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Society & Culture
Science
Natural Sciences

Sustainable World Radio- Ecology and Permaculture Podcast

Updated about 19 hours ago

Society & Culture
Science
Natural Sciences
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Learning From and Working With Nature- Interviews, news, and commentary about ecology, permaculture, organic gardening, sustainability, green living, and ethnobotany. Since 2004, Sustainable World has interviewed experts from around the globe; experts who learn from and work with nature. Tune in to discover positive solutions to environmental challenges; solutions that adhere to the Permaculture Ethics of Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share. Visit us at www.sustainableworldradio.com

Read more

Learning From and Working With Nature- Interviews, news, and commentary about ecology, permaculture, organic gardening, sustainability, green living, and ethnobotany. Since 2004, Sustainable World has interviewed experts from around the globe; experts who learn from and work with nature. Tune in to discover positive solutions to environmental challenges; solutions that adhere to the Permaculture Ethics of Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share. Visit us at www.sustainableworldradio.com

iTunes Ratings

155 Ratings
Average Ratings
129
18
2
2
4

Preach!

By Nizzy22 - Oct 11 2019
Read more
This is the message the world needs to hear right now!

Very informative

By Tulip Woods - Aug 17 2017
Read more
I’ve enjoyed listening to many of these interviews - great content and a nice wide range of topics!

iTunes Ratings

155 Ratings
Average Ratings
129
18
2
2
4

Preach!

By Nizzy22 - Oct 11 2019
Read more
This is the message the world needs to hear right now!

Very informative

By Tulip Woods - Aug 17 2017
Read more
I’ve enjoyed listening to many of these interviews - great content and a nice wide range of topics!

Listen to:

Cover image of Sustainable World Radio- Ecology and Permaculture Podcast

Sustainable World Radio- Ecology and Permaculture Podcast

Updated about 19 hours ago

Read more

Learning From and Working With Nature- Interviews, news, and commentary about ecology, permaculture, organic gardening, sustainability, green living, and ethnobotany. Since 2004, Sustainable World has interviewed experts from around the globe; experts who learn from and work with nature. Tune in to discover positive solutions to environmental challenges; solutions that adhere to the Permaculture Ethics of Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share. Visit us at www.sustainableworldradio.com

Backyard Food Forest

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Episode 32: Larry Saltzman, Permaculturist and Food Forester, takes us on a tour of his backyard suburban yard. Larry and his wife, Eco-Therapist Linda Buzzell Saltzman, have turned their backyard into a living oasis of edible trees and plants.Learn how you can transform a lawn into an edible food forest!.

Mar 12 2009

51mins

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Urban Permaculture with Kat Steele

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Kat Steele, is a Permaculture teacher and director of the Urban Permaculture Guild in Oakland, California.  Kat is trained in ecovillage design, natural building,and workshop facilitation.  In this interview, Kat Steele discusses how to apply Permaculture to your own life and what it was like to be one of Al Gore's 1,000 "foot soldiers."

Jan 13 2008

50mins

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Useful Plants- Designing For Regenerative Landscapes

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The founder of Oak Tree Designs based in Margaret River, Australia, Byron Joel has years of experience in Permaculture, land re-vegetation, horticulture and landscaping. In this conversation with Jill Cloutier, Byron speaks about his experiences working with plants, how plants are used in Permaculture Design to create resilient landscapes and why you should treat your garden like a "charming friend." Byron also discusses the sacred uses of plants, the Vegetable Queendom and how you can begin an experiential relationship with the plants in your life.  

Jan 24 2014

51mins

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Worm Power! Vermicomposting and Interview With a Worm

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Vermicomposting expert Kali Cowgill speaks with Jill Cloutier about how to compost food scraps using red wiggler worms. Jill Cloutier, with co-host Suzanne Cloutier, interviews a Lumbrucus terrestris earthworm. (Thanks to Kelly Burch, voice of Lumbrucus.)

