#042: Learning from the Land: How to Live and Farm at Nature’s Pace

podcast Sep 18, 2023

Yeah, I feel tied to this land. The spot is very magical. Very special. I feel like she talks to me. The plants talk to me. The animals tell me. I don't know how to describe that intuitive sense. Because for me, my intuitive knowing comes in the form of knowing

–Missy Singer Dumars


This episode features the incredible Missy Singer Dumars, a passionate farmer and storyteller. Get ready to dive into the world of farming, mindfulness, and the beautiful connection between humans and nature.


In this episode, Missy takes us on an extraordinary journey from her beginnings in Las Vegas to her current life as a commercial farmer. She shares how her love for fresh produce led her to explore farmers markets and master the art of cooking. Eventually, her deep connection to the earth and its bountiful gifts inspired her to embark on a farming adventure.


Missy's farm, aptly named Crownhill Farm, is not only a place of cultivation but also a vessel for her spiritual connection with the land. 


"It's awe. It's an experience of awe and wonder...like, I mean, just think about a seed. It amazes me every single time."


She believes in nurturing the soil, practicing mindfulness, and creating a closed and sustainable system. From practicing "no-till" farming to communicating with plants and animals, Missy's farming practices go beyond traditional organic methods. She even cautions against the use of heavy machinery to preserve the delicate balance of micro-ecosystems in the soil.


During the episode, Missy shares the awe-inspiring experience of watching plants grow, comparing it to the joy and wonder of raising children. She believes in being present and aware while working on the farm, truly listening to the sounds of nature and finding harmony within the rhythm of life.


One fascinating aspect of Missy's journey is the history and paranormal experiences attached to her farm. The Crownhill Farm house, built in 1850, holds a rich and mysterious past. Missy recounts the captivating story of purchasing the house from a local author who wrote a hauntingly beautiful book about the property called "Crownhill." This historical fiction, love story, and ghost story adds an extra layer of enchantment to Missy's connection with the land.


But farming is not an easy journey, as Missy candidly shares. She reveals the challenges of making a living as a commercial farmer, especially on a smaller scale like her 13-acre farm. However, Missy's determination and belief in divine timing have led her to embrace her unique way of doing business. She encourages us to define our own success and allow our businesses to grow in alignment with our values and goals.


Missy’s Instagram: crownhillfarmny 

Podcast: https://www.womeninfood.net/podcast

Website:  https://www.womeninfood.net/

TIMESTAMP SUMMARY (add 8 Minutes for accuracy)


00:01:40 Name changes from Weiner to Recker, Singer.

00:04:55 Commercial farming is tough, even for bigger farms. My small market garden is more realistic. I got into farming after living off-grid in Hawaii and getting close to the land. I love cooking and sought out farmers markets.

00:06:50 Living in different places, cooking, and farming.

00:12:31 Crownhill Farm has a haunted history.

00:16:59 Mindful farming without the word "organic".

00:19:29 Connection to Hindu chants, preference for natural sounds on the farm, and blessing the plants during gardening.

00:24:35 Winter solstice traditions ensure the return of the sun.

00:28:40 Awe and wonder about growing plants.

00:31:54 "Growing soil, not food; importance of sustainability."

00:37:11 Nurturing resilience to be yourself and plants.

00:38:53 Exposure to diverse experiences strengthens resilience.

00:41:27 Business success is defined by the business owner. Allow business to grow naturally and unfold.

00:45:50 Relationships bring unexpected opportunities and blessings.


Amanda Aminata [00:00:02]:

Hey, everybody. It's me, Doctor Manda Kim. Amina Soul Plant Walker Firewoman, and I'm so excited to have as our guest today, Missy, who I call farmer Missy in my phone. And we're gonna hear Missy's full name. But I believe it or not, it just blocked from my mind because I was kinda talking about being you being a farmer. But, anyway, we're gonna have our special our conversation with Missy about farming, about being business for yourself, about land, and and the feminine, and all kinds of good stuff. So Missy, besides telling us your whole name.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:00:37]:

Name? Missy, singer Dumars. There

Amanda Aminata [00:00:41]:

you go. Missy Singer DuMar. Tell us what's good for you today.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:00:48]:

Oh my gosh. What like, life is so good, but, and what's good in this moment was every day, like, this morning, going down to my germination room and seeing all the new baby plants that are popping up for, like, so many babies. There's baby chicks in the basement. There's baby plants in the basement. So new life new life is so good for me.

Amanda Aminata [00:01:10]:

Wow. Okay. And just can you just tell me about your your last name, Dumar? Cause I associate that with French and with Louisiana. Do you have any connections?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:01:21]:

No. That's actually my ex husband's part of the last name singer is my part of the last name And, we both agreed to keep our whole non hyphenated version of both names. And, but the singer has a story, actually.

Amanda Aminata [00:01:38]:

Tell us about the singer.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:01:40]:

So my maiden name is actually Weiner. And, after my first divorce, I was living in Las Vegas, and I kept my first husband's last name because I was a new therapist. And the way I put it with my dad, my dad's like, why don't you go back to Weiner? I'm like, dad, wiener, massage, Las Vegas, not a good combo. He's like, alright. Good point. Good point. Good point. So I kept Will Recker for a really long time, and I knew I didn't wanna go back to Weiner. And, I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do for a long time. Singer is my mother's mother's maiden name, and that, eventually fell really resonant in line to honor the matrilineal line. And so interestingly, the day after I had first date with my most recent ex husband. My first husband called me to tell me he was gonna propose to his girlfriend, And it was such a magical timing. And I'm like, it's time to change my name because now there's gonna be another missus with his last name. And so I started the process of changing my name, my last name singer, and it takes a long time. It's like a really complicated process if you're not doing it in the act of divorcing or something or marrying. And, like, I really had only Missy Singer for a month or 2 before I remarried. And so it's kind of and went We we both decided to go to Singer DuMARS with no hyphen, so we could drop one of the names easily if we needed to or wanted to. So that's the whole long story. So Singer really honors my mother's mother's line and lineage.

