In this episode, I am speaking with Marjory Wildcraft, the founder of The Grow Network, author of The Grow System: The Essential Guide to Modern Self-Sufficiency—From Growing Food to Making Medicine, published by Penguin Random House and featured by National Geographic as an expert in off grid living. Today, Marjory spends most of her time teaching people to grow up towards half of their own food in their backyards, which is what we are going to discuss in this podcast.
Table of Contents
In this podcast, Marjory and I discuss:
- Why and how Marjory became an expert on growing your own food.
- As food supply issues accelerate across the world, why her expertise and your action may matter far more than most people understand.
- How growing your own food helps you on a physical, mental and spiritual level
- What the future may hold for us and why we must be prepared (this is no longer the exclusive territory of conspiracy theorists and paranoid preppers, trust me!)
- Which foods we need to focus on for the future and how long a state of emergency we need to be prepared for.
- How you can easily learn how to grow what you need with minimal space (and even start if you don’t even have a garden!)
- Which animals are the easiest to supply your protein requirements
- How growing your own food can be a way to find a new community of friends and a network of support.
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Ari: Hey there, this is Ari. Welcome back to The Energy Blueprint podcast. With me today is Marjory Wildcraft, founder of The Grow Network, author of The Grow System: The Essential Guide to Modern Self-Sufficiency—From Growing Food to Making Medicine, published by Penguin Random House, featured by National Geographic as an expert in off grid living, hosted Mother Earth News Online Homesteading Summit, selected by Authority Magazine as a woman leader in wellness, focus of award-winning Reuters’ Sustainability Media Contest, nationwide PBS campaign teaching people to grow half of their own food in their backyards, and on the cover of Masters of Health Magazine for Earth Day. That’s quite a list. Marjory. Welcome to the show.
Marjory: I know. Thank you, Ari. I’ve just been doing this a lot of years. [unintelligible] simulates– I’d like to know her. [laughs]
Ari: Absolutely. I know you’ve been doing it for many years because I’ve been following your work for many years. I’m a big fan and this is a long time in the making. I’ve been meaning to reach out to you for the longest time and I’m glad we finally made it happen.
Marjory: Yes, it’s been a long time, and I too, I really appreciate it. We were just chatting beforehand about the breathwork, and then The Energy Blueprint, and really good foundational materials. Appreciate what you are doing.
Ari: Thank you. Appreciate it. Your background, your formal educational background is in engineering and then finance. How is it that you spent so many decades becoming an expert in growing your own food and off-grid living and backyard farming?
Marjory: I know, right? That is totally crazy. My first degree in electrical engineering, I always wanted to live overseas, it was a dream of mine. I was working with Motorola. I became an ex-pat for several of their cellular telephone networks. I was the engineering manager for that, and had a great time, just young and single. A friend of mine said, “Hey, Marjory, there’s this guy named Robert who was teaching this class on money.” I said, “Great, what do we know about him?” “Well, we don’t know anything.”
I just decided to go anyway. Wow, I was blown away. This was so impactful. It ultimately inspired me, instead of working every day for money, I decided I wanted to learn how to have money, make money, and I was using his systems. I ended up moving back to Austin, Texas, and creating a very, very successful business. In fact, it was so successful Robert asked me if I would be a lead testimonial, and that’s how for four years I ended up on national television every day and night with Robert Kiyosaki for Rich Dad Poor Dad.
We were doing great. Tons of money coming in. I was volunteering. This was so innocent, I never saw this coming. You never see the massive change, the semi truck kind of thing. I was volunteering on what seemed like an innocent project of getting locally grown food into the local elementary school. It was the third meeting when the entire project failed, and in an instant, my life changed.
What happened was– well, first of all, we were so excited. Steve already– he was already writing grants, there’s tons of grant money for these kinds of projects, Abby, I had already PTA and the principal, they were all down for this, and then Mike. He looks like you, he’s a researcher guy with this beard. He’s always got this and he’s wearing rim glasses. There are reams of study, [unintelligible 00:03:49] going to make sense to you, but reams of study that the higher quality food kids eat, they score massively higher on intelligence tests, and they have way less behavioral problems.
