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6. Living Naturally: Alpine Gardening

Jerry Wernick


In 1980, Jerry and Linda Wernick moved to their country property overlooking Glacier National Park in northern Montana. They built a country home using native stone and timber and produce all their utilities from natural resources. Their extensive gardens and greenhouses produce an abundant food supply in an alpine environment. 



  • January 17, 2018
    4:15 PM
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Alpine gardening. That was taken last winter. Snowbank along our this is the county road were a mile from this road our house is probably seven feet high you got a lot of snow and the question is how in the world to grow food in a valley like that see my pick up there I have to plow a mile or zero down I get a little help from a couple of neighbors who don't live there but live in the bigger Valley come up once in a while as a kind of a vacation place but you have a lot of snow that's down on at our place a mile down kind of snow that you have it's almost buried the fountain that's our solar winner green house. There it is. You'll see some pictures of the gazebo where we hold our little farmer's market that's why we don't have a farmer's market on a day like this. That's the Orchard Green House but it's working great because that blanket of snow up there it's two to three feet deep. And there's no insulation in that roof that is the insulation and it it hovers right around twenty five and they're all in or it drops to twenty or thirty below it might go down to twenty because it's like a normal so the fruit trees are getting a perfect dormant period they don't get ice and snow and all that it works wonderful for us. And shows you how deep the snow is. And I would love to tell you I shoveled all that. I shoveled some of that where I had to but we have a walk behind snowblower but when it gets that deep they don't work real well it was just about it it's a limit where it would mean blow it out. There's a lot of advantages the snow that deep the ground almost never freezes you know only freezes where you shovel it plow it under a tree or something like that which helps a lot and actually that's the front of the two greenhouses and I have a piece the glazing that we use and I got to go really fast here this is it is. Double walled It's called twin wall so it has insulated value the outside is U.V. code is they guarantee it for ten years in our area the last twenty twenty five years and then it's still there I can't tell the difference in growth just the outside getting kind of yellowish and it's getting brittle the inside just like it was I don't know how many years if you use the Lord in common you can get any of my go thirty forty years before it would literally just maybe fall in there I don't know it's all basically replace it once in your life if you live fifty years on your place is essentially what happens it's on the front of that one the slanted on the front of the other one also this way the reason our original and I've done a lot of experimenting lame and a lot of mistakes I originally wintergreen house was also slanted because the few books that I could read said that was the best thing for solar greenhouses because they're thinking of sun coming in there well but they're talking Arizona or somewhere where it doesn't smell the snow as you can see the other one builds up on something like that and I was constantly shoveling trying to keep the front that's where George Washington came in I want to Mount Vernon he had a two story glass greenhouse on his place that he used to grow starts I mean the guy was head of the time and I said you know Linda that's what we need so now we have a two story because of the sun's only at thirty degrees in the winter comes in those big windows and quads the whole thing in the winter time in the in the summer the sun is really high comes in like this and so it has two great big skylight sixteen by sixteen you can kind of seen the dimple there but they kind the snow over because there's no snow sun there anyway in the winter kind of insulates those the main source is just in the front in the winter the other one I want it to snow up and I leave it because it's insulating that big orchard greenhouse so that the fruit trees won't. Get too cold the only thing it's open is the two side ends basically anybody is interested in this stuff I actually deal in it but I'm not pushing it at all you may be able to get it around here they make it in triple wall as well they make it in single wall which might work well here single wall doesn't work for us it doesn't insulate enough. It's polycarbonate. It actually won't burn it will burn up but it doesn't contribute to the fire it's the same stuff they make Jet canopies out it's really tough. It's hard to break it until it gets really really brittle anyway so one's dormant and the other one we're trying to keep going this same day as I showed you before Those are here it looks like that that's in February and it allows us it does many things for us. It allows us to have winter greens growing up in front they've been there all winter so you never fresh salad stuff we can't grow for us anyway with them on a light we can't grow tomatoes we have till January. But the last tomatoes come out of the greenhouse. Probably in. The first and. We put them in the root cellar and they will stay we should we still have a few left we're eating some before we came but you can't grow any fruit in things are just not enough light beans on but Greens do fine so that's what that's one thing this place does. The way we heat it I've talked about it before it has a stairway goes down to the furnace room that's the cold air return if you build a family greenhouse and it doesn't have a basement under it the cold air will pool on your floor and your floor will be cold no matter what you do it is will be you give it a place to go and it all disappears and gets heated and comes up as warm air. Comes down those steps and that's the heater down there we talked about the heater before heats water it heats some air I heat that water up to probably two hundred degrees and it's two hundred. And that has a lot of B. to use and sometimes I just leave it there and it heats the building slowly and that patios above that cement there but I'm not trying to heat this place to seventy degrees although you can but I used to try to heat it more in the winter it actually works really well for eight months for four months there's so little light November December January February there so little light that even if you heat it a lot of stuff just grows maybe an inch it just grows a little but it doesn't go bad and you can eat it all winter but it's pointless to heat it more the fig tree is dormant. Drops its leaves in December it doesn't need any he just don't want things to freeze in here that allows us to later grow starts in here really early I have this picture this is a little hot but beyond it is that great that's where we throw the firewood but that's also the cold air return for that side of the building you need both of those they go down in so you don't get cold in there actually I heated this up