Amanda Aminata [00:03:13]:


Missy Singer Dumars [00:03:14]:


Amanda Aminata [00:03:14]:

It it's funny that we're we're talking about names because I've been thinking a lot about, taking the name, I mean, not to soul plant walker, fire woman. And what it takes to shift people's what they call you. You know, I was thinking about Mohammed Ali, how he was Casha's clay, And in one of his fights, I think he was fighting fighting somebody named Floyd something. He knocked him down, and he said to him, what's my name? What's my name? He wanted to be called, you know, Muhammad Ali. So Names are like powerful.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:03:53]:

Words are powerful. I mean, there's words hold magic energy. Mhmm.

Amanda Aminata [00:03:58]:

So do you feel like your mother's mother is part of you doing what you're doing on your farm now?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:04:06]:

I don't know about that, but I do feel closeness to both my grandmother's on both sides and my family always. My, my father's mother was very much the hostess. A lot of holidays with her, and outside the family. And, my mom's mom I think that just feels more like I feel the blood and ancestry of her side. You know? I don't know how else to disturb it. Wow. This is a conversation we didn't I didn't expect her.

Amanda Aminata [00:04:35]:

I know. That's totally fine. Well, well, you know, speaking of of blood and ancestry. I don't know. For me, land is kinda like elemental like that. How did you get into farming?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:04:48]:

Oh my gosh. I,

Amanda Aminata [00:04:51]:

You're a commercial farmer. Right? You farm to, like, make a living?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:04:55]:

Somewhat. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's commercial farming is kind of a funny thing because it's it's really hard to make a living. I mean, even some of the bigger farms in my area that I would call more of a commercial technically, I'm a commercial farm. I make money with what I'm doing, but, the big commercial farms that have 100 of acres, like, they barely make ends meet. It's just really hard. To do. So, I would say I'm more a lot of people would call My Gardens a Market Garden. Scale. It's kind of a under an acre. Scale, of actual I mean, I have 13 acres of this farm, but only my garden space is maybe 5000 square feet total, and then the animals and other things. So, out of the 13 acres and actually, my friend who was just here and I are looking at a really big plan on what to do with my back acreage to turn into something more useful than a hay field. So But yeah. No. How it came to farming is, oh my gosh. Where do I begin? I went to massage school in Hawaii. I lived with a family off grid. And that was my first experience, really, of, like, pulling a carrot out of the ground, hosing it off and eating it fresh, and it and just eat eating really close to the land and living close to land. And it was like, wow. And so I moved back to the mainland, California. I started seeking out farmers markets and and things like that more. I'm a pretty avid cook, a very avid cook, and culinary fan. And so, you know, I came to it from like, what do I like to eat? What do I like to cook?

Amanda Aminata [00:06:33]:

What year about what year would we we're talking about the nineties of the 2000?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:06:38]:

That would be, 200,09, 2008, something like 2000 and 8, 9, somewhere around that.

Amanda Aminata [00:06:48]:

And were you in Northern California?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:06:50]:

I was in Northern California. Well, so I was living in I was living in Las Vegas. I went to massage school in Hawaii, and when I came back to Vegas for a short while, and I was like, okay. I gotta move somewhere else. It's a long story roundup, Santa Cruz, California, but I end up in Santa Cruz, California. And, yeah, and just, like, strawberry picking up on the cliffs looking over the ocean and big farmers markets because the, you know, that kind of part of California is really close to what call the bread basket of the country and where a lot of food is grown. That's right. And, so I started that was the beginning. And then over the years being exposed to different dietary choices. I got really good at getting creative in the kitchen and things like that. My own dietary choice is cooking for friends, things like that. I moved to Colorado. Wanted to just live somewhere where there was more seasons. Wanted to get I by then, I was living in San Cisco in the city and wanted to get out of the city. And, met my most recent ex husband in Colorado, and he grew up more around farm and growing food and things like that. And, and so we won it was really their dream to have a farm. And I was like, sure. Sounds cool. And so we found this place, and there's a lot of magic and I say magic. It would look to an outsider, like, coincidence, but there are a lot of magic to this place and the ties it has to me and to us. And so we went for it and came here. And -- And you

Amanda Aminata [00:08:17]:

and you are in Eden New York?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:08:19]:

I'm in Eden New York, which is just outside of Buffalo, a region called Western New York, which is not the same as upstate New York, very, very different. I'm only, like, sixty miles from Erie, Pennsylvania, along the Lake Erie. Shoreline.

Amanda Aminata [00:08:32]:

Okay. So there's 2 things I wanna follow-up with.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:08:35]:

So one

Amanda Aminata [00:08:36]:

one is you said, well, first of all, we can't jump over with a name, Eden.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:08:41]:

Right. Right. Then you're far --

Amanda Aminata [00:08:43]:

It truly is. -- so magical and coming to you.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:08:46]:

This is a very agriculture town, a very agriculture focused town, with, you know, it started with agriculture. It still has deep agricultural roots and a lot of farmland.

