With the state of the economy as it currently stands, families need to rethink better, cheaper ways of sourcing your own food. Now with Farm A Yard, enterprising homeowners are learning how to turn lawns into food using BioEnergetic methods. Farm-A-Yard was started by Linda Borghi back in 2015, when she felt the strong desire to teach others about maximizing the value of their yards. This mission took her on the road with the “Grow Food Earn Money Tour”. Linda spoke at the United Nations at a 2009 conference entitled Food, Famine and the Future of Food Technology. Learn more about the radical and ethical revolution sparked by Linda in this riveting discussion on BioEnergetic, Biodynamic farming methods.
We have a very special guest, Linda Borghi. Linda is a very unique person and they don’t make them like this anymore. Linda has an amazing podcast called Farm-A-Yard where she teaches individuals and families how they can grow their very own crops right in their own yard. Linda is changing the world through her farming and agricultural company whose mission is to teach people how to farm their own yards all across the world, so every family around the world can have fresh produce at the convenience of their own home, grown right in their yard. Please welcome Linda Borghi.
Listen To The Episode Here: Farm A Yard: Biodynamic Farming With Linda Borghi
Farm A Yard: Biodynamic Farming With Linda Borghi
We have Linda Borghi. I’m very excited to have her on. She is such a beautiful soul. Always have a great time talking with her. She is on a mission to organically feed the world. She has a podcast called Farm-A-Yard. It’s brilliant. It’s got a ton of followers on it and you can check that out on iTunes. Linda, it is a pleasure to have you on the podcast.
So nice to be here.
Linda, where did you get started? Where are you from?
I had a very varied history. I am now currently the matriarch in my family. I’m the oldest of eight in an Italian family of famous fine art dealers.
Really? All of you guys?
Not me. I’m a farmer. I’ve lived all over the world. When I was seven years old, I lived right outside of Rome. There were six of us at the time. When I was eleven, we lived out in California at Palace, Vernix Peninsula. I can see Catalina Island right out the kitchen. My father had two art galleries in Beverly Hills. One in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and another one right down the street. That was when I was eleven. When I was sixteen, there were eight of us at that time. He moved his entire brood to the southern part of Spain, 30 miles north of Malaga. I saw the monkeys on the rock of Gibraltar and he would take us on the ferry across the way and now you’re in Africa, in Tunisia, and Rabat. We saw the Casbah. It was pretty incredible. The reason why he did this, my father was an immigrant. He jumped ship in New York City and he got on a bus and his first stop was Lyndhurst, New Jersey. That is where Meadowlands is now, and he walked into my grandmother’s ice cream store and that was it. My mother and him fell in love. My mother was 23 or 25 when she was married. It was a pretty incredible experience. My father went into the art business. My father, at one point in time, had the largest inventory of original oil paintings on the East Coast, International Art Gallery.
Was he an artist himself?
No, he was a healer. He would go when he would buy from the artist. He dabbled in watercolors but not much, but his devotion was to his children and he was going to give them an education that they could not get in a book and that is not everywhere. Can you go and flip on a switch and get a light to come on or can you go to a saint and turn on a faucet and get water and no matter who you cut on the rest, we all bleed red. He instilled that in us and to this day, that molded me as an adult. Although at sixteen, did I want to move to Spain?
What was that like for you as a young girl growing up all over the place?
It was pretty eye opening. It was devastating, but now as an adult, I can see that I was in training for this time because I’ve always been connected to the earth beneath my feet. No matter where I was, it wouldn’t make a difference. I lived in Bogota, New Jersey, which is five miles from Midtown Manhattan. I was on a postage stamp lot and burpee must’ve thought I owned a palatial mansion because every square inch, I have blueberries. I grew corn, I didn’t grow anything, I help it all to grow, the growing is not within my power.
EM 59 | Farm A Yard Farm A Yard: If we focus on how we’re alike, we’ll never get to how we’re different.
Did you teach yourself?
I did not. A person told me, and I’m going to tell you, I made thousands of dollars in mistakes. I built a chicken coop on block island. My former husband of 25 years, Bob, twinning up with me all that time. He was a builder. We built our first chicken coop. It looked a little bit like a phone booth, in that little chicken door. Brandon, our six-foot-six son, was only two and he would have to go in and get the eggs. My former husband, he’s six-foot-six.
