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Grounded by the Farm

Apr 1, 2020

A detailed transcript and photos are available at

Links for this episode are at the bottom of the list of timecodes, etc. 

Val Wagner and her husband Mark farm and raise a family of four boys in Monango, North Dakota. We talk with her about how they plan for and store food for a family that size as well as a bit about the crops and livestock they raise.

The latest episode of Grounded by the Farm speaks to something many of us are facing this week whether we are at home in big cities or rural areas — we are focused on having enough food at home. Buying, storing, and cooking more meals.

The last time I was at home cooking this much was when I lived in the Mississippi Delta, an area I frequently called the middle of nowhere. I personally am looking at food differently. Although I have many grocery stores and restaurants within a mile or two, I am planning for my meals, thinking about what I need to have in the house for a week or two instead of going out to the grocery store every few days or stopping by restaurants so much more often.

My friend Val Wagner who lives in North Dakota came to mind as she lives well away from a grocery and has a big family. I knew she’d have a lot of tips to share.

Val Wagner and familyMeet Val Wagner & Her Family 1:05

Not Everyone Visits North Dakota 1:40

Growing Sweet Corn 5:31

How do you store sweet corn & other food long-term?  7:46 

Having Freezers Ready  11:14 

Getting Meat Processing Done 13:15

Focus on Herd Health 17:35

2019 Was a Bad Weather Year  21:44 

Thinking about Empty Grocery Shelves  23:33

Planning Further Out, Eating at Home More 27:03

Caring for Special Dietary Needs 33:18

May Need To Consider New Normal  36:47 

Supporting Local Businesses  39:21 

What if you want to buy local meat? 42:55

Find Val Wagner Online 45:54 

Other Links of Interest

The website Grounded by the Farm and the contact form for ideas on local food or to offer suggestions for the show 

Post about working cows at the Wagners' farm 

How to freeze sweet corn 

Discussion on cattle care with a veterinarian 

Farm near Memphis that sells beef direct to consumers 

Moving cattle close to home and barn

Favorite popcorn to have around 

A good pantry recipe red beans and rice  

post about a friend's farm that sells avocados directly