Amanda Aminata [00:08:57]:

And tell me, do you feel like, and I wanna come back to food? Cause I know your podcast is called women in food. Food. Yeah. How much you love food and innovating in the kitchen. And, but what I and you your grandmother being this incredible host So, but what I wanted to get to when I would ask you where in California did you move to wasn't there like a whole food movement in California, like, farm to table? Isn't that where

Missy Singer Dumars [00:09:28]:

-- Yeah. Well, I mean, Alice Louise Waters with many consider the grandmother or whatever you wanna call her a farm to table she really brought farm table to the US long before a lot of other people you get a little further in Northern California and Sonoma County. And you've got like, the French laundry and and the chef there. And and, actually, before he made it a big thing, it was it was a thing. But, yeah, the farm to table a lot of it kinda started in the bay area, early on. And I say that as a movement, but the truth is farm to table just how people eat once upon a time. Right. Right. Hello. That's how you eat. That's how people eat before there was food and mass produce food and and things like that. Like, that's just that was just life. That's just living.

Amanda Aminata [00:10:18]:

Right. You would

Missy Singer Dumars [00:10:19]:

-- But, yeah. --

Amanda Aminata [00:10:19]:

dig a carrot out of the ground. You did when you were off the grid.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:10:22]:

You -- Yeah. Or you would eat what was right. You would eat what was in season. You would preserve food. You would canned food. You dry food. You would, you know, store, have storage crops, things like that.

Amanda Aminata [00:10:32]:

Yeah. But you didn't grow up like this.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:10:34]:

No. Not at all. Not that. Oh, I grew up, like, upper middle class Jewish country club kid.

Amanda Aminata [00:10:39]:

Yeah. So that's not gonna be, like, digging carrots out of the ground.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:10:44]:

No. No. We used to make mud pies and pick berries off of whatever bushes in the backyard, but, no, like, literally, my backyard was along a golf course. So that's that's very much how I grew up. But, you know, I did go to summer camp and things like that. You know, very posh summer camp, but still outdoors, you know, living in cabins and things. I didn't camp I didn't go camping camping until I was an adult. That was, like, the most exciting. I loved it. I was like, oh, I'm on good camping all the time.

Amanda Aminata [00:11:11]:

A car camping.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:11:13]:

Yeah, I was a little freaked out the first time, but excited. Too. Yeah. And I was I was at, like, a festival. So there was a lot of people. I wasn't, like, by myself in the woods camping. It was, like, a lot of people around, and it was more car camping where you can unload your car and dump everything and then park elsewhere. So, yeah, so camping Yeah. So outdoors. But, yeah, I'm pretty much self taught as a farmer. My we moved to this region because we had a, We have still have I still have a friend who's, who's been an urban farmer in Toronto, and she was very involved in helping get the started and build the first gardens and, my I keep referring to them as an ex husband. So, They are no longer here. And I've taken it on. And so

Amanda Aminata [00:11:59]:

Wow. Okay. And you've taken it on. So one of the things I wanted to ask you because you are a farmer, and I understand you're a market farmer. You're you're very close to your I mean, look at you, talk about your plants as babies and they're in your basement and you've got your baby chicks. So you're obviously, like, very connected. I was wondering, do you feel like what do did your farm have a name, or do you feel like a connection to the the soil, or what's that like for you?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:12:31]:

Well, the farm has a name. It's Crownhill Farm. It came with that name. Has a long history. This house where I'm sitting right now, this part of the house even was built in 1850. It's a very interesting history. It actually has a haunted history and a paranormal history in this house and on this land, which is super fun to get into. So it's got a it's got a little bit of a historic nature to it. The property was originally a 100 acres, and then it's slowly been divided down. So we're at 13 acres right now. And, yeah, I It's so interesting. So the person I bought we bought the house from is an author, a local author, and she wrote a book called Crownhill about this property, and it's sort of a historic fiction, love story, ghost story. It's it's a fun book. And, at the end of each chapter, there's an italicized section where the spirit of house talks about its experience of what's happening in the story. Yes. And that was interesting to me because when we were house shopping and we had read most of the book before we got here, house shopping and looking at houses, like, to me, I think more about relationship to the land and the property and hadn't thought about the house as an entity. Mhmm. And so that was a big flip for me. But, yeah, I feel I feel tied to this land. The spot is very magical. Very special. I feel like she talks to me. The plants talk to me. The animals tell me. Maybe, you know, I don't know how to describe that intuitive sense. Because for me, my intuitive knowing comes in the form of knowing this. Like, I don't necessarily see things. I don't necessarily hear words. Yeah. I just have, like, inner knowing. And it's like, oh, that's what you're trying to tell me. Okay. I got it. You know, that's kinda how it comes to me. Different people into it in different ways. You know?