I looked up to him and said, “Do you think all farmers that have chicken have young children to go collect the eggs?” Then we realized what we built was like an outhouse structure. It was thousands of dollars in mistakes, but always thriving on pure good, healthy food that came from the earth. We were eight children. We ate nothing from a box. Not that well. Who could you feed from a box? Eight children. I remember we used to have to line up every morning and it wasn’t a tablespoon, it was a serving spoon. My grandmother, she had cod liver oil or castor oil. I could still hear the spoons clinking in my ear.
She didn’t know why. She just knew that we had to have that at dinner. We were kids. I was five when we had to have red wine. Keon tea and water were required. They found out it’s for the relief or whatever. My father knew that it built the blood. These are ancient wisdom, and now what I say as I see children graduating from college and they don’t even know how to boil an egg or balance a checkbook, but they have, on an average across the country, $40,000 in student loan debt and two months after they get out, they have to start making those payments. 75% of them will not get a job in their field. What do they do? They go into the military or they flip burgers. I went on a grow food, earn money tour up and down the East Coast. I want to teach them that in one season, in 22 weeks, they can generate $75,000 in gross revenue on a half an acre of land and the gross isn’t too far from the net. They can pay that debt off in 22 weeks, not when they’re 70 years old.
From farming and just gathering the produce?
From multilocational farms. Let’s say I live in Montclair, New Jersey. There are a lot of lawns in Montclair, New Jersey and a lot of people, they don’t want to mow their lawns. I would go up to them and say, “I’ve been eyeballing your front lawn now for about three weeks and you know that we could grow a great crop, a San Marzano plum tomatoes here.”
What did they say?
In Orlando, there are 300 people on the waiting list; fleet farming. They are a collaborative cooperative and they are farming 60 farm lots. That’s what they call farms, their front lawns, front yards. They charge the people to farm their yards but the homeowner gets to harvest whatever they need for themselves, right from their property. There are 300 people on the waiting list.
They have a team that comes to the yard, does everything, and then all the people have to do is pretty much just wanting them to rent their yard for produce and they get to keep as much as they want.
If we look at just drive around churches, they have grass. Do you know there are over 40 million acres of turf grass in our country? It is the largest cultivated crop of the land. It is a bad habit we got from the English, but it rains there all the freaking time. Here, 40% of the drinking water on the East Coast goes to water lawns. Nobody’s eating them. I’ve taught in five African nations. I’ve spoken at the UN. I’ve taught at April State University, “Grow it, don’t mow it.” We have to change the status quo.
How do we do that?
Through getting people to dig up a three-foot by three-foot plot. What do they want to eat? What do they love to eat? Fresh produce. What is it? Is it a tomato plant? Is it lettuce? Is it Kale? Just grow that. What I have seen is the reason why people are not growing food is because we’re not teaching them the skills, nor are we teaching other those skills in order to do so. People go to places like Home Depot and Lowe’s and they buy things like soil in bags. They’re not aware that all that soil is pasteurized, which means there’s no life form. There’s no microbes. Farm-A-Yard’s mission is to grow healthy people. That’s what we want to do. How do we do that? We have to grow healthy soil through learning about compost. By learning about biodynamics. My understanding that you can expect miracles.
There are forces that we can’t see. I give my students as example, I’m 63, I’m a grandmother. I never wore a bra my entire life. If I stand in front of a full-length mirror naked, I know gravity exists. I’m not a physicist. I’m not a scientist, so therefore it is working even without me knowing how it works. There are so many forces out there like that. I am a biodynamic farmer. That is the study of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, one of the great thinkers of our time. He was at the same time as Edgar Cayce, that was the American and Steiner was from Austria. Steiner gave us a course in agriculture like none other.
EM 59 | Farm A Yard Farm A Yard: We can be kind and compassionate and empathetic and caring because that in turn makes us happy.
What was different about his course?
