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391. Ann Truesdell | Montana Backyard gardener | Helena, MT
22nd November 2021 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 01:19:15

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JackieMarie (6s):


JackieMarie (46s):

And I have an awesome guest on the line who's also from Montana. And just like some of you, if you've been listening for a while, have heard me talk about how much I love Facebook, because it's always such a great place to meet friends, new, old, far near. And so Helena is, I don't know, it's probably about a seven hour drive. I think it was two to three hours from Browning and Browning was three hours. I don't know. Maybe it's six hours. I'm not really sure. Cause I don't know that I've ever driven just to Helena from Eureka. But anyway, it's on the other side of the mountains.

JackieMarie (1m 28s):

It is our state Capitol and here today to share with us, her garden journey is Ann Truesdell. So welcome to the show Ann

Ann (1m 35s):

Thank you. I'm glad to be here.

JackieMarie (1m 37s):

Well we're excited to have you and I'm so excited to have somebody who like, cause I just put this call out for backyard gardeners. So this is season three, even though it's my sixth year, like my first four years were all season one and then I did a season two and now I'm on season three, started in January and it seemed like most of season three was people who had written books about gardening and had gardening blogs and are all professional speakers more. And I just put out a call for the summer for backyard gardeners, for listeners if you're listening, if you want to come on and share your garden journey so we can make it a little more personal plus I'm out of backups.

JackieMarie (2m 22s):

So you guys, if you want to keep listening, we need some people to jump on the mic with me, but most people should be busy during the summer because it is the main part of garden season. So I'm glad you're taking time out of your busy day to share with us today. So I'll stop talking. I'm actually going to mute my mic.

Ann (2m 43s):

Well, it's great to be here. Yes. Like you said, I'm in Helena, Montana. So I think you're right. It's about six hours. And one thing I always think is interesting around Montana, it can quite likely mean we have very different growing environments all in this one large state.

JackieMarie (3m 2s):

That's for sure. So I always like to start our show asking you about like your very first gardening journey. Like, were you a kid? Were you an adult? Who were you with? What'd you grow? Like, are you from Helena? Did you grow up there?

Ann (3m 20s):

Yeah, so I grew up in a small town near Helena, so not right here, but I know the area pretty well. And my first garden experiences were when I was a child. I remember we always growing up, my mom had a large garden that we all took care of and enjoyed. And my grandparents who lived across town from us, they were farmers before they retired and then did what they could to turn their yard into a large garden too. So my grandma had lots of beautiful flower beds and a huge garden. I remember a huge raspberry patch that we would all go picking during the right time of year, all of us cousins and things like that.

Ann (4m 2s):

So I started gardening with my family really young. And then my first garden was when I was getting my, I was in Missoula for graduate school and lived in an apartment upstairs, but had a decent patio with a lot of sun and so we did a container garden and that was my, our first garden with my husband and I, that we got started years ago and we've been gardening ever since!

JackieMarie (4m 29s):

What did you go to U of M for grad school for? I'm so jealous. I want to go to grad school so bad.

Ann (4m 35s):

I got my master's in social work at U of M. So I'm a social worker and a health and wellness consultant as well.

JackieMarie (4m 44s):

What was that last part? Health and ?

Ann (4m 47s):

Health and wellness consultant.

JackieMarie (4m 49s):

Oh, nice. Tell us about that.

Ann (4m 53s):

Yeah, so I work with a B Corp company that makes plant-based products. It all kind of aligns for me and it's, you know, just healthy chemical, free skincare, nutrition, hair care, just the things we use every day. And I help people with their health journey if they're ready to move towards something more, more holistic and including less chemicals. And so, I mean, as another side note, part of my passion about organic gardening comes along these lines as well. When I was a very young child, my mom was exposed to toxic pesticides and formed a pretty severe intolerance to chemicals.

Ann (5m 35s):

So I grew up in a chemical free home. We always were doing organic gardening then even though I didn't know what that was or that how they were doing that. And so with my mom's sensitivities, I've just learned to be very aware of our environment, the products I use, the products that go onto our plants and you know, like it's really smokey in Helena right now. And that's something that's my plants in my vegetable garden are sucking up that stuff. So what can I do limiting every, everything I possibly can, what I have control of, to just make our environment healthier for us personally, and for those around us.

JackieMarie (6m 18s):

Hmm. I might have to talk to you after the show a little bit about that. So, tell us about something that grew well. So like what's your garden like now? So you had a patio container garden in Missoula, but like what are you, what kind of garden do you have now? Like how big of a place are you guys living at? Is it just like regular homestead or like, I just, I love Helena, like I wrote a book about Jeanette Rankin, who was the first woman ever elected to Congress in the United States, if you didn't know listeners. And, so when I was in Helena for like a teaching conference, I walked around the back streets and took a lot of pictures because I wanted to like be able to draw some background pictures for the book about her and just like, there's so many cute little homes there and just Helena's, you know, like it's like in this valley, that's surrounded by mountains, but it's just a really sweet place.

JackieMarie (7m 23s):

And I've also been over there looking at teacher jobs and checking out different elementary schools. Like I went to interview once and they, they showed us around and she'd give us a tour of the schools and just do, there's just Helena, I don't know. It's just different than a lot of other Montana towns. There's lots of bicycles and recreational areas. And just, if you're ever coming to Montana listeners, it's kind of a cool place to check out, puts it's like our state capital so there's lots of history. There's the great museums there. So what's your place like there?

Ann (7m 56s):

Yeah, so we are right in the center of town and so we have just a normal in-town size lot. And so when we first moved in, it was all grass, as far as we knew, not in very good shape and a beautiful French lilac tree and a plum tree. And so that first year we just left it alone, but we put in some garden beds, some boxes and it was an adventure for sure. That first year I remember like the biggest thing was we didn't get anything out of the harvest, I planted everything too close together, so it grew beautifully.

Ann (8m 36s):

It was green, but we didn't get any actual fruits. So we just kept extending on that. Cause we had that vegetable garden. Then we realized we didn't have any pollinating plants in our yard because it was all grass. And we wanted to honestly not mow under the plum tree anymore. So we decided to cut out some grass and start making flowerbeds. And so over the last five years, it has expanded to two very large garden boxes, a whole vegetable garden plot in the ground. And just the whole thing is now framed by one gigantic flower bed in the front and the back and a small piece of one right in the center of the house.

Ann (9m 18s):

So we've filled our yard with pollinators and to just make sure we're taking care of the bees and the butterflies, and also bringing all that stuff to our gardens. So it's been fun and it's keeps getting bigger every year. So we might, we're thinking about now cutting out some more grass and adding some more flower beds.

JackieMarie (9m 40s):

Oh, I love this. And I love how you described it, like dear neighbors, like combine and say, wow, how's that working and check it out. And like, are they curious about, like, I keep saying my next book's going to be about building a pollinator border.

Ann (9m 55s):

Yeah. Yeah. So we noticed that we have lots of people slow down and kind of peering at our yard as they're walking by, which is quite fun. And our neighbors are always asking us what's the next project? I mean, I think that's something you figure out once you become a gardeners, there's always the next project. There's no finishing.

JackieMarie (10m 13s):


Ann (10m 13s):

Yeah. Yeah. So we get a lot of conversations about that and we, our goal is to keep producing more and more food that we can give away to friends and family and community members. So that's always really fun too. Cause we, sometimes I get to have a friend over to harvest with us or things like that. Yeah.

JackieMarie (10m 33s):

So I am just curious, like, can you describe the garden boxes a little better? Like I can picture almost everything, but like, are they like hip high or like a foot high or like, especially I'm doing this like project for this other woman, this landscaping project and I'm trying to figure out where to get the dirt to fill her. I talked her into doing tubs this first year and not putting permanent boxes in so she could kind of get to know her property. She technically, she hasn't even moved into her house yet. And I'm just like before you, you know, put permanent stuff that you're going to have to live with for the rest of, you know, who knows how long? I would do tubs to see like, you know, where do you walk? And where's the sun and where do you want to build shelves?