Jun 02 2009

38mins

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Permaculture- A Beginner's Guide- Graham Burnett

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Graham Burnett is a permaculture practitioner, designer and teacher.  With over 20 years experience in working with adults with learning disabilities, including in horticultural settings, Graham has designed a number of therapeutic and productive landscapes using permaculture and forest gardening principles. He is the author of the book, Permaculture- A Beginner's Guide www.spiralseed.co.uk

Sep 01 2008

46mins

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Geoff Lawton- The Power of Permaculture

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Crossing the Line with Geoff Lawton and Nadia Abu Yahia LawtonGeoff Lawton is an internationally renowned permaculture educator, consultant and practitioner. Nadia Abu Yahia Lawton travels with Geoff for aid project and permaculture consulting work and assists in teaching permaculture design courses. www.permaculture.org.au

Oct 22 2008

42mins

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Rainwater Harvesting

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Brad Lancaster, rainwater harvesting expert and Permaculture designer talks about how to plant the rain, water harvesting earth works, and his seminal books,, Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volumes 1 & 2 .

Nov 14 2009

47mins

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Have Your Yard and Eat It, Too!

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Have you ever wanted to turn your lawn into an edible oasis? Learn how in this interview with Michael Judd, author of the new book, Edible Landscaping With A Permaculture Twist.  Michael talks with Jill Cloutier about projects that you can do at home to increase your yard's yield of edible treats, including unusual fruit, gourmet mushrooms, culinary herbs and even botanical booze. Michael is the founder of Ecologia, Edible and Ecological Landscape Design and Project Bona Fide, an international nonprofit supporting agro-ecology research. 

Mar 26 2014

50mins

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Life Within the Soil- Part 1 of a 2 Part Interview with Doug Weatherbee

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Doug Weatherbee, a Soil Foodweb Advisor and owner of SoilDoctor.org, talks about the biodiversity that lies beneath our feet.  Soil is alive!

Jan 19 2011

43mins

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Participating In The Water Cycle- How To Harvest Water On Your Property

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In this episode, Permaculture Designer Jeff Adams talks about practical ways to design landscapes that conserve water. It doesn't matter if you live in an extremely wet or dry climate, design strategies exist that can save you water, resources and money! Jeff Adams has years of experience in regenerating watershed health and is a lead instructor for the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association's Accredited Professional Training. Owner of Terra Sophia, Ecological Design Consulting and Education Firm, Jeff says that soil is the largest and cheapest water tank that we have. In this podcast Jeff talks about rain gardens, purposeful and purposeless turf, green infrastructure and why it's time for us to pay attention to the water cycle. 

Mar 17 2014

40mins

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Medicinal Herb Farming- How to Grow Local Medicine

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Episode 113: Melanie and Jeff Carpenter are medicinal herb farmers. The co-owners of Zack Woods Farm, a 30 acre organic farm and botanical sanctuary located in the green mountains of Vermont, Jeff and Melanie grow over 50 species of medicinal plants.

In this episode, they share their passion and knowledge about herb growing, how they use Permaculture on the farm, and how they grow healthy plants with high bioactive compounds. The Carpenters talk about the increasing need for medicinal herb farmers and the burgeoning market for medicinal plants. Growing local medicine for your community can be rewarding and profitable. It can also protect wild herb populations.

The authors of the new book The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer: The Ultimate Guide to Producing High-Quality Herbs, on a Market Scale, Jeff and Melanie can be found at ZackWoodsHerbs.com.

May 12 2015

58mins

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Grow Healthier Plants & Soil with Ecological Agriculture

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Learn how you can optimize plant and soil health with ecological agriculture. John Kempf is the founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture- a leading crop nutrition consulting company. An expert in the field of biological and regenerative farming, John Kempf teaches farmers how to grow healthier, more nutritious food.

A lifelong farmer who grew up in and remains part of the Amish community, John Kempf received his Pesticide Applicators License at age 16. In this interview with Jill Cloutier, he talks about his journey from conventional to ecological farmer, the fastest way to rebuild soil and plant health, and how agriculture is the foundation of health care. 

Dec 01 2014

47mins

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Organic Gardening and Permaculture

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Episode 12: Loren Luyendyk, the owner of Santa Barbara Organics, has over ten years of experience in the field of permaculture, sustainability and small-scale farming. Loren is a Certified Master Gardener, Certified Arborist and a member of the American Society of Consulting Arborists. In this interview Loren shares with us organic gardening tips and how to apply Permaculture principles in the garden. 

May 26 2008

39mins

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Farming Like Nature with Joel Salatin

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Episode 143: How would Nature farm? Can degraded, infertile land be regenerated? Can agriculture become a healing beneficial system that mitigates climate change?

