We all intuitively know that it’s important to have access to locally grown food, especially if it’s grown organically.
It gives us calorie resilience in case our standard thousand-mile supply chains become disrupted. It’s more nutrient-rich and healthier for us. It tastes (much) better. Growing it increases our connection to nature. The list of additional benefits is long.
Marjory Wildcraft, founder of The Grow Network and author of Grow Your Own Groceries, explains how we can contribute to the local food production movement by using our own windowsills, planters and backyards as a food production system.
Even those with no prior experience can swiftly learn how to grow and raise a meaningful portion of their dietary calories:
It’s a very simple three-part system. To set your expectations, I would say that if you have no skills at all, give yourself a year to get these three systems up and running.
The first is a garden. Just start out with a small garden, I would say 50 square feet, 100 square feet at the most. Start small, that way you’ll be able to focus on it. It won’t be overwhelming. Your chances of success are going to be a lot higher. That size garden doesn’t produce a ton of calories — though you can get about 35 to 40,000 calories a year out of in one season out of a garden like that — but it produces a lot of nutrition, and diversity.
Next get a little flock of chickens. You can get about 200-250 eggs per hen in a year. With just a couple of chickens you will be egg wealthy. Eggs have so much great stuff. They’re a complete food; lots of protein and lots of fat.
Then, get some rabbits for meat. One buck and three breeding does, even in Texas where we only have about six or seven months of production because it’s too hot in the summertime for them to breed, I get 75 – 80 rabbits a year out of that. One rabbit is the equivalent of a chicken. In fact, I have often served rabbit and forgot to tell people, and they just assume it’s chicken meat. You can process a rabbit at home 15 minutes before you cook it.
Click the play button below to listen to Chris’ interview with Marjory Wildcraft (76m:04s).
Chris Martenson: Welcome everyone to this Featured Voices Podcast brought to you by PeakProsperity dot com. I'm your host, Chris Martenson. It is July 31, 2019.
The data, it's clear. The world, it's headed for trouble, especially the natural world. Humans, look, we're overdoing it. Ecological stresses are mounting. The human stresses are mounting. This year, in 2019, we have the lowest Arctic ice extent on record.
We're breaking heat records in Europe. The insects are still missing. They're mysteriously gone as if a rapture happened, except it only took tiny things with exoskeletons.
Look, the data is equally clear. People are tired of hearing about all of that. They want to know what they can do? Here, too, the data is really clear. One of the most important things you can do is to plant a garden, eat from it, and even heal yourself from it.
The benefits are almost too numerous to list. I find my garden improves my mental, my physical, my emotional, and even my spiritual well-being.
Today's guest is Marjory Wildcraft, who has made it her life mission to educate, train, and inspire people about gardening, and health. Things that you can do on your own homestead.
Marjory Wildcraft is the founder of The GrowNetwork dot com, a website and community devoted to stopping the destruction of the earth; reclaiming natural health from the sometimes misguided healthcare and nutritional systems; preventing extinction of heirloom varieties and heritage breeds; and stopping the torture of animals.
Marjory is also an author with several titles, including Grow Your Own Groceries Turn Your Backyard into a Food Production System, which is a two DVD set that has sold over half million copies.
Snakebite!: How I Successfully Treated a Venomous Snakebite at Home – boy, we're going to be asking Marjory more about that one later on, absolutely.
She is currently working on a book titled, Grow: All True Wealth Comes From The Ground. Yeah, I love that subtitle. We're getting to that, too.
When she's not building an online network, being mom, tending her family's food supply, Marjory loves playing, running, doing gymnastics, skateboarding, acquiring skills from the Paleolithic era. Yeah, a heart cavewoman, and experimenting with anything and everything related to food production and sustainability.
A lot of you have been asking to have Marjory on the program. Here she is, Marjory, welcome to the program.
Marjory Wildcraft: Chris, it's such a delight to be here. My God, I have been a fan of yours for years. You're doing some awesome work. I'm so glad we're finally connecting up.
Chris Martenson: I am, too. I'm so glad to have you on. Listen, Marjory, my audience certainly doesn't need any more in the way of problem definition. We are, perhaps, a little, maybe too steeped and familiar within and –
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah.
Chris Martenson: – Familiar with the wildly unsustainable trends in the economy, fossil fuel dependence, ecological overshoot, all of that. But, we'd like love to hear how and why you got started on the path that led you to the founding of TheGrowNetwork dot com?
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah. I will never forget the night. My life completely changed in one moment, actually. It started out so innocently. I was volunteering on a Farm to Table project. I was living in Texas at the Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association.
The idea was we'd get locally grown and organic food into the school system. I'm like, "Hey." The president of the TOFGA happened to live in my county. I said, "Hey, Steve, I'm a big, kind of, community activist." Let's do it right here at the little elementary school down the street from me.
Once we kink out all the bugs and all the process, and we make it happen, we'll replicate this across Texas. We'll McDonald's this bad boy, right, and make a big difference? We were so excited. We had a really great group of movers, shakers, and volunteers.
The whole thing crumbled. It was the third meeting. I will never forget it. We're in the community center sitting on those crappy, folding chairs with chipped Formica table. The building is echoey because they've never invested in any….
But, we're so excited. It came time to put pen to paper on who would provide the food, the vegetables for this program. I'll never forget it. Because it became obvious that there weren't enough local farmers in all of Bastrop County to provide part of the vegetables for one small rural elementary school.
We're right next to Austin, Texas. I mean, this is supposed to be a progressive area. My body started shaking. I just started shaking. It would not stop for hours. Because I knew. I knew about the four days Just In Time delivery thing.
I knew the whole food supply was pretty bad anyway. Somehow, I guess, we all kind of think – even though I was living out in the country – it was like, we all kind of think, "We'll just go out in the countryside, if anything bad happens," right?
Chris Martenson: Yes.
Marjory Wildcraft: I mean, your average urbanite and suburbanite, they're like, "Yeah, my thing is I'm going to head out, and go rob something." Right? You don't want to think about it by yourself. But, that is, kind of, the bad.
There's no food out there. There's none. There is no food growing out in the countryside. When I realized that, really, we are bereft of anything. Anything that happened to that Just In Time delivery trucking system, any disruption, my God; really, I just couldn't stop shaking.
I said, "You know what?" We have got to completely rebuild the local food system. Farmers come from gardeners. It's going to start with me. To be honest with you, prior to that, I wasn't particularly interested in growing my own food. Why I was helping to organize local farmers. Let's do that.
But I said, "That's it." Whatever I have done in my life previous is not important. Just for the next decade or so, I mean, the nightmares, and just waking up in the middle of the night at the horror of what could happen.
Just what could happen, if this food supply system ever collapsed? Believe me, when you start going down that rabbit hole, we don't need to hear. I know, your folks already understand all of the different rabbit holes that you can go down.
The probability is astonishingly high. It's way too high for my comfort level. That's why I'm doing something about it. At first, it was just me in my backyard. I was taking every gardening, and permaculture course, anything. I was running around with barefoot crazies in the National Forest.
How do they do it? Right, they're fat. They're healthy. They're obviously eating. How do you do it? How do you provide nourishing food for yourself?
Of course, I was a young mom at the time. Nourishment became really important as I began to understand just how sad the existing food system is. It's not only bereft of nutrition, but, it's also toxic for your body. Everything, all of the forces in my life were pointing me towards this new path and this new direction. That's basically how The Grow Network was born.
Chris Martenson: That's a fascinating story. That's a real parallel to myself. When I really took gardening seriously, I had that same moment where I woke up. I understood food insecurity as it's currently practiced in the five days of food in any community without the trucks rolling in.
I started with that. Now, after being at this for more than a decade myself, I would look back and say, "I would run towards this. I'm not running away from something."