JackieMarie (11m 17s):

And what do you want for floor? Cause she has this giant greenhouse too. Anyway, our biggest issue has been getting dirt to fill the tubs, but what are your garden boxes like?

Ann (11m 29s):

Yeah. I think that's really great advice that you gave her by the way and I'll kind of explain why. But our garden boxes, so when we moved in, there was a large deck on the back of the house that was pretty beat up and un-level, so we wanted to take it apart. And it was a ton of scrap wood that although with isn't necessarily the best, like straightest wood and everything like that, it was very usable and we didn't want to just throw it. So we built our garden beds out of that wood. And so we actually built them, so I think I can remember almost the exact dimensions. One, they're both three feet wide, one is 16 feet long and the other one pairs off a bit so it's a big L and the other one's 10 feet long.

Ann (12m 13s):

And then they're about three feet high as well. So the wood comes up to at least my hips and we have it filled with dirt probably now it's packed down over the years, but it's probably at least probably six inches below, six inches to a foot below the top of the woods. So we didn't want to bend over and we had a surplus of wood, so we didn't have to be, wouldn't have to spend a ton of money on wood or anything like that. And so that's how we did it. And it's been really nice. We got the soil from a local nursery around here that has organic soil, that they will bring it out in a bed, on a truck, you know, truck-bed for you.

Ann (12m 60s):

And so that's where we got it from. We thought about putting gravel underneath the dirt because I know some people do that we ultimately decided not to. And I recently heard on one of my favorite gardening shows that sometimes if you put gravel below, if the roots get deep enough, they can drown in the water that sits in the gravel. And so,

JackieMarie (13m 23s):


Ann (13m 23s):

So I think it's actually worked pretty well. They'd just to not have any gravel at the bottom, but the reason I think your advice was really great is because now that we've lived here, we've really gotten to know the property and what we want to make of it. Ultimately we're moving those really gigantic beds at the end of this season. So, and it'll be okay to do it because.

JackieMarie (13m 46s):

Where are you moving them? Like, why are you moving because you're where the sun or?

Ann (13m 51s):

Yeah. So the area where we put it, we right up next to the garage that we have, which is just a little garage, but it does cast a decent amount of shade in the evenings, which has been okay. We learned how to work with it. So I plant a lot of greens there instead of peppers that want a lot of sun and heat, you know, but we're moving it onto just a little bit forward onto the beginning part of our driveway. So we can turn that area into a real full patio, outdoor patio where we can enjoy the garden and just have a nice cooking space. So we're just moving it forward a little bit and where we're moving it to, it will have full sun all day, which I think will be really great.

Ann (14m 36s):

We might have to put up some shade areas for our different greens, but, we're thinking about...

JackieMarie (14m 44s):

Yeah, especially this summer.

Ann (14m 45s):

Yeah, especially this summer it's so far they're doing okay. But yeah, summers like this, we definitely need, can you use a little break in the heat? That's for sure.

JackieMarie (14m 57s):

Yeah. Listeners, if you don't know, In Montana, we have been like at a hundred degrees, at least at my house, which we're like right up against the Rocky Mountains so I would normally think we're cooler than you are in Helena. And we're like, I mean, my husband and I are just, our grass, we can not keep it green. Our grass is so brown and crunchy already. It's like what it should be at the end of August. And it is only the beginning of July. And last year we went, I think it was like July 20 something to October 15th without a day of rain. So if we go, we've already had like two and a half weeks of no rain. If we go all the way through October, I mean, it is just for one, it's like living in a matchbox cause we're in total woods here.

JackieMarie (15m 42s):

Whereas I know you guys are kind of like more surrounded by plains and the trees are a little more up in the mountains. Like literally, I mean, it is just, you drive into Eureka, like our house, we're out in the woods. We're six miles south of town, but I drive into Eureka. I just, I just feel like, it's just like living in a tinderbox. It's really scary. And then also like we are having gopher problems this year for the first time ever, because I think the woods are so dry and the gophers just have come into the garden. It could be that. And also like Mike had this one big slash pile where he cut down some extra trees this year and it's right next to the garden. And when I was Googling online, like what that's, one of the things is don't have any burn piles near your, like, we think that's one thing, but he did put some blood meal out that seems to be helping kind of as a deterrent.

JackieMarie (16m 34s):

We've been like trying to keep the cats down there more to hunt. They haven't actually got one, but I feel like there being a bigger deterrent, we're trying to get the dogs to go down there, but they just, you know, as soon as we come home, they come home, but cats kinda like stay down there a little more. But anyway, yeah. That's the other thing I keep telling this woman, I'm like, you know, you're going to want to have company, you know, Montana's a big, cause she's like totally new to Montana too. And I'm like, you know, you're going to like, where are you going to? And also she's like the opposite of my house at my house. Our house is on the top of the hill and the gardens at the bottom, at her place her house is at the bottom and the greenhouses at the top of the hill. And I'm like, you should put like a little kitchen garden, just like you're talking about like an L or like a U shape right outside your door.

JackieMarie (17m 21s):

So that you're picking your garden vegetables. You don't have to go all the way up to the greenhouse. I'm like the greenhouse is great for like, you know, like the peppers, the things that are super hot that need more sun, that take a really long time to grow, you know, that take the whole season to grow and need to start in the cool in March. But I don't like stuff like lettuce and radishes. And you're like, you know, a cherry tomato, like stuff that you're going to want, your herbs that you're going to want to like pick while you're cooking dinner or like, while your bar-b-queing it would be really nice to have like right outside your kitchen. I think as well, I've been recommending to her, but also, yeah, like you realize as you go, like one of the things we have a problem with is a tree that grew up and now it shades these beds that used to be totally full sun, but the bigger that you go.

JackieMarie (18m 10s):

So as you're learning, I think these are all important lessons. Anyway, Ann what's something you're excited to try next year that you haven't tried before, or maybe that you're doing this summer, that you haven't done?

Ann (18m 25s):

I really want to do potatoes next year. We have not ever gotten them done. And mostly because it's something you have to start earlier than when I'm prepared to. And so I really, really want to try potatoes next year. I think that would be a fun crop to have, and we love them. So

JackieMarie (18m 46s):

Yeah, potatoes are great. Mike grew a ton of potatoes last year. This year, he said he's had more blooms on his potatoes than he's ever seen before, but he did pick a handful the other day and they were like covered in like a scab that we haven't had in a long time. I think we're just struggling with water this year. And I think that's where a lot of times the scab comes from, but yeah, homegrown potatoes, especially like being the wellness and nutrition type of person, you know, cause aren't potatoes like up there on the dirty dozen, because they're down in the ground and like when people put pesticides, like it goes into the roots of the plant. And so I think that organic potatoes, like if you're going to grow something, they're a great thing to grow.

JackieMarie (19m 30s):

It did take my husband a while to get the learning curve down. But now that he's got it. So I think you'll really enjoy homegrown potatoes.

Ann (19m 40s):

Yeah. Yeah. I think so too. And you know, there's just something different about homegrown vegetables in general, like homegrown carrots are, I can't even describe how much sweeter and better they are than what you buy at the store. And last year we figured out how to be able to keep carrots. So we actually just used the last of our carrots from last summer last month. So I just,

JackieMarie (20m 3s):

Oh, how'd you do that? Tell us that.

