Can you imagine growing a beyond organic garden?

On today’s episode of the Thriving Farmer Podcast, our guest is Helen Atthowe, who is a farmer, researcher, and celebrated pioneer in eco-organic methods. She is an advocate for minimizing and, yes, even stopping the use of certified-organic pest control materials and is encouraging farmers to rely on natural nutrient cycling for natural biological control. 

Helen has a Masters in Horticulture and currently farms and does soil-building research on her new 5-acre farm in Western Montana. Her new book The Ecological Farm releases in June.

Tune in to hear all about these eco-organic methods, her new book, and more!

In this episode, you’ll hear…

  • How Helen got into farming 2:10
  • What kind of fruits Helen grew on the Oregon farm 5:13
  • How Helen successfully farms without pesticides 7:58
  • About how she handles the Plum Curculio Beetle 13:41
  • How Helen’s thinking on pest management has changed over the years 21:53
  • The downsides of even organic pest control methods and materials 23:07
  • Why Helen decided to write a book 27:28
  • About Helen’s experiences with Cucumber Beetles 33:18
  • More about the different topics of her new book 37:08
  • What type of habitat Helen recommends people start with 40:52

Products mentioned in the show:

About the Guest:

Helen Atthowe is a farmer, researcher, and celebrated pioneer in eco-organic methods. Helen has a M.S. in Horticulture from Rutgers University and has worked in education and research at Rutgers, the University of Arkansas, and Oregon State University. 

Helen and her late husband farmed a 211-acre organic farm in Eastern Oregon doing mainly orchard and vegetable production while also creating educational videos about their ecological farming methods. In 2012, Woodleaf Farm was recognized with a Steward of Sustainable Agriculture Award at the 32nd Annual EcoFarm Conference. 

Since then, Helen has developed an almost closed loop farming system using chopped hay from some fields to fertilize vegetable and fruit fields. Helen is passionate about minimizing or stopping use of even certified-organic pest control materials, relying on natural nutrient cycling and on natural biological control. 

Her new book on these eco-organic methods entitled The Ecological Farm releases on June 22nd. 



This podcast is sponsored by Small Farm University, THE go-to resource for gardeners, homesteaders, and farmers around the world. Small Farm University delivers classes online and on demand, with training on how to grow crops AND how to grow a profitable farm business that serves you, your family, and your community well. 

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