We were all– “This is going to happen.” Then the moment came when we went to get a pencil and paper and put down the names of the farmers who would provide these vegetables, and that’s when the whole thing failed because was living in central Texas right next to Austin, and in all of Bastrop County, Texas has some big counties, there were not enough farmers to provide even part of the vegetables for one small rural elementary school.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had– your body just start shaking involuntarily, mine just started shaking because I knew there’s only four days worth of food supply in the grocery stores. We’re in Central Texas, surrounded by 20 million people, and that means 60 million meals a day that come in via a just-in-time trucking system. If anything ever happened to that system, then it was just horrific.
I had just realized there is no food growing out in the countryside as a backup. Kind of what all of us think when we are urban or suburban, we’re like, “In the country–” There’s nothing out there. I also realized there were scenarios where no amount of money would mean anything. Really, literally, I just had panic attacks, I had nightmares for the next years.
I just kept saying, “Farmers come from gardeners, and we have got to rebuild the entire food system from the ground up.” I’ve sold the real estate business. When you know something like that, that other stuff is meaningless. I’m like, “I’ve got to learn this.” I have to say, it really cost me in a lot of ways because one of my sisters-in-law really, she was like, “Marjory, this is the United States of America. We are the most powerful nation on earth. Now, there may be supply chain issues in other countries. It’s never going to happen here. Empty shells on the grocery stores, this is just never going to happen.”
People thought I was weird. My kids and I were no longer being invited to birthday parties and events and things and somewhat ostracized. I said, “Look, this is the truth. There is going to be some time, the system has got vulnerabilities. I have to work on this project.” I did and I spent years and years figuring out, what’s the fastest, easiest, fun-est ways to grow food? How do you take somebody who knows absolutely nothing, maybe they’re older, out of shape, it might be a grid down situation, how can you get them to where they’re producing lots of food?
That really has been all the work that I’ve done all those years. It’s really been a mission and purpose-driven life. I will say, on the upside of it, it has healed me on every level that you can be healed. On the physical level, obviously, from eating extremely high-quality food, we cannot buy food that’s high quality than I grow. On the mental and on emotional levels of just– I don’t care if the grocery stores are closed, I don’t care if China takes Taiwan. I know that I’m going to be able to provide for myself and my family.
Then the mental, of course, you think better, you’re clear, you’re sharper. Then spiritually, which we won’t be able to get into in this podcast, but growing your own food, you are working directly with the forces of creation. That’s you, and creation, producing things together. I got to tell you, there are magical, magical, amazing things that happen. Some of those stories are in the book I wrote about, which is more to inspire people. I am so grateful for that night in Red Rock when the whole thing collapsed. That’s how I got into it.
Ari: Beautiful. Well, let me first say on a personal note, I’m very much on the same page as you. I have turned my camera around, I can show you a little bit, but I have a few acres here in Costa Rica. I have over 100 fruit trees on the property and we harvest papayas and plantains and bananas pretty much every day. We have enough of those that God forbid, if needed, we could survive for quite a long period of time eating nothing but fruit. We’ll get chickens soon and then we’ll have a good protein source and maybe some goats as well for the dairy. Yes, I’m very much on the same page. Now, having said that–
Marjory: You know what? I just did an interview with– I’ve been traveling a lot lately. It’s such demand for me to be on podcasts and stuff. I was with a Lyft driver who had just moved to the US from Venezuela. I’m like, “Tell me what’s it like in Venezuela.” He told me this really heartbreaking story. He said his mom had a yard with six mango trees. A couple of years ago, she had decided to cut three of those trees down to make a flower bed garden.
He said they were just heartbroken over that now because the production from the three mango trees was partly what was keeping the family alive. Not only they’d eat them and then they’d trade them and they’d [unintelligible 00:10:10] for them, but that food source was hugely important, and they just so regretted cutting down the three trees. Don’t think it can’t happen here. It’s super good for you. You’re right. Yes, Costa Rica.
