

Well, I give a few reasons if I probably forget one or two of them, but what, what makes him so adaptable? One reason is first of all, they're very forgiving plants. You can, you can chop back the roots, which means you can grow them in a pot for you can grow them in a fairly small pot for a long time and, and, and they'll grow and thrive and bear fruit. So you can cut back the roots. You can bend the stems down. And the nice thing about is that people often think that they're tropical plants, figs are not tropical plants, they're subtropical plants, so they can tolerate and actually enjoy a certain amount of winter cold. They're actually cold-hearted to about 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

7m 7s

Lee Reich

So, so that's another reason that makes them possible to grow over such wide climate range. But one of the most important things, characteristics they have that make them adaptable is the way they bear fruit. So if you think about an apple tree or a peach tree or most temperate zone fruits w the way they bear is a they'll grow a stem one year, and maybe the following year that stem will bear fruit, or it might take a few years say in the case of an apple, but in the case of a peach would be the next year. But figs are quite unique in that a stem there's certain types of figs that are new growth, say a stem starts growing this year and started bearing fruit that same year.

7m 52s

Lee Reich

So this means that you can cut back a plant, or it could die back to some degree, and then new growth will sprout and it'll bear fruit. So there is a caveat with that. If it gets cut down to the ground, the closer it is to the ground, the longer texts for the fruit to ripen, which means that if say, you know, a of times, even where I am, where it can get to 10 or 20 below zero, it figs a planted, an open ground. And people sometimes do this with certain varieties that are allegedly super Hardy. So if you plant it out in the ground, it will die back to the ground by from winter cold. And then they'll re spread from the roots. Cause since the soil is warmer than the surrounding air, and those new sprouts might start to form little figs on them, but they won't ripen.

8m 42s

Lee Reich

So, so you have to leave a certain amount of stem growth that will survive winter, and there's various ways to do that. And that's what I talk about in the book, how to, how to prune them. It depends on what kind of cold climate you have, how cold it's going to get. And, and also what variety of figure you have. And then there's various methods of pruning and protection that they can employ to a really good get fruit pretty much anywhere.

9m 15s

JackieMarie Beyer

Wow, that's awesome. And those are great tips and things to know, because sometimes when people like from something and nothing grows, they think, oh, I killed it or something. So it's good to know that it's not that if you print it close to the ground, you side that it's, it might not come back that year or that they have to sprout, but then they're not going to write that

9m 37s

Lee Reich

Of it's current to the ground. It will send up new sprouts that will have fruit developing on those new sprouts, but then you need a long enough season. Cause those fruits will take longer to, to ripen. They won't ripen as early as if, if they're sprouting from say a two foot length of trunk that survived winter. So, so you don't want the plant to die to the ground. So you have to, you can, you can wrap it. You can, you know, there's all sorts of things you can do.

10m 6s

JackieMarie Beyer

Where does somebody like, can you just buy a fig and put the seed in the ground? Or should they like go to like a nursery and get a fig tree? Or like, where, how do you start a plan?

10m 16s

Lee Reich

So that's another nice thing about the fig trees. Interesting. You said that because that reminds me of another, another benefit of growing figs, you know, apple trees, for instance, need cross-pollination you need at least two varieties to bear fruit and they can get the F the blossoms can get rusted well with fig trees do not need pounds. There's certain varieties of figs that can only be grown in California or in, you know, really a Mediterranean type climate, but most figs do not need cross-pollination. And so their fruits form without pollination. And it interesting the way the fruits form is the fruit. It's what most people consider to be the fig fruit it's called botanically a conium and a encomium conium is basically stem tissue that on the inside has flowers.

11m 4s

Lee Reich

So if you cut up in a figure, you know, you could see all these little things that are sort of flower, like, so, so that's, that's a nice thing about, so you don't start from seeing, you definitely do not start from seeds. The way is you get a fig tree is you can go to a nursery or a mail order place and, and get a tree. And the other, another night I keep on touting all these great benefits of figs, but another great benefit of figs. It's very easy to propagate. If you know, somebody that has a fig tree, pretty much, if you take a stem and just stick it in the ground where maybe three stems just for insurance, you'll probably get a rooted plant. I mean, in, in Europe, traditionally, the way orchards was started, they'd take like a two foot length of stem, which is quite long.

11m 51s

Lee Reich

You don't need it to be that long and just stick three in the ground, wherever they wanted a tree, and then they'd have trees. We actually, there, there might've been one other bed. If they also bear really quickly. My book, I have a picture of Kadoka fig stem that I rooted, and it's only in a pot, maybe eight inches in diameter. And the plant, the following season after rooted was about in the, in the photo, it's about two feet high and it just figs up and down the stem. So it bears quickly also.

12m 31s

JackieMarie Beyer

So what do you do with your figs? Do you eat them raw? Do you make anything with them? Like what, what do you do with those? How many factories do you have?

12m 40s

Lee Reich

Oh, I probably have about maybe 20, but fig fix it. It's really funny because as we said, figs are very popular. Some fake, some people go really crazy about figs. I mean, I know people that have like 200 varieties of figs and the fig has been around for so long, you know, associated with humans that there's many, many, many varieties of figs. One problem with all the varieties is, you know, as people and the fact that they're so easy to propagate, you know, somebody say their grandfather moved from Italy to New York and he brought a fig stemmed, and now he has a fig tree and they didn't know the name of it in Italy, or maybe they forgot the name.

13m 22s

Lee Reich

And then so people just started making up names for fig. So often a given variety might have about like five, 10 or more names, but

13m 32s

JackieMarie Beyer

That's funny. Well, if I was going to go to my regular questions, normally I would ask, like, tell us about your very first gardening experience. Like for you, a kid would give an adult who are you with? And what'd you grow?

13m 52s

Lee Reich

I say, my very first gardening experience was when I was very young, you know, maybe five years older or less, we did have a vegetable garden. It was, this was a suburban one of the suburbs outside of New York city. And we had a vegetable garden. And the main thing I remember as far as gardening was my father handed me the shovel, which was taller than me and suggesting that I turn over the soil and I remember I could not get the shovel into the ground. It was, it was, the soil was too hard, you know, I could stand on or whatever. So that wasn't all that positive. Although I did really enjoy eating the vegetables from the garden.

