I’m excited to introduce Runamuk’s new affiliate partner: GreenStalk Vertical Gardens and you should be too because they’ve given Runamuk a coupon code worth $10 off their stackable garden planters. Check out the new button in my sidebar on the left-hand side of the Runamuk website─pretty sharp right?
Honestly, I don’t make much money off my writing, but then─that’s not really the purpose of this blog. The purpose is to express myself through the telling of my story as a farmer, and to share what I’ve learned in the hopes of helping others live a more self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle as well.
Yet this blog and website, along with the resources offered here, are a service provided by Runamuk that make up part of my business model. The funds generated here through sponsorships and affiliate partnerships go directly to Runamuk, helping me to continue farming─helping me to pay for things like chicken feed, supplies for the apiary, or even the farm’s liability insurance.
I’m humble enough and realistic enough to know that most writers never make it big. I’ll never be the next JK Rowling, but it’s a skill I possess and I can use it to generate at least part of my income. And I do make some money writing. You can be sure I included those figures in my financials when I approached the FSA with my loan request. Runamuk is a diverse operation; this blog and my talent as a writer are part of my business model. I hope to expand this aspect of my operation once Runamuk is settled at our new forever-farm home. Stay tuned for more on that in upcoming posts.
The GreenStalk affiliate program is by invitation only, so I was lucky that Ashley Skeen stumbled upon my website. She’s the marketing manager at GreenStalk and she reached out to me to invite me to partner with them, and offered to send me a GreenStalk and the Mover to try for myself and review for them! How cool is that!?
I told her she’d better wait to send the GreenStalk til after the move lol, but I wanted to introduce them to you now. I think they’re offering an innovative approach to food-production in small spaces; with another growing season upon us I believe there are folks out there who will be able to put the GreenStalk to good use.
These are stackable planters with a unique watering system that allows the gardener to grow a lot in just 2 square feet of space. You could use it to grow flowers, herbs, and even vegetables. They’re BPA free and UV-resistant too, so they’ll last for years. I really like the fact that GreenStalk is a small family owned business out of Tennessee, and I love that their products are made 100% in the USA. Go to their website to see how the GreenStalk works!
Without a doubt I’m looking forward to trying the GreenStalk. Initially I was thinking I would use it to produce a tower of herbs that I could position just outside the front door to keep them handy to the kitchen for cooking; then at the end of the season I could simply use the Mover to wheel the tower inside for the winter and still have fresh herbs. However, as I poured over the photo album on their website I came up with an even better idea, which I’m really excited about.
My son BraeTek had expressed some interest in growing blackberries and raspberries at the new farm and was disappointed when I told him we’d have to wait til next year to really start putting in perennials like that. BraeTek has been involved in the farmers’ market with me off and on over these last 5 years; he’s quite the entrepreneur actually─selling lemonade, iced tea and dog biscuits. Now he wants to grow berries so that he can make frozen smoothie pops to sell to kids at the farmers’ market. Naturally I want to encourage him, but the realities of moving a farm and family and getting everyone settled again makes me reluctant to get too carried away with planting much in the way of perennials this first year. This will be a transition year.
It occurred to me though, as I looked through the photos shared by the GreenStalk community, that we could use the GreenStalk to raise strawberries. Johnny’s has some varieties that perform very well in containers and I knew I still had time to order bare-root plants for this season. When I showed BraeTek the pictures of what I had in mind he gave me an enthusiastic “Okay!”
Later that same day I placed my order for 25 of the Seascape strawberry variety offered by Johnny’s Selected Seeds. There are 30 planting pockets on the GreenStalk, so I thought we could fill in the remaining 5 pockets with a few herbs or flowers and the tower will look great standing in the front yard at the Hive House!
It’s going to be fantastic having our own fresh strawberries. I admit I am strongly biased against buying strawberries. Strawberries are #1 on the list of “Dirty Dozen”, with the highest concentrations of pesticides. Even when washed and rinsed they are still likely to be contaminated─they’re like a sponge─they just soak up the chemicals. If I do buy strawberries I always buy Organic, but as a farmer I know that even some approved organic pesticides can be harmful. Growing your own is really the safest way to get strawberries.
Note: Check out this report from the Environmental Working Group to learn more about the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.
I’m especially looking forward to working on this project with my son. I want my children to be producers in this world. I want them to know how to make things, grow food, and do things for themselves. Some day they might need those skills, and also, I feel a certain level of production is essential for a full and satisfying life. Check back soon to see updates on BraeTek’s strawberry production project using the GreenStalk planter.
Be sure to click on the new GreenStalk button in the sidebar to check out our new affiliate partner! Use promo code RUNAMUK to get $10 off yours!