How To Start A Farm & Grow Your Own Food, The Craziest New Mushroom Formulations You’ve Never Heard Of, How To Be Insanely Productive & Spiritual At The Same Time & Much More With Jordan Rubin.

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regenerative farming
Biohacking, Farming & Gardening, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Podcast, Podcast-new, Space, Spirituality, Supplements

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My guest on this show is Jordan Rubin, who is one of America’s most-recognized and respected natural health experts. He is also The New York Times bestselling author of The Maker’s Diet and 29 additional titles, including his latest work, The Probiotic Diet

As an eco-entrepreneur, accomplished author, and sought-after lecturer on health and nutrition, Jordan has touched countless lives, spreading his message of health and hope both nationally and globally over more than two decades. His expertise and passion for holistic well-being have led him to establish two renowned companies: Garden of Life and Ancient Nutrition. Both organizations focus on delivering high-quality, whole-food nutritional supplements, setting new standards in the industry.

Beyond his entrepreneurial pursuits, Jordan has also made significant strides in the realm of organic food and dietary supplement manufacturing with the founding of Beyond Organic, a vertically integrated organic food, beverage, and dietary supplement manufacturer. His keen interest in formulating innovative dietary supplements, functional foods, and beverages has resulted in numerous #1 top sellers within the Healthy Foods channel. Jordan previously appeared on my podcast on the episode Ducks Vs. Chickens, Yaks Vs. Cows, Eating Locusts, Unique Permaculture Practices, Bible-Based Eating & More With Jordan Rubin.

A firm believer in the power of regenerative agriculture, Jordan has established two Regenerative Organic Certified farms—Heal the Planet Farm in Missouri and The Center for Regenerative Agriculture in Tennessee. Together with his wife Nicki, Jordan has not only built a thriving professional career but also a beautiful family, raising six children. Join me today to delve into the fascinating world of natural health and wellness with Jordan Rubin.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Who is Jordan Rubin?…05:37

-Jordan’s morning routine…09:38

Heavenly Habits talk

-Jordan’s journey into regenerative organic farming…21:45

  • Had Crohn’s disease and other illnesses from the age of 18-21
  • Down to 104 lbs. and in a wheelchair; normal weight for his height is 185 lbs.
  • Visited numerous medical experts without success
  • Started following a certain diet based on the Bible
  • The Maker's Diet
    • Real food animal-based diet that he follows to this day
  • During that time ('95 to '96), many of the foods were not available
    • Raw, grass-fed dairy products
    • Raw vegetable juices
    • Grass-fed meat and eggs
  • Realized he needed to raise and grow his own healthy food
  • Eventually healed from Crohn’s disease
  • Started Garden of Life
  • Wrote about his healing journey 
  • Had another miraculous moment in 2008 when he felt God was calling him to be Joseph
  • Began thinking about how to start raising and growing the world's healthiest foods
    • Made a ton of mistakes
    • Being a farmer is very different from writing about healthy food; very difficult to do, but important to attempt
    • Didn’t know anything and had to learn everything the hard way
    • Started what is now called regenerative farming or regenerative agriculture in 2009
    • Now has 4000 acres of what he believes to be the most important farmland in the world, achieving regenerative organic certification
  • The practice of growing, raising, and producing foods that can heal our planet

-How everyone can start growing food…29:07

  • Ben’s plans to move to a 12-acre property in Idaho 
  • You can start small
    • Decent-sized raised bed
    • Tiny greenhouse
    • Backyard
    • If you live in a condo, a potted plant
  • Jordan had no farming background
  • Knowing where your food comes from and controlling where it does
  • Beyond Organic
  • He is often in one of his two farms
  • Most of Jordan's customers are major farmers' markets and retailers
  • All of his customers leave wishing they spent more time
    • Farming themselves
    • Supporting Regenerative Organic Certified farming
  • Visitors are always welcome on his farms
  • 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
  • Stay open-minded to the idea of you not having to plant every seed
  • Employ other people in your local community
  • Make your family and your kids part of the process