14m 33s

Lee Reich

And then a summary

14m 36s

JackieMarie Beyer

Picture you there with a shovel over your head

14m 38s

Lee Reich

For some reason in high school, I, I think it was in high school or junior high school. Oh, I had this grow light, I guess I was always gravitating towards science. So that seemed very scientific to have a purplish glowing, a grow light. And I had one in the basement and for some reason I had a hyacinths bulb and a banana tree under that light. I have no idea what possessed me to do that. And, and that was pretty much my gardening experience until I was in my early twenties when I really started reading about gardening a lot. And then, and then as I said, went to graduate school, my first graduate degree was in soil science and, and my first garden started at the same time where I started a vegetable garden and really gardening like a, like a madman ever since.

15m 31s

Lee Reich

And I, and I did have a lot of a good input. First of all, I had access to one of the best agricultural libraries in the country, across the street, from where the building that I was taking classes. And so I read an awful lot about gardening. I used to just go up and down the shelves, just reading everything. And then I visited a lot of well-known gardeners in the town at the time. It was a lot different than this is well before email. And I just remember, I don't know if anybody's familiar with the name Scott nearing. He was a sort of a back to the Lander in their early seventies. Yup. Yeah. So I just, I don't think I contacted them.

16m 12s

Lee Reich

I think I just popped in at their place. I drove a thousand miles from Wisconsin to Maine and just popped in there and there were other people there too, and spent some time there. And that was a great influence, you know, practical influence besides, you know, my schoolwork of gardening. And then when I was there, I remember one afternoon I was taking a nap in my van cause we would work only in the morning and there's somebody knocked on the window and this guy says, you know, he was about in his thirties with a big shock of sort of gray hair already, but he said, you want to help out in the garden. And this was, I guess, Scott and Helen's neighbor.

16m 52s

Lee Reich

And I said, okay. And that was Elliot Coleman. So then I spent, it was also is, is, you know, one of the foremost vegetable gardens. And so I spent a lot of time with him and it was really quite formative. I feel like I was very lucky to have by chance. I, it doesn't seem like I did anything that deliberately, but maybe I forgot that part of it.

17m 16s

JackieMarie Beyer

I think just like that, the fact that you were willing to drive that far to the Nearing's and like show up and then be willing to help out and learn. And probably your curiosity, you know, they knew that you were obviously serious about it and just wanting to share your passion and, and learn from their passions.

17m 37s

Lee Reich

Yeah. Yeah. I'm amazed that I did that also. I actually, I actually visited them 10 years later after I'd been gardening as I keep on saying like a mad man and very intensively for 10 years and also had three graduate degrees in agriculture. So I had some, some theoretical base then, but I visited the Nearing's again. They had moved to their new house, which was only, you know, very short distance from their old house. And it was interesting because at that time, my second visit, I did have a lot more gardening and knowledge under my belt. And, and the first time there was quite a few other people there doing sort of what I did the second time.

18m 20s

Lee Reich

I was the only person there. It was, it was a little awkward, but I had a long, nice long talk with Scott nearing at the time. So I find, I feel like I was very lucky to be able to do that.

18m 32s

JackieMarie Beyer

Yeah, I'm pretty sure. My friend Cavita is the one that told me about studying under the Nearing's her and her husband, have they run Hindu, hillbilly. They have hives down in Southwest Montana, like kind of, we went to college together and then she got married and started her family and they ended up going into the honey business. But I like when I interviewed her, I could swear she's the one that told me that Helen nearing. And that was where she learned all of her soil science from that's so fat. Like what? Or like, I can't even imagine, like you get three degrees and in,

19m 13s

Lee Reich

Well, I was lucky because as an undergraduate, I was a chemistry major and actually was in graduate school in chemistry for awhile, which is really a good foundation for soil science. And, and it was just by chance. I happened to get into that department. And basically I was looking for what, what to study in, in agriculture and the head of the source science department. He says, you should join our department. So I did, he said, join, join our department. And then with my girlfriend, we were going to go to travel Europe for two months, joined the department, go to Europe for two months. And when you come back, we'll have a job for you. So there was an offer I couldn't refuse, but I was lucky.

19m 55s

Lee Reich

And then after that I decided a soiled means a lot of things. It, it can be engineering uses of soil, you know, waste disposal. And I was really interested in the horticultural part. So then I got a graduate degree in horticulture after that.

20m 10s

JackieMarie Beyer

Sweet, you got a job before you got your degree. How does that work? That's awesome.

20m 14s

Lee Reich

It was as a graduate student, I did research at that time. And in certain fields, when you go to graduate school, you get paid to do research. Cause later I worked for the USDA when I was working on my doctorate degree and I got to work at one of the best USDA facilities in the country. And they paid me to do research for my degree. Okay.

20m 37s

JackieMarie Beyer

He listeners, there might be some soil people out there wondering what should I get into generally might be an option

20m 46s

Lee Reich

Generally in the sciences. I think this is still true. You get paid to do research.

20m 51s

JackieMarie Beyer

Well, that's what like the whole big bang theory it's based on, you know, those guys are all, I mean, they're studying physics, but basically that's why, you know, when the president, I don't know if you've ever watched that show, the big bang theory

21m 2s

Lee Reich

Part of it.

21m 3s

JackieMarie Beyer

Yeah. It's like this comedy about these four scientists and then their neighbor, their blonde neighbor next door, who wants to be an actress. And, but it's just, but that's where their whole, you know, their whole thing is based on they get paid and the president of the university is always like, I'm here to make you guys happy and to make your lives easier. And what can I do to serve you? And not that they don't have their challenges and the human resources lady and whatnot, but anyway, off topic. So tell us about something that grew well this year. How big is your place again? Did I ask

21m 36s

Lee Reich

You that? When a quarter acres,

21m 38s

JackieMarie Beyer

Two and a quarter acres? Yeah. And what grew well in your two and a quarter acres? This, what are you plant there besides victories?

21m 48s

Lee Reich

I plant just about every fruit, uncommon and common fruits that you could think of. I've true. Vegetable gardens, greenhouse. I also grow a lot of nuts and you know, someone in mental plants to let us stuff,

22m 6s

JackieMarie Beyer

How, how would like, I guess we have two vegetables or, I mean, my husband has like what I call the mini farm. And then we have like vegetable beds closer to the house. Is that kinda like what yours is? Like if you have two vegetable gardens?

22m 18s

Lee Reich

Well, no mine was, I used to have only three quarters of an acre and that's, that's when I called it a garden because, you know, it was something like any, you know, pretty much very manageable by even somebody who wasn't crazy about gardening. Like I was, but then I had, I got an opportunity to buy the acre and a half a field next door. And that's when I changed the, what I called my property from a garden to a farm didn't because instead of planting say, you know, like I, so I grow Hardy Kiwi vines. So instead of having two Hardy Kiwi vines, which I, in three quarters of an acre also since I write about gardening and I also use this for workshops, the site, so I planted 20 RD, Kiwi vines, and then I planted like a bunch of Chestnut trees.