Why we should focus on growing our own food
Ari: Having said that, I’m on the same page. There are many people listening to this, hopefully, we haven’t lost them yet, who might not understand the relevance of what we were talking about with– two things I would like you to touch on; the relevance with human health, and why does it matter to grow your own food, and have this connection with food production from the perspective of being optimally healthy. Then the other one is after you answer that, I want to talk about what’s going on in the world right now and why, and how you see things from your vantage point with particular focus on the food supply, and how that then feeds into the work that you’re doing.
Marjory: All right. First of all, your own health. In the longevity circles, for example, I used to do a homegrown food summit every year, did that for quite a few years where we just gathered all kinds of experts. Last year in 2021, our keynote speaker was Dave Asprey, and you know Dave, he’s a character, but he is one of the leaders in popularizing longevity.
A lot of people were like, “Well, Marjory, why you have Dave Asprey as the keynote speaker on a homegrown food summit? That doesn’t connect.” I’m like, “Yes, it does because pretty much almost every centenarian interview– either grew their own food or had access to home own food for almost all of their lives.” Dave himself, even though he’s got all the nanotechnology and the NAD injections, and their telomeric extension technology, and the cryogenic, I think he’s got every crazy gadget you can imagine, the latest neuroscience, and all this stuff.
Dave himself has– I think it’s a 12 or 15-acre homestead where he grows his own food, and that is the foundation for good health. You go in the grocery store, we used to say, “We’ll be a perimeter shop.” Well, there’s nothing in the perimeter, honestly. Stanford had a research, and definitely, I don’t want to discourage buying organics because when you buy organic, you’re reducing your toxic load, but organics have been shown to not really contain that much more nutrition than conventionally grown foods, and that’s partly because once the USDA made it, then big farms [unintelligible 00:13:05] the organic brand, and you don’t really know what you’re getting any more unless you’re buying it directly from a local farmer.
There’s a wonderful chart. I’ve got it in The Grow book, but it’s also widely available on the internet, put together by August Dunning, that shows over the decades the amount of nutrition in the food supply absolutely declining to where it’s almost nothing now. Then the amount of disease, the modern disease is heart attack, diabetes, all the stuff, absolutely skyrocketing, and it’s really just a huge issue on malnutrition. It’s not in your food supply.
Really, if you are interested in health, aside from the fact that we’re in a global situation where supply chains are breaking, you need to be growing your own food. You just cannot get the nutrition any other way. I use supplementation from time to time, but we all know that that’s really not the answer. You need whole foods that are alive and living and vibrant.
That’s the first part. The second part of your question was why is this relevant more than ever, if you weren’t going to do this for your health? By the way, my health is one of my top five values in life, and I think that everybody should be because that ultimately is– your best source of wealth is your health, right? It doesn’t matter how many billions of dollars you are. You got to have an IV on your arm and be dragging that around or an oxygen tank, right?
Your health is way more important than anything else, but of the top 10 food-producing countries in the world, and that would be China, the United States, India, Russia, Brazil, all the way down to number 10, I think, is Germany, only two of those countries are net exporters of food, and that’s the United States and Germany. Last year in 2021, China bought up half of the entire world’s grain supply. That is up from say, 2019, they used to buy about 10% of the world’s grain output. Last year, they bought half of it. They are stockpiling grain like you won’t believe.
If you’ve heard about the container shortage and the price of shipping containers has gone up five times, it’s because when you buy half of the world’s grain supply, where do you store it? They don’t have that many silos, so they’re just keeping it in the containers that they got it from and stacking those up in all kinds of places. Of course, their ports are now completely clogged up because they got ships full of grain.
If you’re wondering why we have a supply chain crisis, a part of it is because China has just bought up half of the world’s grain supply. In the United States, we haven’t had any problems yet. We are a net exporter of food. I would not call it food, it’s GMO stuff. Even middle-class Indians are lining up at food banks. Brazil is deeply, deeply concerned about famine. They’re starting to have food riots. All of the major countries, just global production has been down for several years, and we’re having crazy weather.