-What is organic regenerative farming?…39:55

  • We are going to be hearing the word “regenerative” for the next century
  • 72 major corporations have made regenerative pledges
  • Regenerative means to improve the ecosystem every day
  • Most farms today are degenerating
    • Water is bad
    • Soil is dirt, or dead
    • Indigenous animals are gone
    • Plants and microbes are gone
  • Regeneration involves caring for the soil, plants, animals, and people in relation to farming or agriculture
  • It takes 500 years to build 1 inch of topsoil
    • Jordan wants to do it in 1 year
    • wants meaningful regeneration and set the highest standards
  • Regenerative Organic Certified is backed by organizations 
  • Ancient Nutrition (use code BENGREENFIELD for 15% off)
  • Heal the Planet Farm in Missouri and Regenerative Agriculture in Tennessee are the first such farms in their respective states and number 47 and 79 in the world
  • Organic farms can stay the same each and every year
    • No improvements in soil
    • No improvements in plant diversity or animal welfare
  • Regenerative Organic Certified farms must show improvements every year in order to maintain their certification
  • Regenerative Organic Certified products like foods, skin, and body care, and soon supplements, is the highest standard in the world right now
    • Pay it forward by purchasing the products if you want the best for nutrition and for the planet

-Basic steps for regenerative organic farming…45:37

  • Achieve ecological diversity through crop rotation
    • Healthier soil
    • Pest resistance
  • Do not let the ground be uncovered; exposed earth erodes the beneficial substances 
    • Cash crops and cover crops
    • Cash crops are what is sold and eaten
    • Cover crops preserve soil health
    • Plant cover crops even in winter
  • Harvested cover crops can be fed to chickens or goats
  • Chicken manure can be composted
  • Regenerative loop – offsetting feed cost while healing the soil

-How to prepare for successful farming…49:55

  • Relationship between plants and animals
    • Before planting anything, before you start farming, allow the animals to do the work for you and prepare the growing area
  • Animals should prepare the soil
    • Goats, chickens, ducks, turkeys
    • Animal excretion will put you far ahead in your base soil health
    • Growing a garden and having to bring in soil for every crop you plant is not sustainable
    • There should be minimal soil disturbance in order to avoid disrupting the microbiology
    • A no-till or zero-till planting preserves microbial populations – every successive harvest will be more nutritious, with less inputs
  • Holy grail of agriculture
    • Less work, more food from a smaller area
    • Possible if you practice regenerative agriculture
  • Keep animals in a very small area and move them as frequently as possible 
    • Goats are very susceptible to parasites
  • Jordan provides a regenerative organic system farm plan
    • The goal is to train farmers, whether in a backyard variety or as major producers
  • Going too big can be a big mistake
    • Start small with a small number of animals; if you fail, you fail small
    • When you start buying animals, nobody will sell you their best animals
    • A successful small system can then be applied to large parcels of land – the same principles apply

-What type of animals to raise?…55:58

  • Depending on your environment, there are better animals than the goat, chicken, cow concept
  • Unfortunately, in the U.S., we have gravitated towards animals that produce food quickly in confinement, which has led to very weak genetics
    • Dairy cows are super fragile animals
    • The Cornish cross hen chicken is also super fragile
    • These animals are grown to become a steak or milk or eggs or chicken breast very quickly
  • Ben is probably moving into a pasture that has no 20-year regeneratively improved soil
    • Grow animals that can thrive
      • On poor-quality forage
      • Without antibiotics
      • Without growth-promoting stimulants or hormones
    • Do not get animals that need to be pampered
    • You want animals that can “earn a living for themselves”
  • The Biggest Little Farm video
  • Jordan lost a lot of animals and plants
    • Farming is hard but it is absolutely simple and effective if you start today
    • Appreciate the food that you buy at your grocery or health food store or farmer's market because it's hard to grow and raise it yourself
  • Recommendations for Ben’s farm
    • Water buffalo
      • Superior milk than cows
    • Yaks 
      • Produce higher-quality meat than any bovine or cattle 
      • Superior milk
      • Raising and milking yaks is very different from raising and milking cows
    • Sheep and goats that are more acclimated to colder weather
    • Ducks
      • Can handle colder weather
      • Eggs are less allergenic and more nutritious than chickens in every measured nutrient
    • Scottish highland cows
    • A2 milk 
      • Only a few breeds of cows have a high percentage of A2 milk
      • Guernsey cows can handle some cold weather and have 96% A2 milk
      • Goats, sheep, water buffalo, yak, all have entirely A2 milk without any breeding necessary
      • More suitable for humans considering mother's milk contains no A1
  • Find a farmer who's selling cows and genetically test hair samples to know which cows are A2 and which are not
    • If the original cattle are producing A2 milk, then their offspring, being raised on A2 milk would be producing A2 and much healthier
    • If you're going to do dairy, it's got to be A2 because it is far healthier than traditional dairy