to like sixty seven before we left we actually got in the hot tub it was really nice I wanted to heat it and put a lot of heat so when we left it would just it stays for a long time I have a young guy there Ben is watching the place he's never need to heat it since we left we've been gone over a week now he said it was still fifty six you know only really needs to be forty forty to fifty is fine. I don't think you'll have to do anything when the smoke comes out the top it takes a ninety goes through another tube and goes under that bridge So it's heating mass now all the way out about fifty feet and I can't emphasize enough how wonderful mass heating is how a lot of people say there's so much work for all and concrete stone marrying well you make it up later in not having to get all that player wear it and everything else it really works well you see the hot water comes out we pipe it everywhere to do all kinds of things that heats the pools. And you can see the what's happening here is going under that bridge then it goes there's a tunnel that we built this walkway that comes in is just like in the house the smoke's goes through there this one had more room in actually crawl and it's that big he goes up to that little great there which is another Stomper great for coming in takes forty five goes over and then goes in that stone mass all the way out flute and you can pretty much put your hand in the smoke when it comes out you've milked all the heat your smoke and it's a clean hot fire I left to clean out in that little great you can open up there's a door I don't know what to do I was in a hurry I just made of wood door this is a six wood fire smoke flew I figured eventually would probably burns all concrete doesn't matter it's never burned because then get out because all that mass and I think I left it there so I could clean it out it's been close to twenty years now I've never had to clean it that's how clean it burns so it really does save a lot of time that way about what kind of got to go through the seasons here that was February this is now March in the snow is melting back to still a lot of snow in the woods and so on. Inside it looks like that not a lot different but now you see is a lot more flowers coming in the fig tree which is a massive tree there youngsters to see it starting put out leaves and so on it's beginning to come out a lot of the other plants are coming out about this time the the. All the Caudal tree blossoms the thing blossoms wonderfully produced a few. But it takes they set and they fall off so somebody who's a novel Kotto afficionado can tell me maybe I think this one's self pollinating we had another one it wasn't so it should work but I think it's not hot and dry enough when it's in Boston. And we have a little lemon tree and I mentioned we have gotten up to fifteen lemons and some wire Lemon they actually do pretty well. So. That's the all because a tree in Boston. Lots of flowers in there we love flowers and it's at the About this time that we start all our starts doing do a little more with that for years we tried to start things just in the solarium but the solarium is only fifty or sixty maybe in March it's fine to feel good a lot of seeds don't germinate at that temperature and most people in big nurseries have they have an electric mat that you can lay out in the plug in the wall and heats and we didn't want anything that would use power we could so we put in the tank in that tank is eighty gallons to lay it on its side cost twenty bucks and I he water in the pool heater it's piped to here two hundred degrees fills that tank and with the door close it'll heat that room to eighty degrees and then up on our little bench we put all of our start. When I want you tell me all the different kinds we you know we start pretty much everything that we grow. We start the melons that we have in the hot house we start tomatoes we start. Cucumbers squash. We don't do beings I was surprised we went to a nursery they had been starts but we just saw those in the ground water and with one hundred degree water while I go on water so that they can drink in fact you can so maybe you all know this you can freeze saw the green beans and plant them if you've soak them overnight then you plan on the next day that helps them sprout pop up faster however I even I found out something else radical I took I had done way too many one year and I'm not the kind of person I just throw it away so I tried on the best I could I put them in a special jar they're all in for the next year season and had a marked and I put them in the ground and do you believe that after getting him so and then drawing them a German. And grew green beans just fine I was amazed but anyway. We do keep a lot of our seats and I can see Explain a little bit more about that later so we also do broccoli stars and the stars all that kind of stuff we raise we figure five or six hundred starts we use a lot of them ourself and we sell the rest some you can't I mean that is too bad but we all are tomatoes are from our own seed. Things we like and we use there's the tank close up I drain it in the winter because that end of this Larry and can freeze a little bit if we leave it closed up don't need it in winter anyway until we begin our season here is draining I'm stars just in there unfortunately I didn't know we were going to do this. Presentation when we had all our starts in there last spring so I don't have pictures of all the starts I wish I did. And then again there you can see the Earth's tilt up ready to do the green beans and the starts are ours the next one have some stars in there. It's quite a juggling act because as you saw that germination room is very small so what do we try to do I have to make a calendar of when I need to start watching plants because they don't all start at the same time and it depends on to if they're going to go in the greenhouse if I'm going to sell I'm a farmer's market if we're going to put them in the outside garden if we're going to put them in the hot house because the time for planting all of those is different and so I tried to coordinate my time so that I can move some things out of the germination room and put them here in the greenhouse before we've really started to do much in there because there's room where we're going to put the tomatoes and they still grow really well there once they've sprouted and come up are beginning to really put out so. Yeah you have to kind of organize that and keep things moving now you can see the orchard greenhouse all the snow has melted off naturally you still really cold outside this time of year but the snow is largely gone but if we didn't have greenhouses you would be gardening for another month month and a half outside if we walk in here it's just so wonderful and warm and all that and we can garden this this rebuilding is eighty eight feet long and thirty feet wide so and it basically uses no heat except a few stumps in those shoulder seasons because by the time it comes on it's been solar heated and that's the solar collector we talked about in and this is the kind of plants we do all our tomatoes and I use green beans and squash and melons and peppers all that stuff gets warm water. And this