I know most of us don’t think about agricultural global production, but when everything is gone on the planet and every country starts hoarding it, it becomes a problem. There’s also export controls even before the Russian-Ukraine thing. I think Russia and Ukraine provide a huge amount of wheat. That’s all shut down. Vietnam has shut down exports of rice. Moldova– all these different countries have shut down exports because they’re saying, “We got to hold this for our own people.”
It is really bad out there and you’ve seen it already. You’ve already seen prices going up. Meat has gone up incredibly, vegetables, grains, everything. There’s no getting back to normal in this one. I haven’t seen anybody talking about that. All they’re talking about is like, “Can we slow down the breaking of this supply chain crisis?” We’re in a world of hurt. The good news is you have time to prepare. As I said, this was the best thing that ever happened to me in my life when I woke up to the potential for this scenario, often in a great crisis, is the biggest gift we can get.
Bill Gates buying up farmland
Ari: What do you think of Bill Gates buying up– I think becoming the largest owner of farmland in the United States or maybe in the world, but at least in the United States? What is going on there? What do you think is going through his head strategically or as far as positioning himself financially? Given his alignment with big agriculture, Monsanto, GMO, and these kinds of things, what do you think the impact of that will be going forward for the average American or for the world more broadly?
Marjory: Well, first off, it’s just an excellent investment. Farmland with water is an excellent investment, especially in a time like what we’re facing with the collapse of the systems. Really, anybody listening, if you can buy even an acre that has good soil and water, that is something that will survive this inflationary and ultimately hyperinflationary and collapse of the US dollar process that we are already ankle-deep into.
What do you do when you’re a billionaire? That is definitely just a solid investment. Bill Gates, he’s a big guy. He likes to run the world. There’s a saying, “Control the food and you control the people,” so I don’t know how much of that– that’s been going on for centuries. That’s the Romans, “Give them bread and games and they’ll never revolt.” That’s knowledge that has been around.
I don’t know how much of that plays into what he’s thinking. I would not trust the food that he grows. I’ve seen some studies, I don’t know their accuracy, but they look legitimate to me where they’re actually talking about being able to put vaccines into lettuce or spinach that’s growing. I’m like, “I don’t want them to do with that.” I don’t know. I don’t honestly know. I don’t know enough about [unintelligible 00:20:00]—
Ari: Yes. It’s not– I mean–
Marjory: Yes, to validate that, but I’m like, “Oh my God, that’s just really dangerous.”
Ari: Yes. I don’t think it’s– I don’t know if it’s the right terminology to say they’re putting vaccines in it because that makes people think they’re putting syringes in there, but they’re genetically modifying the food to have mRNA that basically can act like a vaccine and that’s in your food now. I definitely agree with your skepticism and general feeling like that’s probably not going to end well when you start tinkering with food in that way.
Food is information. Our body gets signals for certain biochemical processes in response to the foods we’re eating. When we start tinkering with it and adding different signaling molecules in there, I don’t know. I don’t think we understand things well enough for us to play God in that way.
Marjory: Look what we’ve done with GMOs. I get it, they’re trying to feed the world, but that’s really, in my opinion, a huge disaster. I do everything I can to avoid anything that’s genetically modified. Yes, I don’t know. I’m very deeply concerned about what they’re doing there. More than ever, that’s [unintelligible 00:21:31] to have control over your own food supply, but I really love to harp or expand on what– not harp, [laughs] expand on what you are saying about the relationship. I think that’s one of the most wonderful things for me in growing my own food is the relationships.
I can give you one example. I was in Colorado for a couple of years. I love to live in different bioregions, to grow in different bioregions, and explore the differences. What does it take– when you’re in the tropics, it’s very different from living up in the high desert in Colorado. It’s a very short growing season.
Ari: Is that where you are now in Colorado?
Marjory: No, I’ve moved. I was there a couple of years and now I’m in Puerto Rico. [laughs]
Ari: Okay, nice.
Marjory: I moved there and I love to grow in– honestly, people think, “Oh my God, you got to have acres.” Not at all true. 100-square-foot of garden bed space is really plenty of room for one person for all the produce that you’ll need. I like to do it in 250-square-foot footbeds. I had built these 250-square-foot beds, they’re two cinder blocks deep, and we filled it with good soil. Then Lynn Gillespie is hands down the region’s expert. She’s been growing this way for 35 years. She knows everything.