I am farming the air, not just the earth beneath my feet. I am opening the doors through the use of biodynamic preparations and through my thought forms. I’m reopening the cosmic doors to allow those forces back into the food. I am employing the help of the nature spirits and I have to tell you, no vacation pays, no social security, no time off, but we have forgotten that they’re even there. Why would we ask them to help us if we don’t even know that they exist?
Everything we can’t see?
Yes, the cosmic forces. As a biodynamic farmer, I use all the planets to plan on my planting. The sky is divided into four sections, the water forces, which would be Pisces, and then the fire. That is how I plan my planting schedule and that’s all based on a calendar with over 60 years of research backing that calendar up.
Does that mean there are days where you will plant or you won’t plant based on the calendar?
There are four categories based on what we’re consuming in the plant. The four categories are leaf, fruit, flower, and root. Those are all connected to the stars in the sky. Therefore, it’s all broken down in this calendar by the day and by the month. When there’s a lot of stuff happening up there like lunar eclipses and things are in transit and there are nodes that could be a blackout period of time and that’s when you eat ice cream or stuff like that.
We are around 80% water, 85% water or something around that. The moon has a huge gravitational pull on, which we know causes the tides and everything. What effect do you think that has on our bodies being that much percentage of water? It’s got to have some effect, right?
We say that the moon affects the tides and it does, but the moon is a tiny, weeny planet. Take a look at Jupiter. What does Jupiter do to our bodies? What does Saturn do? I am not an expert in biogenetics. That’s why I have Dr. Merlin and Farm-A-Yard has a soil doctor and that is Evan Folds. He digs deep into the situation and all that stuff and how Mars is bringing us the color red. It’s very interesting. This was all what I call downloads that Dr. Rudolf Steiner received. He was blessed, although I don’t think he thought he was so blessed because in his lifetime, he gave 7,000 lectures, never wrote them down.
Did he write any books or anything?
The audience wrote it. He just expanded it, gifted it. The agriculture course came very close to the end of his life. He died in 1925. He was at a conference in Austria and the Austrian farmers in 1924 were already concerned about the nutritive value of the food and the germination rate of the seed. They asked Dr. Steiner for the insight in the area of agriculture. That’s how this course came. It’s a course like none other. It’s so clever. I don’t understand all of it, but the things that I understood that just makes sense to me, and I’d like the audience to be aware that the Rudolf Steiner archives has the entire agricultural course in an audio book for free as a gift. They recorded them. He was something else like man. He says, “Take a human being and draw him like a stick figure. Now plant this in the ground. The root crops feed the head. Too much in the head, stop eating the beats. Get away from the potatoes. Look at that form of a stick figure. We look like a plant with our arms and our legs.”
It’s very interesting that he did not give us agriculture. He gave us Waldorf education, Eurythmy. He gave us homeopathic medicine. I was the very first internist, the 5% or garden in Chestnut Ridge, New York and Chestnut Ridge, New York is where biodynamics came into the country. In the ‘50s, all of Sugarloaf Mountain was grown biodynamically by a man by the name of Ehrenfried Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer studied under Steiner. Steiner studied under Gerta. That’s the chain of command. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer went as far as to build a composting facility for the city of Oakland, California. He was closed down by the mob. They owned the garbage in the ‘50s.
If the mob owns the garbage, why wouldn’t they want healthy soil in the city?
Because Pfeiffer would be taking that garbage away from them. They own the transfer station, it was that weird time like when I was born. It’s very intention, focus of mind to spray the country genetically. I believe so much in the power of intention, I believe that all I had to do was set the intention. One day I came up with this thought, “I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to buy a tractor.” I did. I had it painted purple because that’s my favorite color. I got a big, hundred-gallon vortex brewery to brew the biogenetic preparations. I got an orchard sprayer. It goes on the back of the tractor. It goes in between the apple trees. The tractor is only five feet wide and the sprayer, it’s a mist spray. I thought that I was going to spray the whole country with that tractor.
Then it dawned on me that I only have to spray my part of the country. Everybody else can spray their part of the country. I started to think about this. In my day and age, there was this thing called Hands Across America. It was Michael Jackson, that’s a big famous star. I was a block leader and we all wore that t-shirts and we held hands across America. Why can’t we spray across America? We can. This is the new story and we are creating the story. This is the story of getting this energy that is devoid in any of our commercial food, our food system because what’s lacking in our food system is love. That’s it.