It's clearly something we need to do. But, I get so much out of my garden that goes beyond simple calories. But, that's me. Maybe other people are built differently?
Marjory Wildcraft: No. That's actually the beautiful thing about it. That fateful night was in 2003, actually. But, the really beautiful thing about it; and I used to be so fearful, so depressed. It was a really bad period, the blue period of my life. When they talk about Van Gogh, I'm like, "Whatever."
But, through growing food, eating nutritious food, and getting outside; connecting with nature in magical and mysterious ways, it's amazing, the relationships with the chickens, the dogs, and the plants. Yeah. Through, it really healed me.
I feel very secure and very comfortable no matter where I am. I feel very positive about the future. I know. We have just begun to hit the rapids. We are not yet even anywhere near –
Chris Martenson: That's true.
Marjory Wildcraft: – The class four and class five that we're headed for. But, I feel very confident and calm about what's coming. What we're involved in now. Because I do have some basic skills. I know. I used to do a lot of spiritual work. You're going, "Ohm," and you're trying to heal your root chakra.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: You're doing the deep squats. No, just grow a garden and don't go. You get some chickens. You will heal your root chakra, right, and forget all that other stuff. Yeah.
Chris Martenson: Yeah. We have a couple of sayings that Adam and I have put out there. One that was really important to me. When people ask, often they get a little overwhelmed, like, "My God, I've got to grow all of my own food."
I'm like, "No." I set a really low target for people. I said, "Why don't you grow three percent?" Three percent of your family's calories because the difference between starting from zero percent and three percent is night and day. Right?
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah.
Chris Martenson: Just everything you have to learn to even get that three percent is already in place. Those are transferable skills. Yeah. Maybe you go from a mountain, to a desert, to a lush eastern climb. It doesn't matter. They're still transferable skills in there.
But, for the people, like you said, at the beginning; those people who magically think that, "If times get tough, I'll just go out." I'll hunt. I'll go out. I'll learn how to hunt, and not understanding that there are no animals left to hunt, or in any realistic way.
But, also thinking, maybe magically, "Hey, you know, what? If I have to, I'll start to learn to grow then." But, I'm a big fan of people getting their fingers in the soil now, early on. Because it's a big learning process.
Marjory Wildcraft: You're so right on. For somebody who is just a beginner, I really recommend a few herbs on a windowsill. You're absolutely right. Because everything you learn from those three or four potted plants is completely transferable out into the garden.
But why I recommend herbs. It's astounding the difference in your old dishes when you put a little bit of fresh basil that you've grown yourself in it. I mean, it completely transforms it.
I'm not kidding. How could just a couple of teaspoons of crushed basil change that normal chicken recipe?
But, it really does. As a mom, it's so fulfilling to have people going, "I want seconds," or, "I want thirds." That's what you want.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: I don't know why we want them all to overeat? But, they love it so much. Those fresh herbs just make such a huge difference. Those herbs and just a couple of tips to get them going.
First of all, get as big a pot as you can put on that windowsill. Because the more soil you have in there, the more water retention it will have. The more forgiving of your lackadaisical schedule it will be, so get as big a pot.
The other thing is, put it somewhere where it's frigging obvious that you're going to see it every day. I like to put mine right by the kitchen sink where I'm washing dishes or passing all the time. That way, you see it. You notice it. It's a part of….
If you put it in the spare bedroom, those things are going to die. Yeah, right? You're never going in there.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: Then the other thing is, yeah, just start with a couple of the real basics; basil, maybe some chives, maybe some oregano. These are pretty bulletproof plants.
I mean, they're tough. They will be able to withstand your novice mumbling around. Those are the ones that are the tastiest.
Mints, another beautiful one; those are the ones that really have a great flavor impact. When you really start to just notice that taste of fresh herbs on stuff. Then, you're like, "Maybe I'm going to graduate to a potted, a bigger potted plant on the patio."
I'm going to try some of those real homegrown tomatoes; my God, like night and day, right? I know many people in our network started out that way with just some herbs. Then, they went to a little, small, maybe a four by four garden.
Then, they went, and they did more, and the more, and more. Now, they're…. But, I'll tell the other really inspiring thing. I was sitting with a friend one time. We were joshing around about this, that, and the other. How much food do you grow?
She didn't think she was growing much. But, we were putting the numbers down on paper. I'm like, "Well, you've got a couple hundred square feet garden. There's probably about this many calories being produced in that."
Then, you've got some chickens. You've got this many eggs, Let's look up. Okay. Let's see. It's 63 calories for a medium sized egg.
Then, she was raising some rabbits. I'm like, "Geez, you can grow half of your own food in your backyard sized space in less than an hour a day."
That's counting the calories. That's counting the time. That's counting everything. We went ahead and made a video on that one. I think it's at GrowHalf dot com, if anybody wants to see it for free. We'd be more than happy for you to see it.
But, half is huge. Half is huge – so, after you've gone through your herbs, and you've upgraded. Because people are like, "I don't want to become a migrant worker just to produce food." Right? It's totally doable. By the way, that's going to be the most enjoyable hour of your day.
Chris Martenson: I agree.
Marjory Wildcraft: Did you know?
Chris Martenson: I agree.
Marjory Wildcraft: But, it's totally doable with the modern lifestyle. That's going to save you so much money; medical bills, health bills. Those allergies that have been bugging you forever will, kind of, disappear after a while.
Or, that arthritis or whatever else is going on for you. You'll find that eczema, it starts to disappear when you eat really good food.
Chris Martenson: Yeah. This is all fantastic stuff. We have a good friend and contributor at the site who has talked about just putting…. He lives in a more urban area in St. Louis. He has got pots that are self-watering.
Because he has devised a little thing where you just water one big chamber. They self-water, and so very bulletproof for the novice. He starts them indoors. He puts them out on his little patio.
He has tomatoes all throughout the season and starting early. Also, if he puts a couple extra up, he can hand out a couple of these buckets to other people, and start building community that way. Because who doesn't want to be handed a producing tomato plant at some point?
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah.
Chris Martenson: Yeah. These are things that people…. As long as you have access to a little bit of sunlight, you can actually get started, right?
Marjory Wildcraft: Absolutely. Then, there are a lot of people that actually use those. I have not gotten into the LEDs and doing things in dark apartments. In terms of sustainability, I'm not totally certain, if that makes sense, or not.
But you know what? If that's what floats your boat, and you're familiar with technology, and that's what gets you started? Do that, you know what I mean?
Do that, right, yeah. There is a tremendous amount. But, let's look at some of the examples in Russia where everybody lived in, my gosh, those apartment blocks. Right, the –
Chris Martenson: Yeah, drab.
Marjory Wildcraft: – Communist system there, well, they had dachas that were just outside of town, which were basically gardens, community gardens. There are lots of ways to get access to land and community. There are community gardens all across the place. I think it's called Shared Earth.
There are lots of websites where people go, "Hey, I got a backyard. I would not mind you having a garden here. I would love it." There are lots and lots of other alternatives. I am a real believer.
If you set your mind and your intention on something. You open your heart, and you say, "Gosh, I really want to be growing my own food in some way." I live in a closet, right. I live in a closet.
I don't have any sunlight. There's a way to make it happen. The universe really is a very kind and loving place; and with a clear intention, and a positive emotion.
You can really attract things to you, lots, and lots of positives. There is a town in my community where I'm seeing signs up from farmers. They're like, "Hey, come and give us a half a day of labor. We'll give you a box of vegetables."
Okay. You know what I mean? There are lots and lots of ways to do it. Yeah, just set your mind to it. You can make it happen.
Chris Martenson: Let's close one of the loops here, then. You just mentioned that now you can see signs for farmers saying, "Hey, come work a little bit."
