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The Ground Shots Podcast

Dec 10, 2023

read ful show notes here

Together with the insects, animals, plants and elements Elizabeth Yaari is transforming a dry patch of semi arid desert into a thriving regenerative seven layered food forest. “Anything is possible”, she says “even when you have 6 1/2 inches of rain a year.”

To spend time with Elizabeth is to enter a realm where depth matters and play reigns. Her descriptions of life at Night Owl food Forest will take you on a journey you were glad you took.

As an enthusiastic member of the Design School for Regenerating Earth, Elizabeth learns to create earthworks and microclimates which benefit not only neighbors on the same watershed but also all life in the surrounding bioregion.

In this episode of the podcast, we talked about:

  • why Elizabeth started the Night Owl Food Forest

  • her relationship to art, eco-grief and planting

  • the permaculture course Elizabeth took with Pat Frazier and Wind Clearwater, and how it influenced her work on the land

  • Elizabeth tells a funny story of trying to sex a cow with permaculture teacher Pat Frazier and how it taught her to observe

  • working on the land over many years gives you way more knowledge of a place and its nuances than reading books

  • the nature of the Night Owl Food Forest - geologically and ecologically, and Elizabeth’s goals of restoration and regeneration

  • what Elizabeth learned about people from getting their compost for the food forest to build the soil

  • how Elizabeth works with the local community to build the food forest

  • thinking long term, beyond private land borders, and dedicated to small spaces

  • water and permaculture at the Night Owl Food Forest, which has little water rights and gets only a small amount of water each year

  • observations Elizabeth has made at the Night Owl Food Forest- as observation is the first step of tending land

  • Elizabeth’s observation of how wild flax literally moves throughout the day in response to the sun’s location in the sky

  • Sagebrush, Saltbush and Greasewood, halophytes that can tolerate salt and ‘poor soil’ in a permaculture setting

  • Some of what Elizabeth has planted at the Night Owl Food Forest

  • where Elizabeth planted Biscuitroot seeds on her land and why

  • slow, sink and spread, and how that is necessary at a spot like the Night Owl Food Forest

  • permaculture in desert environments

  • how Elizabeth made her hugelkultur beds with Cottonwoods cut down by beavers

  • using beaver deceivers to work with the beavers in the neighboring drainage

  • how the Praire Dog tunnels become conduits for water, and provide spaces where water can hide further up hill, and could be considered a ‘riparian zone’ by some

  • an audio tour of the night owl food forest in the snow with Elizabeth


Night Owl Food Forest Facebook Page

The Awesome Dobie Badlands - book on the Adobes written by a local western Colorado author (Bookshop version not available)

Sundial Medicinals of Moab, Utah/ Episode #2 of the podcast mentioned in the episode talking about how Emily built the soil in the back yard of her home in the town of Moab over years of collecting compost

Integral Pathways - a local business owned by Trace Axtell and Marta Sanchez, who did the earthworks projects at the Night Owl Food Forest

Wind Clearwater on KVNF - As the Worm Turns, in 2016 (there are other convos on this program with him, too!)

Vibrant Earth Seeds : Regionally adapted to the Southwest. Use ‘GROUNDSHOTS10’ at checkout for 10% off seed orders (your buying seeds also supports the podcast!)

Ground Shots Substack : Subscribe here

Bookshop buy me a book!

Bookshop : recommended books for you (buying here helps support the podcast)

Amazon wishlist for Kelly’s airstream trailer renovation

Venmo : @kelly-moody-6

Paypal :

website archive and extended shownotes: 

Our Instagram pages: @goldenberries / @groundshotspodcast

Music: Mother Marrow

Hosted and Produced by: Kelly Moody