Ann (20m 8s):

So you just, when you get 'em out of the garden, clean him up really well and trim the leaves off, but leave like half an inch to an inch of the green on there. And then you can just store them in the fridge. And so we were able to make it work where we'll be sort of in the fridge, but it takes up a lot of space. So that's something I definitely need to explore. Another new thing is better ways and more efficient ways of storing things throughout the year. I do not can. I mean, I have learned how to make some of my own jams and put them in the freezer, but I don't know, true canning methods and I'm not super interested in, you know, canned carrots. I want them fresh.

Ann (20m 49s):

So right now that's worked really well, but I don't want to get a second fridge. So I need to figure out some other ways to store our harvest through the winter.

JackieMarie (21m 0s):

Yeah, for sure. That is like a big struggle that we've had a lot. We want to root cellar really bad, but we did score a chest freezer for $200 bucks last year that has been well worth its weight in gold. Like I just can't, like even the other day, blueberries were on sale for $3.88 cents compared to $6.99. So I bought like six packs of them for $3.88, put them in the freezer because Mike cooks with blueberries all the time. Like he puts them in cookies and when we don't have huckleberries, it's nice to have frozen blueberries. So, but yeah, that chest freezer has been worth its weight in gold.

JackieMarie (21m 41s):

Like I've been storing, you know, like Swiss chard and beet greens. The other day, I spent two and a half hours, you know, cleaning the beet greens and steaming them and putting them in plastic bags. But I loved to put beet greens and like Swiss chard in things like vegetable lasagna in the winter when you have that kind of stuff. And like when he's been growing peas, cause we spend a fortune on frozen peas. So that's the one thing that gophers have been getting them peas, but still, I don't know. I feel bad because it is so dry that they just, I know that they're just so hungry this year, but also I'm like get out of my peas!

Ann (22m 23s):

I know,

JackieMarie (22m 24s):

I know it's a relationship.

Ann (22m 27s):

Yeah. I have some issues like that too.

JackieMarie (22m 29s):

But that is a good thing to know about the carrots. Like Mike always says that he does the same thing with beets and cuts them just that like, you know, half inch or an inch high so you still have those little stems on them.

Ann (22m 43s):


JackieMarie (22m 43s):

And then what was I going to say? I think Niki Jabbour talks a lot about storing or like she does like the cold, you know, she like helps you grow things under her new book is Growing Undercover. And like, you might be interested in like how to have your carrots in the ground, like in a cold frame through like, you can keep them waiting until like December and January so that you're still harvesting them, like covering them in straw or covering them in sand. I don't know. We haven't mastered that either. Although Mike is finally, like he found me this old door, glass door, window thing that he's going to build me a cold frame for this fall. So I'm pretty excited about that.

Ann (23m 24s):


JackieMarie (23m 25s):

Yeah. I really wanted an extra fridge. We're like kind of fighting over room in the fridge. He's like, I want to put this in there and I'm like, I want to put that, oh, excuse me, that in there. And just, it's kind of like our fridge is overflowing.

Ann (23m 40s):

Yes. Yeah.

JackieMarie (23m 40s):

So tell us about something that didn't work so well either this season or this year, something that didn't go maybe the way you thought it was gonna?

Ann (23m 50s):

Well, you know, honestly, like we, when we ran out of time, when it came time to plant the garden and we were going on a little vacation and you know, it's key to make sure it's in the ground before it's too late.

JackieMarie (24m 4s):


Ann (24m 4s):

And so we had to switch around our entire garden plan, which planning is probably the best thing that gets me, the thing that gets me through the winter up here. But so that was kind of interesting. And so everything's totally different than what we had initially planned. So, but seems like things are growing pretty well. We have issues with deer here. And so that's always how we plan things so we can try to protect it from the deer. Like I was going to plant the tomatoes in one place because they don't really like the tomato leaves and they form a large barrier from all the other plants that they tried to normally eat, but we couldn't do that.

Ann (24m 46s):

So now we've switched things around, the kale is in the really sunny garden instead of in the shade, but I planted it late and it seems to be doing pretty well. And so everything's a little bit different than what we thought it would be, but it's so far seems like things are working. I think the biggest thing we struggle with every year is that we can't protect our stuff enough from the deer. So we tend to

JackieMarie (25m 11s):

Do you not have a deer fence?

Ann (25m 13s):

We don't right now. So that's one of the projects for this summer is building a full deer fence. But we put up deer netting around our whole yard. So we do have protection for our vegetable gardens, which is really good. And then as the best we can for the flower beds, that's always kind of a difficult one. So that's where they usually get into. But so far this year, I was really smart and planted a cherry tomato where they can access the vegetable garden, the one place we can't really protect it. And I, they really, they haven't touched it yet. I think they really dislike them. So, so far it's working out, all right.

JackieMarie (25m 58s):

Wow. You have been lucky. Somebody I was talking to the other day was telling me that lavender is a really good deer deterrent. That's like one of the only thing she can grow, I was talkng to the librarian actually. And she was saying, I said, do you have a garden? She's like, no, we have really poor soil and this and that. And she's like, the one thing we're able to grow is lavender. And I was like, so jealous, cause I struggle with lavender, but now I'm starting to think maybe my struggle is that I'm putting it in too good of dirt. She said it likes like the lower quality dirt, the sandier and less water. So I am thinking of putting, and I do have one lavender coming back from last year, which isn't a place that I have neglected and hasn't been getting a lot, but I was, she said that the deer eat it.

JackieMarie (26m 44s):

And I was like, wow, we could put lavender outside of Mike's mini farm because I really want a pollinator border around it. And I was like, if the deer she's like, no, the deer totally hate it. So that, I don't know might work for you, but I'm amazed that you can grow anything in Montana, in a place without a deer fence that they haven't gotten into.

Ann (27m 7s):

Well, yeah.

JackieMarie (27m 8s):

That's even in town.

Ann (27m 10s):

Yeah. They're real problematic. Like you're saying. And, but I will, I agree with her. They do not touch our herbs. So that is one thing we do try. We have a lot of Lamb's ear, which they don't like at all and is a great pollinator, like are from June until we cut them off. Our Lamb's ear are just buzzing with bees. It's lovely. But intersperse throughout our pollinator garden are a bunch of different herbs. We have a Reagan Ono and lemon time and lemon balm and bee balm, Kemah meal and lavender and lavender. I, yeah, I would put it in a place with not super moist soil.

Ann (27m 54s):

Kind of Sandy soil can be good even. And the first year we plant it, we give it really good, consistent water. And then it seems after that, it's almost like salvia. We hardly ever have to water it. We put, and I've never had, lavender's do so well until recently. And we had one that I was able to split into four different plants and all of them are thriving. And I put three of them as a little border over by our driveway, which is hard, like Sandy soil, really tough soil. And it gets all day sunlight and they're thriving over there, which I was kind of surprised about, but the lavender has done really well for us here.

Ann (28m 33s):

So lots of sun and they, yeah, I did.

JackieMarie (28m 37s):

The interview was women's Susan Ballsinger at the beginning of the year. And she was talking about, she went over to Europe and she saw like all the herbs growing, unlike this side of a coastal wall. But she said like, it was amazing how they were coming, sticking out of the rocks and they liked this really tough, difficult territory to grow in. But also like I was thinking, what am I trying to do? Growing lavender here in Montana. I wanted to Mediterranean, you know, herbs, but I don't know. Like, and now I'm talking to people who are doing well with that. And so I'm going to have to just keep trying harder and just cause I was thinking, I was telling my mom, I'm like, well, what am I doing?