From that time in 2003, when your observation was that maybe even one small elementary school, part of its veggies couldn't even be some locally. Where are you today in your local community in that regard?
Marjory Wildcraft: We have gotten more farming going here. The reason that farmers have those signs up. The biggest expense for a farmers is labor, especially here in the United States where minimum wage, and a lot of places is starting to creep up, ten, eleven, and twelve dollars an hour.
You can't. It's really tough to grow food and compete with the petrochemical agribusiness at those prices. Farmers are really happy for help with labor. Then, I mean, I think that's an awesome deal. To go work for four hours, and be outside, have somebody else growing all the food, right?
Making all those decisions, or window fertilize, or having all of the skill; all you have to do is come and do whatever they tell you, weed, or hoe, or harvest, or whatever. You get a big box of vegetables. That's your food supply for the week or a big chunk of it.
That's one heck of a deal. Who is it? Vicki Robinson wrote, Your Money or Your Life. Would you have rather worked for four hours somewhere, made money, and then tried to go get organic food? Or, just go work for a farmer, right? Yeah. There are lots of options out there.
Chris Martenson: That's a good one. I really liked that idea of eating organic food while being outside. Maybe even opening your eyes and seeing how they grew, and maybe learning something from that process as well?
You don't have to go, and earn the money in a different, maybe soul destroying way. Or, whatever is up for you in that point and time.
That sounds like a great way to go out and begin to connect those dots for people. I personally know people who do work on them. We have lots of organic farms around here in Western Massachusetts. People have a lot of opportunities to go out and learn.
But, I've got to tell you. It was maybe – I don't know – ten or 11 years ago. We got a really great, just like the all-star local organic farmer guy. He has been doing it forever. He's really smart.
I fancy myself, at that time, I had a little more hubris than I do. I'm like, "I'm a really smart guy." I go up to him. I'm like, "Hey. I've been gardening for about, maybe 20 years already. I would like to really boost that, though." How long will it take me to learn to garden the way you do and to farm the way you do it?
He goes, "About ten years." I said, "Okay. Guess what? I'm a really smart guy. I'm a fast learner." He goes, "For you, it will be ten years." I was like, "No. You don't. I don't think you understand." I went down that path for a little while.
He finally circled around and said, "Listen, I could show you how to farm on my farm in a year." But, at your place, the soil is different. The climate is a little bit different. You're going to have to go through the year where it was wetter than anything you had experienced.
Then, there is the year where it was drought during the the seedling season. Then, there is the year with the little, funny bugs you've never seen. Then, there's the year the brown mold shows up, right?
He's just said, "Until you've had experience through those, in your place, you won't. It takes time to develop that mastery."
I think anybody can get started. But, what are your thoughts on this idea that it does take a sense of place and mastery over time to really build?
Marjory Wildcraft: It does. It does take about a decade. A couple of things to just join in on that, like sweet potatoes, a great crop for the south, right? Texas, it's hotter than blazes all summer long.
Sweet potatoes love the heat. They don't. They're very drought tolerant. The great thing is, when you harvest them in the fall, you can store them on winter. Right? Traditionally, they were stored in a pit underneath the house.
Then, by the springtime, when you were just about depleted with your supply, they had already started sprouting. You would just go ahead and use those sprouts and replant again. You went around again.
You only get to plant once a year to try it out, right. A lot of plants, you only get one season that you can do it in. yeah. You're right. You've got all of these little challenges that are going to come up year, after year, after year.
One year, I was like, "This is so great." The sweet potatoes are the greatest crop ever. This is going to solve all of our problems. The next year, I really overwatered them.
They were so lush. They were just huge. The leaves were great. There were no tubers because they were so well-pampered.
Chris Martenson: Why bother?
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah, like, damn. You're right. Then, there are going to be the years with the insects. Then, there are the other things. People said, "Do you have goats?" Actually, goats in Texas, they're a much better animal than cattle.
The goats eat way more, a different variety of forage and the forage that lives there. The thing about goats, by the way, you really have to manage them. Most people do not manage the goats well. The goats eat everything. Then, they just utterly destroy a landscape.
But, lots of people I know that have been really working with the goats have just increased the fertility on their land incredibly using goats. They said, "Marjory, why don't you have goats, then?" I said, "You know what? I just can't stand goats."
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: They're really precocious. They're really cute. But, I'm really into edible landscaping and all this other stuff. Just man, the minute a goat gets out, there goes my edible landscaping. I mean, it just wasn't. It just didn't vibe with me. We just didn't work.
I'm much more of a rabbit person. Or, even my husband, who was into cattle. I mean, we like slower, calmer animals. That took a awhile to figure that out. We aren't goat people. Right?
I think Carla Emery talks about the psychology of people and livestock in her Encyclopedia of Country Living. It was a pretty insightful piece. We're not goat people. We're like this, right? Or, I love geese, personally. My family hated geese.
My God, they hated the geese. We ended up having to compromise. I put the geese out in the orchard, which was far from the house. But, you know what I mean? There's the reality of who you know. I wanted to plant this big oak tree right here.
My husband was like, "That will totally block my view." I mean, there are kinds of factors of why you've got to? Yeah, you're right. It takes time. Then, it just does take time. But, don't let that deter you. Because it's such an incredibly wonderful adventure.
The life is so much more abundant and giving. If you make mistakes, it's harsh. There is the reality of death. There's the reality of stupid things you do, what, that kills things. You feel terrible about that.
But, as you come through it, I've seen land regenerate. I have regenerated land and seen it go from just being like a sandpit to be a lush, highly productive area.
When you have experienced that, and you know that, it's really incredible how forgiving. How abundant nature is. Don't let the time frame deter you.
Chris Martenson: Absolutely, you can get started right away, but it just does take time to figure these things out. I'll give you a quick example which fits in with your story as well. I also like to plant for medicines.
One of the most potent medicines I know for flus and viruses is elderberry extract and elderberry syrup. I love growing elderberries. At my old house, we were on an old alluvial sandbank from an old ice age era lake, so 60 feet of sand. It looked like beach sand under the soil, and very hard to keep nutrients in.
But, at any rate, elderberries loved wet feet. They hated growing over there. I watered them like a fiend. They were okay, but not happy. Here, I'm in a new place. I noticed there's a lot of jewelweed along one side, which is a very lush, sort of a plant here in the East.
I said, "That's probably wet there." I planted elderberry twigs with little roots coming out of them last year. This year, they're over nine feet tall, like this, and just perfect.
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah, right, and vining?
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah, vining, the right spot. Yeah, exactly.
Chris Martenson: Yeah. I haven't watered them once. I love them. But, the spot, it would take me ten years to, sort of, remediate the soil to be clay three feet deep, which is what they need. But anyway, you take what you can. You do what you can.
Then, maybe the other place was better for goats. I could have been a goat person and traded goats with somebody at elderberry. We learn these things. But, you work on your spot.
Recently, you said that you could grow half your food in an hour a day. Tell us what that operation would look like?
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah, absolutely. It's just a very simple three part system. To set your expectations, I would say that if you have no skills at all, give yourself a year to get these three systems up and running.
You can do it at any time. But, the first is a garden. Just start out with a small garden, I would say a 50 square foot, 100 square foot at the most. Start small, that way you'll be able to focus on it. It won't be overwhelming.
Your chances of success are going to be a lot higher. That garden does not produce a ton of calories, but it produces a lot of nutrition, and diversity. Definitely, get a garden going, and that's one component.
I don't have the numbers right in front of me here. I'm thinking, it's something. You can get about 35 to 40,000 calories a year out of in one season out of a garden like that.
The other is going to be a little flock of chickens. There is a myth that you do not have to have a rooster. You don't need to. But, even just you six ladies laying eggs every day for you. Hens do not lay every day of the year. But, you can get about 200 eggs, or 250 eggs per hen in a year.