23m 2s

Lee Reich

So I figured that was more than, you know, your average garden. This is like getting a little crazy, but it's a lot of fun. So, so that's when I expanded. And so originally I had a vegetable garden and then, then I just planted another vegetable garden from more vegetables. And then I put up a greenhouse to,

23m 25s

JackieMarie Beyer

And you're going Kiwis also in upstate New York.

23m 28s

Lee Reich

Yeah. You could grow them, Hardy Kiwi fruit there they're Hardy to a 30 below or less. And they taste really, really good. I wrote a book a number of years ago called uncommon fruits, worthy of attention. And then I rewrote it with some new fruits and other updated information, uncommon fruits for every garden. Now it's out of print, but it's going to be back in print soon. And, and so I planted a lot of those fruits too, just to see how they would grow. And so I could, you know, study them more.

24m 4s

JackieMarie Beyer

I wonder if I can get that at the library because fruit is like something I'm definitely trying to eat more of this year and I am struggling so hard. I can't get my blueberries to take off. I can't grow a blueberry for the life of me. I struggle with strawberries. We do pretty good with raspberries. With blueberries. We have lots of fruit trees. If you're good with plums this year, we usually get a lot of apples, but if we could grow some other fruits, that would be awesome.

24m 34s

Lee Reich

Well, blueberries are actually my specialty. And I would say the key to growing blueberries, one of the keys is the soil has to be right. And, and it's not hard to do on a garden scale, especially, but, but if you don't get the swore, right, they don't grow on. If they don't grow, they don't bear well. And blueberries are one of the fruits that I grow that every single year, no matter what, whether it's been, you know, late for us, you know, early frost, various insects, various diseases around, I've never, ever not gotten a full crop of blueberries. But, and I should also point out that blueberries were the subject of when I was getting my doctorate degree, I was studying blueberries.

25m 15s

Lee Reich

It was on, my dissertation was on blueberries.

25m 21s

JackieMarie Beyer

Raisy so like, I know you need to have like, it's acidic soil, right? Like I might want my pH to be closer to a 4.5. And that's totally my problem. My bed, where I have them in is like an 8.3. So I've been trying to lower my pH,

25m 38s

Lee Reich

What are you using to lower it

25m 40s

JackieMarie Beyer

This year? I finally bought like a hydrangea acidifier I think it is like a stoma,

25m 50s

Lee Reich

But even cheaper. And maybe it's the same stuff. Pelletized, sulfur is what you need. And basically it's just naturally mine. Selfer that's in the form of pallets, so it's easier to spread. But the thing is when you have a soil that alkaline, it might be hard to even with that, bring it down. What I would recommend is you excavate say like a foot foot and a half or a foot deep hole and maybe three feet wide and take out all the soil and fill it with a mixture of peat and some Sandy soil. That's not high pH.

26m 32s

Lee Reich

And that's an implantable version that

26m 39s

JackieMarie Beyer

That's what I've been thinking is that I just need to start over in a totally different than,

26m 44s

Lee Reich

Well, you got X, you've got to take away the existing soil and sort of make a soil

26m 51s

JackieMarie Beyer

And take a peat and a Sandy soil. Okay. Yeah. Cause then I even bought three new blueberries last year. And the only one that was doing anything at the end of the summer was the one that was stolen. The bucket, it came in that I never planted in the ground and all the ones in the ground just basically died.

27m 11s

Lee Reich

Well. So it's really a soil problem. I mean, even if they survive, they won't grow enough to, to bear. Well, unless they disloyal is right. But you did ask what, you know, what grew well this year. And I've been here for over 30 years at the same site and of all the play of all those years, I've been here. This has been the best fruit year ever. And I don't where I am unfortunate to have valley. So it's not a particularly a good area for fruit growing, but, but this year amazing. And it wasn't just me throughout the Northeast. I think everybody had

27m 46s

JackieMarie Beyer

A really good fruit. Why do you think that was the weather?

27m 49s

Lee Reich

People always ask me that, you know, this year and I keep on thinking, like I can make up like a lot of reasons that, cause first of all, we had a nice, gently warming spring with no late for us, whether it was a little weird, but I really don't know exactly what it is, but whatever it was was a confluence of events. And I hope it happens again and again, because, cause I really do like fruit and, and we had so much this year.

28m 21s

JackieMarie Beyer

That's awesome. We have like our spring was super dry. Just we didn't get rain until I want to say almost August. Like we, we had late snow, late cold leave freeze. And so we had a really tough year in Montana,

28m 43s

Lee Reich

But I must have a drip irrigation or no,

28m 47s

JackieMarie Beyer

No, we need your irrigation. We do not

28m 51s

Lee Reich

Right. That that would help a lot. I mean, I even, I don't irrigate my fruit trees. I just, the only thing I irrigate is my vegetable garden. But

28m 59s

JackieMarie Beyer

Irrigate your fruit trees at all.

29m 1s

Lee Reich

Nope. Well, I live in the humid Northeast where we get rainfall of about 45 inches per year and ag and pretty much four inches a month. I mean, we do have droughts, but you know, drafts for us is not, you would not consider it to be a drought.

29m 19s

JackieMarie Beyer

Yeah. We, we, it's very dry where we are and we don't have a lot of water. It's amazing. My husband drives as much food as he does.

29m 28s

Lee Reich

I mean, we have a groundwater, you know, if I didn't even water, I can, we have a well that I can just, you know, our houses, we get our water from a well and you know, well, it has never gotten totally dry.

29m 45s

JackieMarie Beyer

No, we have two Wells and they alternate going dry. It's just, yeah, we're, we're in a tough area where we are anyway. Lee, tell us, is there something you're excited to try different next year that you haven't tried before something new?

30m 3s

Lee Reich

Well, one thing about my fig growing. So in, in the book I mentioned five different ways of growing figs and cold climates in the epilogue. So this is something I haven't tried enough long enough where I can say it, you know, this is, this will definitely work, but I've been trying to come up with ways of growing figs, outdoors easily, even in here where it can get down to 20 below zero. And I am trying, and if you're familiar with, with SBIA you familiar with that, it's

30m 38s

JackieMarie Beyer

Really simple. You're

30m 40s

Lee Reich

Yeah. It's training trays to sort of geometric or very, you know, training the branches to a certain pattern that can be decorative. Usually it's two dimensional. Like a lot of times you'd have flat trees against a wall or that were a trees can make a fence. And it's generally used, not used only on fruit trees, but on fruit trees. It's particularly nice because you get a lot of good air circulation, but have a sunlight shiny on other branches. So you can get very high yields, a very high quality fruit. So I was trying that, so in my greenhouse I grow some figs and I have all the figs in my greenhouse trained as SBIA.