Amanda Aminata [00:14:19]:

Give us an example of of the of a knowing ness that came to you?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:14:24]:

I would so there's a hot tub in the house in its own room, and it overlooks this side garden grove area that's, like, a lovely little woodland Grove spot. And, I was seeing a hot tub one day looking during daylight, so I could see the Grove, and I was looking out And I just got the sense of, like, she's feeling unattended. You know, that part is feeling unattended because I tend to focus on growing food. And so just the grounds sometimes get neglected. And, you know, I felt like I had a conversation with her of like, alright. I'm gonna give you more attention this year. I'm gonna you know, clean you up a little and give you some loving and keep an eye on you. So, like, that would be an example. Yeah. And and

Amanda Aminata [00:15:08]:

have you done it?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:15:10]:

Yeah. That was a couple of years ago. Right now, like, a whole half a tree over this past winter fell into it, so I need to get some friends with chainsaws to cut it apart. So it's a little bit of a mess right now, but, I mean, everything's there's branches everywhere because it's early spring here and -- Right. -- time to clean up and spring cleaning. Another example would be, like, I there's a tree I like to sit under on the front lawn in front of the house in in the summer. I'll often feed all the animals and then walk around the property. And I often end up by that tree, with the last little glimpses of light and and dusk. And, There there was just this message I felt of, like, I had this time I had almost a are my mind of, like, the ducks happily flapping around in puddles and waddling around the property and the chickens. And just it was just this message of, like, you know, find joy, you know, bring joy. This is what brings me joy is having joy on the land. And so you know, I tap into things like that. That way, that's kind of my communication. I have that answered your question a bit.

Amanda Aminata [00:16:20]:

Well, you're in the right place because this is the mother tree network. So so, you know, intuitive messages from trees, explicit hearing words. I mean, it's a there's a range of things that people experience here. So, so that's just really beautiful. And I love what you said about joy because I was very surprised when a treat that had been cut badly on our on the land that we care, I was asking her about wounds. And she said, breathing in joy, breathing out joy. Like, that was her first thing. You know? So so it's interesting that,

Missy Singer Dumars [00:16:59]:

Yeah. I mean, the so, I'm not certified organic farm here. So legally, we can't use the word. I can't use the word organic or organically grown or any of those words, which is just a USDA thing. And so I've thought a lot about it, and I use the moniker a lot mindfully grown. Which to me brings mindfulness to about, like, what soil practices and fertilizer practices I use are very beyond organic, honestly. But then it's also mindfulness in terms of, like, I sing a lot of per songs when I'm seething in the greenhouse and actually my friend who was visiting this morning, we went down to the basement where I have a whole room with all the trays where they're germinating with lights. Temperature control and stuff like that. And, we were checking on all the tracers, like, 20 trays down there right now. And so we're checking them all, and he was just enjoying my delight when I, like, lift cover and look in. I'm like, oh, hello, little baby. You came. And he's like, I love the he's like, you probably do this every single morning and, like, welcome every new plant that comes out. I'm like, absolutely. I do. I, like, I don't even think about doing it. I just naturally it's like, hello, little one. You know, I just talked to the plants like that. Like, hello, little one. To the world. It's so good to see you. Thank you for popping up. And, you know, and then I apologize. Like, when I have to thin, which thinning is you know, I might seed a row of carrots, but it's more seeds than the plant, you know, too close together, so you have to pull every couple plants, and I'm, like, apologizing. Like, I feel the weight of having to choose who lives and who dies. Right? Like, who lives and who becomes a microgreen on my plate for dinner that And it's like, you know, like, I'm so sorry. You look really strong, but the one next to you is stronger. Your spacing isn't right. I'm sorry. You know, like, There's just this awareness of of that. That's part of mindful mindfully grown as well as, you know, I talked to the plants and you know, I go out in the hoop house and see the peas came up. I'm like, look at you. You're all growing tall and strong. Good job. Well done. Like, every night, collect eggs. And I thank the girls. I'm like, thank you girls. Good job. Thank you for laying these eggs. Well done today. You know, so just And that naturally comes out of me. I I'm not, like, trying to do those things. I don't think about it. It's just I think also I'm here on the farm alone a lot, so I tend to talk to all the other living things because there's not anyone else to talk to.

Amanda Aminata [00:19:20]:

Eden. Yeah. Wow. And you said you sing. Do you sing, like, songs with words, or is it just

Missy Singer Dumars [00:19:29]:

I listen to a lot of Hindu mantra chants. I love them. I find them very deeply moving, on a very vibrational level. And and I've studied some Hindu practice a little bit. And so I often listen to those and tend to I know them so well. I'll tend to sing along. As I go. So I listen to that mostly. That feels like my greenhouse music that's, you know, like, when I'm see when I'm sewing new seeds, But out on the farm, I don't like to listen to music and things like that. I like to just hear the wind and the birds, hear my dogs barking, hear whatever the sheep bell rattling, whatever's going on here, then buying, hear the chickens. And I prefer folks working on my farm not to have headphones in, but to be present and aware with their surroundings and be connected with what they're doing. So that's important to me. But, yeah, and and I do like, out in the gardens when I plant things in directly in the gardens, after I plant like a whole bed, I'll often just lay my hands on the bed and say blessings or say prayers or just wish wish everybody well. Thank them in advance. Thank you for growing. Thank you for feeding us. And so many people, you know, just make you grow strong roots and reach for the sun and whatever. And I always invite, like, I have kids who come help sometimes in volunteer and families and I hate you and kids. They'll say just now. Now that we planted all the garlic, just put your hands on the bed. And this is your time and your own head to whisper, say to yourself, any prayers you wanna say, any gratitude, anything you wanna put in the soil, anything you wanna release, or let go of, anything. You can say whatever you want. You don't have to tell me what you're thinking you're saying. You can just say it to yourself, or you can whisper, lean down and whisper to the plants to the ground. Whatever works for you. So I try and do that. And sometimes it's on a rush today. I don't always remember to do that, but, you know, do it as much as I can.