You will be egg wealthy. You will be very rich in eggs. Eggs have so much great stuff. The whole thing about cholesterol, which was all a myth being perpetuated from the 1960s. It's a complete food, lots of protein, and lots of fat.
The yolk is actually the food sack for the chick, which is the white part. That is also a food sack for you. It has an unbelievable amount of nutrition in it. The malnutrition is the elephant in the room for the United States, right?
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: We are severely…. We were more malnourished than Africans, or Kenyans, or whatever. I mean, it's really bad here, right? We're huge. That does not mean we're nourished.
Chris Martenson: Right.
Marjory Wildcraft: Then, the other would be just a small rabbit tree. I really no longer grow my rabbits in cages anymore. But, I do recommend as a novice, that's a good way to go. Just because it's so much more controlled.
There is just one less variable or less variables for you to have to manage. I would say, eventually, for the health of the rabbits, grow them in other ways. We'll show you other ways.
But, one buck and three breeding does, even in Texas where we only have about six or seven months of production because it's too hot in the summertime for them to breed. I was getting 75 to 80 rabbits a year out of that.
One rabbit is the equivalent of a chicken. In fact, chicken – I have often served rabbit and forgot to tell people. They just assumed it was chicken meat. The great thing about it. You can process a rabbit at home 15 minutes before you cook it.
I would cook it and serve it to my family. If the boys weren't there, we might have leftovers. Then, the next day, it would be rabbit soup with vegetables like my mom did when I was a little girl growing up. You don't even need to have electricity.
We would just have a small pot. We would have a stock pot on the back of the stove where she kept all the bones and things like that, that made the soup stock from. The most important thing that you're going to get out of those rabbits is going to be the organs.
I do not recommend eating organ meat from anything from the commercial food supply. But, liver, go check it out. Liver is unbelievably rich in all of these vitamins, minerals, CoQ10, vitamin A, and all the B vitamins. All of these vitamins you don't normally get access to. It's a superfood,.
It is way better than anything else that you can grow. You get to eat the organ meats. Then, of course, there are the others; the brains, the kidneys, and all the other bits. I still do give the intestines to the dogs.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: You can do some things with the skins. Tan them, sometimes I do. Actually I feed the skins to my dogs. They eat the whole thing. Then, the fur ball goes out somewhere on the edge of the property. I don't know where.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: Dogs love it. That's like food. The fact, I really, hardly have to feed the dogs much at all. By the way, I do have two dogs, I have medium sized dogs. I don't want real big ones. Because you have to feed the dogs.
I don't want real small ones. Because these dogs have got to do work against raccoons, and coyotes, and things, right? I want two of them because dogs can sometimes be lazy.
But, if they've got two of them, they can work together. They're pack animals. I want them to be the pack. I don't want them to think I'm the pack. I want them to. They're working dogs, right. They protect the chickens, the rabbits, the gardens and all that stuff.
Then, their deal is they get some eggs. They get the intestines and in the skin. That's a really simple, little system there. I really have clocked it out, timed it. I said, "On average, I'm doing about an hour a day."
In the spring, sometimes on the weekend, a glorious, beautiful spring day with the sun, and that's when you're doing all the bread – bed prep –
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: – Getting the garden going, and that whole thing. It might be a little bit more. But then, there are some days when this kid has got an appointment with the dentist. The tire just went flat, one of those mornings.
All you do, you just toss some pellets into the rabbits. You glance at the garden, and make sure nothing is wilting, and wave to the chickens. It's two minutes, right. It's a very flexible system and adaptable.
Then, there are lots of things you can do to really optimize it to where you're saving even more time. But, half will make a huge difference. Not only on your budget, you can't hardly buy food that high quality. The nutrition, that kind of nutrition just doesn't exist.
You're not going to get that nutrition out of a pill. Don't fool yourself; just the level of health and vibrancy, and the security. Because if you can grow half, if you've mastered those three things of being able to get a garden going with the rabbits and the chickens.
If the unthinkable does happen, and you find all your in-laws, your cousins. All of these people you'd forgot about that are now on your doorstep. Because they knew you were kind of crazy, but you were doing it.
You're like, "Okay. We're going to build some more rabbit cages." We're going to get some chickens. We can just replicate these systems over and over again. You've got work for all of these people to do, right.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: I mean, when you've got a system that works for half, you can definitely replicate that, and unfolded it into more.
Chris Martenson: Absolutely. Tell me how these three systems fit together. We've got the garden. We've got chickens. We've got rabbits. Are you feeding the chickens and rabbits with commercial foods that come from somewhere?
Marjory Wildcraft: I would recommend in the beginning doing that. Just because it's going to make it easier on you. It's actually very easy to provide about half of the nutrition for, and the food stuff for all of these. One reason I recommend rabbits as a meat source versus chickens, Everybody goes, "Why don't we raise chickens?"
Chickens and pigs are very expensive meats to raise. They're omnivores. Chickens want to eat grains. They want to eat food that you would actually want to eat. Rabbits, goats, cattle, and guinea pigs, and things like that are herbivores. They tend to eat things that do not compete with us at all.
Actually, a lot of my rabbit food, I'll just go out with the scythe in the morning and cut some grass. Or, tree trimmings in the wintertime when you're trimming your orchard trees, my God, the rabbits just love chewing on that bark.
I mean, that's what rabbits in the wild live on up near the Arctic. They're living on bark and young sapling, them chewing on that. There are lots and lots of ways to feed them.
Of course, chickens, it's legendary on different ways that you can feed chickens; of course, all of your own scraps, and waste, and things like that. They really are very synergistic together like that. It really doesn't take long to be able to provide half of the food for all of those.
The food for your garden is going to be your compost. Take steps, though, right? Don't try to do it all at once. Because then, you'll be setting yourself up for failure.
Get your chickens and just go ahead and buy cheap feed. If you can't afford the really good, organic, non-GMO, then just get the GMO feed. Just get started and just do what you can –
Chris Martenson: Great.
Marjory Wildcraft: – Say, "Look, I know later I'm going to improve this." Then, I know later, I'm going to improve that. I know later, I'm going to improve that. But, I just want to get started. That's the key thing.
Chris Martenson: Absolutely. For me, chickens are…. Because my weakness is I'm a lazy composter.
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah. That's a good thing.
Chris Martenson: Yeah. That's just how I am. But chickens did that for me, right. They'll take literally anything from my kitchen with just two exceptions, citrus rinds and banana peels. But, everything else, they would compost for me and happily, and do it in about 24 hours.
It was just wonderful. I got a really good system of then harvesting the chicken poop out, and putting it in a bucket with water, and stewing it for about, maybe three, or four weeks. Then, using that as my fertilizer back into my garden.
To me, that was a really…. By the way, it was very controlled and controllable. I always knew exactly what the mix was to do. I found that to be a really efficient system for me.
Marjory Wildcraft: That's really beautiful. We were talking about side businesses. There are a ton of little side businesses that come off of this that are amazing,. I had a friend of mine a rabbitry. He loved the rabbits. His kids were into 4-H. They just went crazy over the rabbits.
He was way more than what they needed for their food supply. He was selling rabbit stock. He was selling rabbits to a processor and selling the rabbit meat. He said, "But, what the most lucrative aspect of that was?" It was underneath.
He got the droppings. He was raising red wigglers, and worms, and worm castings. That was where he made all of his money, selling worm castings. There was that whole thing, plus the worms, and, of course, can feed chickens.
I am actually looking at; I recently purchased an acre on a little farmhouse in an area in Colorado. This poor land really needs some oomph. It has been neglected for a while. Something, and I'm going to raise up a flock of meat birds.