31m 22s

Lee Reich

One of them, for instance, is a trunk about maybe 18 inches high and then two permanent arms that go horizontally in opposite directions. And then all the new fruiting shoots grow vertically off those arms. And every year it's very easy to prune. I just cut them down to the permanent arms and then next year they should grow up again. So it's very easy to prune. So I was thinking, so one way to grow figs outdoors in cold climates is if you protect the fig by covering it, or sometimes what people do is they bend the branches down to the ground, which, which is a fine, you know, it's a little, you know, some effort to do that.

32m 8s

Lee Reich

So my idea was to train it as a very low SBIA just like I do in the greenhouse right along the ground. And then I can easily just covered with something I could put like a, like the tunnels that I use in my vegetable garden, hoops of wire with plastic over it. I could put that over, maybe some leaves. So, so I've actually did it last year and it seemed to work pretty well. So I'm going to do it this year and I'm going to do it with more plants.

32m 39s

JackieMarie Beyer

Sounds so cool. And like, so you're saying like some people make a fence out of like living trees. Oh yeah. Oh, that sounds really cool.

32m 48s

Lee Reich

And then, you know, there's all sorts of designs you can use it. Doesn't have to be just, you know, a horizontal branch with stems coming up. Sometimes there's one that's called a Belgian fence where the adjacent trees are woven together.

33m 5s

JackieMarie Beyer

I love that idea.

33m 8s

Lee Reich

Y yeah, I'm a big fan of S I actually, I wrote a book on pruning and the last chapter in the book, I have a whole chapter on a SPIA.

33m 20s

JackieMarie Beyer

Cool. What's that? Check that out too

33m 23s

Lee Reich

Good. For some fruits, for instance, I have some Asian pears that I grow, which are highly recommended, very easy to grow even here where I may, I always get a good crop of Asian perish and I train them as an SBA along the top of a rock wall that I made and it looks cool. And it looks really cool when, when there's fruit all along the branches.

33m 48s

JackieMarie Beyer

Hmm. I love Paris. That sounds really cool. Tell us about something that didn't go the way you thought it was gonna.

33m 56s

Lee Reich

Well, interestingly, and once again, I'm not sure why his tomatoes didn't grow this year, that well, and I'm not sure why and other people, once again, this is not just my garden, but here in the Northeast, a lot of peoples tomatoes didn't grow. I mean, they didn't grow up poorly. We got enough tomatoes, but they didn't grow really well that we could've given the way other things bore. You know, we could have had a lot more tomatoes

34m 24s

JackieMarie Beyer

That is interesting because tomatoes are really a fruit, right?

34m 28s

Lee Reich

Yeah. And they're right. But actually it depends if you legally they're vegetable, but botanically, they are fruit, but, but other things, you know, closely related to tomato, SES, eggplant, and peppers, they did really well just tomatoes for some reason.

34m 44s

JackieMarie Beyer

That's what I was wondering. Cause last year I had a really good year of tomatoes and peppers. I didn't grow any eggplants, so I don't know how they would've done it. But that's interesting that you guys had kind of the opposite of what we have.

34m 58s

Lee Reich

Yeah. Well, most years the peppers, I pretty much, every year I get good crops and tomatoes, you know, usually I get a good, they actually have been some years where, you know, various lights come in, but you know, we always get enough tomatoes, but last year was surprisingly, maybe it was just surprising because other things did so well,

35m 21s

JackieMarie Beyer

It'd be silly. This is the part of the show I call getting to the root of things. So do you have like a least favorite activity to do in the garden? Something you got to force yourself to get out there and do.

35m 35s

Lee Reich

That's a very easy one spraying. So I grow things mostly organically, but even organically, you do sometimes have to mix up a spray, you know, say for average worms, or you mix a spray BT bacillus, thuringiensis, which is a naturally occurring bacteria that really does target the cabbage worms. So, you know, it's not the end of the world to have to spray, but it's just not that much fun to mix it up to spray it. And then even though it's, non-toxic, you know, I don't want to get it on stuff nearby that I'm going to re so that, that would definitely be my least favorite. Anything else?

36m 15s

Lee Reich

I guess, everything else I pretty much liked doing. And sometimes

36m 20s

JackieMarie Beyer

On the flip side, what's your favorite activity to do?

36m 24s

Lee Reich

Well, one of my favorites is making compost. I make, I make, so I have these, these compost bins that really work out well that I made and I make about 12 tons a year by hand. And, and then I have to find a place to put them in.

36m 46s

JackieMarie Beyer

That's a lot of compost. What are you putting in your combo?

36m 50s

Lee Reich

Well, I put in first, I've a part of that acre and a half that I got next door is just a hayfield. Now I I'm inside a hayfield. It's just a weedy field that grows high, which I like, cause it's got a mixture of different things in it. So that's good. You know, a lot of different nutrients in means there's going to be a lot of different nutrients in the compost. So I use a scythe and I cut little portions of it, use a lot of that in the compost. And then I add or kitchen waste. I add some horsemen or that I can get there's an excess of horse manure. And let me think, what else? A little lime, a little soil.

37m 32s

Lee Reich

And, and occasionally I throw in, you know, kitchen scraps, stuff like that, and basically anything that is compostable. I put it in there. I know my videos on my website. I have something, I think I have a thing about making compost. And one of the things I put in there is my old Levis. I figured they're cotton. So I throw them in there. And it's sort of interesting to see what they look like in various states of decomposition, throw my old underwear in there. If it's cotton, basically

38m 7s

JackieMarie Beyer

It's like an experiment that people do where they like put their underwear on there and see if like at the end of the year that they've decomposed, you know, everything, but the waistband should have decomposed. That means you have good soil or something.

38m 18s

Lee Reich

I know. I remember seeing that and they had quantitated I think so that, so that depending on how much decomposition you get in so much time, that would mean you have good soil, you know, biologically active soil versus not. And that the other thing I put my compost that people are sometimes surprised. I know you, a lot of times people say, well, if you have such and such a problem in your, in your garden, say an insect pest or a disease, just, you know, put, put the plant in a plastic bag and throw it out. And I sort of disagree with that. And I put basically everything in the compost disease, plants, insects, and plants, everything just goes into the compost and it doesn't seem to have, you know, caused a problem.

