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270. Streatery Farm-To-Table Food Truck | Sarah Manuel | Havre, MT
22nd April 2019 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 01:00:58

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I have lots of guests that have been booking and lots of great interviews coming up! A Montana rockstar running the food truck here in Montana! 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I did grow up on a farm and a ranch

A little bit about my past

I was raised in a world of agriculture

I grew up on a farm and ar ranch that was not always organic, my dad converted to organic in 2007

I was 10 years old it was interesting as a young child to see that process of old ways and shifting to new ways of organic and

how much better everything becomes with that process

with that conversion

we moved to a lot of diversified crops

Before we had converted to organic we were just doing the same old thing everyone else does. Switched to doing a lot of


and same



growing ancient grains

  • kamut
  • farro
  • lentils
  • chickpeas

while we were learning and growing all those

I was also at a pretty young age learning to bake

native to Montana at that time

I think that was where I got a pretty strong base

with working with local and available at any given time.

That’s the farming side of it.

We raised cattle as well. So that was really interesting for me to grow up working the trails and the

to grow up working cows

trail them

calving season everything you go through

on the organic side

everything 100% organic

grass fed

everything takes longer

I remember watching food inc when it came out

I remember seeing the vast difference competed to the feed lots they have pictured!

Everything how everything is so crammed

compared to our open pasture

administering antibiotics and growth hormone

we were just allowing our cattle to grow naturally it takes longer but I believe it does allow for a healthful product

and a product that tastes better

Through all that processI think I gained a really good appreciating for the organic food system

extra time and thought that goes into it

That’s the same for a lot of people who are gardening

I love to have conversations that they are trying

some are working and some aren’t

learning what grows well here and what doesn’t

how to utilize in cooking.

Did you have a lot of brothers and sisters? You seem like you had a very mature upbringing. Mike and I were talking about chores the other day.

similar upgrading

yeah I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters

I’m the 2nd oldest so I just have one older brother.

We’re ranging in ages in 23 down to 7.

I think growing up especially with so many younger siblings inputs a little bit of extra responsibility automatically to a person.

I think that was some part of it

cooking was something because I did like to do it, but I didn’t always cook because I wanted to

had to do but it was something we had a lot of people to feed

working on the ranch

not always great help

had a lot of kids

We were out there whenever we needed to be.That built a really good work ethic I appreciate all of those opportunities

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

Yeah! You could say, we did have a pretty good garden for the majority of my childhood

wouldn’t classify myself as a green thumb I am better at cooking then gardening. I enjoy the process. I had my little herb garden on the back porch in college.

  • tons of root vegetables
  • melons
  • corn one year
  • strawberries
  • rhubarb

Pretty standard things you could say

definitely lots of salad greens and tomatoes.

Now you’re up in the northern part of Montana, close to the border of Canada. Very cold right. Not easy to grow food.

It’s not, unless you have a greenhouse

even still there’s challenges. I’m about as close to Canada as you can get. It takes about 40 minutes to drive to the border.

from where I live

It definitely does present some challenges

climate but there’s ways to work around it.

I think that’s where experimenting with what really grows well in Montana. There have been a lot of farmers around the area spending time.

fruit trees

varieties of tomatoes and peppers

what’s gonna produce the best in the soil in the time frame that we have. Very different from other states across the country.

I was just going through our garden journals from when Mike puts the seeds in the ground, for the most part it’s between the 7th and 10th of April, cool starts, lettuce, spinach, peas, etc. Stuff that can’t have a frost, it’s more like green beans etc. it’s right after our anniversary in the first week in June.

I also have dates of when did we first harvest it, and things like, I thought we didn’t really harvest asparagus but actually it was for like 5 years. A lot of my guests have said keeping data was good.

Even so, I think your ahead then I am with the gardening data

I agree with you, I love to analyze data! I haven’t done it as much with gardening but especially for the STREATERY this past year.

I closed for the winter and so it’s been a time to rest and regroup

closed through

I have been going through numbers and analyzing what worked and what didn’t

  • what days of week?
  • what events better?
  • which menu items did the best?

I could spend hours pouring over the information.

Why don’t you tell us all about Streatery and your food truck and how all that got started.

Getting into a little bit of the agricultural background.

Now getting into the culinary realm I entered a few years ago, it all kind of started gradually. Like I can’t remember a point where I decided I want to be a chef. It just sort of accumulation of events in high school I did a lot of farmer’s markets

mostly baked good


I would go to the mountains and forage for

  • June berries
  • currant berries

ancient grains we were growing and grind the

local honey

as many things I could get my hands on. Feature all of those local ingredients.