Lynn and I decided to– we took my yard and went from the complete yard, which was grass, turned it into two raised beds and then grew. Every week we filmed something. It’s a 33-week project, actually, when you sign up for the webinar, that you’re going to talk about there, you’ll get free access to this. We grew in these garden beds. I had Lynn’s system. I had Lynn’s guidance. I had her soil.
Then Lynn also has a small CSA. Once you get good at growing food, it’s like printing your own money. This is really a skill that could be a huge survival possibility for you in the future. She has a small CSA and I had subscribed to her CSA partly because– I don’t know, I was wanting to support her, but then because I was also growing my own, but basically I had her vegetables from the CSA and then I had my vegetables in my garden.
In my garden, I mean there’s nothing more enjoyable than going out there watering and a little bit of weeding, and just being with the plants and connecting with them and interacting with them. I swear that my broccoli that I grew, that I had tended tasted so much better than Lynn’s broccoli that she had grown for the CSA. It’s the exact same soil, exact same condition. I mean, she only lived about a mile from me, everything the same, seeds. I mean, I was using her seed starts, but my broccoli tasted better, and I knew it was because of that relationship that I had.
I’ve seen that over and over. It really does get mystical. In the book, I have this really wonderful story, we can’t go into it here, about a relationship that I had with Buddy, the rooster, and it really is something I think we all are hungering at the most fundamental level. It’s so simple. Grow some food and you will find this nurturing and this connection that you have been missing all your life and it’s so rewarding when you connect into that.
Ari: There are so many beautiful reasons to start doing this, from your own health to the spiritual connection of connecting with the earth and with the creation of food, for financial reasons, as you said, like printing your own money, the supply chain crisis, there are so many layers to this, and good reasons to do this. Yet, so few people are doing it.
Going back to the supply chain crisis aspect of this. There’s a lot of people talking about this, there’s a lot of people who are concerned with the breakdown of the supply chain. When COVID started, people went to the grocery stores and started buying up toilet paper like crazy, I still for the life of me can’t understand why people– I’ve traveled to a lot of third-world countries where they don’t even have toilet paper, they never have had toilet paper.
Marjory: I get it.
Why you should buy a survival food stock
Ari: They use a little bit of water and their hand. I think if you’ve got a shower, and you’ve got rags, you can do laundry, it’s obviously not ideal as flushing toilet paper down the toilet. Anyway, it’s amazing to me that so many people chose in the event of panic, they’re like, “I got to buy up all the toilet paper.” No. Food. Food is what you want. [laughs]
Given what’s going on in the world right now, there are some people promoting an idea that you should stock up on food, you should buy these little survival buckets that give you five days or seven days of food, and things like that. What do you think of that kind of mindset, and how does it compare to what you’re advocating?
Marjory: I absolutely advocate buying backup food right now, especially if you remember, a part of my life was all about money and making money. This is also widely available. I was overlaying charts of the M1 money supply, which is published by the Fed, which is the Federal Reserve. Over money supply charts from [unintelligible 00:27:26] or Germany, which is one of the most interesting experiences of hyperinflation and collapse we have. That’s happened many, many times, by the way. I just used that one because those charts were widely available.
We are in lockstep with that. I will make a very bold prediction that by this summer, it will be abundantly apparent to everybody that inflation is spiraling out of control and getting higher and higher. The really good news is you have a time of window right now to do what you need to do before the prices get completely out of control. Last month, the inflation rate was at 7.9%. Inflation is increasing every month, every month, it’s completely out of control, the quarter-point or half-point. Interest rates that the Fed is doing is not going to even begin to mitigate this issue.
I’m a huge advocate of “Buy as much backup food supply as you can right now”, I would say five days is not enough. I would say you want to look at at least a year, and maybe more. Start learning to grow food because this is a long-term thing. This is not going to be over a year or two. This is not going to be over in four or five years. This is going to take a long time to work out. We don’t just rebuild supply chains overnight.