39m 7s

Lee Reich

And basically if you leave it things to compost long enough, they decompose. So, so that that's my guideline. And also my compost, I do make them very deliberately and except for my, the ones I make during the winter, they do get quite hot. They get up to about 150 degrees. But even if, even if your compost doesn't get to 150 degrees, it's some combination of time and temperature. So if you get a really high temperature, you don't have to let it compost that as long to get rid of any pathogens. And if you, if you don't get up, if you, your compost does not get hot, you just leave it longer. And, you know, basically when it looks all finished, it is done

39m 48s

JackieMarie Beyer

And that's a science, a science specialist telling us that wasn't there. So I'm going to trust your knowledge and research.

39m 57s

Lee Reich

And I, and I have done this for, for decades and never brought any, you know, really pest problem in my garden.

40m 9s

JackieMarie Beyer

We have, what's the best gardening advice you've ever received.

40m 15s

Lee Reich

One thing, actually, this is something I commented Tommy years ago. He said, if you, if you need a certain tool, you know, very specific and you can't find it, make it, which I really like doing is, you know, like I wanted to make something for opening up a furrow for beans. And I had this vision that I I'm sure there's, this was somewhere on the market at some point. And I even have a whole book, this giant book of gardening tools and I could not find it. So it just made it out of, you know, pretty scraps a med on and, and it wouldn't handle.

40m 53s

JackieMarie Beyer

That's awesome. I just did an interview with Josh Volk who wrote a book about building your own farm tools. That's a really good primer. Yeah.

41m 3s

Lee Reich

How do you spell that name? I'm gonna check that out.

41m 6s

JackieMarie Beyer

Volk is V O L K. Josh Volk. What's his farm is called the slow hand farm.

41m 16s

Lee Reich

Slow

41m 17s

JackieMarie Beyer

Hand. Yeah. Kind of like the, you know, the slow food movement. Yeah. So handers it's slow food farm. No, I think I'm pretty sure. I just had all sorts of problems when I was releasing his episode, but I had to like redo the links like three different times. I was so upset, like annoyed build your own farm tools, slow hand farm. Yeah.

41m 47s

Lee Reich

Yeah. And I, I guess the, the other thing, what was the question? The best advice that I received? Oh, that's what you wanna say. The best advice I could give. I'd say the best advice I can give is two words. Organic matter, make sure you go and have, it has lots of organic matter and keep feeding it organic materials that you get more and more organic matter. I think that goes a long way to first keep plants healthy because you promote beneficial organisms that are antagonistic to a lot of pathogens because it feeds the plants.

42m 28s

Lee Reich

Both the organic matter as decomposes releases nutrients. It also helps decompose the rock matrix of the soil to release nutrients. And it makes some nutrients that are already in the soil. More available. For instance, iron sometimes can be in a soil, but not available to plants cause a pH or something. And, and natural organic molecules can make it more available to plants. And then an organic matter also makes the soar a better structure, which means it can drain better and drain water out. But at the same time, hold moisture for the plants. So that's, that's a good promo for organic matter.

43m 10s

JackieMarie Beyer

I love that I'm so into composting and it just drives me crazy that we don't compost enough in the United States.

43m 18s

Lee Reich

Right. Okay. A lot of problems could be solved with a more widespread composting. First of all, I mean, in my garden, I actually don't use in my vegetable garden. I don't use fertilizer anymore. I just use an inch. I've made a computation many, many years ago that an inch steps of finished compost will supply all the nutrients, intensively, cultivated, vegetables need for a year. And then, and I was always afraid to do it since I don't have an experiment station. I didn't want to risk my, my, my yield. But then a few years ago I did it stopped using any, anything else except for compost.

43m 58s

Lee Reich

And that's all I've used since then.

44m 2s

JackieMarie Beyer

That's so interesting because like, I was just, I was listening to like this old episode I did or something, or I don't remember, but like a couple of years ago I planted these zinnias and I was talking about how I always thought, because we put compost in the dirt at the beginning of the season, we didn't ever need to add it. And I swear, like the zinnias were like smiling at me as I was adding the comp. My husband was like, you need to give him some compost or some food or something like in the middle of the seminar, I was like, I do. And I swear they were just smiling at me, but

44m 37s

Lee Reich

I disagree. I don't think they needed. I mean, if you put down one inch a year at any time, that should be good for the year.

44m 45s

JackieMarie Beyer

That's what I had always thought. Like, as long as you put compost in your soil in the early spring, like before you planted your beds and mix that in that that was all your plants were going to need to do like some kind of an experiment here.

45m 0s

Lee Reich

Well, so it depends if you, if you put enough down, you put down a quarter of an inch.

45m 5s

JackieMarie Beyer

Yeah. That could be at two

45m 8s

Lee Reich

Inches, the magic number about an inch.

45m 13s

JackieMarie Beyer

That could be completely what it was. Cause I'm not very good at doing things like that. Like putting, cause we always fight about our compost. My husband's like you should put compost on the compost, goes on the vegetables and not the flowers as much. And so, because even though we have like seven different compost bins, we just never have enough. It seems like for all of what we grow. Yeah.

45m 40s

Lee Reich

Yeah. If you don't have enough compost and you can't put down an inch, you might have to supplement it with some sort of fertilizer.

45m 49s

JackieMarie Beyer

But I love that because I just think compost is so easy to make and it's good for everything it's good for the planet. And have you seen that new kissed the ground movie? There's like a book and a movie and that's basically at the end, that's kind of what the general consensus is, is. I mean, it's compost, it's plenty of diverse crops. It's, they've got a few things, but they, they talk about like the biggest solution to climate change is saving our soil.

46m 16s

Lee Reich

Yeah. And the other, the other thing about the compost, I get a lot of bang for my buck with the compost because I don't dig it in a lot of people dig it in. I just lay it on top of the ground and plant right in it. Cause when you dig it in, you sort of where you do two things, you diluted benefit because a lot of the benefits, what it does to the surface makes it more absorbent. And when you dig it in, you add a lot of action to the soil, which actually burns up organic matter. So there's benefits, you know, that's a whole thing you know about no, till which I wrote a book called weedless gardening, which that's one of the central themes of it, which is, you know, it's not a religion, it's one way to Gordon, but there are a lot of benefits to it, but it's not, it's not a system that everybody wants to adopt.