To answer these questions, I speak with farmer Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farm located in Swoope, Virginia. When the Salatins moved to the farm in 1961, there wasn't enough soil on the land to hold up a fence post. Over fifty years later, Polyface is an oasis of organic matter and one of the most fertile farms in the US.

How did Joel and his family achieve this remarkable transformation? It began when Joel's father William, who out of necessity and with very little money, bucked conventional practices and began to observe how Nature farms. Implementing what they saw in natural systems, the Salatin family began their great task of restoring life and fertility to the land.

In this inspiring and uplifting interview, Joel shares the joy of being a visceral participant in healing land, why he believes that good farming should increase the commons, and how we can become beneficial participants in legacy ecology. 

Joel talks about the importance of including animals in agriculture, his "Moving, Mobbing, and Mowing Ministry," how to use herbivores as pruners, and what we can do now to heal the earth. 

To learn more about Joel Salatin and Polyface Farm, visit their website at PolyfaceFarms.com.

Nov 22 2017

1hr 14mins

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Urban Homesteading- Heirloom Skills and Permaculture

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A discussion with author, Permaculture Designer, and psychotherapist Rachel Kaplan about her book Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living.  Kaplan, with co-author K. Ruby Blume, has written a book that is a veritable treasure trove of information about everything sustainable and regenerative.  Lavishly illustrated, detailed instructions are given for dozens of projects: including constructing a solar cooker, starting an urban seed bank, butchering a chicken, and greywater for renters.

May 19 2012

42mins

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Sudden Oak Life- Holistic Tree Care

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Dr. Lee Klinger, independent scientist and consultant, speaks with Jill Cloutier about holistic tree care, soil health, and forest ecology. Dr. Klinger is the founder of Sudden Oak Life; a movement aimed at improving the health of trees.

Aug 21 2009

43mins

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Wild Food, Survival Skills, and Useful Plants

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Since 1974, Christopher Nyerges has taken over 30,000 children and adults on Wild Food and Survival Skills Outings, field trips and outdoor programs. Christopher is the author of seven books, including Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants, Urban Wilderness, Extreme Simplicity: Homesteading in the City, and How to Survive Anywhere.

Jul 08 2008

50mins

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Permaculture and Sustainable Aid- Robyn Francis

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Award winning international permaculture pioneer, teacher, designer, and educator Robyn Francis speaks about sustainable aid and permaculture for the 2/3 World. Robyn is the creator of Djanbung Gardens, Australia's leading permaculture center. Interview by Jill Cloutier of Sustainable World Radio and Wesley Rowe and Margie Bushman of the Santa Barbara Permaculture Network. 

Jun 05 2009

51mins

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Gardening Like a Forest- A Conversation With Dave Jacke

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Author of Edible Forest Gardens- Volumes 1 and 2, Dave Jacke is a longtime permaculture teacher and designer.  In this interview, he talks about the history of forest gardening, its many benefits, and how gardening like a forest can enrich your life.

Oct 30 2011

36mins

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Botanical Medicine for Home Health Care

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Interview with herbalist, author, and teacher Kami McBride about the power of plants and ways to integrate herbal medicine into your daily life. Kami speaks about some of her favorite herbs, the perils of plant poaching, and how to be sure that the herbal medicine you buy is sustainably harvested.

Dec 01 2009

42mins

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Healing Earth: A Diversity of Solutions

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Episode 151: What if we could heal broken ecosystems, toxic landscapes, and poisoned water? 

My guest today is Dr. John Todd, ecological designer and author of the new book, Healing Earth- An Ecologist's Journey of Innovation and Environmental Stewardship.

John Todd boldly travels to places that others try to avoid: toxic waste sites, oil spills, leaking landfills, and damaged waterways. Using the tools of nature to remediate these areas, John and his colleagues do good things in bad places.

An expert in the design and construction of wastewater treatment systems, Eco-Machines, and living technologies, John's projects pair ecological knowledge with biological allies, like bacteria, fungi, and plants. 

An internationally renowned inventor and visionary, John's new book offers us a map of how to heal the Earth's damaged places, and in so doing, find the great work of our time.