is how the shutters work up there this is the apple and blossom you can see the shutters above that protects them this time of year we're closing them every night because it could freeze any night and it keeps them nice and warm and they're. One thing we talk about is pollination we're so far from other fruit trees and we've had a neighbor try honey bees honey bees die in our valley they won't live is there's such a short flowering season for the wild flowers maybe six weeks. They just don't get enough honey they can't feed themselves a little that won't give you honey so they die out he I think got fifteen hives he put three in our place and someone put inside this building they survived for three years but they still didn't make it. Where yeah I was telling someone else they tried just to get out of there they didn't really like the environment well they do a little bit on this they'd see the open sky and say well la you know it's summer and they'd all fly out and go out there and is one of the reason. And come back we do have bumblebees native bumblebees in our valley and wasps bumble bees live in the ground so until the snow melts they don't come out occasionally we have long Cold Springs and it just they don't blossom until late April maybe or mid April and the bumble bees have come out one one bumblebee finds these trees that time they're in desperate for flowers they tell the whole neighborhood and we have bumble bees fall in there and they do our equality and we get an abundant crop we used to have cherry trees cherry trees were very problematic for pollination the years that the bumble bees got in we had big cherry crops but it was so few times cherries are so hard to cross-pollinate we've come alone the things that work the best for us are peaches. And plums and apricot us and we learned took us twenty five years anything with a pit. Is usually self pollinating the tree is all you have to do we used to pollinate like with a little brush and all that you just shake the tree and you're done if there's cell pollinating anything with a seed like apples or pears and cherries are kind of in between are not self pollinating they. I have a few varieties they claim might be we're trying some of those but generally you have to have two varieties and for us that's a little problem because you've got to get pollen from one pear tree to the other pear tree. And actually with pears It's not that hard they're such a big fruit you know it doesn't take very long it's beautiful work they're all in Blas When you go there in and it's been a long winter and you go in there so gorgeous and so warm I don't really mind it. But it was a problem with cherries are just a tiny There are so many blossoms in my this is just my opinion the reason cherries are difficult tiny blossom they do have self pollinating ones anyway but I think the blossoms on cherries have a tiny window each blossom only has maybe two or three hours on one day that it is ready because I've gone over and over him with a brush and we get a pit we get some cherries please don't pollinate but you get bees in there they're going over him all day long for a week and a half and you get lots of cherries because they hit every blossom at its right time that's what I think happened so we've had four cherry trees we got rid of them all because they just don't work for us now this is how the shutters work Kaizen we only do two if we just want to vent a little bit. Sometimes all open all closed move the whole roof in five minutes and it is the best thing we've ever come up with is just sheet metal screw to the back of to a six we started out with two by fours that work two and Originally I started with just the aircraft cable instead of sheet metal and I figured is up in the air in the wood would stay dry it didn't and it eventually rotted this way it's pretty much protected and they overlap. As a season goes on the first thing we get out of there are figs we get tons of figs I mean maybe not literally but hundreds and hundreds of feet. Two different crops this is not your standard fig and I just don't have time to tell you the story I got this from an older guy down in California it's not your mission fig day they have to be pollinated with a wasp this is self policy and you can start them from just of Spriggan I've done that for people and they do it I think for my good neighbors Marlin and family now on in southern Montana a little farther and. I the guy was hungry and I could hardly understand him he didn't know what it was it's a it's a green yellow fig I've looked and looked on the Internet I think maybe I know I found things that kind of look like it the first cropping get that big totally juicy the second crop you get maybe ten times as many in there about this size and as far as calories I mean they're so sweet There are so many We can't keep up with them. We drive Linda freezes a lot she's learned if you freeze them when they're mushy even in the cow you freeze them make some of the raspberries and what are the make wonderful smoothies because the FIG doesn't have a lot of taste it's just sweet and you put a sweet with it and we lots of them fresh and the people in the valley now we sell them they can't believe we get figs in the north Fort and we saw him in a farmer's market a lot of beans come on we show you these pictures all the raspberries that we can pick now the outside garden about May we can start planting in there but we have to watch it because we plant potatoes about Mother's Day but they don't come up for three weeks in all during that time it's freezing you know by first of June we get occasional frosts and so we can use our sprinkler system when we start planting then I got to tell you a little bit more about the fence. If it wasn't for that cap up there you saw all the snow on it and the other one it rots the wood right away. And the bottom it's hard to tell here but you can kind of see. The bottom part has three feet of hardware cloth in only goes to the ground maybe in a little because we have tons of squirrels in my eyes and rabbits and I kind of stuff and it keeps those folks out the ones you can't keep are chipmunks and pine squirrels because they can climb anything and pine squirrels they never heard of a strawberry a one of them finds one. That's the best pine cone in the world and you start losing laws robbery so it's so it's always a battle we have so many animals because it's a wilderness and they're all hungry because you know it's hard to make a living out there so we build a good size fence in this keeps the deer out they can't jump it and only the tiny ones can squeak through I've had that happen a few times they're scared to death you run Adam and they literally just bang themselves up trying to get out so they're really hurt themselves but they don't come in again we've had grizzly bears dig holes under the fence and once tear part of the fence down maybe three four times in thirty some years and they're after one thing. Carrots they leave the whole thing when they're when the carrots are harvested and I think they're going to get carrots and they get a taste because hairs are so sweet in the fall in love and they leave all the potatoes not knowing it's all the calories