47m 5s

Lee Reich

So, you know, there's, there's a lot of ways to, to grow plants. But I, but I think just as I said, a lot of benefits to using no till,

47m 16s

JackieMarie Beyer

And I think some plants do better in a Notel environment than others. Like it seems like Jesse Frost wrote that book about no-till gardening or tilt farming. He has like the no till gardening podcast. And it seems like he was seeing like kale, if I remember right. It doesn't really matter if you do no till or not, like it's not going to have, I could be wrong about that because I read his book last year. But

47m 39s

Lee Reich

Yeah, I actually, I actually have not told any part of my veteran gone for decades and everything seems to grow fine. I mean, you just look in, I mean, a lot of what I do and this could be called advice also as I try and emulate natural systems. So in natural systems, the garden is the soil is not tilled, you know, roots obviously do something to the soil and, and, and earthworms and other creatures, but it's not, you know, till like, as you would tow rope with a tiller and, and plants do fine under those conditions. So that's, that's what I'm trying to emulate.

48m 20s

JackieMarie Beyer

Sure. Well, and you are definitely growing a ton of things and have like so much experience. So one thing you kind of like wrote in the answer thing was something about strawberries and grubs. Yeah. Then you can talk about that.

48m 38s

Lee Reich

That was sort of advice. I was given that I was going for my first garden. And as I said, I didn't know hardly anything about gardening then. And so I wanted to plant strawberries as a lot of people do. And, and, and I was making the garden from what was lawn. I was just going to turn over the soil and, you know, the usual traditional way of starting a garden. And I had read a lot of gardening books that you should not plan strawberries in newly in a new garden because grubs or often in lawns and it's cause they eat lawn grass. And if you paint plant strawberries, they're apt to your strawberry roots.

49m 18s

Lee Reich

So it's advisable not to plant them under those conditions. And once again, this was, this was actually when I visited Coleman, I had told him, then he said, just go, go ahead and plant it. It's like, what's the worst, worst case scenario is, you know, you lose 25 strawberry plants. So, you know, I had a plant in it and actually I never had any problem with them. So, you know, I guess I would say on the one hand, it's good to follow advice. You know, like of dumpling strawberries in recently turned over long and the other hand it's good to try, try something anyway.

49m 59s

Lee Reich

So I'm not sure what the advice would be, except that it was good that I tried it.

50m 5s

JackieMarie Beyer

Yeah. Just keep trying banks. I like that.

50m 7s

Lee Reich

Well, the problem is why most people, if you do that too much, you end up reinventing the wheel. It's like people try done certain points in the garden and they've failed or they've succeeded. So you don't, you don't have to do a test to see if there's going to happen. Cause you can sort of go by other people's experiences. And that I think was one reason early on my garden actually was quite good. You know, even after just a year or two of gardening and one reason was, cause I not, not because any genius on my part was just cause I read a lot of books and you read a lot of books, you get advice from people who've done this already. And I didn't have to repeat what the same mistakes.

50m 48s

Lee Reich

And we could all keep making the same mistakes, just, you know, or we could read about mistakes that people made or, or advice that people give and follow that. But

50m 59s

JackieMarie Beyer

One thing, people like, I think a lot of new gardeners, like people like me, like since my podcast started, I've become a much better gardener because of my amazing guests. Just like you. Like I had so many failures and was just like, I can't grow anything and I have a brown thumb and I don't know how to do this. And then the more you, I would listen to things and hear the same things. The more like the more confident I've gotten and the more successes I've had. I mean, the fact that I'm growing enough tomatoes and canning my own tomato sauce. And it's also like, that's something I never would have thought I could do five, six years ago or like now, I mean, I feel like if I had to, I could feed a classroom full of kids and grow enough food to, you know, I don't want you that's way too much work.

51m 43s

JackieMarie Beyer

But if, you know, if like something happened and I was stuck in that situation, like just from listening to my guests. So I think that's kind of like along the same thing, like you can pick up different tips, but it is always good to try things. I mean, just even like the things that you're talking about growing figs in different places, cause people might think, oh, figs are from Italy or the Mediterranean. They're never going to grow here or Kiwis like two weeks I thought were like a total like new Zealanders, you know, somewhere warm Tropic type of, I would not think that QE would ever grow.

52m 21s

Lee Reich

I get, I get big crops every year, but I guess the thing is that nowadays, especially with the internet, there's a lot of misinformation around. So the hard part is the hard part is sifting out. If, if you read something and you want to follow it, you have to think because you don't want to, you want to learn from their experience. I mean employ their experience in your garden. So the hard part is always figuring out is this reputable information? Does it? So, so the way I go about that is first of all, I, you know, based on what I know about gardening and science, I first want to see if it sounds like it it's, you know, does it make sense?

53m 2s

Lee Reich

Cause a lot of things people say just sure, and there's no reason to try it or even go one step further. And then to, and then to look at who's offering the information. I mean, sometimes you can tell just a, this, this is a wacko source of information. And sometimes it seems like a reputable source of information. So, and then you put all that together and decide whether, or this is something you can follow.

53m 28s

JackieMarie Beyer

And I think some of the best information you get from your neighbors and like people that are growing in your area, like I would never have thought of trying blueberries. If I hadn't gone over to my neighbors one day and saw her amazing giant blueberry plants. And I think that's part of what keeps me trying it is because I know she's growing them just not very far away for me. And she said she just went to Lowe's and got two plans and stuck them in the ground. Now she is an amazing gardener and her whole place is just, you know, like this beautiful mix of flowers and vegetables and fruits and you know, it's like a giant Oasis. So I put in,

54m 5s

Lee Reich

I think you got to pin her down and ask her really exactly what she's doing.

54m 9s

JackieMarie Beyer

I know she's super busy. I've been asking her to come over the last two summers and like give me, or I should just go there anyway. We, how about a fever tool that you like to use if you had to move in, can only take one full with you, what would it be? Or what could you not live without

54m 25s

Lee Reich

Tough? One, one tool. I mean, I guess if it was one tool which this would never be the case, I'd always like smuggle some more out if I had to, but I like filming with the Hori Hori knife. Do you know this?

54m 39s

JackieMarie Beyer

I do. I finally got one for my husband for his birthday last year. And then I made him get me one for my birthday.

54m 45s

Lee Reich

That's what always happens. You get one and then you always get more. So I have like one on, on one garden gate, one, another garden gate, one greenhouse, and one of my mudroom. So Hori knife would be one, but I have to mention other favorite tools. I think a Pitchfork is definitely good, especially if you're going to be moving a lot of organic materials, which as I said, I think are pretty integral to good gardening. So I love a Pitchfork, something that's not that integral, but it's one of my favorite tools is a scythe. I mean a good what's called a European style. Scythe is a great thing. A good pair hand, cheers for pruning.