Amanda Aminata [00:21:23]:

Wow. I'm I'm thinking about this, just very natural gratitude practice. And touching and using your voice and, chanting along with these, you know, high vibrational

Missy Singer Dumars [00:21:42]:

It's a very old practice. I mean, one of my mentors, and it was in my more one of my more recent, podcast episodes that interviewed her. And then she spent time with a lot of indigenous elders all over the world, but she spent some time with the Hopi Elder planting corn and learning the wisdom and teaching of of planting to to the corn. And one of the parts is to singing the is to sing the corn in. You know, to sing the plants in and on that podcast, but so she talks about it. And she actually gave me a written piece about that process and the download that's available on the -- Well, on that podcast download.

Amanda Aminata [00:22:21]:

And and and your podcast, women, women, and food.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:22:25]:

Women and food. Exploring the intersection food and business and the feminine.

Amanda Aminata [00:22:30]:

Right. Food and business and the feminine. And you interviewed someone who was talking about singing in the corn.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:22:37]:

Yes. And she's she's one of my personal, like, kind of personal and spiritual mentors. El she's an elder teacher. I've worked with her for a number of years now and, all kinds of things. So it was really, like, a deep honor to interview her Yeah. She's always had gardens and been very food oriented. She's not necessarily working in food. So a little different of a guest, but, carries so much wisdom of the plant world and the natural world and and food. And, we talked a lot about, like, how to learn to cook without recipes and without professional training, like, just how to learn flavor and learn what you like, what you don't like, what combinations cover what works. So it doesn't work for yourself, like, how to improvise in the kitchen.

Amanda Aminata [00:23:26]:

So you do wanna tell us the name of that episode or send me a link so we could include it.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:23:30]:

I can I'll send you the the

Amanda Aminata [00:23:32]:

link, and we'll just put it in the show notes.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:23:34]:

I can't even think of what the episode was called. I'll tell you. Now I now when I That

Amanda Aminata [00:23:39]:

was my third one.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:23:40]:

It was lessons lessons in food from the grandmother's and kitchen improv at the 3rd night. Yeah. So I

Amanda Aminata [00:23:48]:

have to call in my husband right now because he, his name is Michael Jimenez. He's a Violetist. What he likes to do is he likes to I was gonna say, pray, but it is pray and play the sun in. He likes to do sunrise. Oh. In the summer. Go to the beach and just play the sun in.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:24:11]:


Amanda Aminata [00:24:12]:

I love that. Really, it it just feeds him. And I went once with him because it's early. And, you know, and I think it's good for couples where one thing is your thing. You know? Uh-huh. Yeah. But I went with him 1:1 morning, and I was like, oh my god. He's praying the sun in. You know, I was like, wow. It just felt so mythic.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:24:35]:

Yeah. Well, you know, that's where We get some of these, you know, winter solstice traditions and things like that is calling the sun back. The sun At least in the northern hemisphere, right, the sun diminishes. And that longest night that know, ancient peoples. It was a question. Will the sun even rise? Like, we better pray. We better sing. We better stay up all night and light candles to try to make sure the sun comes up the next morning. You know? That's like a real thing. The and a lot of, religions and tradition. I mean, I I have a Jewish background, although I kind of practice a more earth based spiritual personal practice, but, Judaism is very harvest, very natural world oriented, very You know, they celebrate the new moons. They understood moon cycles. The juice calendar is actually a lunar calendar. A lot of the festivals are Seasonal festivals.

Amanda Aminata [00:25:32]:


Missy Singer Dumars [00:25:33]:

Harvest, there's there's there's a there's a holiday that's all about planting trees. You know? Things like that. So it's very, when you look at the traditions that have been around a very long time, they are very natural world based.

Amanda Aminata [00:25:49]:

Mhmm. Mhmm. Yeah. Yeah.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:25:52]:

In in many traditions, I I can only speak to the ones I know. But --

Amanda Aminata [00:25:56]:

Right. Right. I remember we were sitting around the dinner table one night or something like that. And somehow, world religions came up And, we were, like, talking about which one is the oldest. And, and my son, started talking about Judaism. And I just remember, he's like, it's ancient. And I remember we all everybody paused at the table and was oh, wow. Gabe actually knows something.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:26:26]:

It was like, like, he

Amanda Aminata [00:26:27]:

was really paying attention when he when, you know, when when that was kind of in the school he went to that was they valued that. And, I just remember, like, just I remember the pause. We think about how ancient some of our traditions are. You know?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:26:43]:

Yeah. Yeah. A lot of your Asian, the Indian traditions, Asian traditions are super Chinese traditions. Super old.

Amanda Aminata [00:26:52]:

Definitely. And, you know, one of the things I've recently, gotten more into over the last few years is, African indigenous wisdom. And, so there's a book I talk about on almost episode on this podcast. By Maladoma Patrice Somay in case folks haven't heard of it, the healing wisdom of Africa. And and in that, Missy, this might relate to this might be interesting to you. One of the things he says is that you can't fulfill on your life purpose. Without nature and community. You need a community to actually confirm your life purpose somebody has to say yes. I see that in you, or yes. I need that that gift that you bring. And, and part of the way that we discern what it is is by, being in nature by observing, being teachable, listening.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:27:48]:

Not some deep wisdom.

Amanda Aminata [00:27:51]:

It is. And it's old.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:27:53]:


Amanda Aminata [00:27:53]:

It's old. It's old, old, old. So so pre colonial pre Christian.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:27:59]:

Oh, yeah. There's a lot of old traditions where, like, children aren't named until the community sees their purpose or things like that. Like -- Mhmm. -- you know?