JackieMarie (29m 20s):

Trying to grow lavender here in Montana when it grows in the Mediterranean. Like, and so I put it in a pot this year so I can bring it in, but it's doing the worst ever in the pot. Cause I think it's in really good soil and it like so, so good to know these are great tips, men, you are just full of valuable. I call them golden seeds. So thank you. Dropping lots of golden seeds for the Sooners. So, and this is a part of the show we call getting to the Rooney rule to things which is kind of like the lightning round. So do you have an activity that's like you have to force yourself to do, that's like your least favorite activity to do in the garden

Ann (30m 4s):

Watering. I, my husband has done a brilliant job setting up a great watering system for all our pollinator beds that, you know, runs on drip and individual things. So we don't have to use a ton of water and it goes directly to the plants, but there's always the few things that we have to water they're new that year or changed. And I don't necessarily dislike it, but it is something that I have to like really get out there and get myself to do it versus the other garden things.

JackieMarie (30m 37s):

No, I totally agree. Like I love watering my garden, but at the same time, like for one thing, my husband waters in the morning, so I water in the evening and like towards the end of the evening, I'm getting kind of tired and I'm just like, oh my goodness, because we have all these smaller beds. And so I have to like water in this like small area and then move the hose in the show. My alarm goes off like every seven to 15 minutes, depending on what area I'm doing and like how much time I have. And it's only the middle of July. I'm like, how am I going to do this every night till August? Plus like I'm a Leo. And like the death of like Leo is having to do the same thing every single day.

JackieMarie (31m 19s):

And it's already July and I'm already sick of ordering. I'm not sick of it, but just, yeah, it does become what it's like. You have to do it. Sometimes it becomes a chore. Like I'd like to go down there and cool off and get under the water. But at the same time, I totally understand what you're saying. Anyway, on the flip side, what's your favorite activity to do in the garden?

Ann (31m 44s):

Well, harvesting, I think that's an easy one for almost everyone though, but I love being able to do that. I mean, just like you were talking about the kitchen garden, our gardens all close enough to the house that I'll be making dinner and realize I can throw some of the rugala on these tacos or grab some Bazell out of the garden and just, I love running out to do those things, but I also love the whole process of it. Like in, you know, when your do your garden keeps growing every year, like, well, you never know what's going to pop up the next spring and how things are going to look. And so I loved that whole process and seeing what's what's showing up and how we, what are we gonna do with it?

Ann (32m 28s):

And then, you know, watching it go to flower to harvest, we started collecting our own seeds last year. And

JackieMarie (32m 38s):

So how'd that go?

Ann (32m 38s):

It's we need a bigger property. I, to tell you that, like for all the activities, I don't know where to keep all the seeds because there's a ton of them. But we, we learned by accident one year I got a Lamb's ear. I found it on sale at Lowe's because it was dying for a dollar and I brought it home thinking we could save it. And we did, but I didn't know anything about self seeding or self pollinating plants. And that year over, I led it over winter because the bees just love the flowers and the seeds spread like crazy to. So we had probably thousands of little baby lambs year coming up the next spring, which is how we ended up having a land near a border, which is again, like we love it.

Ann (33m 25s):

We've learned now be it's so good for the bees. And we now know like when to cut the flowers off and to stop from things spreading too much, but we just didn't feel like throwing all of that away. And I don't know what we're going to do with all the seeds, but we are saving them. So it's been pretty fun. I mean our common meal, I last year started because a friend gave me a few flowers out of her garden and I took the pollen and just spread it on the ground. And so now I'm saving all that so we can put it Kimmy meals somewhere else, you know, it's interesting, but it makes a very, can be a very expensive hobby, become more and more affordable.

Ann (34m 6s):

If you can figure out how to plan it and save your, your seeds from your annual flowers. So you're not buying new flowers every year. I haven't figured it out with all the vegetables yet, but you know, figuring it out.

JackieMarie (34m 21s):

Oh my gosh, so many golden seeds there. And just like a lot of the same stroke, like it's making me feel better. Cause I'm, and I'm sure listeners are the same way. Like having a lot of the same shows. Like I have this place where I like planted my rule and planted my lettuce that went to seed and I'm like, I'm waiting for them to go to see this. And I'm trying to figure out when do I pick the rugal that I can like pull it out and put something else in this bed. But I also want to save those seeds. So I don't want to pull them out too soon, but, and yeah. And then how much money did I spend on seeds this year? I always go a little overboard and then I love that part about like how you went to low.

JackieMarie (35m 1s):

Like I got to say Lowe's does have the best deals on like their stuff after it's unlike I was just telling my husband today that I'm, I've been trying to get myself to go to Kalispell, to go buy some stuff, some pots to put some herbs that I bought in that I finally have decided, you know what, I'm just going to put them in pots of muck and put them in the ground. And I want to go get some like, really pretty decorative ones. And I was like, ah, didn't make it to the Flathead again today. Didn't make it yesterday. But I was like, you know what? The day I go is going to be the perfect day. Cause Lowe's is going to be having a big, you know, closeout sale and I'm going to get the pot that I want on sale because I ended waiting.

JackieMarie (35m 41s):

So, but they do always have, I do always undercoat you back from either there or home Depot, but I think I like roses. They just have better discounts at the end of like they had, they like even the last time I was there, which was almost a month ago now they already had a shelf of distressed plans on sale, really cheap that it is hard to walk by and not take them home. Do I have some growing in my yard this year that like I did not think were going to survive and they're growing nicely, but I think maybe, you know, you should like share those seeds with some of your neighbors or like maybe start a little side business selling seeds or something like some kind of cute little seed packet.

JackieMarie (36m 27s):

And like, since you seem to have like a natural challenge for saving seeds, cause it's not the easiest to save some seeds. I find,

Ann (36m 35s):

Yeah, that's what we're learning too. Like we saved seeds from all of our different flowers that we could. And then I tried to get a bunch started this year and like I was not successful at all with starting Sage seeds. So this year I took some clippings and I'm doing propagation that way instead. But like our cosmos seeds have been fantastic. So we have cosmos growing. So it does seem to really vary on what's there. And one of the things I just read about, I think this last weekend is a bunch of seeds that you should plant or drop in the fall. So that's part of my plans this year is I'm putting along one of the fences that we have Holly Hawks, and now I'm going to add delphinium and it turns out you should really put in the seeds for both of those in the fall.

Ann (37m 26s):

So just at the end of the year, really, and it goes sprinkle some, a bunch of delphinium and Hollyhock seeds and see how it works. But yeah, so it's kind of interesting. So I have been giving some of our different seeds away to friends. My husband's a realtor here in town and he's been able to give some to some of his clients when they've moved in, so they can figure out and play around with their landscaping, which is really fun. And I had been playing around with starting a business because we also even locally, like when things self seed on their own, we now probably have probably 10 Russian Sage plants that have just started this year.

Ann (38m 9s):

And we do not have enough room for 10 Russian Sage plants. So we let them grow for one year and next year they're going to be big enough to transplant. And so I was playing around with the idea of maybe selling some little plants around here too, which should be kind of fun.

JackieMarie (38m 25s):

And the thing that I like here that you're doing that I think is really cool that I kind of like learned over the last couple of years, the more gardening I've been taking over is like working with what's growing really well in your garden already. Like so many years I have like pulled out my oregano and been like, I'm moving this and it's taken me a long time to get used to like, well, we're gonna just go really good. So why am I constantly trying to take it out and put something else in here that doesn't grow as well? And like, I've been expanding like our Iris beds. Like I went through all this trouble to make this new bed for some flowers last summer and this summer again. And like, I'm like, you know what?

JackieMarie (39m 6s):

The irises are doing really good, right in front of those sunflowers and stuff like trying to move some flowers into there. I think I'm just going to like try to expand the irises because again, I have these Irish beds that are crowded out and irises grow really grow on our property for some reason. And I think that one sharing with your neighbors and people like your husband's like selling land Jude stuff that grows locally, instead of stuff that you know, that people think, oh, I want this to grow there, but doesn't grow so well. So like your camera meals and your Delphine and your, what were you saying? The Russian Sage plants that are going to do really well naturally in Helena, because apparently if they're expanding, I think that's a great thing.