People have zero connection with their food these days. Linda, what are the biggest environmental factors that all these farms and the soil are facing because there are people that just deny global warming and all that stuff? What are the biggest factors that you’re noticing when it comes to agriculture?
In one decade, ten years, we can count that on two hands, 62% of the farmers in this country are of retirement age.
Why is that? Why isn’t it getting passed on?
It’s power and control. Whoever’s in control of the food is in control of the people. Whoever is in control of the seed is in control of the food and is in control of the people. Monsanto in 1977 hired the firm of Arthur Andersen to give them a plan. They wanted Arthur Andersen to implement a plan for their mission statement and their mission statement was to be the sole global food producer. Arthur Andersen set that plan out for them. They have followed that plan. I’m not sure to date what the total percentages, I believe that Monsanto and their conglomerate own 92% of the global seed supply.
EM 59 | Farm A Yard Farm A Yard: What’s lacking in our food system is love.
What does that exactly mean?
What it means is number one, you have to buy it from them. It’s patented.
Are they genetically modifying these?
Most of it. Most of the corn, soy, yes. What are we growing? We’re growing food for animal. We’re growing animal protein. As a vegetable farmer, I’m considered to be growing specialty crops. Put that your pipe and smoke it. It is a specialty crop. Specialty, animal protein. What’s happening is our diversity is in the cropper. We have very few heirloom varieties left. An heirloom variety is our seeds that had been grown for the past 50 years. That’s what qualifies that as an heirloom variety. If we stopped growing a variety, it becomes extinct. How many varieties do you see in the supermarket of tomatoes? Three? We are not growing food because it’s dense and nutritious. We are buying food in the supermarket, that food is only there because it’s freaking stubborn and it’s not getting bruised. 50% of all the food grown in the country goes in the garbage if it does not meet the grade of a supermarket. What is a farmer supposed to do with it?
They can’t sell it either, right?
If you’re set up for that type of distribution, you’re not selling that at a Farmer’s Market, but it’s at a Farmer’s Market that’s what we have to go back to. During World War II, 40% of all the food consumed in our country came out of small plots of land, your backyard and my backyard. It’s called victory gardens. My granddaughters Brownie Leader, uncovered a victory garden in her backyard in Verona. Food was growing everywhere. There are pictures of sheep grazing on the White House lawn. Growing food was being patriotic because we were taking the pressure off the national food supply. Have you noticed California lately? Drought and fire. Florida? This is where our country’s relying on for our foods. You read down the list of what California supplies us, 89% of the broccoli, it goes on and that is not local. How could that be local? You need to tell me for whatever reason, California cracks and goes floated up and the ocean, we’ll all going to have to start? No, we’re going to import all our food. I went to the stupid market. Do we have to get onions from Peru? What is going on? When you purchase garlic, you make sure it’s either grown in the United States or it has roots on it because if it isn’t, it’s grown in China, which is the largest garlic producer of the world and you don’t want to know how they grow garlic.
They do a lot of shady stuff with their produce.
Poor people. You know what I’m trying to say there, not in judgment, but we have to. It’s Russian roulette. What’s fresh? Fresh is woken outside your kitchen door and cut in summer. My son-in-law and daughter make us do my grandchildren for treatments, but a year ago, they are two professionals. My daughter, she likes the smell of new clothes. She doesn’t like getting her hands dirty. She called me in February. She said, “Ma, you better sit down for this.” I said, “What?” She said, “Sean just walked in the kitchen with a bunch of organic crop from the supermarket and he looked at me and says we can grow this.” I ran up there at April and I put that garden. Come September, she said to me, “We’re going to make it a little bigger,” which I facilitated. We have cucumbers and zucchini and kale and broccoli all in very tiny spaces. That’s the purpose of Farm-A-Yard podcast. To teach people, to give them these skills. We also have a new tool in our tool box. We’re polishing it up. We are forming our own Facebook.