To go into backup food supplies, the best thing to do is buy foods that you normally eat. Now, I don’t normally eat much food that’s very storable. I don’t eat a lot of grains, or a lot of beans. For me, it’s a little– I depend on having systems for live, living foods that I eat that’s more protein and fat and vegetable-oriented, but I still have a whole bunch of beans and rice and grains because, for me, it’s a worst case scenario thing. My body probably could do that if there’s absolutely nothing, but more importantly, maybe I can trade a couple of pounds of beans for some fresh fish or for egg or whatever else that I might need or want.
You need to think of it. Mostly Americans for the past 40, 50 years, the calorie has been a [unintelligible 00:29:56], right? The calorie is about to be a unit of currency. It is about to be how everything is determined. I’ve done a lot of interviews with survivors of collapse, I’ve traveled to Cuba to interview people that survived through that, and read a lot of historical accounts.
Yes, it’s super important to have– I have my handgun with me here. Puerto Rico, it’s not that good. I’m used to living in Texas or Colorado. Everybody’s out– but I need to have some security. It’s very good to have medical skills, but the number one thing that all collapse survivors talk about is not that. They talk about being hungry. Food is primary and we’ve had an incredibly luxury life where we just didn’t even have to worry about it, and that is changing.
Ari: Let’s say somebody who’s listening to this, probably lots of people, but-
How you get started growing your own food
Ari: -many people listening to this have never thought about any of this stuff. They’ve never really considered the seriousness of supply chain collapse and the idea that their local grocery store that they’ve always bought food at might not have food, and they’ve never considered growing their own food, and they know nothing about it. They’re intimidated to start. How easy is it to start growing your own food and how would you recommend someone get started initially?
Marjory: I can completely sympathize with that position. When I had that experience at the Red Rock Community Center and I’m just like, “Oh my God, God, why me? I don’t know anything about growing food. Why? Why me?” Because if you see the problem, that’s your job to fix it. There’s some wonderful quote about that somewhere. I’m like, “Why?” I think that was the answer. It was, “Well, you’re perfect. You don’t know anything. You’re going to have to figure this out, and you completely freaked out, and that’s going to be the situation that millions of people will find themselves in at one point in time.”
One thing is, always stay in touch with that you can do this and it actually is fairly simple. You don’t need to be super intimidated with it. Also, know that you are supported. There are forces in the world that want you to be successful. I’m not talking about people. I’m talking about the forces of creation. Getting started practically is very simple. I developed a three-part system, which are the easiest ways for people to get started.
The first is a small flock of chickens in your backyard. Six chickens, six laying hens. A laying hen will produce about 250 eggs in a year and then six of them will produce about 1,500 eggs in a year. If you think about that, that’s like three-egg omelets for breakfast every morning, and then 33 dozen eggs to trade or give away or use in other ways. That’s a huge amount of wealth right there. Knowing that you’ve got at least one good solid meal is amazing.
Chickens are– I’ve lived in Austin for many years and they went from being banned by everybody to being– now, they have a chicken coop tour every year, and it’s totally embraced, and the city knows how to keep chicken classes. I think I saw some articles a while ago in the San Francisco Bay Area. These tech people were in Seattle, they created these– I would like to live in some of these chicken coops. These guys have way too much money in a sense. It’s a thing that is widely acceptable.
There’s a lot of resources. Think about a small flock of chickens. Eggs are one of the most easiest way– you can actually get started in a few weeks. When you build the chicken coop in the run, that might take you a couple of weekends. If you’ve got the resources, I’ve got the plans in the book, just hire a carpenter and get them to do it. You can have that up in a very short period of time, get your water.
I would recommend, buy your feed in the beginning. Chicken feed is still cheap. It’s chicken food. Now, there are ways to produce 100% of your chicken feed for free, but don’t do that in the beginning. You got so much else to learn. By the way, we give a really funny video about that in the bundle that comes with the webinar signup we’ll be talking about, and within just a couple of weeks, you can be producing eggs every day in the backyard. That’s wonderful. Just a couple of weeks.