JackieMarie (39m 53s):

I love that tip about the hell. Are you listening to Lisa Ziegler's new pack? What podcasts are you listening to? That was talking about that. I'm so curious. Oh

Ann (40m 1s):

No, that was an article on Pinterest actually. That's where I do all my research.

JackieMarie (40m 6s):

Oh, good to know. Cause I, I was just like Lisa Ziegler just sent me a, an email this morning about some episode that I wanted to listen to. And she, she wrote this book called cool annuals, I think. And she talks a lot about planting a lot of that stuff in the fall. So I was just curious if that was it. And then the other one I love to listen to is Nicole Burke's garden airy, where she talks about growing a garden consulting business that you might be interested in. Cause that's kind of like we're cause it's so weird, like working for this woman, doing, helping her with her lands and like what you were saying, like I've never been so confident about anything than I am about what this woman should do.

JackieMarie (40m 50s):

I'm like, no, you do not know. I'm like, trust me on this. Like this is one thing I, I feel probably, you know, we've been here for 20 something years and we've made a lot of mistakes and I feel like, I don't know why. I just, I just like have never been so confident in what I've been telling her is like other things in my life anyway. And what's the best gardening advice you've ever received.

Ann (41m 16s):

You know, exactly what we were just talking about that you can always change things as you go. And so I guess moving the garden boxes and shifting around the different plants to make that for a better placement in the sun and things like that, like it, that's the beautiful thing about a garden, like mistakes happen, but they're not detrimental. We can move things. We can change things you might put in the flower bed and find out it's like the worst place for a flower bed and have to undo it, but it doesn't really do any harm does it. So I think it's just a really beautiful place to be able to play around and just know that it is always going to change. We can't control it.

Ann (41m 57s):

So being really comfortable with that, with that change in our own flexibility as well.

JackieMarie (42m 5s):

Yep. I had a listener this year. He said, there's no failures. There's just only lessons. And I think that's so true. And so key and such a great thing about gardening. Cause it's, it's true. I mean, sometimes it's like, I put all this work into this and I wandered and I spend all these hours, but yeah, you're always learning and there's always something good. That's going to come from it. And also, yeah, that not being so stuck to stuff like I've been trying to talk Mike into like doing something a little different to this one place. I'm like, you know, there's no, this is like full sun. Like this isn't where we should be sitting. We should put the sitting spot in the shade and use this full sun spot for growing.

JackieMarie (42m 51s):

But I don't know anyway, but yeah, not being so stuck with like, this is gotta be here because this is where I planted it and being moving things flexibility for sure. Yeah. Do you have a fever tool if you had to move and killing, take one tool with you, what can you not live without?

Ann (43m 8s):

I thought this was a great question. And honestly, this might be silly, but my gardening gloves and I just get cheap gardening gloves every year, but I do not like spiders and spiderwebs and most bugs. And so my gardening gloves, they just get me, get me through everything. And when I know when I can see what I'm playing around and I love to get my hands in the dirt, but you know, sometimes you just gotta get in there. And for me not knowing what else is in there, the gloves make it all work.

JackieMarie (43m 40s):

Well, the interesting thing about that is like, I've always been a garden gloves girl. I'm like the kind of person that buys like six pairs at the dollar store because I was like a new pair, but also like I've done more gardening this year than ever before in my whole life. Partly because I was working remotely this spring. And so I have more time and trying to help more plus we've had to kind of really tighten our belts with I've had a lot less work than usual. So I've been down there more and like, I don't understand people don't because my hands are show raw and show from like the days that either I didn't have a pair or like I'm just down there walking around and I'm like, oh, grab this weed or whatever.

JackieMarie (44m 21s):

Like I've never used so much moisturizer. My hands are just like, I don't know how people garden without gloves. Cause there's a lot of people that I talk to. They're like, no, I don't like gloves. I agree. I like, I think gloves are essential too. That's a great one. And I do like to have, I did just wash a whole bunch of pairs, but I do like to have a new pair like once a month.

Ann (44m 44s):

Yeah. And like you, I mean, this year I went to, I was at Goodwill in the spring and they had a bunch there from, you know, how they get things passed from other stores inside. I bought several pair for a couple bucks, but it's great. And it also makes it, so if my gloves get wet in the morning, I don't have to put on my gloves later in the day and put on my other pair. Yeah. Yeah. So I, I think they're essential. Yeah.

JackieMarie (45m 10s):

How about a favorite recipe you like to cook or eat from the garden? Oh, this is going to be good for me. I can tell your cooker at heart.

Ann (45m 18s):

I know. Well, I'm learning more and more, but I think why just love, absolutely love grabbing fresh herbs and greens to throw onto something, just to make it a meal healthier or throw it in eggs for breakfast. But I've been playing around a lot this year with making different jams and butters because our, like our strawberries went, started getting ripe all at the same time. We couldn't eat them all. So I made a strawberry sauce. And so that's actually been really fun because I don't like to do a lot of super sugary stuff, but when I make it myself and can control that and what kind of sugar goes in there, it's been pretty fun. So we always have plum jelly, plum jam or pear butter and apple butter.

Ann (46m 3s):

So yeah, that's kind of what I've been doing so far. Mostly what I, our garden generally is a salsa garden. So that's in a couple of weeks here. Hopefully I'll be making salsa and that's we just eat it like crazy for, for a couple months while we can,

JackieMarie (46m 24s):

I don't want to hear about your strawberry sauce recipe.

Ann (46m 29s):

Yeah. It was super simple again on Pinterest, but it was about a cup of strawberries, which I just estimated it was what we had from the harvest that day, you know? And then I think half a cup of water, a tablespoon, no three tablespoons of lemon juice. And then I did sugar to taste. It was really good. And we, you know, we put it over pancakes. It's real. Like you said, it's really hot. So we put it over some ice cream this week, but it's been a fun little treat. And, and I just really great way to get those things used up when, especially like what plums or our strawberries, like the harvest comes in all at once and you can't eat them all at once.

Ann (47m 13s):

So at least we can't. So,

JackieMarie (47m 15s):

All right, I've got two quick tips for you. One, you should try maple syrup and the strawberry thing, my mom puts me close to Europe and that might be like something that really like, and then the other is I found this plum salsa recipe. I don't know if it was last summer, the summer before, but I'll share it with you. I think I have a blog post about it. That is just to die for if you like salsa and you have a lot of plums, this plum salsa is just, oh, it was so good. Yeah. I'm so excited. I grew these Johnny nor Delo peppers this year that are like a really long, they look like a hot pepper.

JackieMarie (47m 58s):

They're really long skinny pepper, but they're not hot at all. They're like super sweet. They are the best. And they are turning like, like Everly men eating them though. Like they're already red and it is only July and just, oh, they are so good. Wow.

Ann (48m 16s):

Yeah, we don't have are to me, those in peppers. I mean, all of our stuff seems to be a little bit slow this year. It looks really great. I'm glad things aren't shooting because of the heat. But my, our plants that we have this year were started the same time as my mom. Cause she just started a bunch of seats for both of our households and hers are much larger than ours already. So ours is going a little slow, but things look really good. And you know, it's always risky when it's slow because we want to harvest before, before the first snow comes. But I'm really excited about it. Cause we have Serrano's jalapenos, Anaheims, all the spicy peppers.

Ann (48m 57s):

I'm excited.

JackieMarie (48m 58s):

I don't have any spicy peppers growing at all. I ordered these because they said they were good for making paprika. I don't even know why. Like it's just such a strange thing. I usually am not the biggest growing peppers person. We always grow some, but last year I got totally hooked on making my own small size and like I have more tomatoes plants growing than ever before and knock on wood. They're going to ripen because last year, even though we got our first frost, September 8th, like I was still harvesting ripe tomatoes on the ripe tomatoes on the vine, in the middle of October. And so I was able to make a bunch of tomato sauce and a bunch of tomato salsa to put in that freezer that we bought, which was great.