My senior year of high school I took a trip to California to the bay area. I thought this was interesting.

I interviewed Liz Carlisle!

So, awesome Liz Carlisle wrote this amazing book called Lentil Underground

farmers in Montana who were some of the first people growing organic lentils and just that process because now Montana is the number one producer of lentils. She goes through the whole story!

They are who are your parents?

Chapter 12, in

Lentil Underground

the gospel of lentils

because of that she flew my family my siblings and everyone out to California when she launched the book

It wasn’t just my family it was all of the families featured in the book, and we stayed in this huge Airbnb house and had a great time and got to meet all the people who were reading the book and explained about the process of everything

through that trip I made a lot of great connections.

One of them, are here near Havre and they farm as well they are Doug and Anna Crabtree with Vicious farms. On that trip, they sort of casually offered me a job in between that summer between high school and college.

I had decided to go to culinary school but didn’t have a plan beyond that. They hired me on as their culinary specialist and I lived out at their farm M-F cooking for their farm crew.

At the time, I felt highly unqualified. It turned out really great! I loved every minute of it. It gave me freedom to cook whatever I was feeling that today but also to use what was readily averrable and  locally grown

We were totally tracking each other on

  • what’s important in the food world
  • what’s nutritious
  • how can we utilize these things?

they were really great to work with. I think I got lucky to get that opportunity.

Then in the fall I attended Culinary Institute of Montana in Kalispell. It takes a little under 2 years to get an associates degree. I graduated in Dec 2016 and kind of just craving an adventure at that point. I had always leaned towards entrepreneurship and self employment and tie that into the food world, so the most obvious choice was to start a restaurant but that seemed daunting at the time.

I actually moved to Maui

went with the WWOOF program


They have this great online directory

You can essentially type in the type of agriculture you are interested in or you can type in the city or state that you would like to

go have an experience

You can stay from a week to a month to several months! Depends on what you are looking for and what the the operation needs

you go and the standard agreement is you work 20 hours a week then in return you get free room and board so some places that means they feed you 3 meals a day someplace that means give you staple ingredients and a kitchen

literally ground breaking

  • We made raised beds
  • worked on some beehives
  • managed a farm stand

It was very rugged. I actually lived in a tent for a month. We didn’t have running water and we had to haul that up to a top of a mountain.

Did you get to go to the beach?

It was hard work but it wasn’t’ very long so there was definitely lots of free time.

the farm in Maui

You could see the ocean from the mountains of Maui called upcountry. 

You could see the ocean and beach but to actually get there you would have to walk a few miles to the beach. Since none of us had cars. Between that and hitchhiking, so we did make it to the beach a couple of times.

There were other people there? Were you scared going from Montana to Hawaii? Were your parents like oh my?

My parents were nervous but I was ready. I had a skype interview. I had my tent and a general plan and they picked me up at the airport. After a while I got a phone call from mom after I was there a couple of days she was like I know that you landed in Hawaii, but never confirmed you made it to the farm. I thought I should check.

There was quite a big group of people

  • CA
  • North Carolina
  • Montreal
  • Netherlands
  • Colorado

It was a great group of people

work together

have adventures together

Quite a few of us ended up switching to another farm after a month.

permaculture farm

rancho relaxo

first I had learned of permaculture

found this farm online through the website

said it was fruit orchard

Did mention permaculture but I didn’t know what to expect and so in my mind I thought it would be rows of

  • orange
  • avocados
  • mangos
  • papayas


looked like the garden of eden!


You walk in and there is this winding dirt road going through this tropical forage. Going on the first tour and he’s pointing!

there’s a banana tree


coffee is growing

tilapia ponds

2 chicken coops

vegetables gardens

intermixed and benefiting from each other in turn!

That was a wonderful experience to see that different approach to agriculture.

While I was at that farm it didn’t take the owner long to learn I could cook. So we ended up

putting together a farm-to-table event while I was there!

We had a group of people come out to the farm.

A local hunter brought some venison tenderloin

lots of greens


veggies from the farm

featured as much local produce as we could get from markets and things

four course dinner with wine pairings

fantastic. IT was this little moment of paradise in my past.

Then the advent of Streatery came about a year later. I moved back home in the summer of 2017

To help out with a few things. We had a huge farm tour coming up.

We were also a little short handed, my dad needed me to help

  • sort cows
  • drive tractors

thing I hadn’t done in a long time after being away. It was good to get back into that

summer of 2017

Towards that fall, I noticed that we could possibly benefit from some direct marketing of our organic beef...