The Conscious Farmer: An Organic and Biodynamic Farm

The Conscious Farmer

I’m back in to the full swing of things and bringing you another episode of Chickenlandia Stories! Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit Pollen Folly Farm, run by my friend Kelly Uusitalo and her husband Mike Hernandez. Kelly and Mike practice a method of sustainable farming called Biodynamic, which involves using all the components of the farm to create a running system that benefits the soil and all the food grown in and on it. It’s a very mindful approach, hence the name “The Conscious Farmer”.

Kelly Uusitalo, Organic and Biodynamic Farmer

Pollen Folly Farm

During my tour, we visited the chickens and got some expert tips from Kelly regarding biosecurity, coop cleanliness, predator proofing, and even egg eating! She definitely knows her stuff, which is why I refer to her as an “Advanced Chicken Educator” while I’m a “Chickens 101” educator. I love learning new things from her. But the real education began when we toured her many gardens, all utilizing biodynamic principals.

Row of biodyamically grown greens

Visiting Pollen Folly Farm and learning of the painstakingly efforts Kelly and Mike go through to grow conscious food was a real eye-opener for me. Not only did it inspire me to get closer to my own food (did I mention I grew my own starts for the first time this year?), but it also gave me hope for the world. Like many others, I have fears about where the world is heading, with industrial agriculture being at the top of a long list of offenders. But then I remember that for every worry I have, there’s someone out there doing the hard work to make things right. Thank you, Kelly and Mike, for fighting the good fight.

Take the Tour!

To watch the tour, see some awesome chicken footage, and of course, learn a few things, please click the play button below!

What are some things you are doing to make the world a better place? Let me know in the comments below!

The Mealworm Farmher

Last week, I had yet another opportunity to meet an amazing farmer. But she doesn’t actually call herself that; she calls herself a farmher, and I’m totally here for it. Meet Holly Winters, the egg and mealworm farmher.

Holly Winters, Mealworm Farmher and owner of Egg Song Farm

Holly is the owner and operator of Egg Song Farm at The Barn at Holly Farm (she wants to be sure everyone knows that Holly Farm has been around for a really long time and is not named after her). Her story is similar to many I’ve heard before. While working as a Spanish teacher at her child’s preschool, she ran the schools chicken program. From there, her passion for poultry grew to something much more substantial.

The ones who started it all: Chickens!

She now sells her rainbow colored eggs at several surrounding farmer’s markets, and has a thriving live mealworm business that includes not only delivering live mealworms to customers and teaching others how to grow their own, but also collecting their frass (bug poop!) to sell and use as a sought after fertilizer. Who knew?

Happy mealworms chilling out in their substrate

Meeting Holly was a delight. She has an easy and enthusiastic personality that is truly infectious. When she shared all about the different life-cycles of her beetles and the benefits of their frass, her love for what she does was evident. I really had no idea there was such a growing mealworm industry, but I now understand why. Holly did mention that some folks even raise them for their own consumption! I’m not quite there yet, but maybe someday.

Holly Winters (left) and me, Dalia Monterroso, aka The President of Chickenlandia

So, yeah, I made a new awesome chicken friend and I couldn’t be happier about it. Holly and I had a great time geeking out over all things chicken and mealworm, and I think you will too! Just click the play button below to watch the full episode of Chickenlandia Stories: The Mealworm Farmher.

Did you have any idea mealworms were such a growing industry? Let me know in the comments!

Learn more about Farmhers here.

Holly is also an ambassador for Scratch and Peck Feed. Click here to learn more.

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