"How cool is that?" asks Montgomery, a 5-foot-tall dynamo with spiky blond hair.
The idea for Raw Garden grew from the farm she created on her half-acre backyard, where tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, and figs thrive in 10 raised patches.
Eight laying hens keep up a pleasant murmur as they peck at watermelon rinds in their covered pen. In a far corner are three hives where worker bees come and go.
Eggs, honey, and produce are harvested, stockpiled, and used in the recipes she shares with the public.
Montgomery, 54, gets all of this done while she works as a packaging-box sales representative. She cared for her mother, Carol Jane Hecht Montgomery, before she died in May 2010. She is doing the same for her ill father.
"When you eat raw food, you have energy to go after your passion," Montgomery said. "My mom was dying for 21/2 years. My dad has Alzheimer's. I broke my leg, but I still kept going."
Montgomery fell while taking out old newspapers at her father's home. Neighbors have helped care for the garden and animals while she has been on crutches.
Raw foodies believe that cooking destroys the enzymes needed to support life and sustain health. They also believe processed foods are harmful because of the additives that increase shelf life.
Montgomery uses almonds, coconuts, avocados, and other foundations for her dishes. She can make pizza, chocolate mousse pie, and lasagna, but it takes some doing. All are cold, although flavors are melded in a food dehydrator, which lets Montgomery make snacks such as kale chips. She does not deny herself such treats.
"They're like a potato chip," she said. "Chips are usually an emotional thing."
She challenges the notion, voiced by some, that raw food is not worth the effort. The smoothies and juices in her book can be whipped up in a blender in minutes.
"How hard is that?" she asked.
The discipline required to sustain a raw-food lifestyle is part of the benefit; it makes foodies more focused, Montgomery contends.
"Once you get healthy physically, you can work on the emotional. I am much calmer," she said.
Christine Gerbstadt, a registered dietitian, physician, and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, said a raw diet can be appealing, especially when promoted by celebrities such as actress Carol Alt.
But Gerbstadt said the benefits of a raw diet are not backed up by science. Further, she said, it is nutritionally inadequate; there is no way without grains to get complete nourishment.
And as for statements that cooking destroys enzymes, she said: "That's not true. They're inactivated in the stomach anyway."
She recommends a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, beans, and animal protein and lean dairy, if desired.
Montgomery does not force her ideas on anyone, an act she calls "finger wagging."
"I don't like people to wag a finger in my face, so I don't do it to them," she said.
She spreads the word with potluck dinners and book signings where she offers raw-food samples. Samples of her juices will be available at a signing at 7 p.m. July 29 at the Doylestown Bookshop, 16 S. Main St.
Contact staff writer Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8232 or email@example.com.