Amanda Aminata [00:28:13]:

Yeah. Yeah. And I would just wanna say out loud, I wanna ask you this question. Do you think that when you're singing, like, your gratitude or, you know, excitedly, lovingly welcoming in everything, your chicks, your plants, your garlic, What do you think that's doing to you?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:28:40]:

In the moment, it's just an expression of my delight. Mhmm. But it reminds me of reminds me of It's awe. It's an experience of awe and wonder of, like, hot like, I mean, just think about a seed. It it amazes me every single time. Every seed like this tiny little thing has a genetic code for an entire plant that's gonna feed a whole bunch of people that you know, you put in a dark soil and it, like, it makes a whole life. I mean, I haven't birth children, so I don't have that experience with. I mean, it's the same thing. Right? Just like that this it it's it's just awe it's awe, and it reminds me, interconnectedness. And the relationship. It's like me and this plant have a relationship. You know? But I'm delighted to see it. Come up and then we're gonna grow together. You know, I'm gonna learn from it. It's gonna learn from me. I'm gonna help it. A lot of people ask me what you grow, and I I'm often will say that nature grows itself. I just, like, hold a container. I don't actually do the growing, you know, mother nature grows. You know, the plants grow. They do the growing. I don't I mean, I grow too internally, but that's a different thing. And and that's a very real thing too. And in terms of on the farm, I a container holder. I I try and create the best container, and I nurture and support that plant, encourage it. To do its best and to grow well. And, so I often think about that. And,

Amanda Aminata [00:30:16]:

that your container that your job is to hold.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:30:19]:

Yeah. But that's what stewardship is. That's what stewardship is. When you think about stewardship of land, sturdyhip of a farm. That's what you're doing is you're attending the container. You're stewarding it so it can do be its best self. You know?

Amanda Aminata [00:30:33]:

Okay. So, I'm gonna be starting this program called slow is good. Uh-huh. Slow is good. Good.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:30:43]:

Slow slow is good.

Amanda Aminata [00:30:45]:

Isn't it? I mean, and it's all it just came to me. While I've been here, I'm up in the mountains in Georgia being slow and good and, and having a lot of tears and all kinds of, you know, healing experiences, with this land really

Missy Singer Dumars [00:31:03]:

-- Mhmm. --

Amanda Aminata [00:31:03]:

really, really, really, really holding me. I wanna ask you about soil. He's one of the things that a teacher of mine said. He said, you know, If the soil isn't good, the seed won't sprout.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:31:20]:

That's true.

Amanda Aminata [00:31:21]:

So, 10, the soil, we think, oh, let me bring this. Let me do project. I got this idea, but what is your soil? Meaning, if if I'm a soil and I had this idea the slowest good group mentoring program, but my soil has to be, nurturing and Good, dark, rich soil so that it can root this new thing. So I don't know. I I've been thinking a lot about tending the roots being the priority lately.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:31:54]:

Yeah. I, someone early on in my firm venture said to me, you know, remember you're growing soil, not food. Be aware of growing soil, not food. And this person had been farming in the desert, I think, in Nevada, Utah, where it's, like, all rock and tree of sight. Creosote. And, he just, you know, in a couple years, built a number of inches of top soil by paying attention to adding carbon, supporting it to break down properly and become a nice beautiful bed of topsoil. And, so I I'm not a perfect soil scientist or gardener. But I I do have some awareness, and that's part of why My farm is a no till farm. Low till farm. No till farm. So things that I do is I don't turnover the soil. For a number I mean, there's a number of practical reasons, for example, any weed seed that's too deep and won't germinate if you turn it over. Now you've brought it to the surface, and you're gonna have a lot of weeds. But also, science is starting to discover even more now that there's complex micro ecosystems in the soil that are vital to plant growth and to nutrient rich and dense food and, vitality. And that when you turn over the soil every year, you're, like, ripping apart those ecosystems and destroying them. And so that's important to me. And also not having machinery, if you're tilling the top foot or so all the time with heavy machinery, you're creating a hard pan underneath that, and then eventually water can't drain or anything anymore. So there's things like that that I think about. Also, like, when I'm weeding, so long as the weeds haven't gone to flower yet, which sometimes that happens because it takes me a while to get to all the beds. But when they're small weeds, I try, tear them up and drop them right on the bed. Like, I don't remove them because it's weeds are actually gifts, their their roots go really deep, and so they're drying nutrients from deeper in the garden up into their leaves. And so you can actually bring those nutrients to the soil where your plants are, the animals are by letting those leaves break back down into nutrients on the surface or right in the top. So there's things like that that, you know, being aware of what you're removing or adding to a system. And and can you keep it a closed system? And to me, that's part of sustainability. And I was just talking to my friend about it this morning about, you know, what does that look like in terms of finance? You know? With sustainable finances. One of the reasons I'm not too interested in being a non for profit is because they are dependent on outside inputs. They're not self sustaining.

Amanda Aminata [00:34:53]:


Missy Singer Dumars [00:34:54]:

If that outside input disappears or if the fertilizer disappears, there's no way to feed the system. Okay. Wait. We'll keep it going.

Amanda Aminata [00:35:03]:

Before we go into that, and I do wanna go into that metaphor. I wanna ask you about this no till low till approach to yourself as soil. You're gonna say, you know, you miss your soil or you know, I I mean, not to I'm a soil bed, so I don't wanna till. And lose some nutrients, but I do need to, like, make space for seeds and how how would you buy it?