55m 27s

Lee Reich

And my favorite type generally I've I wrote when I wrote my book on pruning while these companies were sending me samples. So I got to try a different pruning shears and I had, would have more hung up on my mudroom as I went outside. So I could tell which ones were my favorite by which ones I grabbed as I went out. And I guess my all time favorite is the ARS brand, which a lot of people haven't heard of. And then my two second favorites are Falco, which is very common and a great pruner and Pika, which is very uncommon. So those

56m 3s

JackieMarie Beyer

Pico like

56m 6s

Lee Reich

Yay,

56m 6s

JackieMarie Beyer

Oh, pic.

56m 9s

Lee Reich

And then the other tools, you know, if I was gonna kinda, if I could throw in a few more gardens, I mean, I really like having a garden cart once again.

56m 18s

JackieMarie Beyer

C's book how to build your own garden cart because he makes it out of bicycle tires.

56m 25s

Lee Reich

Oh, you need heavier tires. Cause, cause my car can hold 400 pounds and I actually, there's a whole book that has been written by David and building the whole books, just on building a garden cart. Unfortunate. I have three sons. So it'd be really too extravagant for me to start building one now. Yeah. And then there was one other, oh yeah. And then a good tile spade. It's like a shovel with a long narrow blade. I mean, it's really good for digging up. I tend to like plant and dig up trees a lot. So that's useful for that.

57m 4s

JackieMarie Beyer

I might get one of those for Mike because I've looked at those and I could see him using that.

57m 10s

Lee Reich

It might be called us or nursery or something like that. I think those would be the essentials. I'm sure I forgot some really other than

57m 19s

JackieMarie Beyer

So to use a garden cart instead of a wheelbarrow. Cause when I first came up with this question, my first thought was a shovel and then I decided I could build a shovel. I want a wheelbarrow.

57m 28s

Lee Reich

I actually, I, I have a wheelbarrow, but I hardly ever used it mostly it's cause I use like I used to go haul hay to the compost hauling compost to the garden. When I clean up the garden, I have it right next to the garden gate and I just keep piling stuff in it. It's, you know, and just moving firewood somewhere is very useful.

57m 50s

JackieMarie Beyer

Yeah. We bought, I bought two new wheelbarrows last year. Cause so we have three. So we have one for the firewood up the house, one in my garden and one in Mike's mini farm, because I feel like we're always calling things and we're in the Rocky mountains. Like when Mike first built a mini farm like this, not the first year, but the second or the third year, I can't remember. He hauled 21 wheelbarrows full of just small rocks out of there before he planted in the spring. One year

58m 17s

Lee Reich

I tell you one great tip. I have, if you, if anybody has a garden cart, so garden cartoon to heavy duty wheels and can hold 400 pounds. So I had those and one problem with them is their tires are always going flat, so it's expensive, but I splurged and I get a solid rubber tires for all of them. And it's really a pleasure not having to fix. And, and these, these they're not bicycle tires, so they're not,

58m 42s

JackieMarie Beyer

Oh, I know exactly what you're talking about. They're totally worth every penny. That's part of like my wheelbarrow. That's where I came up with. That was because we got a flat tire on our wheelbarrow and we couldn't fix him. We were like without a wheelbarrow for like a season and it was driving me insane. You know what I did see on this website, it was am Leonard tools. Cause I bought one of their pitchforks and totally fell in love with it and like started looking. And here's the sled for hauling for throwing like weeds on which I really liked last year. But I liked your garden cart idea. Almost better for throwing. Cause that's like, one of my big struggles is always like if I'm down in the garden and a weed and I, and I pull up like, you know, I start putting them in like five gallon buckets and then I've got like six, five gallon buckets full of which you probably don't have because you're the weedless Lardner, but

59m 33s

Lee Reich

No it's we need less. So I do have weeds just weed less. Yeah.

59m 38s

JackieMarie Beyer

And just, I don't know. We, I always feel like we have these beds that have gotten away from us that I'm trying to like either, you know, pull things out of, or, or to like re to like make into a new bed. Like some things have gotten overgrown anyway, whatever that's trip was pretty cool, but I like the garden cart, but you're probably ready to go. So let's just finish up these last couple of questions. Cause we've been talking or an hour already. How about a favorite recipe you liked to cook or eat from the garden?

1h 0m 10s

Lee Reich

And I think I had, I really, don't not, I'm not a great cook only because I,

1h 0m 16s

JackieMarie Beyer

Yeah, like, does your wife cook stuff for you? Or you're like,

1h 0m 19s

Lee Reich

We both cook, but, but the thing is, I really feel like, I mean, I do cook things, but I feel like if you grow really high quality fruits and vegetables, they don't need hardly any fancy cooking at least. But, but one thing I do do that using stuff in the guys I'd make a really good pizza. Okay.

1h 0m 41s

JackieMarie Beyer

Do you have a good pizza dough recipe or do you buy like a pizza dough? Like a pre-made one.

1h 0m 47s

Lee Reich

Oh, I D I actually never, no, I ma I make, not only do I make my dog, but I grind my flour. I have a very nice flour mill. I make two loaves of bread a week, two or three bread loaves a week. Lowe's loaves a week of bread. And obviously we're going to make pizza. I grind the flour and make a sourdough pizza dough. It's really good.

1h 1m 15s

JackieMarie Beyer

My husband bakes our bread too. We really want it. He wants a flour mill and really man. Huh? Yeah.

1h 1m 24s

Lee Reich

Oh, geez. Now I just forgot the name. It's the mock mill. M O C K M I L L. Okay, cool. I've had, I've had it for, I think a year and a half now. And I've grounded cause I buy wheat in 50 pound bags and I've gone to, I think almost four bags. So 200 pounds a week. So far, I went through that mill.

1h 1m 52s

JackieMarie Beyer

Wow, good to know. Cool. Yeah. We've been looking for a flour mill for a long time. We go through a lot of flour and just, it's not that easy to find good organic flour here.

1h 2m 4s

Lee Reich

This is nice. Cause it's very consistent. I get my, my wheat from an organic grower in Western New York and same variety every time. And you know, I grind it the same way. So, so it's very consistent and I, and I always have it.

1h 2m 20s

JackieMarie Beyer

And once you do that, it's almost like chicken eggs. Like you can't go back to the other way, like nothing's taste as good.

1h 2m 26s

Lee Reich

Well, especially when the pandemic starters hard knit or any whole wheat flour

1h 2m 31s

JackieMarie Beyer

And I have the price of bread is insane.

1h 2m 35s

Lee Reich

How much it costs a loaf of bread for me cost 60 cents.

1h 2m 40s

JackieMarie Beyer

Really. I was just asking Mike the other day, how much does bread cost compared to like, it's like $6, like five or $6 for a loaf of bread in the store anymore.

1h 2m 50s

Lee Reich

And unless you look pretty carefully, it's not that good.