If the timing is right, start a garden. Again, most people think of a big garden. No, you don’t. 250-square-foot garden beds, I’ve grown in that for years, and that time in Colorado. We had one very short growing season. I knew we were way more than enough that I was freezing and canning, and it carried me all the way through the winter and into the next spring. It was hugely prolific. You can do that.
The timing has got to be right on when you do your garden, obviously, and then the third component, I recommend this last just because some people have a little bit harder time with it, but a home rabbit tree. The last time there was a big surge in home rabbit trees was in the 1970s. I don’t know if anybody remembers the 1970s, but Nixon took us off the gold standard. We had stagflation where people were losing their jobs, massive unemployment, and yet, interest rates were going up and up. Friends of mine at the time had houses with mortgages at like 18% or 20% per annum for a house mortgage.
There were shootings going on at the Olympics. It was just a crazy decade, and there was a huge back-to-the-land movement, and a home rabbit tree with one buck, and three breeding [unintelligible 00:36:07] will produce about 75 to 80 rabbits a year. That turns out to be the protein requirements for a family of four. They’re very quiet, very small spaces. Again, you can get it up with them, and producing within just a month or two. Two or three months at the most, and you’ve got babies kindling and the whole process going.
If you put those three components together, it really only takes up about the space of a three-car– three parking lots, so you can do this in almost any backyard. It’ll produce about half of the food that one person needs, and that’s if you’re a beginner, and as your skills and systems improve, you can produce more and more and more in that same space.
Ari: Beautiful. As far as growing plants, do you have any recommendations on that? What are your thoughts on sprouts?
Marjory: Oh, I love sprouts. We have a lot of apartment dwellers. When you don’t have a garden, you definitely do what you can on your patio. Sprouts are amazing. Herbs on the window sill are amazing. Cucumbers or tomatoes that are growing up vertical on trellises by whatever sunny window you have are amazing.
We have a really wonderful thread going on at The Grow Network forums on tiny livestock you can grow in an apartment and people are coming up with some really interesting ideas like snails, which you and I are maybe– they’re called escargot in France, right? Quail produce eggs and meat. They have a whole bunch of really interesting things for what you can do in an apartment.
I also recommend, if you live in an apartment or condo, start a community garden, actually, my situation here in Puerto Rico, I’ve only been here for two years now, didn’t know anybody when I came in, and I was living in, there’s a lot of apartments and condos. I myself didn’t have a garden plot. For a while, I was what we call guerrilla gardening. You just find a piece of public land that nobody’s using and you just start gardening. I did that. That was really fun, and I met some other guerrilla gardeners there. It was really great.
Then I found a lot that the city owns and I’m working with the city to create a community garden. I want to give you the inspiration for this. Let’s say you don’t know anything about growing food, but you do have entrepreneurial and organizational skills. If you start a community garden– this garden, it’s a six-acre track and we’re looking at putting about 380 plots in there.
Just imagine what we’re going to learn what you’ll learn in one growing season when you have 380 people that all have their individual plots and they’re all trying different stuff. They got different seeds, they get different techniques. Some of it’s going to work. Some of it’s going to fail. Can you imagine what you’re going to learn in one season? Then the friendships and the relationships that get created from that?
Actually, I have to say, one of the reasons that this was inspired by this is definitely preparing for a collab– not preparing. I started training in martial arts, right? I was just doing it for the fitness and then maybe for a little self-defense, and the thing that surprised me the most about it was every day– well, three times a week, I would go to the dojo and train with a group of people. We’re all wearing these funky white outfits, we don’t know she’s an author, he’s a policeman, he’s a school– we don’t know what that is, we’re all just there. We all love this sport and we’re all learning.
Everybody sees you making a stupid mistake and we help each other, and then when you really win and when you really master a skill or something, everybody is there to support you. I was astonished at the friendships and the relationships that got built. I consider the people that I train with part of my family. I know them almost better than some of my own family.
The same thing will happen in a community garden because you’re going to be going and tending your plot every day or every other day, you’re going to keep running into your neighbors that are doing the same thing, and you’re going to be meeting and bonding and connecting with the best people in your community because these are people that are not afraid of hard work. They’re not afraid of getting their hands dirty and they’re producing something useful, that’s food, and who better would you want to serve and be in a relationship with? I’m a huge fan of creating a community garden, especially if you don’t have any other land or resources for yourself.