JackieMarie (49m 43s):

Which one thing I did learn, my husband was going to can the tomatoes for me. And I got the tomato sauce all made and he's like, all right, well where's the canning recipe. And I'm like, I don't know. I was like, I just made my regular tomato sauce. And I found out that you can't can tomatoes that have the skin on them. Oh, excuse me. You have to take the skin off because it puts them bacteria in there that will make your tomatoes go bad. So we ended up having to freeze the tomato sauce anyway, which worked out fine, but just a little canning tip if you didn't know which I didn't know. But this year, so I don't know. The one thing that I was looking at last night, my Roma tomatoes there's hardly any tomatoes on my row.

JackieMarie (50m 26s):

I have these huge Roma tomato plans, but my other tomatoes like these Oregon Springs, which might didn't make me go out of my way to find Oregon spring tomato seeds. Cause he said they're quicker to harvest. They're they're big. They're like ready to almost turn ripe. And my cherry tomatoes are looking pretty good, but my Romas, there's just a couple of, there's just a few tomatoes, there's flowers, but they haven't got anywhere near where the other ones, the Oregon spring ones are like some are full size. Like they can almost fit in the Palm of my hand. And the cherry tomatoes are looking pretty good. But yeah, in Montana, I mean we've had years where we've had a killer frost, August 8th.

JackieMarie (51m 9s):

So you just never know. And I've never, we haven't grown tomato last year was first year. I really got hooked on tomatoes because other years like you get that frost and then they turn green and you, and you have to bring them in the house green. Like I was just so surprised last year that they didn't get mushy out on the vine. Like they just kept turning red. The leaves all died and the plants were dead, but the tomatoes still were turning red. So yeah. Good luck with that. Hopefully you'll have, but yeah, my, my regular bell peppers are not red and ripe yet, but these Johnny nor Delo long thin ones, they're like the sweetest pepper you ever tasted and they're turning red and right now, I don't know.

JackieMarie (51m 56s):

Anyway, how about a favorite internet resource? I wonder if you're going to say Pinterest, like, is there, where do you find yourself surfing on the web? Is that it?

Ann (52m 5s):

Yeah, honestly. Pinterest I, and I recently like in the last few months discovered the different Facebook gardening groups, which can be a bit addictive as well. But I mean, I just go into the rabbit hole on Pinterest, cause I'll get a plant or be propagating something out of my yard, like Sage and want to know. So I'll look at companion plans for Sage so I can try to find a good place to put it. That's going to benefit everything. And then, you know, you'll see that. And then there's something about another plant that you already have and keep researching. But I have just found a ton of information on there and it's, you know, a lot of backyard gardeners like podcasts and bloggers that have just started sharing their advice on what they're, what they're doing.

Ann (52m 50s):


JackieMarie (52m 50s):

I have not. I go to Pinterest for teaching ideas, but I have not locked into the Pinterest for gardening. So I'll check that out again. Cool. How about, and that's interesting. Cause a lot of people ask me about companion planning. So a so look up companion planning on Pinterest more and see how that goes.

Ann (53m 11s):

Yeah. I mean I try to camp, I try to companion plant our whole garden when I plan it all out each year. So I think it makes a difference. I guess I don't have much to compare it to since I've been working on it for awhile. But

JackieMarie (53m 26s):

Tell us about like, what are some of your favorite companions? Cause people ask me that question all the time. Even Mike he's like, I want like a little like, what's it called? Like an acronym to remember like for companion plants, like what goes well with what you see? He's like, there should be like something easy and like some friend of mine gave me a paper cheat sheet I should try to find for him. Okay.

Ann (53m 50s):

Yeah. That's interesting. That cheat sheet would be cool. I mean, so look on Pinterest, cause there's a ton of graphics on there and like charts that will show you different companion planting options, but you know, lots of most herbs dill and what does it, Dillon fennel don't work well with several different things. But other than that, almost all herbs are complimentary and companion plants to most of your vegetables because they, many of them attract pollinators or their sense deter some of the negative bugs and pests that some of the plants get as well as some of the things I really love doing. And I'm doing more and more of this is putting in flowers like Mira, golds, nester, she Calen doula.

Ann (54m 37s):

I added this year, those different type of flowers, also herbs that you can put in with your garden and they do the same thing, attract pollinators and scare away pests. Even the deer don't like marigolds. So that's not a super strong deterrent, but it seems to make a little bit of a difference if I surround something with miracles and then I'll look at things like tomatoes and peppers grow well together. And you want to check, I check on things like this year, I'm doing broccoli for the first time, which is probably the brassica family. And I know they can attract some different bugs that are not great. So I had to figure out like my kale needed to be far away from my broccoli, just because they're both in Nebraska family.

Ann (55m 20s):

And then what kind of thing I put a bunch of kale or Bazell in between them. And I've put in some seeds for the associates to kind of make sure there's some, a good difference there. And like I put, we put a thing of Lamb's ear in the vegetable garden plot because of its pollinator abilities and how, and so it's just kind of sits there on the end of it, but it there's again like 50 bees at a time in the garden because of that one plant there. So we've done a lot of that and I just try to plant our garden accordingly because, because we have limited space being in town and on the land that we're on. And so I really want things to grow the best they can.

Ann (56m 3s):

So like our, we have one of our garden beds is one giant strawberry patch. And within that strawberry patch, it's loaded with onions chives. And then I found three spots to put in a cucumber this year because cucumbers do really well with strawberries and onions. So I just know that there's lots of different reasons that companion plants are companions. Sometimes it's attracting good bugs or deterring the bad ones. Sometimes it's like onions and carrots grow well together. Cause carrots grow, you know, deep down top roots and the onion stay kind of up on the surface. So they do really well together. So just knowing those different things. So you can make more of the space that you have, but also help your plants really flourish because they're working with things that you you're working for, them getting the things done for him,

JackieMarie (56m 56s):

Golden seeds and golden seeds. These are like awesome. Like just some things that I've really been wondering about cucumbers and strawberries. And that's probably like a good thing because strawberries generally like are done at the end of June this year. It's been kind of late and then your cucumbers come on and cucumbers, you can't even usually put in until probably the strawberries are practically done. So that's a good one to know, you know what I'm curious. I'm like wondering my onions I put in on the, I think I put them in on the wrong side of my tomatoes and they're getting too much shade and that's why they're not doing as well. And maybe they would do better in a different spot and onion and chives with those.

JackieMarie (57m 37s):

That's good to know too, because I, I have chives that I need to move. Like my chives are growing like into my walkway and I need to get them out of my walkway. And just like, I feel like he can never have enough chives, even though I hardly ever eat them, but just the flowers are so pretty and the pollinators love them. And they're like one of the first ones that come up that bloom around here.

Ann (58m 1s):

Yeah, exactly. That's part of the reason I love him and you know, and they self pollinate as well. So you can, we probably, we have like five or six chive plants in our strawberry bed, but we moved one out into the flower beds and I found a recipe on Pinterest for making chive oil out of the vinegar with the flowers. And it was fantastic. So when you have around a flowers, you should think about making some infused oils or vinegars with those. That was really good. Okay.

JackieMarie (58m 31s):

Ooh, that's good to know. I was going to give you just a warning, like the Cullen doula be prepared to have a lot of colon jaw they go to see, which is awesome because they, they, they are a great companion plant and they do bring in the pollinators, but just be ready. Like once you get that, growing. At least that's been my experience. Like we have calendula comes up, which I love because it's like something I don't have to take care of. And it comes up every year. Like I have this one bed, that's all cool. Angela and Dell and, and they, it just comes back year after year, kind of like in a little bit of a different spot, like, you know, the seeds kind of blow. And, but yeah, but yeah, Columbia and Dell are some of my favorites that come up and they're really good for bringing in the beneficials.