Learn more from John at ToddEcological.com and OceanArksInt.org

Oct 07 2019

1hr

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Plant Speak

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Episode 150: Join us for a mind and heart expanding conversation with Dr. Monica Gagliano about her research in plant cognition and her direct experiences with the botanical world. A pioneer in the field of Plant BioAcoustics, Monica's peer-reviewed work has furthered the concept of plant sentience. Monica's experiences with plants have altered her life, her research, and are the subject of her new book, Thus Spoke the Plant.

In this interview, Monica talks about her experiments with plants- including her groundbreaking studies with Peas, which provided evidence that plants, at least Peas, are capable of associative learning. Monica tells us about the invitation that she received from the Vegetal World to delve more deeply into direct contact with plants and how her decision to say yes to that invitation changed her life. Monica also explains how listening is a key to establishing a relationship with plants and what listeners can do to connect with the plants in their lives.

To hear more about Monica's earlier scientific research, listen to our first podcast together: Learning, Memory, and Decision Making in Plants.

To get her new book, Thus Spoke the Plant,visit: NorthAtlanticBooks.com/shop/thus-spoke-the-plant/

Dr. Monica Gagliano's research aims at expanding our perception of animals, plants, and Nature. She is a Research Associate Professor in Evolutionary Ecology and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, Research Affiliate at the Sydney Environment Institute, University of Sydney and a Senior Research Fellow at the Biological Intelligence (BI) Lab, University of Sydney. 

Monica's website is: MonicaGagliano.com

Jul 24 2019

1hr 12mins

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Incredible Edible: A Revolution of Kindness

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Episode 149: Incredible Edible is an urban gardening project in Todmorden, England. Started in 2008, as a conversation between friends and envisioned as a revolution of kindness, Incredible Edible has transformed the market town of Todmorden into an edible oasis.

In this interview, Incredible Edible's co-founder Mary Clear tells the story of how she and her friends turned their worry and fear into action by planting food in public places; potatoes and kale at the Railway Station, runner beans in front of the Health Centre, and corn outside the police department.

Mary tells us about the project's economic impact, vegetable tourism, and the power that comes when you have no money, no paid staff, no buildings, and no public funding. With a motto of, "If you eat, you’re in," Incredible Edible turns neglected, unloved places into beautiful food-giving gardens, complete with signs that say  "Help Yourself!"

Over 1,000 Incredible Edible projects have blossomed around the world. Learn how you can start your own Incredible Edibleproject in this inspiring and uplifting interview with Mary Clear.

Learn more at their website: Incredible-Edible-Todmorden.co.uk/Home.

Jan 18 2019

42mins

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Regenerating Land in Mexico at Sanandi Farm

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Episode 148: Sanandi Farm is a 33 hectare organic, biodynamic, Permaculture farm located near Valle de Bravo, Mexico. In 1998, two brothers, Dieter and Andreas le Noir, purchased the land and then began the work of regenerating and restoring the health of the soil. Using Permaculture principles and Biodynamic Farming techniques, Sanandi is now a beautiful, verdant oasis that is Demeter certified with a thriving medicinal herb pharmacy and line of herbal remedies. 

In this interview, Sanandi's Communications Director Yolanda Suarez del Real shares with us the story of Sanandi and some of the ways that the team there has revitalized the land. Yolanda talks about their Wormery, Sanandi's rescue efforts for endangered bees, the importance of biodiversity, and why she believes that agriculture holds a key to human health. Yolanda tells us about some of the plants that are grown on Sanandi, including Mexican Giant Hyssop (Agastache mexicana), Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla), and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). 

Yolanda also talks about the Valle La Paz Foundation, Sanandi's non-profit organization. The Foundation works with local children, providing free healthy breakfasts and sponsoring a choir, operates a rural health clinic, and promotes biodynamic organic agriculture with local farmers. To see a beautiful video of the local children in the choir sponsored by the Foundation, click here. 

Show Notes: Yolanda mentions the Economy for the Common Good. 

For information on upcoming Sanandi Webinars, click here. 

Aug 18 2018

1hr 2mins

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Our Plant Teachers with Dr. Robin Wall KImmerer

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Episode 147: How can we mend our broken relationship with the Earth and create a world where people and land are good medicine for each other?

In this interview, plant ecologist, author, and professor Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer talks about what she has learned from plants, plant intelligence, and how the simple and profound act of paying attention to the living world can change our lives.

Robin speaks about how human exceptionalism finds its place in language, the grammar of animacy, and the importance of recognizing the personhood of all beings.

Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer is the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment and the author of the books Gathering Moss and Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. 

Jun 12 2018

47mins

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Historic Fruit Trees Around the World

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Episode 146: Learn about the field of arboreal archaeology and why historic fruit trees are important in this interview with John Valenzuela. John is a Permaculture Teacher, Designer, and Horticulturist who specializes in tropical permaculture, rare fruit, and ethnobotany. 

In this episode, John talks about the benefits and resilience of trees, fruit history, what to look for in choosing fruit trees for your climate, and what plants he would take to a deserted island. The plants that we discuss include: Carob, Zizyphus, Opuntia, Mesquite, Mahonia, Yacon, many varieties of Apples, Mulberries, Paw Paws, Indian Peaches, Raisin tree, Coconut, Papaya, Banana, Mango, and Cashew. 

John lives and grows in Marin County California, where he is diversifying a food forest garden with over 150 varieties of fruit on multi-grafted trees. You can learn more and reach him at his website.

May 11 2018

1hr 16mins

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Paw Paws 101

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Episode 145: Have you heard about Paw Paws, North America's largest indigenous edible fruit? Native to 26 states in the US, Paw Paws are immortalized in songs, poems, and place names throughout the country. Paw Paw fruit can weigh up to two pounds each and have a delicious and unusual tropical flavor, reminiscent of a mango, banana, pineapple, and cherimoya blend.

In this fun and informative interview with Edible Landscape and Permaculture Designer Michael Judd, we learn how to propagate, grow, harvest, and prepare Paw Paws, from seed to table.

Found in the woods as an understory plant, Paw Paw trees also thrive in sunny locations and can be integrated into food forest systems and backyard gardens.

Once you try one, you may be hooked! Paw Paws fans and followers quickly become fanatics. A tree elder with a long history, Paw Paws hold a "deep woodland magic" and are ready and waiting to take their place, as an "edible landscaping all-star."

To learn more about Michael Judd and his work, visit his website EcologiaDesign.com. Michael is writing a new book about Paw Paws called For the Love Of Paw Paws. To become a supporter, visit his Kickstarter campaign.

Click here to listen to Michael on other episodes of Sustainable World Radio and The Plant Report.

Mar 13 2018

1hr

Play

Urban Herbs: Growing Medicinal Plants in the City

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Episode 144: Do you live in a city and want to grow your own herbal medicine? In this episode, urban farmer and community herbalist Bonnie Rose Weaver shares the joys of growing medicinal plants in an urban environment.

In 2014, Bonnie launched the seed to bottle apothecary 1849 Medicine Garden, a project that taught urbanites about the benefits of locally grown plant medicine. 1849 included an herbal CSA- or community supported agriculture program where members receive herbal tinctures created from herbs grown in their area. Bonnie grew her herbs on a 1/16 of an acre in San Francisco, CA.

Bonnie believes that medicine is all around us, even in the heart of the city and that taking herbs grown locally can be potent medicine. In this interview she talks about how she propagates herbs (sowing seeds in flats - not cells), why it's important to reproduce a wild quality in your plants, and how plants grown in your neighborhood or bioregion face many of the same stressors that you do, making them effective medicine. Bonnie also talks in detail about some of her favorite herbs including Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), Grindelia (Grindelia robusta), Milky Oats (Avena sativa), and Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris).

Bonnie is the author of the book, Deeply Rooted: Medicinal Plant Cultivation in Techtropolis. Find her online at: 1849MedicineGarden.com.

Jan 15 2018

53mins

Play

Farming Like Nature with Joel Salatin

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Episode 143: How would Nature farm? Can degraded, infertile land be regenerated? Can agriculture become a healing beneficial system that mitigates climate change?

To answer these questions, I speak with farmer Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farm located in Swoope, Virginia. When the Salatins moved to the farm in 1961, there wasn't enough soil on the land to hold up a fence post. Over fifty years later, Polyface is an oasis of organic matter and one of the most fertile farms in the US.

How did Joel and his family achieve this remarkable transformation? It began when Joel's father William, who out of necessity and with very little money, bucked conventional practices and began to observe how Nature farms. Implementing what they saw in natural systems, the Salatin family began their great task of restoring life and fertility to the land.