Ari: Yes. Beautiful. For everybody listening, I want to let you know Marjory’s going to be doing a webinar. We’re going to have links to that on the URL for this podcast. It’s going to be at theenergyblueprint.com/wildcraft, all one word, Wildcraft, and this is all about how to grow your own food. She’s going to go in detail on how to do that, a complete plan for producing all the food you need, and how to get started today, including some of the things she talked about as far as chickens and rabbits and garden beds and all of that good stuff.
Marjory, this has been wonderful. Thank you so much for your time. I would love it if you could wrap up by giving people your top three takeaways that you want to leave people with for this point in time right now, given everything that’s going on in the world, we just came out of– hopefully, we’re done with it, two years of the pandemic. Now we’re seemingly on the brink of World War III and runaway inflation and potential economic collapse coming, what are the three things that you want to leave for people with?
Marjory: Well, I would like to say you came here for a reason and for a purpose. You’re here in this time, and I believe it’s a privilege and an honor to be alive at this time, and you’re absolutely right. It’s crazy. It’s chaotic, but I also believe at the end of this, we’re going to create something that is really wonderful and incredible and this is a great opportunity for humanity to really redo some things that have been fundamentally broken.
We need you to get through this and to live through this, to make those changes, and to be here for a part of the rebuilding. It really is– what we’re talking about is an apocalypse and you don’t get to live through an apocalypse very often. How often do you get to live through that? This is going to be an incredibly challenging time, but I believe if you’re here now listening to this, you knew that at some fundamental level when you came into this existence.
You are not going to make it through this decade if you’re not growing your own food, it’s just the bottom line. We just have so much that’s collapsing and breaking. Do it, not only because of concern of the alternative, which is starvation [unintelligible 00:43:43], but because your health, you will be massively healthier. It’s a huge upgrade to your health to grow your own food, and it’s such a wonderful thing.
The third thing is really, it was the best thing that ever happened to me in my life. Really before I was a very, very successful engineer and then a money manager, and I was doing all this crazy stuff. I would’ve never thought about– like, “No, I want to buy my way out of this.” It has been the best thing I’ve ever done. If you are looking for spirituality and you haven’t been getting it by going home and doing deep squats or whatever, yoga, you got to try this. It’s the spiritual connection that you’ve been looking for.
Ari: Beautiful. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it and, I wish you a wonderful rest of your day, Marjory. It was such a pleasure connecting with you.
Marjory: Thanks for having me on, Ari.
Ari: For everybody listening, again, you can get her free webinar, at theenergyblueprint.com/wildcraft, and Marjory, do you want to tell people anything else about what they’ll learn in that webinar?
Marjory: Basically, we’ll go over the outline of how, even if you know nothing, how to grow lots of food in a grid down situation, even if you’re older or out of shape. Once you register, I will give you those signup bonuses. We have a really funny compost video on how to create compost and another one on the chicken feed. I forget what the other ones are, but they’re all resources that you’re going to want.
In the webinar, we’ll go through a quick summary of what’s going on globally, so you can really get it dialed in, then we’ll go into the solution. We have a really, really good Q&A that’s very engaging with everybody asking the top questions. It’s a super empowering webinar. At the end of it, we offer people a bundle that we’ve really heavily discounted, which includes a copy of the book as well as– I don’t know how to make that happen. As well as training for a year, it’s a whole bundle.
You can do this. Your great, great grandparents did this and they didn’t have Google. Some of them couldn’t even read, they didn’t have degrees in genetics or botany or anything, and they grew beautiful wonderful food. They also didn’t go to the doctor very often. Some of them lived more a hundred years.
Ari: Beautiful. Thank you so much, my friend. I look forward to connecting with you again.
Eat For Energy Intro (00:00)
Why we should focus on growing our own food (27:50)
Bill Gates buying up farmland (34:50)
Why you should buy a survival food stock (43:00)
How you get started growing your own food (48:13)