Really, this is an acre. It's not that much. Maybe I'll _____ [00:36:22] like 30 or 40 meat birds. Really, I mean, yes, I want the meat. We're going to process and have that. Realistically for me, it's like a 12-week project. I use heritage birds, which generally are a little slower than –
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: – The Cornish Rock Cross, which only takes about eight weeks. But, the real purpose of it, I want those birds all around my yard pooping. I'm basically going to get chicken feed, turn it into protein, and then turn it into fertility in my yard.
Get these birds to help enliven the whole yard. Back when we were in Texas, I was like, "I would love to have two or 3,000 chickens all over our pastures just shitting all over the place." My husband was like, "Who did I marry?" I'm like, "Yeah."
Chris Martenson: I totally understand what's going on there. That's exciting.
Marjory Wildcraft: It is. There are so many businesses. Quite frankly, more and more people are realizing that the food supply is toxic. It is.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: Even the CDC is saying, "Look." All children born after 2000, one-third of them, they're expecting, will become diabetics in their lifetime. I'm like, we've already seen…. They're trying to cover it up, saying it's due to opioid overdose.
We're seeing that life expectancy is dropping. This is the first time in a century. It's the third year in a row. Life expectancy is dropping. _____ [00:38:00] in a tenth of a year, and it's pretty small right now. But, I believe it's going to plummet.
Let's take these kids born after 2000. What is your life like as a –? A lot of them are becoming diabetics in their teens or in their 20s. What is their life expectancy realistically going to be when they're in their 30s and their 40s?
They're dealing with renal collapse or the swollen feet, and the edema, or the swollen ankles, and heart disease, and obesity. Do you really think these kids are going to make it to 50, or 60, or 70?
If they do, God help them. What miserable lives. It's the food. It's the food supply, right?
Chris Martenson: I know.
Marjory Wildcraft: We're headed into a tsunami on the whole life expectancy thing of just it plummeting. I think that I feel it, anyway, with The Grow Network. There's definitely a real movement. A lot of people are really getting it.
It's about us doing something. Organics, there's a big myth of organics. I'm definitely a proponent of organics. It's definitely a step in the right direction. When you're buying organic food, at least you know it's not genetically modified. It's going to have fewer toxic chemicals on it.
But, the organic brand has been usurped. Once the USDAA took it over. Then, all of the big corporations have taken it over. I do applaud that it's a step in the right direction. But, it has also lost a lot of what the original meaning and intent of it is.
The biggest myth about organics is that they're more nutrition. They're not. Test after test, and study after study shows that organic food has about the same nutritional content as conventional food. Quite frankly, both of them are really bad.
Decade after decade, after decade, those numbers have been falling. There is not a single incident of more nutrition in any of the food. The worst case example is carrots.
I'm 56. When my mom was given me carrots as a kid growing up in the 1960s; I now have to give my kids 11 carrots to get the same amount of nutrition as the one carrot my mom gave me, right?
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: There ain't nothing in there. There ain't nothing in there. The way to get something in there is to grow it yourself. I think most people are realizing that's it. Really growing it ourselves is the way to really get – and man, you can taste it.
I have to travel for work. No. I shouldn't say I have to. I love it. But, I travel a lot for work, which is kind of insane. It seems somewhat incompatible with growing your own food. But, I still manage it.
I just can't wait until I get back home again. Because the food out there – and I'm a foodie, right. I eat at the best restaurants. It isn't anything compared to what I'm growing in my backyard.
Chris Martenson: Very well said, and as a reminder to people listening. We did interview a gentleman from Food Democracy; now, not once, but twice talking about glyphosate. You remember, they found glyphosate residues at shocking levels and Cheerios and things like that.
But even in organics, it was showing up. Because the speculation is that you're not allowed to use glyphosate on your property as an organic practice. But, if you're using it as a desiccant? Maybe that's allowed.
That's, I think, what you're talking about Marjory, part of the bastardization of that term. How it got, sort of, corporatized, and wiggled around, and things like that.
You mentioned earlier that we may be more malnutritioned, but, malnourished than people from West Africa, say, or other places. I think that might be a multifactorial thing we're trying to solve here. But, part of it might be, people are eating because they're hungry.
They're not hungry for calories. But, they're missing some essential nutrients. It might be a macronutrient. It could be a micronutrient; no selenium, and no magnesium in the food anymore.
Because it's not in the soil anymore. Nobody puts it back. That could be part of the problem here, too.
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah. That's so awesome. I was like cheering up and down when even Dr. Oz was saying that a little while ago. Then, I think they shut him up. He stopped saying that.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: But, he was like, "You're not fat because you're bad. You're not over eating because you can't help eating." He says it's your body actually asking for more food.
Because it's looking for nutrition. When it's not in that food? Yes. They ended up shutting him down. It was pretty interesting from that conversation.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah.
Chris Martenson: Looking at the time, I have so many more questions on food. But, I want to turn now to medicine. You had quite the experience with a venomous snake bite that you successfully treated at home. Everybody listening, this is not medical advice.
This is simply a very interesting anecdote. What's interesting about that experience when I was reading through it. Your husband had a bite from a similar sort of a snake.
One was treated in the system. One was treated at home and very different cost outcomes, all of that. Would you be willing to take people through some of that experience?
Marjory Wildcraft: Sure, yeah. In Central Texas where we live, and in rural Central Texas, we got a lot of copperheads. I'm a barefooter. You would think that would not be smart. But, for the most part, I have a good relationship with snakes.
There is a number one rule in homesteading and in life. I was violating that rule this one afternoon. That is, never stick your hands and your feet where you can't see them.
I was out in my tomato patch. I don't know how I had this beefsteak tomato growing in there, which does not really grow in that region that well anyway. It was this gigantic tomato. It was a specimen.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: My God, I wish there was a tomato contest right now. Anyway, I was so excited about that. I just plunged into the patch to see if there was another one. Then bam, I felt something on my foot. I was like, "Uh-oh," I looked down.
Sure enough, there are the two puncture wounds. I did not see the snake. But, I immediately go into the house. I tell my husband, "I have been snakebit." He says, "Do you know what kind?"
I said, "No." Because that's the number one thing. If you can identify the snake, that's hugely important. You should know the snakes in your region, pretty easy to learn. He immediately looks at the clock. Because that's the first thing you always want to do in an emergency, know when things happen, and start keeping a journal of it.
He knew that there was no way in hell I was going to a hospital. That's just not my MO, right. He says, "Okay." By the time I had gotten back to the house, the pain was starting to hit me. He goes, "You're looking in pain." I said, "Yeah."
He goes, "A copperhead." Because we both know that's pretty much the only snake in that area with those kind of things. He says, "What do you want to poultice it with?" Because he knew that would be the treatment I would want. We're scratching my head. I'm like, "Man, there's the narrowleaf plantain, but there's so much of it."
We'd never get…. Prickly pear, so he goes out to harvest some prickly pear for me. Then, I took a quick shower, which I shouldn't have done. But, it was Texas in the summertime, June.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: Then, I laid down in the living room, which is where everything happens in our house. That's the center of all activity.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: Unfortunately, he and my daughter who is also pretty skilled ass an herbalist and home medicine maker, they actually went and got the DVD that I had created on how to treat these things.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: They started reviewing that. Basically, they poultices up my leg, I had quite a journey and some really neat…. With a venom like that in your body, people would say, "It's an hallucination."
I would say that's really just a really superficial explanation of the experience I had. I wrote about it in the book there. It was really a thing.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: But basically, we treated the whole thing at home. I honestly did not think that much about it. Because that's just what we do. I was pretty much done with it in about two or three days.
I'm just super appreciative of my husband and my daughter for their care. I was back up and running around really in about three days. I did not think anything of it at all, except I was actually, kind of, like, "Damn, I just missed three days of work. I got and goofed."