JackieMarie (59m 19s):

Like you said, this year, my goal was to plant as many mirror gold snapdragons and zinnias, as I possibly could for that same reason. And I did hit my goal. I grew more than I ever did before. I feel like I'm so impatient. I'm like, what are they ever going to bloom? When are they going to bloom? Because they're just starting to bloom this week. Like I only have like five snapdragons blooming out of like 30 something plants that I grew. And I'm like, when are they ever going to believe?

Ann (59m 48s):

I know, I don't know. Yeah. This, I think this is the first year we've done all of our annual flowers by seed. And it's tough. I mean, because, you know, normally you just go to the, you know, Lowe's or Costco and pick up the, whatever they have that came from somewhere down south or some greenhouse that started blooming waving for, without actually happened up here and now doing it all through seed and, and like you with the Colin JeWella you have our cosmos do the same thing. They just fall nearby and grow up on their own. But last year when I bought the cosmos from the store, they were in full bloom right now. They're just beautiful leaves still, so

JackieMarie (1h 0m 28s):

Well. And also like last year I planted my zinnias outside June 21st and they bloomed like, it must've been like September 1st. Cause I remember like they bloomed in like dive, right? Like the freeze came and they just showed this year. Like my goal was to get them planted ahead of time. And I guess I'm probably just being impatient because I guess they didn't bloom until like the first weekend, September last year. So it's ahead of time. I've had a couple, like I picked my very first bouquet of zinnias the other day and I had my first nasturtiums bloom last night I saw in the garden and I don't know, but I think like you said, if you grow them from seed is just like you've been watering them and caring for them and it just seems longer.

JackieMarie (1h 1m 11s):

Yeah. Anyway, how about a favorite book or reading material?

Ann (1h 1m 17s):

Yeah, I think I, there are a couple books that I really love ones. I think it's just called the Rocky mountain gardener by John credi, I believe is his last name and it's yeah, it's a really great book. And it's based in the Rocky mountains, what we can do here, what plants. So it's a ton of different plants that work well, which when we got started, we just kind of picked plants out of that book that we wanted to add to the yard because we thought they would work and then good info on just lawns up here. Like what kind of lawns work well? So it's a really great book and it was a great beginner for me. And then another book that I love, it's the 20 minute Gardner and it's a book, but it's put together by sunset magazine.

Ann (1h 2m 7s):

So it's all Pacific Northwest and Rocky mountain. Well, I guess it's all Western gardening cause there's the Southwest in there as well, but really great little gardening projects, great ideas on how to have a flower bed. That's not super high maintenance and things like that. So those are probably my two favorite books. And the two I go to any time I'm thinking about buying a new plant, I'll look it up in there before, before making any decisions. So I love those

JackieMarie (1h 2m 34s):

Awesome. Have to check out that 20 minute Gardner, I just got this blog post from earning mail from Denny Cray, who was like my guests, number one and guests number, I think 171. I don't know. He's definitely a top loaded listener and guest. He he's a runner down in Florida, but he sent this email about what can you do in 15 minutes? And this morning it totally worked for me. Like I went down to the garden and just in 15 minutes I was amazed at how many little projects I do think I ended up being down there for 30 minutes instead of 15. But like I was telling you at the beginning of the call, I usually only go down to the garden in the evening. And just like, it was amazing how much I was able to get done in that little bit of time this morning.

JackieMarie (1h 3m 18s):

And so that's awesome. The 20 minute gardener plus like I like a little like art project, garden project. Like I feel like I need to do more of that in my garden. Like focus on the fun things anyway. And you're probably like she ever gonna let me off the phone. So here's my final question. If there's one change you would like to see to create a greener world, what would it be for example, is there a charity organization, your passionate about or project you'd like to see put into action? Like what do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either locally, nationally or on a global scale?

Ann (1h 3m 54s):

Oh man. I mean, I think so many things and I don't know, I didn't have a specific nonprofit that I was thinking about for this and I need to look more into a nonprofits are working on this, but it doesn't have to be. Yeah, I'm really passionate about food sovereignty and knowing where our food comes from. I think there's a real lack of that. And I really believe there food sovereignty brings empowerment, even though I, we do not garden enough to be able to feed ourselves. Year-round, it's also really great to be able to go to my garden and get some things rather than having to go to a grocery store to make a complete meal and to be able to have food some food year round that we're able to keep.

Ann (1h 4m 38s):

So I think that's really crucial and we see lots of problems with that in different places like inner cities, where there's food deserts, our reservations in Montana and across the country. You know, I was recently in Puerto Rico and they talked about, and we were talking with some friends there that are local. And they talked about after hurricane Maria, they were eating out of canned foods for weeks because they don't produce their own foods for their communities there anymore. They produce primarily plantings that get shipped out in their, most of their food gets shipped in. So then have fresh food for weeks after hurricane Maria. And so I think there's some real, some things I would really love work on there and support and help even like I wanted to do this.

Ann (1h 5m 22s):

And I like to talk about this and can talk all day about it because I think it really matters. And if people can learn little things of what they can grow, that can give them a lot more confidence to keep doing more and have a better idea of where their food comes. But I think the other thing that I really love that I want to get the message out about like everyone should have a garden and flower beds is water shortage issues we have like in Helena because it's, I don't know if you guys are on water restrictions up there yet, but we are and have been since the beginning of July and that's pretty early for us. We can only water every other day. So, and it's very hot. It's taking a lot of work for our garden, but like you said, we can't keep our grass alive at this point.

Ann (1h 6m 6s):

And I mean, with conservation in mind, I don't feel like it would be that ethical to try to keep our grass alive right now. But most of our plants, a ton of them are drought resistant plants hardly need any water at all and just grow. Lots of them grow in Montana on their own anyways. And so we can do use tiny bits of water and still be producing pollinating plants, still be producing oxygen for the environment, cooling down the earth by having green stuff on the earth. Cause that's important. I'm not saying get rid of lawns, but if we all have more flowerbeds that take a lot less maintenance and work and a little bit less lawn that can make, I really believe a pretty huge difference with our water shortages that we have all the time.

Ann (1h 6m 48s):

But especially like in Montana and drought season, it's it can be really tough up here.

JackieMarie (1h 6m 56s):

No, and I'm so glad you reached out to me to do this interview. It's so true. So many things that you said two resources you might be interested in is one I'm reading this book called kiss the ground right now I interviewed this guy who there's like a movie about it, but the book goes into so much more in depth about like how kind of like the history of it and like how it, you know, just like this central part of water. And so the thing the book is supposed to be about how keeping your soil covered, you know, within the 24 hours, like it seems like I keep hearing people talk about and like the no till movement and how important it is to how we can solve a lot of climate change by changing our soil practices.

JackieMarie (1h 7m 45s):

A lot of the book is about, you know, the big agriculture versus small local farms and local agriculture and organic agriculture. She might be interested. The book is, I am loving the book, I guess there's a movie too. I haven't seen the movie. And then the other one is a local organization called Eero. I don't know if you've heard of them. It's a, a E R O alternative energy resource organization, but they do have a lot of focus on sustainable ag and they're here in Montana, but, but I just love your passion and everything that you said.

JackieMarie (1h 8m 25s):

And so sad to hear about Puerto Rico like that isn't that crazy because you would think Puerto Rico would be a, a, you know, a very gardening and like actually the person who is the interim executive director for arrow right now, my friend Robin Kelson, who does live down in Whitefish, but she was born in Puerto Rico and she runs the good seed company here in Montana. So just some interesting connections there, but, and one of the Aero people are located, I think, near you. Well, they're, I think they're based like kind of like some of the mean people are like based out of Conrad, they run this business called timeless seeds, which sells like lentils and things.