Literally your own Facebook? Not a Facebook page but a farmers’ Facebook?
Mighty Network is what it’s called. This is going to be a platform where people can come and get all of the information. They could subscribe to it. It’s going to be very affordable, $10 a month and they’re going to know how to do what they want to do and what portion they want to do. We’re going to teach everything from making kombucha. I would cry if I didn’t have my kombucha every day and it’s pricey, but not to make it. Not with the scoby. We have a plot to play educator on our team.
Once you get the scoby going, it takes care of itself?
It’s wonderful. I want to teach people about alkaline, ionized water.
Can you give them the water podcast episode?
I’ve never had to take any pharmaceuticals and I do have four or five herniated discs in my neck that Dr. Merlin took care of right away. They can go bang out. I don’t care where you are. I don’t care what part of the country you’re in. If you have a problem with your body, my fellow yard farmers, you call Dr. Merlin and he will take care of you. Even with my grandchildren, Cooper loves his white sugar. He is a white sugar fiend. He knows grandma doesn’t give him that. After they came back from that first adjust, holy mother of God, I’m not going to need as many touch ups. I swear to God.
What did you notice different in them?
A center being, a calmness in themselves. I know it takes an awful lot of energy to manage pain on a daily basis and that’s like your body is at war. That has to manifest outwardly, and you have to get to the root and the root is inside and I needed to meet you because cracking is not my thing. A lot of people benefit greatly from those adjustments. Even in acupuncture, I have to be needled in the energy field. I hope an awful lot more people pay attention and study this.
EM 59 | Farm A Yard Farm A Yard: Whoever’s in control of the food is in control of the people.
That’s why we got this podcast. Thank you, Linda. That was very nice of you. I appreciate that and taking care of your family has been a pleasure. The people in New Jersey, what does it take for them, for you and your team to come to their front yard and get Farm-A-Yard going?
We don’t do that. That’s not what we do. We have pockets in three areas. We have Boone, North Carolina farmyard, we have an Arcadia, California farmyard, and we have a Cranbury, New Jersey farmyard. Anyone that wants to be a leader in their community growing food and gathering a membership, I will teach that group personally via a Zoom meeting step-by-step. Then they will go into the Mighty Network under their own group. The members in that group could talk just to that. It could just be a neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be the whole town. It could be a family, but we need leaders. We need pockets all across the country and I’m willing to put the time in and train them just like this in a Zoom meeting and we record it so that they don’t forget it. Then they can go over it. Now we have tutorials. We have content that’s all across the country.
Your dreams are coming into reality here Linda. It’s happening.
That’s because I’m moving in with my grandbabies.
I need to hook you up with a gal named Chelsa Hernandez. I had her on the podcast and she does urban farming in Orange and she bought her own plot. It’s her life’s passion. She’s so passionate about it and she supplies all her produce to the local restaurants and everything. To say you guys would hit it off would be an understatement.
I even know of her because I started in the spin farming realm, ball plant intensive, and I was their only trainer and I know we had someone in Orange.
She’s good. She’d probably be good for your podcast too. Linda, from all your life experience, what have you taken with you that you would like to leave the audience with? Just a special message to everybody.
My special message is that we’re all human and all we need to do is love each other. If we focus on how we’re alike, we’ll never get to how we’re different. The list will be too long. We’ve got molecules and cells and that’s what I want. I see an undercurrent of nastiness out there. We can change that. We can flip that around. We don’t have to be that way. We can be kind and compassionate and empathetic and caring because that in turn makes us happy.
You’re coming at it from the source, how I come at it. What you put into your body is what you get out. The fresher, the more connected we are with our food, the better lives we’re going to live. You are making that happen and that’s amazing. I’m very thankful that I met you and it’s been a blessing because you are a breath of fresh air and I love talking to you.
I love talking to you too.
Where can people find you on social media, your podcasts and all that?
Our podcast is on iTunes and it’s Farm-A-Yard. We are currently downloading at 11,000 a month. People are listening all over the world, even in Korea. Farm-A-Yard.com, that’s our website. We have our blog posts there. Linda@FarmYard.com is my email address.
Linda, thank you so much for coming on.