Do you know what all goes into garlic growing?

On this episode of the Thriving Farmer Podcast, Michael is joined by Julie Olberding of Rustic Roots Farm in Alexandria, Minnesota. Their farm balances natural resources with a blend of innovative techniques and traditional methods to produce the highest quality products for their customers.  They specialize in hardneck garlic, maple syrup, asparagus and more using these natural and regenerative methods. 

Tune in to hear about Julie’s award-winning garlic and her advice for new farmers. 

You’ll hear:

  • How Julie and Chad got started in farming 1:35
  • Why Rustic Roots choose garlic to start with 5:07
  • Why Rustic Roots does farmers markets 9:35
  • About Rustic Roots’ marketing 14:03
  • More on the other garlic products they offer 16:57
  • How many varieties of garlic they grow 20:30
  • What Rustic Roots offers in terms of education 27:01
  • About their fertility program 33:53
  • What other enterprises and products their farm offers 42:41
  • What Julie’s advice is for newer farmers 45:03
  • About what Julie would change if she could go back and start over 48:38

About the Guest:

Julie Olberding and her family started Rustic Roots Farm near Alexandria, Minnesota. They are first generation farmers now entering their 5th year of farming. They raise specialty crops (hardneck garlic, maple syrup, asparagus and small square bales of hay) using natural, sustainable and regenerative methods. 

They started Rustic Roots Farm to teach their kids the values of independence, hard work, self-reliance, perseverance and creative thinking and they are involved in the day-to-day operations of the farm. In 2022, their farm was honored to be selected as a featured grower at the Minnesota Garlic Festival.


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The Thriving Farmer Podcast Team would like to thank our amazing sponsor!

Conservation organizations play an important role in supporting local farms and food efforts nationwide. In the heart of the Ozarks, this land trust is taking land access for farmers one step further where they are offering affordable stable leases. 

Through the NWA Food Systems Initiative, NWALT is offering underserved farmers the opportunity to sublease certain designated tracts of farmland on a dedicated property to help support sustainable farming practices in Northwest Arkansas. The Farmland Lease Program is available to beginning and experienced farmers who are interested in fruit and/or vegetable production. Approved applicants will have access to water and electric utility infrastructure, shared access to farm equipment and harvesting facilities with neighboring participant farmers. In addition, farmers accepted into the program will have access to education, training, and other resources to help them succeed.

You can learn more about the program and the farm location in this podcast or contact 479-966-4666. Information is online at