they would want but they don't like him and like beets that tell you something. They love carrots they don't eat sorry that they only cabbage. Thing like that just carrots that's what they really love so we've. It's six feet they deer can jump six feet but they don't like that little metal hanging off the edge because they catch their hooves they've never tried to jump it. And a solution to carrots is you have. Have to pick them before they're fully right somehow the bears know when they're at when they're really mature and so if you pick them a week or so early because carrots do really well there they're Frost Hardy and we put them in the root cellar. I showed picture like this before this is what the fence looks like and you can see without that shield on top how fast it would run all that would. That's in the early summer. You see in the background is that hot house we found there are some things that really like whether these like Texas weather melons or that way squashes that way green beans will actually thrive in their tomatoes will grow but actually they do better in our other greenhouse we get some here. And so we get that started this is what it looks like about June late June perhaps in the first thing we get out of the garden is use the peas and greens I told you about the sprinkler system that runs the potatoes keeps tables going there's all the greens greens almost anything in the Green family will kale in and Swiss chard errors spinny age all the different lettuces they all love it and those cool temperatures and we can roam all summer whereas here they probably bolt but you can keep them going. And we talked about the mulch. Some of these are going to go fast because you've seen that mulch is wonderful and it's really helped our ground we get some strawberries we only way we get a lot we've made a cover for them and then you get a lot of strawberries otherwise a frost off. Just like a fruit tree back in the middle part of the summer we're starting get lots of fruit in you've seen some of these before the fruit trees are amazing in there because they they don't get up any special Late spring frosts they don't get I Now the problem you can some of you that live even in this part I talked to a number of people as I was coming along they said they get a lot of late spring frost and it kills off a lot of their fruit trees fine so here have. I mean that trouble you had build up what we call a fruit barn like this it works wonderfully you would have to hear it all and you probably you could grow all kinds of stuff in there all winter that we can't. But because it gets a good warm appear you get a lot of fruit you get fruit every year virtually unless it's a cyclical tree Those are reliance peaches these are red Haven peaches Barlett pears d'Anjou pear we love d'Anjou pears they were in these two have to be pollinated together plums and apricot apricot bear huge crops apricot. And these are Tilton apricot So when they're truly right they're really soft so you can't really ship them and that's when they're super sweet and often apricot in the store a little tart and that's the reason is because they can't really ship them when they're ripe so you've got to have your own tree to get the full pleasure out of it lots of tomatoes about this time. These are rectors and there you can see the watering system tomatoes don't like to be sprayed because they can you know get fungus and so on so we have a drip system under all of them and they grow up on these you see the cages they're about this big around you've all had that this tall they grow clear out of that and we have tomatoes growing up until near the end of October and then it starts to freeze in there. Nothing like Google I grew up in Indiana Indiana summer these have that taste not the cardboard you buy in a store and the people love them and are farmers' market because otherwise are buying them out of the store and even in the summer most store ones don't taste good and they love those tomatoes. This is later in the summer with all the squash and those are some of the melons we get in there they're small but they're from our own seed in their super sweet we can grow the really big big melons but we're in the non hybrid stuff because I want to be able to have our own seed supply. Cabbage grows really well there. We talked about fava beans. They are frost Hardy The only other Lagoon so far that we found for protein crop that will survive frost in the summer. Or fall the beans. Yes look I'm up. There like a lard to get this big in there lot more like Limas but when they get really mature they're full of protein they're great nutritious food but they're kind of tough and have a strong taste it's not bad if you really pressure cooker um and put them in soup they're fine you can dry but you put them in the ground in the when the cold grounds really cold they come from the Middle East you put them in then they pop right on the ground there just amazing they really grow and they grow really fast because they have a big mean they get three four feet tall we have to. Tie him. Because I want to fall over unfortunately chipmunks and found those two so we're working with them we live trap a lot of. Lots of dill broccoli. Lots of berries that we put away freezing in the root cellar you see the cabbage up there a cabbage likes to be about thirty to thirty two degrees and so we've had a hard time if anybody knows the secret I'd like to know a keeping cabbage for six or eight months we can keep it fine for a few months but it won't keep through the whole winter the only time we have in this works but it's a problem we put I cause I wonder how we can do this so I went out in the big snow you saw our big snow banks I just dug in the one put some cabbage in there and buried it because the snow would keep it about freezing. I went back later it was perfect it was for basically frozen a little bit it was fine the deer found it. And they dug into it and were eaten in all but it works it's just we're now we're going to have to put it in a fancy in snow freezer. And the problem is that that's a little hard OK Jerry would you get a cab it's me today yeah I've got a run down there Anguilla shovel and dig it all out and it just gets pretty hard it's got to be a better way I've talked to people who did mission work in Ukraine and offs and you are from Ukraine but Ukraine grows a lot of cabbage is similar to Montana and climate in many ways rich soil. But they went into one of their schools that they had over there and they raise a lot of cabbage and they had a big root cellar in downstairs all on shelves all of them they said had like a quarter inch to half inch of mold over all of them they just peel out the mold in the outer leaves and still use it I can't do that maybe you can so I'm sore still trying to figure out we can keep them we still have cabbage now. Probably be fine into February but eventually they go bad before the next cabbage come on. We're still working on them. Peaches apricot we can lots of them. There's a root cellar we talked about that Linda also does a lot of tomatoes cumbers and I kind of stuff this is our farmer's market again just some different pictures of it that we operate in the summer