1h 2m 54s

JackieMarie Beyer

No, absolutely. How about a favorite internet resource? Where do you find yourself surfing on the web?

1h 3m 1s

Lee Reich

Mostly what I like to do is go to either government or university sites for just good, solid, even if it's not entertaining information and the way you do that, a lot of people don't know this. If you put in your search terms, you put site she's now I forgot what it was. Cause I just type it automatically. You do site colon gov or site colon EDU, after you searched terms and that'll get you to a government or a university site. So that's, that's where I go generally. I would say that's that's my favorite internet resources.

1h 3m 43s

JackieMarie Beyer

That's excellent. Do you have to put like.gov or just gov

1h 3m 48s

Lee Reich

Trying to think of what I do.

1h 3m 50s

JackieMarie Beyer

I think I usually put like.edu or.gov, but maybe it works without it.

1h 3m 58s

Lee Reich

Yeah. Well there wouldn't be that many sites that would have EDU or gov even without the dot, but okay.

1h 4m 8s

JackieMarie Beyer

How about a favorite reading material? Like a book or a magazine or anything?

1h 4m 12s

Lee Reich

Well, of course on my books, but reading material, am I read a lot of stuff and I guess one of my, I read very few, very few blogs, but two of my favorite blogs, one is one called garden myths. Got com

1h 4m 37s

JackieMarie Beyer

And it's

1h 4m 38s

Lee Reich

Yeah. And it's, it's very well it's backed up really well. It's no, no statements just thrown out there and you assume they're true. And the other one is a way to garden.com.

1h 4m 54s

JackieMarie Beyer

Margaret Roach. Yeah. I liked her.

1h 4m 60s

Lee Reich

The first one is Robert. I think it name's Purvis and really it's really interesting good site. And plus I liked, I liked busting myths myself. I was actually going to write a book on that once and he already did write two books, so I don't have to,

1h 5m 15s

JackieMarie Beyer

Well, that is good because there are lots of myths out there like we were talking about earlier. So do you, do you have any like business advice or like, do you, you don't really sell your products at market or anything? Right.

1h 5m 31s

Lee Reich

I saw a very little discuss mostly just to test market stuff, you know, and that would be locally. I don't, you know, just locally I, I sell once. He, I I'm really addicted to propagating plants, which leaves me with lots of plants more than I could grow. So once a year locally, I have a plant sale for two and a half hours and it's really sort of fun people coming in like hungry dogs. And then I just sell as many plants as I can. And then I can start propagating again.

1h 6m 4s

JackieMarie Beyer

I liked that business model though. Like I was telling my husband, we should just do like spring point, you know, like, just so the starts because, because one in the spring there's more water, you know? Cause like I said, we tend to have droughts towards the end of the year, so we'll use more water and I think it'd be easier to just sell the starts and puts, there's not a lot of organic structure, at least there certainly weren't a few years ago for people to have for source. So that's kinda like the same thing where you're, you're not having to do business all year round. You're just doing it in the beginning.

1h 6m 39s

Lee Reich

Well, I know here there's selling trans vegetable transplants is very popular, but I don't sell vegetable. I do mostly it's like fruit trees, you know, whatever I felt like propagating and, and then the other thing, you know, so, so I wouldn't, you know, I don't make a lot of money from that and I don't care. Mostly as I said, it's mostly my books and my other writing and my consulting and my lecturing.

1h 7m 10s

JackieMarie Beyer

Do you want to talk about some of your other books really quick and like mention your website and do a little self promotion? Okay.

1h 7m 16s

Lee Reich

So the website is www of course Lee Reisch, L E E R E I C h.com. And that has a number of things on including videos, my blog, books, lectures, things like that. And so some of my books up, I remember them all. So one of course is the one we S we've talked most about is growing figs and cold climates. And this, this really does show you how to grow figs in all sorts of cold climates, your mountain cold climates, coastal cold climates, continental cold climates. And another book that I wrote that I mentioned was weedless gardening or weed, less gardening, which is mostly focused on not mostly, but has no tail in it as one it's a four-step four-part system for making weed problems less.

1h 8m 12s

Lee Reich

And the nice thing about the system is that each part has other benefits in the garden and all the parts when you put them together a sort of a synergistic effect and have it's more than the sum of its parts. And in that, I also have a lot of details on growing vegetables, how to grow them specific vegetables. I have a whole thing on making or buying compost, you know, cover crops, planting trees. So it's more than just, you know, my thing, what we discard in my cover, another book is the pruning book, which really, basically all you need to know about pruning the tools, how plants respond to pruning and then specific categories of plants like shrubs, trees, fruits, and for the fruits we go of plant by plant.

1h 9m 2s

Lee Reich

And then I have the special sections at the end special types of pruning. Whereas I said I've SBIA and some other types of pruning, including siding and, and basically in the book, it has just about every plant. You can think of both tropical tempered and tempered plant and houseplants, everything of how to add a prune, specifically these plants. And then I have another book, oh, the ever curious gardener, which we mentioned this, this really takes some science and applies it in the garden, like how here's a scientific principle, here's how you can use in the garden and it will make your garden grow better.

1h 9m 44s

Lee Reich

And it covers everything like from flavor to soil management, to plant names. And I have a book on landscaping with fruit, which is self-explanatory it's how do you use food trees as landscape plants? And, and in that section, I, I have little details, some details on each type of fruit and how easy it is to grow in various parts of the country. You know, varieties, how, how, how good they are as landscape plants. And let's see, am I forgetting something, I guess for gardeners in the Northeast, I have a book called Northeast Gardener's year.

1h 10m 28s

Lee Reich

That really just month by month, it takes you to the garden with all sorts of topics, you know, flowers, soil management, fruit trees, rocks, plant labels, every topic you can imagine through the year. So it's not the kind of book you read from cover to cover to kind of blue book. You read just like say before you go to sleep at night or you leave this book in your bathroom to read just you, you dip in and out of it. And I think that's the main books that I have. Yeah, I think that's it.

1h 11m 4s

JackieMarie Beyer

Awesome. Me, thank you so much for sharing with us today. And I wish we could talk longer, but I had to go to work and tutor a kid and just, we love your passion. So everybody go to his website, get his books, leave them a five star review on Amazon after done reading his books. Cause you know, you're going to love them and learn a ton and that will help other listeners get out there and other readers find them because that's, what's important that we're sharing this information and teaching our neighbors as well as ourselves. So thank you so much. And I will send you the link when this comes out. Okay. And thank you so much for having me. Thanks Lee. You have a great day.

1h 11m 42s

JackieMarie Beyer

Okay. I'm showing.

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