When you have something like that, you're focusing on that. You're not going to be answering e-mails. You're focusing on healing that, letting your body rest, and that. Then, I started getting phone calls from radio hosts. Hey, we heard you got bitten by a snake.
I'm like, "Yeah, I did." I said, "It's no big deal." What do you mean, it's no big deal? Get over here and why don't you tell this story? I'm like, "Maybe it is a big deal."
It did have me stop and reflect. My gosh, I've been using herbal medicine maybe for about 20 years. I started out as a woman who knew nothing. If anything happened, like the first thing? The first thing I'd do is ignore any symptoms I had or any of my family.
Okay. You can toughen up and get over that. Then, if it really got bad, then we go to the drugstore. I would grab…. I would overdo it. I was like, "Okay, I want two or three and med it." They got all these choices. I'll grab three of them and take all of them, right?
Then, if it got even worse, then I would buckle up, and go to a doctor. If it even got worse, then the last resort was a hospital. Right? That was my medical plan. That's all I know. Again, being a young mom, and starting on that whole journey, I started taking more – learning more about herbs, and learning more about herbalism.
How to take care of yourself. Really looking at that snakebite story, it was like wow. I just really hadn't realized how far I'd come in 20 years to where a potentially lethal snakebite didn't even faze me. I mean, that's just what we do.
Yeah. My husband had been bitten three years before. Now, he is not at all interested in…. He's always an admiration of what I do. They often accept the treatments I give them. But, he's still…. When you get into his core, and a copperhead bite….
People do. It can be fatal. There aren't that many fatalities. Because usually people get treatment right away, which is very wise. In whatever form you do it, just start getting treatment.
But, I knew his belief system. He was going to want….. We did the hospital adventure, which was this huge – my God. The medical system is so good at creating drama. I think our out-of-pocket expenses were something like seven thousand dollars.
But, the whole total bill, even with insurance, and everything was somewhere around thirty thousand. It's crazy numbers. Just the stuff they did. The antibiotics messed up his gut.
I mean, it was just a really….. Then, the disruption to the family, because while I'm with him at the hospital, who's taking care of the dogs? All of the shuffling around that you have to do. The whole – it was just a drama, just a huge drama.
Actually, after we did the thing at home with me, my husband goes, "Wow, if I ever get bit, I think we should just treat it at home." I go, "Thank God." Yes. We should, right.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: I don't want to encourage people to go out and treat a snakebite right now, if you've never done anything. But, like all of these things, yeah, try some elderberry syrup this winter when you get that cough.
Just notice how you feel; or, make yourself some fire cider. or start taking some garlic before the holidays. Just see, if you're the one who doesn't get sick, and everybody else gets sick?
When you do get a cut or a bruise, instead of grabbing for the Neosporin, or whatever, try making your own homemade salve and trying that. Do it in small ways and build up your confidence, and go, "Wow, that really worked."
Or, sometimes, it doesn't work, like, "Anyway, you were right." But, really, start to take your power back because, really, this is how we always did it. I mean, this modern medical stuff has only been around for what, a century or something like that?
Prior to that, everybody treated things at home. If you did see a doctor, it was most likely the veterinarian. We are used – and, for me the thing about it. It's way more than just being able to take care of yourself. It's the family glue.
My daughter was there. My husband was there taking care of me. There is a bond between us. There is a bond between us that is real. It's palpable. There are memories.
There is a deep appreciation. You are robbed of all of that when you go to the hospital. My daughter had a fever when she was about eight years old. She comes into bed, "Mama, I don't feel so good."
It's funny, in the middle of the night when something like that happens to you. Even though I'm trained and all of this stuff, and I teach people about it all. I completely panicked. I'm like, "What the hell do we do?"
Actually, I go to my own resources, my own home medicine thing. I look up the site. I'm like, "Okay, most fevers, you really don't need to do anything." It was such a beautiful night to lay with her and have my body warmth keeping her warm; and have a cool cloth that I was working on her forehead to calm her, and soothe her.
Just hold her all night, and to carry her through that. That is such a precious time and such a precious moment. I know, she knows that. There are things between us. That would never happen, if you'd just say, "Here, pop some ibuprofen, and see me in the morning."
Home medicine is so much more than just healing yourself. That's a part of it. But, sort of like your gardening is so much more than just producing food. I would say growing your own food; the process of growing food is where the health benefits are.
Yeah. You get to eat more nutritious food. But, the process of growing food is so healthy. The same thing with home medicine. Yeah. You heal. But, the process of healing and being engaged, sharing love, care, and tenderness, that's potent stuff, right?
Chris Martenson: Absolutely. A couple of my learnings in this area were that I think I've been sold a bill of goods. Definitely, I can relate to part of where your husband's mindset is. It was mine for a long time, too. Maybe it's still buried in there.
But, really, I think I got sold this bill of goods that says, "When you get sick, that's kind of, almost like a condition." We have to treat you and get back to healthy. To me, now, I understand. Health is the baseline.
Sick is not the baseline. Because everything in our culture is about how hard you have to work? God, you're going to have to control your eating. You're going to have to go to the gym all of the time to control your weight.
In our culture now, and what's true? You have to work hard to be healthy. That's upside down. That's a complete flip. That's not how it's supposed to be. Our bodies are constantly returning to health.
Health is the baseline. But, to get there, I think, you just have to make sure it has got the right inputs. There are supportive things we can do in terms of garbage in, and garbage out, and eating the right food to start with.
Then, there are lots of ways that we've integrated with the world around us. Through our gut biome, and through the plant medicines, and everything that are all there almost as if by magic to design, and to help us return to that healthy baseline.
Marjory Wildcraft: I agree with you. I believe health is our birthright. That's what our natural state is. We live in a physical reality. In physical reality, it's garbage in and garbage out, absolutely. How you take care of your body by what you feed it.
Feeding it high quality things makes a difference. The thoughts you think; I know, for us. For me, it was quite a trap for a long time. Because when I was learning more and more about how the world is actually wired. It was like, "My God."
Then, it's kind of seductive. Because you want to learn more. That’s what's really going on. Or, who knows? It's saying, "Look, I'm going to disconnect from that now." I totally get that's all happening.
But, it's not doing me any good. I'm going to just let go. Or, even disconnecting from the news, people who sit down at 5:30 with their beer at the end of a long day to watch the news. They get relaxed. They're drinking.
They're also suggestible. They're just getting totally reprogrammed. The news, if it bleeds, it leads. I mean, and I'm sure you've seen this on your blog.
We avoid this. But, the blogs that are screaming the loudest, making the most noise, and getting the angriest, getting the most upset, and causing the most controversy are the ones that get the most traffic. Right?
I'm like, I don't want to go there. I don't want to create that in the world. I don't want that in my own mind. What you're thinking is, shifting your perspective? We know the world is crazy. Let's focus on what we can do, Let's focus on what's proactive.
When we have a choice, let's just nudge ourselves toward the healthiest option possible. Not to get too rigid about it; as I said, I travel quite a bit for this business, appearances, radio, television, and that kind of thing.
I just make the best choice I can at the moment. A lot of times that best choice is far inferior to what I really want. But, it's the best choice at the moment. I'm going for it, right?
Chris Martenson: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we're very much aligned. I don't spend any time. Sometimes I have people wander by and say, "Chris, why aren't you out there helping to figure out which president to get elected next?"
I don't think it matters at this stage, personally. I think structurally, we're over the tip of our skis on all of this when you understand the base data. A podcast guest of mine, Stephen Jenkinson, a wonderful man, said, "Awareness today is a grief soaked proposition."
If you really understand what's happening in the world, the grief does come. Then, the question is, "That's okay. You can't stew there forever." What do you do? Grief needs to move. That comes through the actions.