time it's a wonderful business and if we had no other way of making money this is our only family business you could ramp this up. It's a lot of work you don't make a lot of money per this are experiencing weight per hour that you put in but we want to food anyway and we sell about a thousand dollars a summer and you could easily do more than that but we found we're not going to have time to do all the family business stuff the way to have successful family business in the country for us is don't try to depend on a single source of income. You have a farmer's market you do a little cabin tree in the winter you do I do water systems I put in hydro systems occasionally we tutored kids I mean you do a little this and a little of that you put it all together and you have a good income individually might not end farmers' markets wonderful because it's a ministry to we're going all got to do that you've got to we've got to get family business a little bit for some of you have children a wonderful business we had for our daughter when she was younger so we got to go slow on all kinds of stuff is the farmer's market. All the way through. And all the flowers you can produce in your greenhouses makes for beautiful lawns and all kinds of stuff you can do with them even Chloe likes to sleep time and. You don't have to buy all that stuff these are some of this is flowering dogwood up by the house and finally in the fall we get into digging the root crops potatoes do are very well there we have no potato worms we don't have to table beetles we don't have anything all we have is frost and with our spring water we can solve the problem whatever problem you have with potatoes you've got to figure it out every place has different issues but we grow about a thousand pounds eight hundred two thousand and we've done more than that we're actually going to plant probably two more rows because people have discovered them specially the Reds I have a note in here I just don't have time to read where the lady says your potatoes are so wonderful We're still eating them everybody wants more more because potatoes are one of the things you buy them commercially they're one of the things that uses a lot of pesticides where they grow them and it's it's what's called systemic they spray it on the plant goes in the plant in the whole everything it's a lot worse than just pesticides on the outside so you want good potatoes there they are you got to hurry up and. We pick all the onions in one by time we pick amusing late October it's so cold outside they will not dry so we put them in our orchard in that big great big stumper becomes our dryer it works really well and once they're dried we hang them all in a pot in a room which stays about thirty five it's alongside this Lariam there and so in time you want onion is go down get one saying it's wonderful you know if you cabbage there's the cabbage stored in a lot of those are still there now but we've eaten maybe half of them. There's our last thing that actually produces is our little olive tree and it. Will Grow up bigger and we have great hopes for it we just use salt water to cure and it is self pollinating and that's picking figs a second crop now the thing we do just before it freezes down off kale as you all know is really frost Hardy but it has its limits and me for gets ten fifteen degrees or zero we dig up a bunch and put it in our orchard greenhouse that never gets below about twenty or twenty five and it will survive all winter in there and then goes to seed the next spring and that's where we get our kale see and you can eat the leaves too innocent in the wintertime. OK and OK here's broccoli say it's also the. Chard I think was the OK seeds are easy to kill other and you know you can read a book keeping your own see which I browsed through one at one time and there were a lot of C's A Frankly I said if that's what it takes for you have it because it was so complicated however. Through experimentation and learning from some other people it can be really easy there are a few basic rules you need to remember you need to try to get your state as mature as you know the drill for instance to let us. See all of that and let it mature as as long as you possibly can and when it's either going off on the ground or the rain's going to come if it's outside and ruin at all well then you've got to just pick it and hope it's mature enough and you need to get it draw I needs to be dry when you store it you can see the little Ziploc bags there that are full of seeds. Also the debris you know if you read about it they want you to get rid of all the debris that's left around the seed or in the seed when you harvest it like a lot of us I mean it's like full of fluff when you're done and you want. If there isn't a lot of seed in there however I found that's beneficial because if it's all dry it's not going to ruin your seed and when you go to. Plant it you can just go by like fast and easy and not redundancy of going back and hauling all the wonderful plants out of the ground because it's too thick so if you leave that debris in there it serves as helping to space out days out the season here for all and then it saves you time later definitely he saves you time now you can sell it Kershaw leave that way of course but I found that also with. Well all of them I don't worry about that now you know you know all this stuff you're OK We're trying to get so we're keeping all of our C We're still working on a few we do dual kale lettuce a melon and cucumber those are done a little different I take some seeds out of a really big wonderful melon and you can do that with pepper. And cucumbers and you just put them on a piece of wax paper let them dry and when they're really really dry just pick them up and that usually doesn't have much around because it came out of the meat of the. Of the melon or whatever and try them put them in a Ziploc bag put them down in the root cellar course potatoes potatoes are your seeds peas are YOUR see. We did this is a trick I learned from a lady. From E. you know she was an Amish lady about two hundred miles from us we're going to have there because we know they're gardeners and we learn Yeah well you can have visiting and we saw greenhouse so we went to the greenhouse it was advertised on the road and she had lost some logs of tomato plants started that she was going to sell and she told us how she starts her tomato plants and that was one of them that I definitely would never worry about saving after all the stuff they told you to do supposed to let the Paul get frothy in Denver every day and run it in the blender to get a round of all the anyway this is the way you do it was great but she had to have she says You take a tray you can see the trays up at the top there of the ceiling in the root cellar you take a tray you sprinkle a quarter inch of nice soil loamy soil you take a tomato pick again a nice big juicy mature tomato. There's a slice lane in there right there. Right on her. Quarter inch of dirt over the top of that you Markham So you know what kind of tomato you have used to come up high. In the roots are a cool dark place and they just sit there for four or five more you just leave them there tall near the end