Missy Singer Dumars [00:35:30]:

Tilling might not be the thing. It's more awareness of How do I ensure the Stoyle continues to jet to build and grow? And stay rich in nutrients. So how do you tend the soil? So on a farm, physical soil that's about tilling or not tilling might be one method. There's other methods. Also, like, regenerative agriculture and things like that. But So there's a lot of choices. And I think internally, I would say that it's not necessarily no till or to till your inner your inner style. However, it's about, like, how do you feed it regularly? How do you build up the skill that your inner landscape can feed itself? And to me, that's resilience.

Amanda Aminata [00:36:22]:

Oh, that's it.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:36:23]:

-- on the farm and in yourself. Like, I've become aware over the past number of years. I'm a rather resilient person, and I'm aware that I meet a lot of people who aren't as resilient. And I that's probably because I've pull a lot of work in attending my inner world and how I process emotions. I also think we're all designed unique. We all have our own genetic code for who we are and how we grow. So to me now, the tilling is to or the non telling is to allow myself to be myself. Mhmm. Like, understand my genetic code and not to try and As my mentor will talk about, she'll say, like, you know, an Acorn has a genetic code for an oak tree. The Acorn never tries to be a palm tree.

Amanda Aminata [00:37:10]:


Missy Singer Dumars [00:37:11]:

Right? So to understand who I am naturally coded or designed to be and allowing that to grow. I think that's actually the resilience because then I let myself be it's it's so much easier to let yourself be yourself. Yeah. Try and be something you're not. And that's been my more recent work. But, like, all these things are about resilience. You know, it's like, the more you tend yourself, more understand yourself, the more you know how to, know what you need or don't need, and you you take care of people through your in or out or landscape, the more resilient it can be. And the same with soil, when you tend soil really well in the farm, it is resilient. To pests to this and it grows plants that are super strong and resilient as well.

Amanda Aminata [00:37:58]:

Mhmm. Mhmm.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:38:00]:

Which is something I've been thinking about recently about like, I grow a lot of edible flowers and I grow in soil outdoors or semi outdoors. But there's microgreens and hydroponic growers that are growing flowers as well. And I've had chefs telling me that there's a difference in, like, how well my flowers last compared to indoor flowers lasting, staying fresh, And I've been wondering, like, what is it? What's the difference? And just had that conversation also this morning with a friend who was busy, about, like, what does he think? He's very skilled in permaculture, methodology and agroforestry and studies a lot of this stuff too. And he's like, well, there's things in soil that and microbes and things that just can never be replicated in a man human created system. And no matter what, like, there's microbes and things that we we don't even know about yet.

Amanda Aminata [00:38:51]:

Right. We don't know that we don't know.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:38:53]:

Yeah. Not only that when plants are exposed to wind and sun and cold temps and high temps and pests and disease, they, build a stronger immune system. And so I think part of our own tending our own soil and our own growth is to expose ourselves to the diversity of life and living in people and, not necessarily hide from an intense situation or hide from a scary conversation. It's like lean into those things. It makes us stronger. Individuals, which creates a more resilient plant if you're gonna call us a plant or a resilient human. You know? And I was just reading an article. I just saw I love how these things link together. I just saw an article that was talking about nonviolent communication which I think has a gift in the place, but there's a way, this person was writing about how nonviolent communication has created a crop of people who are avoidant of intense conversations and how privileged that is and how racist that is, that certain cultures Heated debate is part of the culture and how, like, smoothing it all over and always having to be pleasant is reducing diversity and not honoring cultural diversity. And I think just what we're talking about now as part of that too is, like, if we avoid difficult conversations or, you know, oh, you know, you raised your voice a little bit because it's a heated debate. It's like, oh, that's scary. I can't talk to you anymore. You know, like, actually reducing our ability to be resilient beings. Our ability to, strengthen.

Amanda Aminata [00:40:34]:

To be with what is.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:40:36]:

Yeah. And I'm not saying expose yourself to abusive situations. Certainly not that, but I think people are labeling more things as trauma or abused than are. And sometimes, now we've created this culture in certain communities that has a lot of fear of intensity.

Amanda Aminata [00:40:52]:

Right. Well, we're we're we're getting close toward the end. I wanna ask you about business.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:41:00]:

I know. We went, like, all over the place. We did.

Amanda Aminata [00:41:02]:

We really did. And I loved it. We we you and I agreed that we were just gonna let ourselves have the unfolding conversation. So, I just I I know that you're like a business coach and you have your market farm, So I guess I wonder what lessons do you take from from farming or from the land into your yourself as a businesswoman.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:41:27]:

