Name: Isis Loran
Blog name: Family Food Garden
Where were you born? Manchester, England.
Where are you living now? On an acreage 20 mins from Nelson B.C Canada
Why did you start your blog?
I started blogging casually about raising a family in the mountains and gardening on an old blog called Little Mountain Haven in 2012. In Feb 2016 I rebranded into Family Food Garden to create a place to help others grow and eat homegrown food.
How did you decide on your blog name?
When I re-branded I wanted to create a clear name on what the site was about to narrow down my niche. My site is about Family, Food and Gardening so to me that became the perfect name.
What do you blog about?
My sites focus is about organic gardening, maximizing your space, year-round growing (even here in Canada!) and preserving the harvest. I’ll be venturing into more recipes and homeschooling in the future.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
It started out as a hobby and has become my income stream. I love helping people have access to fresh healthy food by growing it themselves. The cost of produce keeps going up so I started creating products to help others maximize their food gardens with my ebook and garden planner. I currently have 2 other books in the works and might be venturing into youtube videos and webinars next year.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
I would have to say growing food-year round. Most gardeners just enjoy the spring and summer gardening but I’m stubborn and the cold and snow hasn’t stopped me. I love to experiment and testing our climate limitations has become my favorite aspect of gardening. Even if these experiments fail, they create constant learning opportunities which my spirit thrives on.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
I would have to say the ‘eat from the garden challenge’. I should have rephrased it to ‘the eat seasonally challenge’ because I also give examples of what to do if you don’t have a garden and can only go to the farmers market. My goal was that others would take the challenge and realize how far and out of season most of the food they eat is. By adapting meals with only seasonal food for a short period of time I was hoping it would create more intentional eating.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
I’d have to say my monthly homestead to do lists. I wrote it when I just started blogging and didn’t know what I was doing yet so I think the surprise was the newbie luck.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Keeping our busy online world sticking around. Traffic can be amazing then you check google analytics and most people drop off in the first 10 seconds with online readers having such short attention spans these days. Keeping up with the constant changes in social media to drive traffic can be frustrating too. Just when you get the hang of something like Facebook or Pinterest the reach and click over rate plummets and you must learn a new tactic to drive traffic. Hello SEO and newsletters!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
Writing and photographing content is only a small percentage of being a successful blogger. I would say 80% of it becomes marketing to attract your targeted niche audience. I’ve learned to love marketing and it’s another constant learning curve.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
- Half Baked Harvest - I’m blown away with how much creative daily content she puts up!
- Green Kitchen stories - a mix of recipes with videos
- Oh She Glows - I love her cookbook!
- Naturally Ella - Seasonal Vegetarian
I tend to find Instagram a constant source of food inspiration, especially for food photography and creativity!
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
Being from England I would have to say savoury pie. To most people pie tends to be a fruit pie; I prefer veggies, meat, or my cheesy beetroot pie which is a recipe that I’ve been wanting to post.
What are you working on next for your blog?
More videos as that is the trend of social media. I tend to be a creative spontaneous cook and with little kids and babies around it’s been harder to photograph and write recipes but that’s a huge goal for the future.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I went to film school and decided that wasn’t the right career for me, then I studied environmental biology for a couple of years but after working for the University lab and doing agriculture field work I decided it wasn’t the career path for me either. Instead of seeing these as failures they brought many skills into my current income as a blogger which I absolutely love doing.
What makes your blog unique?
There aren’t too many fall/winter gardeners out there and I love talking and sharing that aspect of gardening. I also LOVE growing and photographing unique varieties, especially heirlooms. I also share my failures constantly on social media and I think that helps others realize that gardening is a constant strive for learning from failed crops or bad weather and not seeking perfection.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
Definitely the blogger resources!
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