If people aren't motivated to action by what they see around there, by all means, do not read another thing, right? Don't ingest any more information. Because information without action in this day and age is terrorizing. I think. If you have enough information for action, what do you do?
You can grow your own food. You can grow your own medicine. If you were going to be give people just a few things they might think about medicinally, they could do at home as a place to start; either to support general health or treat infections, or simple things like that. Where would they start?
Marjory Wildcraft: Okay. A really simple one is garlic. As I'm sure you're aware. The antibiotic resistance issue is a thing. It's a thing. It's hitting us. It's coming soon to, yeah, _____ [00:57:27], an infection near you.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: Garlic is just an amazing first home medicine. It's one that I really recommend for people. It's just great. I use it proactively in the holidays. For example, you're going to be going back. You're seeing all of the family.
There are 50 of you crowded into a room that's designed for ten of you. The air circulation is terrible. Everybody came from everywhere. You're going to be exposed to everything.
I don't have any problem with that. But, strengthen up my immune system to be able to handle it, really. I don't think Aunt Martha gave me that. I think that my immune system was weak. Aunt Martha happened to have it.
I grabbed it. Garlic, fresh garlic, you take a clove of garlic, use the side of a knife to crush it. Then, chop it up real fine, let it sit in the air for about five minutes, and it oxidizes. It releases, what, they're called alliinase. I believe is the potent medicine.
You take a spoonful of that. I definitely don't do that on an empty stomach. If I'm doing it proactively, before the holiday, a couple of days before I know I'm going to be going in with all of these people.
Doing all this crazy stuff, and eating food I don't normally eat, and getting outside of my normal thing. It's probably staying up way too late with the teenagers. I'll do that three or four times a day with the garlic just to really boost up my immune system.
I also do that, for example, when I got bit by the snake. My immune system is going to need some boosting up. If I have an external infection going on? I've sliced open my leg. Or, I have been punctured.
Or, man, living in Texas, you've got to be a bad ass. That state just wants to puncture you, or scrape you, or bite you, or sting you, or whatever. I just take an internal antibiotic like that, a natural antibiotic.
Here's the cool thing about garlic. Most, well, your pharmaceutical antibiotics are one thing. Penicillin is penicillin. It's one thing. Tetracycline is tetracycline. It's one thing. All of the bacteria that are in there, most of them die off.
But, some of them figure out. "That's tetracycline," and they figure out how to go around it. Then, they begin to propagate.
That's how we have antibiotic resistance. I think, actually, penicillin was the precursor to MRSA. Because that's the bacteria that figured out how to get around penicillin. Then, that created MRSA. I mean, it's life, right?
Life figures stuff out. Garlic has, gosh, I think it's 35 known constituents now. Who knows how many unknown ones that are antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antifungal? When you take that into your system, and the bugs are coming, they can't figure it out.
It's not just one thing that has to go around. It's this whole complex. It's just a really great, general antibiotic, especially if you have any kind of cough or lung stuff going on. It's really, especially good with the respiratory system.
Yeah. I really recommend that as your first home medicine. It's really simple. Some things not to do. Don't cook it, that's, you're going to destroy, Don't get the garlic that comes in capsules at the health food store. You're kidding yourself with that.
Don't use old garlic that starting to turn brown. Use a fresh clove of garlic. I've written a whole thing up. I think it's GarlicMiracles dot com. I will have to get you the exact website. You can give it out to people.
Everybody kept asking me about this. Someone had written an e-book about it to get it out there. That's a really great first home medicine to start using. You start noticing it.
Again, there are so many wonderful alternatives out there. Just start with one or two. The vast majority – I only really have about a dozen different herbs that I work with regularly. You really only need about five to handle about 90 percent of the stomach aches, the headaches, anxiety, and the insomnia. I mean, all of that, really, most of the stuff.
Ninety-five percent of what comes up in a family, you can treat at home very successfully with just a handful of different medicines that you've made yourself. Just start with one, start getting comfortable with that, and learning how to use it.
We're going, "You know what? There really is a lot of power in these herbs." You get your first taste of power with this. Wow, I really did avoid something big by munching on this garlic.
Or, wow, that elderberry cough syrup really did alleviate my cough. My husband, who did not take the stuff because he was laughing at me, is still sick.
I don't know how many testimonials we have that are women who are like, "I was fine in a day or two and he's still in bed." Yeah. Right on, sister. I get you
Chris Martenson: Guys aren't as tough. Let's just be honest. Okay?
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah, I know.
Chris Martenson: We know that.
Marjory Wildcraft: I know. I know. I'm just teasing. But, it's usually the women who are like, "I think we can…." Really, we normally are the caretakers in a family. This actually used to be our purview.
This is what we used to do. Bringing it back home again is a part of what The Grow Network's mission is.
Chris Martenson: Great. That's fantastic. I would add to that, just one other thing, which has been in my family structure. We also swear by Steri-Strips, a device you can use almost like in place of stitches for even pretty serious cuts.
My son, who was then nine or ten at the time, he had a bowl carving knife, a really, wicked sharped curve thing. He carved the whole top of his thumb off, practically, a big giant –
Marjory Wildcraft: Ouch, yeah.
Chris Martenson: – Shark tooth shaped flapper. A lot of pressure to wait until it stopped bleeding, and until it was not a flood, and then Steri-Strip the heck out of it. I got him down to the hospital. They took one look at it. They said, "It looks good."
Marjory Wildcraft: Nice.
Chris Martenson: We wouldn't do anything else. I think they put a stitch in, so they say they could, and so they could build a few thousand. But, we learned that. Unfortunately, in this day and age, we hear these tragic stories of people with broken leg saying, "Don't call an ambulance. I can't afford it."
Or, knowing that even that little cut might run them or set them back a household breaking several thousands of dollars. The median household doesn't have and things like that.
In many cases, it's becoming a mandatory for people in a financial sense to return to things that our grandfathers and great grandmothers would not be at all surprised by. Which is, "Yeah. You treat that wound appropriately." It will heal.
If you take a few supportive things, which are medicinal arsenal, and that just happen to be around, and growing here. We know how to use them. You will get less sick than average and all of that stuff.
I think there's a good time to be bringing these things back. Because A, they work. B, they're cost effective. C, it connects us again. That story about being with your daughter and with her illness. It connects us again to ourselves and each other.
It reminds me deep down that I was really struck by this TED Talk. This person, an addiction specialist talking about heroin in Portugal, and said, "The opposite of addiction isn't sobriety. Its connection." I was like wow. That really rang.
I studied it. I figured out, that's actually true. The original connection is to self. But, it's also the other. But, it's also to sense of place, right. That's what the garden does for me when I said, "It has this magical, spiritual quality."
It gives me a sense of connection to place. That's wired into my DNA somehow. I can't explain how. But, there it is. It really has an extraordinary set of benefits.
That's what I would like to alert people to. Just that there's something lurking there that's really big. I don't know what it is yet. But, everybody I know who gardens, or gets connected back through medicine, or their food. Or reconnects themselves finds that's really life supportive in some pretty deep ways.
Marjory Wildcraft: It sure is. I love that. Yeah. Many wonderful moments that I've had out in the garden or with the livestock. I really began to….. That my sense of community extended way beyond the humans to where it's an ecosystem, my whole yard is. By the way, MakeYourOwnMedicine dot com, if I can give a quick blurb for that?
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: We have a free – a four part training there to teach people the three reasons why you should be doing this. Then, the eight preparations, how to make them at home. I think we go into a peek into my medical kit. It's a free thing.
We're just getting out there to try to get more people to doing their own medicine. Then, that actually, ultimately can turn…. We have a lot of people. The Grow Network is not about creating professional herbalists.