Everything. And for my clients as well, I think the most important thing is this piece I was talking about about. There's no one way to do business. There's no right way to do business. Like, understanding yourself, understanding your own cycles, finding, you know, I used to I was a coach for another coaching business, and I was part of the interview process for new coaches. And, with a colleague of mine, we would do one round of the interviews together. And we would ask a question of, like, how do you define success for a conscious service based business? And we get all kinds of answers To me, my mind, the only answer is whatever that business owner says success is for them. Right. Period. That's the only answer. And, so I think that's part of it, like, just as we wanna allow plants to grow in their natural ways and our natural cycles, allow your business, allow yourself to create a business dot. Grows with who you are naturally, is 1. I've also, you know, we're in a fast paced business environment these days where a business cycle or what they call an iteration could be in, I'm kind of a closet Tech Geek. So I know a lot of tech business language. And, so, like, in in, for developers, they often might have a 1 week to 1 month iteration process where they launch, you know, a new feature and then they get feedback and they iterate and they launch again and launch again and launch again. And you see that mindset in all kinds of businesses, like launch a new program, now launch another new program, now launch another offering. And I the farm has, you know, just go back to your thing about slow, the farm has taught me, like, you know, if a vegetable doesn't succeed, I have a whole year before I can try again. You know, it's like the season for that vegetables now over. So I have a whole year to iterate, figure out what dinner didn't work, and, I have to wait. Till it's time to try it again. And that has taught me a different business cycle. Now there are times to go faster, but, I had just learned to slow it out and allow unfolding in a different way. And you said it before, like, we are allowing this conversation to unfold The natural world unfolds. It unfolds from within, whether it's within a seed or if you ever watch a flower bloom, it unfolds from within. Just the cycle of death and birth and and new life, etcetera, is unfolding. And so to me, that's been a lesson. With business is to allow the unfolding. That doesn't mean sit on your butt and do nothing. Mhmm. That's not what it is. It's it's it's observing, like you said, observing, learning, getting curious, and allowing what's ready to unfold. Like, I'm about to I'm in the process of launching a really audaciously big business vision for this farm to take it in a whole new direction. It's, like, probably a multimillion dollar project, and it's huge, and it's gonna require huge fundraising. And I've been thinking about it for, like, 2 years. And it's finally time now. And all of a sudden, I can sit in front of the spreadsheet, and the numbers wanna come out of me, and the ideas wanna come out of me in that form. But it it it took 2 years of me sitting with it. I haven't shared it with many people. I'm just now talking about it and showing people the spreadsheet and being like, look. This is the vision. This is what I'm creating. What I'm doing. And now, like, the resources are showing up. I mean, someone from the Chamber of Commerce called me yesterday and said, I just asked the town these questions on your behalf. I hope I didn't step on your toes. I'm like, That's a conversation I've needed to have. Thank you for taking the time to do that for me and just giving me the answer. You know, like, I didn't even ask her to do that as you did it. You know? So it's like a fine -- divine right timing, like, knowing divine right timing and tapping into that, and and knowing that it doesn't mean you stop and wait in in sit and meditate until an answer comes. I've been doing and working my butt off the whole time and researching and asking questions. I also know that's my how I'm designed to work is to find a certain level of mastery of an idea or a topic before I bring it out to the world. That's me. That's who I am. Not everyone is that way.

Amanda Aminata [00:45:41]:

And you've been spending time building your soil.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:45:44]:

Yes. My internal soil and my land soil.

Amanda Aminata [00:45:47]:

And your external soil. Yes. Yes. So

Missy Singer Dumars [00:45:50]:

-- Yeah. I spent 6 years fostering relationships Now those relationships are showing up. There are people calling me. I've heard about your farm for a long time. I wanna have this meeting of these, you know, nonprofits. Can we do it at your farm? Because kinda central. I'm like, how did you even hear about me? But, like, someone knew somebody who knew somebody. Like, I it's getting to a point where I'm getting calls from people I don't know. Who, you know, I heard you have soy free eggs. I can only eat soy free eggs. Can I get some? You know, how do I get them? How do I sign it? Like, how did you even find me? I googled soy free eggs. It showed up. Like, I'm like, I I don't do SEO or anything like that. I've just talked about it long enough, and I've had enough relationships and and partnerships and things like that for long enough now that those things are starting to arise. Yes. Such a blessing and a gift. But it comes from is that tending the soil, right, tending relationships which is tending the soil, understanding the interrelatedness of all the things, plants, soil, animals, humans, air, sun, water, everything.

Amanda Aminata [00:46:48]:

Yes. And you just told us with that whole no till low till approach that you you even when you pull a weed out, you you don't throw it away if it hasn't floured. You you put it back in. You're trying create this whole -- Yeah.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:47:01]:


Amanda Aminata [00:47:02]:

system where we we use everything.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:47:04]:

And -- Yeah. And I just like to say the reason why if it's floured, I coupon is because if it's floured, it's gonna reseed.

Amanda Aminata [00:47:10]:

And I don't want more.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:47:12]:

I just, like, wanna say the technical piece the technical piece to that. Yeah. Totally. But, yeah, I think last year, I just I saw this video about how roots are pulling all nutrients from deeper in the ground than your annual plants can get. And they put it into the leaves. And it's like, don't take that out of your garden. You're just constantly removing nutrition.

Amanda Aminata [00:47:31]:


Missy Singer Dumars [00:47:31]:

And so I'm like, alright. And I started to tell all my interns, like, tear up the weeds and drop them right where they are. And they're like, really? I'm like, yeah. Really? If it's flowering, take get rid of it. But otherwise, you know and even the stuff I get rid of, we toss it over a fence and the sheep eat it. So it goes somewhere. Everything goes somewhere.

Amanda Aminata [00:47:47]:

Okay. So, Missy Singh or Dumar, thank you so much for being with

Missy Singer Dumars [00:47:51]:

us here today. -- you, Amanda.

Amanda Aminata [00:47:53]:

And tell people how they can find out more about you.

Missy Singer Dumars [00:47:56]:

Listen to podcast women in food on any major podcast app or at women in food dot net, or, follow my form on Instagram. That's really the best place, which is Crown Hill Farm n y for New York. So Crown Instagram is Crownhill Farm NY. I post every single day. I post stories every single day. You can watch the Ducks run out of their house every morning and the sheepies and the chickens and whatever's going on. Thank you so much, Missy. Thank you.



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