-Water contamination by ducks…1:02:38

  • Ben’s dad got very sick 2 years ago, and the infection was caused by the contamination of the pond water by ducks
  • Jordan has 3000 birds (about half are ducks) on a 53-acre part of his 2 farms
    • Normal rotation does not have pond access for the ducks
    • Moving every day 
  • The farm has a group of ducks that are in a stationary body of water but people are not allowed to enter and drink water from it
  • Used to have water systems called effluent tanks when the farms were producing dairy products 
    • The water was inoculated with probiotics (soil-based aerobic organisms to keep the pond free from pathogenic organisms)
    • Oxygenate the pond to simulate moving water (not stagnant)
  • The best use of that water from a pond that has ducks is to irrigate land and provide fertilizer, not recommended for drinking
  • Podcast with Joel Salatin:
  • It is probably a good idea to avoid any contact with water from a pond with ducks in it, especially if the water is not aerated and or inoculated with beneficial bacteria probiotics

-Creating supplements with fungi…1:05:50

  • Recently created the first regenerative organic certified fungi
  • Has also created the first regenerative organic certified supplements ever that are launching in sprouts exclusively
  • The fungi kingdom is very unutilized
  • Mycorrhizae in the soil make the soil healthy
  • The healthiest soil is one that has more fungi than bacteria
  • Mushrooms are amazing for health
    • Researched how to make good ingredients better with fungi
    • taking fungi and allowing them to extract all the goodness from foods, herbs while removing any plant toxins
  • Research from Korea – fermenting herbs with fungi
  • Most mushrooms are grown on substrate of wood or rice straw or another grain like oats
  • What if a fungi like reishi is grown on an herb like turmeric
    • Get the benefits of the fungi, reishi
    • Get the benefits of turmeric and all the other compounds that would be considered downstream metabolites
    • The mushrooms make these ingredients more bioavailable to humans
  • Infusing other factors into the reishi to get even better results
    • Using energized structured water
    • Using certain light and color frequencies as well as sound frequency
  • Grow reishi on turmeric on ground-up turmeric chips, not the whole log or a root
  • Jordan did an experiment with turmeric and grape seed, and other different herbs
    • The reishi actually grew into the shape of the herb it was grown on
    • The 8-year-old reishi that was grown on turmeric chips now looks like turmeric root even though it was grown on little tiny chips
  • Also doing significant research on mushrooms grown on cannabis and hemp for 8 years now
  • There is always the desire to take the good and remove the bad from plants, and God created mushrooms to do just that
  • Not all fungi are mushrooms, like chaga and cordyceps
  • The first experiment was cordyceps grown on ashwagandha
    • Also did cordyceps on cacao
    • Reishi on coffee
  • Literally taking any food and making it more improved for human or animal
  • Podcast with Dr. Dan Pompa:

-Is that going to be an Ancient Nutrition product or a whole new spin-off company?…1:14:56

  • We are incorporating this technology in the future Ancient Nutrition Regenerative Organic Certified products
  • We also have a manufacturing company in the middle of the 4,000-acre Regenerative Organic Certified farm
    • Providing ingredients and formulation to select companies, including the brand new Dr. Dan Pompa brand Cellular Solutions
  • Jordan has also been doing experiments on animal products, including growing cordyceps on crickets, where cordyceps grows in nature, on insects

-Best way to follow Jordan and learn…1:16:10

  • Ancient Nutrition (use code BENGREENFIELD for 15% off)
  • The R.A.N.C.H (Regenerative Agriculture, Nutrition, and Climate Health) Project
  • Everyone is welcome to visit the farm
    • Train farmers
    • Permaculture courses
    • Tree planting parties
    • We've had multiple interns
    • Individuals can come for a day and either volunteer or do a farm vacation
  • The goal is to spread the message to the whole world
  • You can contribute to changing the world wherever you are
  • We owe it to future generations to make improvements in our environment and our food supply

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Health Optimisation Summit: June 17th – 18th, 2023

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Jordan Rubin:

– Podcasts:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Jordan Rubin or me? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

4 thoughts on “How To Start A Farm & Grow Your Own Food, The Craziest New Mushroom Formulations You’ve Never Heard Of, How To Be Insanely Productive & Spiritual At The Same Time & Much More With Jordan Rubin.

  1. Peter Maxwell says:

    Thank you for sharing this insightful article on how to start a farm and grow your own food. I found it very interesting to learn about Jordan Rubin’s journey from being a pioneer in the health and wellness industry to becoming an eco-entrepreneur and regenerative organic farmer. I really am also thankful that great and topnotch healthcare is available in this country. Much like who helped me nurse back my body to fighting fit form after I figured into an accident years back!

  2. Joe says:

    How can we access the recording?

    1. Ben Greenfield says:


    You asked Jordan about pond management
    You may want to talk to Patrick Hill at Triplepoint water

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