JackieMarie (1h 9m 9s):

But I love what you said about the native pollinators and like, I mean the native grasses and the native plants that don't need water because like, yeah, California is burning up too, and they have the same problem, like, you know, and there are water restrictions, you know, a lot of the time and they're having an, an, a lot of it could be saved if we just were more resourceful about how we're doing things like putting in those native plants. So we don't have as big of yards. And like, I have a love, hate relationship with the yard thing. Like my friend, petty harvester, she just, I know she came to our house and she like went home and couldn't sleep for like the whole month, last year, like tossing and turning over how much lawn Mike and I have.

JackieMarie (1h 9m 51s):

But on the flip side, we are in the forest. And I do feel like in a lot of ways, our lawn, even though it is brown and crunchy right now, and like, can't, we, we don't waste any water really on the lawn, especially right now. We kind of, we're trying to keep it greener in the spring. But in, in, in reality, in a lot of ways, compared to like me trying to water the garden beds and keep the plants growing, the one actually does a pretty good job in it's even in this brown sense of, of, of, I don't know how to explain it, but like, you know, we can walk on it and it doesn't take water, but yet it is also, you know, producing photosynthesis.

JackieMarie (1h 10m 40s):

I don't know how much photosynthesis is going on while it's brown, but yeah, definitely need a plants will be better. Things that bring in pollinators will be better than a lot of people like have used lawns. I walk around your, and I'm like, why don't these people have, you know, flowers growing on the edge of their, you know, their lawn and just bringing in those pollinators. I don't know. I need to be quiet now. And you're probably like, how long is this interview going to go?

Ann (1h 11m 6s):

I have to tell you I was on a walk just the other day in the mansion district in Helena. And you know, these are old mansions built in the late 18 hundreds they're and several of them have beautiful gardens, which is why I was up there. But several of them had just gigantic green lawns and I was disappointed. And I was like, you know, when these people built these mansions, they also built beautiful gardens. They didn't just have a lawn with this gigantic mansion back in the 18 hundreds.

JackieMarie (1h 11m 35s):

And if their lawn is green right now in Montana, they are wasting our precious resource keeping that lawn green. Right. You know, like I said, our lawn is brown and crunchy, but you know, it is it's, firebreak at our house. I mean, that's why we have such a big lawn and like, my guilty pleasure is mowing the lawn, but I haven't had to mow the lawn since like the end of may. I mean, there's just like, we have it. There's no, there's no growth going on out there. So that's why I was like, maybe there isn't photosynthesis going on because it is not, there's not, yeah. We just, we don't have any water, but we just live with a brown lawn, like, you know, and, and that's just the way it is.

JackieMarie (1h 12m 15s):

You just can't. And, and like, I struggle with like, I want to put in more beds, but also then I'm like, that'd just be one more place. I would have to water. And I'm having a hard enough time keeping the beds. I do have watered. And so in some ways I feel like that one is a good, and it's definitely native one. I mean, like, all we did was like, you know, cause where we've cut down trees and expanded our garden, that used to be forest. Like we just mowed it. We haven't really planted grass. It's just the need of grass. When you mow, it just spreads and turns to wan. It's just kind of weird the way it happens anyway. And thank you so much for sharing with us today.

JackieMarie (1h 12m 57s):

And just if listeners, do you want to talk about your business a little bit and like what, like, cause I know you mentioned it in the beginning, like, like what kind of like clients do you help? Like and do you have a website?

Ann (1h 13m 12s):

Yeah. So people can find me on Facebook or Instagram. My Facebook's just by name Ann Truesdell and on Instagram it's spelled it. Yeah. Good point a N N and then Truesdale is T R U E S D E L L. And then on Instagram, it's an Truesdell dot LCSW and I do have a website and my name is so long. So my last name, but it's Arbonne a R B O N N E dot Ann or no, I'm so sorry. I said that wrong. It's an Truesdell dot Arbonne.

Ann (1h 13m 52s):

A R B O N N Yeah. And I've been part of this company for five and a half years now. I started because I heard that they were chemical free and what really happened was I saw my mom be able to use the products and not get sick. And that was the piece that got me interested in doing it. And it's a multilevel marketing company, which has been just one of the greatest things that I could do for myself as a social worker to have something that's team-oriented and working with a group of people. But it's been really phenomenal for me. I was not sure exactly how to like live a chemical free lifestyle and also do all the things that I wanted to do.

Ann (1h 14m 37s):

You know, in Montana, we don't have a ton of places to go shopping locally that would have that kind of, those kinds of products. And so I wanted to have healthy skincare. I grew up on a healthy skincare because of what my mom was allowed to use. And, and I also saw it as an opportunity to make some money and have an income aside from my work as a full-time therapist at a girls group home as a social worker. So that's where it all really started. And so what I do is I help people. We have different nutrition products, and that's one of my favorite things because of how having a more plant-based nutrition has made my overall health much better.

Ann (1h 15m 18s):

I am definitely a meat eater, but I'm either a lot more plant-based than I ever have before. And so I really love to support people in transitioning their lifestyle a little bit there. But I also, like I said, we, I am able to help people with skincare, haircare body care makeup, because we're exposed to too many chemicals in our world and in our environment all the time and walking outside just the road, the cars on the road that exposes us to chemicals right now, it's so smoky in Montana that you can't not breathe that in and suck it in through your skin as well. Just by being outside, after all our skin is a filter, that's what it's doing for us all the time.

Ann (1h 15m 60s):

And so I just wasn't knew that this was a way I could eliminate chemicals in my life and also support people because I know firsthand the damage that chemicals can do to us because of my mom's experience. And so I just help people figure out what things they can get or how they want to replace their current skincare or their current body care was something that's healthier implant-based and doesn't have gluten or chemicals in it, so on and so forth. So it's been super fun. And I also, because it's a multi-level marketing business, I get to help people also build their own businesses if they want to with me, which I played team sports in high school. So being able to do group things in team things is just always brings joy to me and gardening too.

Ann (1h 16m 43s):

Right. It's always a team sport. I could not do this by myself. So yeah, that's a little bit worried about my business and what I do.

JackieMarie (1h 16m 52s):

Cool. Well, thanks for sharing with us. And again, I'm going to repeat the website, so, and Truesdell dot are So a N N T R U E S D E L L dot a R B O N N But then isn't there also just an Ann too.

Ann (1h 17m 14s):

I do have an intruder and that's just a website to book an appointment with a consultation appointment with me to see if my services match up with what you're looking for in your life.

JackieMarie (1h 17m 26s):

Oh, cool. Okay. And then at Ann Trusdale dot LCSW on Instagram or Facebook. So we'll thank you so much for sharing with us today and I'll let you know when this errors and hopefully we can connect in person some day. It's always fun to meet other Montana people.

Ann (1h 17m 45s):

Yeah, I hope so. It was so great to talk with you today, Jackie.

JackieMarie (1h 17m 49s):

All right. Thanks. You have a great day. You too. Get your copy of the organic Oasis guide book available today from Amazon for just 26 95, and it's got 12 lessons designed to help you create your own organic Oasis. It starts with healthy soil. It talks about building an earth handling landscape. It helps you understand the difference between annuals and perennials and how to bring in beneficial insects. It talks about fruit trees and just all the lessons that I've learned on my podcast mixed with what Mike and I have done here. Okay. What Mike has done here at Mike screen garden and just, I hope that it will help you on your garden journey to create, like I said, your own organic Oasis, where you can have healthy food and enjoy, you know, a very special place.

JackieMarie (1h 18m 47s):

And most of all, it's good for mother earth. Do you know someone who would benefit from the organic gardener podcast? If you like, what you hear? We'd love it. If you chaired the organic garden podcast with a friend, thanks again for listening and remember local.