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The Ground Shots Podcast

Oct 28, 2020

This episode of the Ground Shots Podcast features a conversation with Wren Haffner and Ini Giesbrecht of Mountain Jewel Center for Earth Connection, an 18 acre homestead in the Ozarks.

I’ve been following Mountain Jewel for a few years now on Instagram, since before Wren and Ini started tending the land they steward.

I’ve been consistently inspired by Wren and Ini’s work on the land, as they have prolifically shared the evolution of their land project on Instagram and through blogging over the years. Wren and Ini have shared the plants they work with and the trials and tribulations of homesteading and building infrastructure that feels in harmony with the land. 

I’ve been wanting to talk with them for awhile on the nature of their work, what their goals are, some of their discoveries and more.

In this conversation with Wren and Ini, we talk about:


  • Wren and Ini’s traveling life before landing in the Ozarks  and their reasons for landing there

  • some geology of the Ozarks and how it influences the ecology

  • Mountain Jewel’s land-based infrastructure

  • natural building in a humid place, and how it might actually be a BETTER option in some instances!

  • the perennial native and non-native food crops Wren and Ini have been working with, some include: Chinese Mountain Yam, Gumi, Indigo Bush, Comfrey, Skirret, Sunroot, Figs, Apples, Mulberry, Persimmon, Elderberries, Paw Paws, Chestnut and Ozark Chinkapin, Yaupon Holly, Aronia Berry and more.

  • deeper talk about Paw Paws and their flavor, medicine, selected species, propagation

  • Wren’s new land race seed project focused on Squash, and more talk on land race seeds in general


Mountain Jewel on Instagram @_mountainjewel_

Mountain Jewel Center for Earth Connection’s website where you can buy bare root seedlings of some of the plants we mention in the conversation, read their blog and more:

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Theme music: 'Sweat and Splinters' by Mother Marrow

Hosted by: Kelly Moody

Interstitial Music: “Building a Bridge” by Samara Jade

Produced by: Kelly Moody and Opia Creative