425: Katie Fiore on Sweet Potatoes and Fruit Trees.
Building a living green mulch.
Katie is an Arizona native who spent most of her life thinking she had a brown thumb. Five years ago, her first successful attempt at growing food was herbs grown in wine barrels. Since then she has become an Urban Farm junkie. In Spring 2018 she planted 15 fruit trees and bushes in the backyard and has started adding a few raised beds to her garden.
A career change this past year has given her the time to pursue a healthier, lower stress life with her new husband Mark, follow her dreams of blogging about all her adventures, and nurturing her backyard food forest. After the Great American Seed Up, she is not only growing squash, herbs, and peas from seed, but she’s also harvesting seeds and building her personal seed library.
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Katie is a believer in following what works instead of reinventing the wheel, so when Greg said “grow sweet potatoes to shade the roots of your fruit trees” she jumped on it and is here today to share her process and learnings!
In This Podcast:
After a long career in retail, Katie Fiore knew it was time for a change. Part of her future vision was a backyard full of fruits and vegetables. The other part was a flexible, fulfilling lifestyle educating others. Katie discusses changing her life direction at 37 years old, how and why she is growing sweet potatoes, how her travels inspire her garden, and her advice to other novice gardeners wanting to start their own food forest.
Listen in and learn about:
- Why she left her career to pursue blogging and gardening
- How parts of her garden are inspired by her travels
- Greg’s vision of 10,000 Urban Farms in Arizona
- Tips on building soil
- Learning from nature in how we garden
- The AMAZING temperature difference sweet potatoes create
- How to grow sweet potatoes in jars
- One thing you MUST do when buying your starter sweet potatoes
- How she identified the need for a career change and made the jump
- Anybody can become a gardener if it’s important to them
As well as:
- Her failure – Planting apricot trees with no research and doing everything wrong. Staying too long in the career that wasn’t the right fit.
- Her success – Figuring out the path that was meant for her and having the courage to pursue it.
- Her drive – Learning and sharing her knowledge. Teaching and empowering people through her experiences.
- Her advice – Get an education, make a plan, and don’t be afraid to start something that you want to try.
Katie’s Book recommendations:
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts – By Gary Chapman
Check out Katie’s blog article for us on “Love Languages of Gardening“
For more information about the process of setting up the sweet potato jars, check out her video above. For information on cutting and rooting the slips, check out the follow-up video that she made below.
How to reach Katie:
To learn more about more about Growing Your Own Food
And to see the I’m an Urban Farmer line
Note: You can also find these books mentioned above at one of our favorite local independent bookstores and have the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a small business.