of March with bring them out we water the most warm water and keep them in a warm place like our furnace room yeah like then they start sprouting Well immediately get them out of. Furnace room because there's no sunshine and we get them into sunshine down at the greenhouse and keep water you must warm water and they come up like a carpet like bad ass and when I first saw that I said oh this is not going to work how do you separate all these tomatoes Well I waited till the true leaves were out on these little guys and I. Just happened to want to transplant them when the soil wasn't real wet I hadn't just watered it in the last few days so the soil was a little dry so when I quit digging into them with my spade to just they just fell apart and here's the roots on the tomato plant that was now about this tall and I had a bunch of six inch pots ready to go I just stuck it in and pressed it down a little bit they were going to get beat they kept growing and they were the most amazing best tomatoes I have ever done so simple now that I can handle and so yeah that is an easy way to do your tomatoes if you want to and then the shows you where we keep our seas we put them in containers and. Make sure they're airtight as much as possible I'm sort of in a cool looking like our own little seed bank and it works wonderful down the dry root cellar to a close we have small label what we use could I told you this is the kind of soil we started with Don't get discouraged. We picked rocks for thirty years and the rocks many of our roads are gravel with from them are from our garden that's the kind of soil you get out there is a compost pile again one of the other things we do we talked about this a little bit this is last fall in now it's all BROWN It's cold it's late October it's even snowed a little bit usually and we transplant in all kinds of greens and there they are kale we have Swiss chard green onions. You can. See it all there in the beds and we have bee greens and parsley and lettuce up stairs and so I throw these pictures in this was the first week in November this past year this past fall snow starts to come in November and you can see how fast of Eve I open the door so you can see if you just walk in it looks like that a little farther in light that you have beautiful flowers and a lot of food in its wonderful greenhouses are with it it's even a few tomatoes got to her here's here's Misty looking longingly this is the orchard greenhouse also at that time and we picked all the last of the tomatoes before we let it freeze put them in the root cellar that was our final harvest the always green ones even will usually ripen and then we just and you see well why don't we keep it going well pretty soon there just isn't enough light so we just let it go within a week or so it freezes in there lightly and the fruit trees simply go into dormant mode otherwise for that month that we have to keep it going we use this not burning. Blueberries all that sort of thing I put in these are our garden paths you all have grasshoppers we have problems and these are the grizzly bears this is our wonderful cute lovable terrible ground squirrel they can dig really deep they dig under your fences they don't climb but they love gardens and I've trapped as many as one hundred in a year once I got them trapped out because they only go by one hundred feet from there Dan then now it's down to like ten to fifteen maybe twenty year so other north or gardens this is a neighbor property is joins us see they have a greenhouse too they have a fence around their garden they're not there you're around this with it looks like in their greenhouse they grow mostly flowers but some tomatoes as well and a lot of mass in there this is another greenhouse another neighbor had and it's attached to their garage and on the south side so kind of heat. Well this is what it looks like in that green house Petit family rented there for like five years and so they use the greenhouse It's amazing what a greenhouse will do a lot of stuff that they grew in there as well. And it brings you full circle you're back to winter again but really are winners pretty short when you think about when we start and when you get the final food it's not that bad. Anyway that's the end of that. We're going to quickly go on a family business could be only a fifteen minute so if I can get that some of the family are we told you about our school programs almost get that some of you may didn't in hear about that but we just don't have time. So. This section is family business your ministry to the outside world and recreation you got to have all of that for you kids aren't going to like it OK And so I went into that this is the program with the kids that we had I to probably tell you what some of those kids are the. Girl on the right is now a nurse practitioner. Next one she works for like address type work and Shannon worked in some of the youth camps Laurel's and now a doctor and I think I've maybe I did mention some of these did I take that the guy on the right was a really brilliant guy great writer he ended up working as a writing aide and a driver for one of the senators from Maine he's from me. The next guy over is now an osteopath he's a doctor yeah the guy next one he took a major in I talian of all things found you can't make a lot of money no and I tell you and so he's actually doing medical work now and next guy runs a well business of his own repairs Wells he went to Andrews for a while and the other guy graduated from Southern with a business degree and now runs a mason business with his dad. It's wonderful they're all like our kids but this is one Years group. And that was mountains we climbed all that sort of thing that's Donald graduating we took on rafting canoeing on the rivers all kinds of trips. That made him love it and course come home to wonderful meals cooked by Linda. When they put on programs for the community Valentine programs this is a group we had ten year all kinds of trips some around the world others locally. Work program we've gone through a lot that this was the boys bunk house they stayed in we remodeled it to a college now this is Ben's graduation again. Last graduation one of the wonderful things about our program every student gave a graduation speech you know how so often is the president valedictorian or by else feels like they don't really count we're here everybody counted and I tell you we could never get through these without tears coming to our eyes because the parents were there and the kids would get up and you know it was a wonderful time and you don't want to miss that it's one of the nice things you can have in a small school now were some of our former graduates who are last graduation they gave us a little gift reason I put this here. The man on the right here Wayne is the one that started this in our school program he's the one that called me up so you tutor my kids I taught them in grade school he had a plane he said I'll fly him up there in the grass strips he buzz my house almost come in the front windows and I knew it was a lane he Gaulin and I go up there and get his kids they stay overnight I tutored them I knew them and two weeks later he come back the next day in two