But, quite a few people in our community have started out with home medicine, really gotten into it, and then moved on, and become a neighborhood herbalist. After a while, people will start coming up to you, and asking you, "What should I take for this?" Or, what should I do for that?
It can become a whole other, either a side income, or a profession. Quite frankly, we need that We need a whole lot more of that.
Chris Martenson: By the time those class IV and V rapids come up, we're going to need a lot more of that.
Marjory Wildcraft: We sure are. We sure are.
Chris Martenson: Marjory –?
Marjory Wildcraft: I'm pretty excited about the future. To be honest with you –
Chris Martenson: That's good to hear.
Marjory Wildcraft: I've noticed people don't usually change without a big cry. I certainly, I know. I have things going great. I'm not. Why disturb? You can change it. Crisis is a good thing. Quite frankly, we're wasting so much.
There are so many bizarre things and energy used in bizarre ways that are not appropriate. A good couple of crises to just shake people up. I have a lot of faith in the adaptability of humanity and in the goodness of humanity.
I think what's coming is just a necessary change. We just need something to shake us up. I think it's going to be a good thing.
Chris Martenson: I agree. I agree. Local mileage may vary in that story. But, I think, everybody needs to really consider how they're going to begin supporting themselves, become self-sufficient, and growing food. If you can grow half your food in an hour, why not?
You really should be doing that. Marjory, tell us. What's next for you? What lies in the future? What projects are you working on? Because I did hint in a book, Grow: All True Wealth Comes from the Ground. I love the title.
Marjory Wildcraft: I love that book. Yeah.
Chris Martenson: Is that your next project?
Marjory Wildcraft: I have got a literary agent, one of them fancy Manhattan ones, too. Yeah. Yes I'm actually in the process of writing the book. We are going to do a thing where we select a publisher here pretty soon. That's pretty exciting.
We're real excited about the forums that we've got up and going. We are continuing to bring out more products and services just to help this whole movement happening. Yeah. I'm very excited.
I think the book is going to really be a game changer for The Grow Network, and getting more exposure, and awareness of what's going on out there. It's a very positive thing. In it, I talk about it.
One of the biggest bridges is money. It's becoming a bigger, and bigger, and bigger issue for people. Because the wages have not kept up. You're well aware. I mean, there are a lot of people in our community that just don't have financial resources. I'm like, "Hey, wealth should not be defined by money."
Wealth is defined by your health, by your family, and your family connections, by your community, and by doing meaningful work, and by living a life of purpose. That's what real wealth is.
That's the message of the book. A lot of those things all come from the ground. They come from growing food, or making medicine, which all comes from the ground. It's a very inspirational perspective; forget the fast cars, and the jewelry, and the bank accounts, the apartment in Abu Dhabi, or whatever, right?
That's not going to do you anything. What's in that? There's nothing in that. We're real stoked about the book. Yeah. Twice a year, we're continuing to have summits.
The Home Medicine Summit is coming up here pretty soon. This is not one of those big doctors that are on Oprah kind of thing. It's more about the real herbalists that have been doing this for 20, 30, and 40 years, talking about how to take care of your gut. Or, how to treat diabetes.
Or, their real world experiences of using herbs over and over again to take care of things; and showing you how to do it. Then, in the spring, every year, we have the Homegrown Food Summit, where again, these are not fancy, big name.
I get it. There aren't really a lot of fancy, big name people in the homegrown food space. It's people who – for 30 years, she has been raising donkeys. How do you raise donkeys? Or, the guy with straw bale gardens, Joel. How do you do straw bale gardens?
Stacy Murphy on greens, growing greens, just the people who have been doing it for years, and years, and years, and teach it, and share with the rest of the world. We love doing the Summits. It's my big thing.
Chris Martenson: Sure.
Marjory Wildcraft: We've got to have you on one of our Summits, Chris. I bet you have a lot of really great advice for folks on side income generation, and on your homestead, or something like that?
Chris Martenson: Yeah. I'm sure, we do. We have a lot of content. A lot of it is actually managing and dealing with the emotional resilience around all of this. We build ours around innate form of capital, financial resilience.
It's important to have, financial capital; but social capital, living capital, et cetera, and so forth. We go through eight forms and guide people down that process. I'm sure. It's very similar to what you take people through.
Mostly, it's just to get to that aha moment of saying, "Here's what I think I'm going to focus on next." Because one of the most powerful people. I heard a buzz. This woman has this amazing place.
It's just astonishing place, just everything you could possibly imagine, all of these integrated systems. Somebody was interviewing her, and said, "God, how did you do this?" She said, "I just did the next thing."
Marjory Wildcraft: Yeah. It really is. It is just that, isn't it? Yeah, beautiful.
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Marjory Wildcraft: I'm just interested in whatever inspiration people need to do the next thing. That's it. You look back in ten years. You go, "I have got a lot done." That's just life.
That's how that works. I'm intrigued, though. These summits, how would people find out more about them? When and where are they?
Marjory Wildcraft: The Home Medicine Summit, this is going to be this fall. It will be starting on October 14th. But really, if you want to stay in tune with that, just head over The GrowNetwork dot com, and sign up for our newsletter.
We only send out two newsletters a week. It's full of blog posts and things like that. We'll give you the notice of when the Home Medicine comes out. Then, we have not defined the dates for the spring Homegrown Food Summit.
But, all those events, it's a classic summit model. They're for free and for the whole week. I really love that business model. You give it all away. Then, for the people who can afford it, to buy the package to support the whole thing, they do.
Yeah. I love it. We've been doing them now; I think we're on our sixth year and our 11th Summit. Or, something like that, it's crazy. We've been having a ball. The reason I did them?
Chris Martenson: What's that?
Marjory Wildcraft: I was on the Mother Earth News circuit for a long time, going to all of the Mother Earth News Fairs and speaking. I would miss, my God, the guy who's the editor of Mother Earth News.
He gave this great presentation on corn and growing sweet corn. All of these different corn varieties, it has been in this family for…. This other guy had this whole thing from Seed Savers Exchange on how to graft apple trees.
I was like, I missed that. I'm like, "Dang it, I missed it." Wait a minute, I can invite them to the Summit. I'll get to see their presentation. That's what it ended up being because I couldn't….
It was like I wanted to see all of these. I do it primarily for me and for all this really cool, or interesting, or wacky ideas on how to grow food. Or, make medicine, or how to take care of yourself. It's just a big, fun party like that.
Chris Martenson: Excellent. That sounds like a lot of fun. Are those in Texas?
Marjory Wildcraft: They're online. They're on the planet. They're on Earth. Yes. It's available at the website. Let's see. I think the Home Medicine Summit dot com, and then the Homegrown Food Summit dot com.
But, again, if you go over to The Grow Network and sign up for our newsletter, we'll give you plenty of notice.
Chris Martenson: Alright.
Chris Martenson: Chris, we may have you let folks know on your list also to give a notice about it.
Chris Martenson: Excellent. We'd love to do that. Of course, your book, Grow: All True Wealth Comes from the Ground, when that comes out, of course, we'll have you back on then. Unless that's too far from now, and then we'll have you on anyway.
Because this has been a fascinating, excellent podcast. I have loved the message. I really believe it is true. There is lots that we can do. That the message that's sort of fed to us is, "There's nothing we can do." You're powerless humans.
We extract. We degenerate things. But honestly, we can be the opposite of all those things, too; regenerative, create abundance. You're a living model of that, your homestead is.
That's what people need to see and know about. Thank you for your time today. I really look forward to doing this again.
Marjory Wildcraft: Thank you, Chris. I really appreciate all the work that you've been doing, too.
Chris Martenson: Thank you so much for that, Marjory. It has been a pleasure. This is Chris Martenson signing off for today. Hey everybody, go out, create abundance, and prosperity in your lives.