weeks later he come again in the winter he paid my gas to go to his place and I'd stay overnight there fifty dollars a month that was our only income at that time somebody heard we did that said you have a school and I said no and it went from there and we never advertised and that's how our school program began so just passed away we went to his funeral a few months ago wonderful man for the next two you may know them that's Fred and Goma Bev and they for a long time he was the youth director in the Lake Union conference he helped inspire me to love nature this is all originals wedding the other couple there are the couple that were mentors for her wonderful Christian people at Canadian university college where she went and they took her into their home and because sometimes the college environment was not as spiritual should be but in their home that was. This is one of our former students he lives in the area now we go mountain climbing together. This is another one of our students there's family runs that program in Nicaragua he runs a flying business he takes people out that would never get to a hospital and survive otherwise he has a grass strip on the place that's Clint some of you may know the Handley's he grew up in Wyoming. That's the kind of people he was helping. And we rented cabins on our place our old mistake house it's a great way to make money we now rent the this one and we have other I'll tell you a minute how other people made almost a full living out of that we just make a supplemental one this is what it looks like inside it's just simple little kitchenette nice little bedroom now has a double bed and there's the Aspen that we used to decorate it course our farmer's market we make some money doing that. And I want to mention here when you start running gardens in farmer's markets as it were gets around this is a public high school group from fifty miles away the guy heard we had greenhouses the teacher he called me up to Jerry her greenhouses we want to build a greenhouse and our at our high school Would you consult for us and I said sure so he's been ups our place all that now he brings this time this fall he brought a whole group of students of high school students they were very secular but they all love nature and he brought them to see the greenhouses he was on a trip up the valley to raft down the river and word goes out people know are vegetarians they know your Seventh Day Adventists and it helps break down prejudice it's a wonderful thing we also I don't have a picture I have picture of these kids that's the kids this is last fall from that high school we also have a group that comes for about seven years now from the University of Montana they have an ecology class and the guy heard about our place he brings them up there to see the valley but he brings them to our greenhouses because they say you know people can live in harmony with nature and the kids say OK who is he said I'll show you somebody and the kids these college kids are overwhelmed a lot of them they want to live that way they think it's wonderful and again it's a it's a way that you can witness another way that I make money have for years there's all kinds of summer people up there in the cabin set for ten months out of the year they want somebody to look after and in our or any tourist area like that they want somebody that they can trust and if they if you earn the trust of the community people will hire you to take care of their cabinets they just want somebody I just walk in or snowshoeing to this cabin once a month I just look at it open the door make sure Grizzly Bears haven't or anybody's broken in anything right I'm a little letter it's a great way to make a living and he it's good for him if you get enough of these I know one family that actually does this for about twenty or twenty five people it's a lot of their income I just did three and it's it really works well I also did small contracting I didn't really need to and we have school program a people always want somebody to build and just this one little building is in it how it's for fire protection has a big tank in there and a generator and guy wanted me to build that just that one building there was four thousand dollars with the labor. You only have to do that maybe five times you have a full income you only need to make maybe twenty to twenty five thousand dollars if you don't have any expenses and it's you have a lot of discretionary income so you can work well for you if you got to make fifty or one hundred you're going to get half of a Dunkel Sam is what happens. And of course what can you do with your family and situation like this our little girl she grew up there what was she going to do for a living we made this little. House for her we talked about when she was what nine I think. Linda came up with this idea because Rachelle was very outgoing. She was go getter and she want to make her own money so we said well you got to start your own business it was the best thing we did because it taught her money manager and all that and she's nine years old she starts making all these kind of reads that's one of them it's in our home. This is another one still in our home she made baskets like this that's her when she was a teenager was some of her creations. And later these are ones that were made for her wedding. She took them to town when we would go to town anyway maybe twenty of them she go to a florist and show her little basket you dad I want you to go and I said No you go. Now it was a real step for her but she learned self-confidence she walked in by herself I make these baskets I make them all from native materials right here in Montana I make them in our home would you like to buy some of these See you can put flowers in Miami she people say Yeah I'll take towels I'll take five of the six of those whatever she did she was making a good living then pretty soon a wholesaler from Seattle came into one of these florist saw these little baskets and he knew they didn't come from him he's bringing stuff from Mexico Malaysia I mean all over the world where people are making stuff and so you get a nice well there's this little girl is way up in the woods in the north for she makes these they're all Montana made he said I can sell those who is she he contacted her and pretty soon she was selling him thousands of them by the time she went to college she had over twenty thousand dollars in her college account. She learned she had the worst thing for when she started making some real money I say well you know you have paid taxes taxes. They're going to take money away I'm a kid you know but I taught her to be faithful to Caesar two and it was the hardest thing she did really she didn't mind paying ties or return or tie she gave some offerings she was very frugal I always told her you buy some ski stuff you want but put most of it in the bank which she did. Later when she decided to go to med school I got to tell you the story Montana does not have a medical school we only have we just passed a million people in the whole state. Here not long ago and. So they have a program it's called the whammy in the witchy it's stands for. Washington Alaska on tan Idaho while the states don't have their own med school so they will they select certain students it's kind of a it's a competition thing you have to be interviewed all this sort of stuff and if you're picked the one that she was in they pick just six students. And you can go to any want to seventeen medical schools in the West and one of them is Loma Linda you can believe that and they will pay all your tuition basically. And you don't have to come back to Montana but they hope you will. So she applied for that. She wrote her story she talked about her mission trip she done and all of that she was picked as one of those six. That comes out of tax dollars so she got it all back. Almost one hundred thousand dollars in scholarships that she went to school on the Lord will watch out for you if you're faithful she's going to talk she also did stone work for neighbors that's her stone work that she did somebody greenhouse she built furniture like this as well for her business this one is twenty years old is still sitting in Glacier National Park at one of the tourist stops here as one of their decoration things sushi sold all kinds of stuff we took her on mission trips and educational trips folks if you live in the country keep your expenses down you'll have the money and the time to actually do this stuff with your family you know and be working at the office eight hours every day it works that way it worked that way for us and because of that she ended up with a real world view in wanted to be a doctor to help people this is in Nepal at your Memorial Hospital some may have been here. She worked with some folks and we went to a village there is fourteen miles from the nearest road. And not town we had to hike all the way in there on a little clinic and she worked there for we were there for what two weeks two weeks and I think. This was an emergency case this little boy had fallen off of one of their. What they call in there. Where they grow rice and I want their paddies he only fallen six or eight feet but injured aside he did not survive he had to be trucked out other neighbors took him with this pole he's in the he's in the tarp there fourteen miles to get into the nearest road where they could getting finally to a clinic somewhere but he didn't make it. She grew up hiking. Loving nature she still hiking with the family. It's a wonderful tradition she grew up canoeing still canoeing climbing mountains with Dan. This is Mount Jackson it's over ten thousand feet this is growing up at this is at the top it made wonderful companionship between us as parents and Rachelle and she learned to love Country living there she is graduating from our little school high school and then from college at school met the love of her life Ted and they were married in the Celera she helped build it's a wonderful thing Ted's wonderful musician and his family brought a lot of grace and elegance to our home seen these pictures still hike in together. She loves to ski do all kinds of stuff I got to go through these really fast there's another way you can make money actually they needed a home near town where they could stay when they're working in the hospital today and want to spend a lot of money so it's happened to be in two thousand and eight or so and yet the crisis this was a foreclosed home and never been finished so they got it for a song and we helped them remodel it. And I guess a couple pictures here that's what it looked like when they bought it and I actually see. That's what it looked like when they bought it see the railing it was really bad that's when we remodeled it and those flowers a lot of come from the to make strange greenhouse cores and she put them all over put in a whole new floor all the stuff you were together as a family that's what it looked like and now it looks like that they put a lot of value into it and they love to ski up there. Together and now they make tons of money on it because they found when they're in the North Fork they can rent this place because it is in a tourist place so they rented a lot during the season and it pays for the entire. House that they all insurance taxes everything eventually pay for the house so if you have the skills to remodel something you may not do it in an area like this but you can rent things like that it's a good thing you can do with your family. That was our hotel when we went to Nicaragua I talked about their mission trips work that they did. Land and I were the pharmacy people and I may not look classy there but that's my interpreter because I didn't know any police and. Kind of sad in a way what you suppose the most common medicine was that we gave out. It was dog the warmer. It was day warmer but they gave it to the dogs and the kids is so sad I mean that's the one of the biggest problems they have. Now have to give it to dogs too because they don't the kids get it from the dogs you know right away. That was the local church we put these in because I don't want you to if we as people live in the country of all people should have the time and the desire to help our neighbors around us all over the world and so we love to go on mission trips this is their local church it doesn't look like much Maranatha had come in a while back they put up these wonderful one day churches but they're just roof and slashed with the local people too and they had never gotten that far so we were helping them to form it all up to pour concrete so they can start putting some block up and have their finished church. These are some of the you've got to have a community of believers to work with. I think that's a wonderful thing as well this is the other two kids in that family being baptized in the river I told you about they look really happy now and they were happy to be baptized but they were chilly when they got done this is another avenue is family and what they do for nearly all there is that the bell I got to quit. All their living in the summer is made from cabins so that's their home. And that's the view from their home that they're about seven miles south of us they built these cabins they're just small cabins and they're very early they're virtually book solid the whole summer and it's a good income and their kids help clean them all so it's a family business they get they make money that way it's a good thing it's seasonal but I'll tell you something I've learned about country business a seasonal is good because it gives you time to go on a mission trips to be with your kids and all the rest but you gotta learn to be self disciplined enough that the money you make in the season that you can work is good for the whole year and then you have a lot of time off as it were very nice cabs they did another lady and having a sleigh there what she does is manages people's cabins that don't live there and she rents them for them and then makes a commission and does very well it that this is another home she rents. Other people think and this is a thing project that you can do there in the woods where she can run a mill make lumber and it all adds up to me to a wonderful life living. Doing. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more service leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.


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