In this inspiring and uplifting interview, Joel shares the joy of being a visceral participant in healing land, why he believes that good farming should increase the commons, and how we can become beneficial participants in legacy ecology. 

Joel talks about the importance of including animals in agriculture, his "Moving, Mobbing, and Mowing Ministry," how to use herbivores as pruners, and what we can do now to heal the earth. 

To learn more about Joel Salatin and Polyface Farm, visit their website at PolyfaceFarms.com.

Nov 22 2017

1hr 14mins

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Be Part of the Change: International Permaculture Convergence

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Episode 142: Have you ever thought of going to the International Permaculture Conference and Convergence (IPC)? Held every two years, switching between continents at different locations, the IPC is a gathering of Permaculture designers, teachers, and enthusiasts. This year, the IPC is held in India, which is celebrating 30 years of permaculture!

To learn more I spoke with Margie Bushman & Wes Roe of the Santa Barbara Permaculture Network. In this interview, Margie and Wes discuss Permaculture, their involvement with the IPC, and the next one taking place in Hyderabad India, in November and December of 2017. Hosted by Aranya Agricultural Alternatives NGO, the IPC 2017 will be a unique and possibly transforming experience. The whole Aranya organization, including community members, farmers from nearby villages, a dynamic group of international volunteers, and especially the community's women and children are all joyfully preparing to welcome the world to the IPC conference & convergence.

Margie & Wes are founding members of the Friends of the International Permaculture Convergences (FIPC) that works to insure there is a diversity of participants at each IPC by providing scholarships for delegates from around the world. Diversity is key here. Delegates come from a wide variety of regions and contribute toward a diversity of ideas and solutions arrived at each IPC. IPC's reach into every corner of the world, local to global, to bring forth and share these ideas. Past host sites have been in Australia, USA, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Nepal, Croatia, Brazil, Malawi, Jordan, Cuba, United Kingdom, and India in 2017, followed by Argentina in 2020. This year for the first time FIPC launched an ambitious worldwide crowdfund, so all in the global Permaculture community could easily contribute using the powerful energy of money to help shape a better world.

We are a global society, and more than any other time in history, in order to be resilient, we need a diversity of ideas from all regions and cultures to survive. For more than forty years Permaculture has been leading the way with innovative, planet and climate friendly design strategies, that are just now being fully recognized by the rest of the world as the answer to some of our most pressing challenges. 

Margie Bushman and Wes Roe are the co-founders of the Santa Barbara Permaculture Network, an educational non-profit founded in 2000 that has sponsored hundreds of workshops and events about Permaculture and sustainability. Margie was the Program Coordinator for the Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) Center for Sustainability from 2009-2013, where she developed a Cities as the Solution series and an Eco-Entrepreneurship pilot program. Together Margie and Wes teach the Invisible Structures component of the Permaculture Design Course, a credited class, that they are proud to have helped initiate at SBCC. Wes served as a board member of the Permaculture Credit Union for nine years, later as Board President. Margie and Wes have been volunteer coordinators for the IPC Support Group since its inception in 2005.

For more information on IPC2017, visit the IPC India website at : http://ipcindia2017.org/

Visit the Santa Barbara Permaculture Network/IPC page for the FIPC and crowdfund information: http://www.sbpermaculture.org/ipc.html

Oct 20 2017

32mins

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Amazing Grains with Larry Kandarian

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Episode 141: Larry Kandarian is an organic farmer and ancient grain advocate. In this episode, Larry takes us on a whirlwind tour of Kandarian Organic Farms where he grows over 200 varieties of plants. As you'll hear in the interview, Larry is a man with a mission- growing the most ancient and nutrient-dense grains he can find and providing the world with alternatives to modern wheat.

I first became aware of Larry and his work when I saw an ad for a talk he was giving at our local seed swap entitled, "Ancient Guy Talks About Old Grains." When I read that, I knew I wanted to interview him!

Larry Kandarian has been farming for over 25 years. A former mechanical engineer, who worked on the Space Shuttle, Larry is now committed to growing ancient grains in the most ecological way possible.

Margie Bushman of the Santa Barbara Permaculture Network and I spent a few hours with Larry last Fall. We talked with him about many plants including: Ethiopian Blue Tinge Farro, Terrestrial Rice, Einkorn, Fonio (also known as Grain of the Universe), Khorasan, Nude Oats, Quinoa, Sonoran Wheat, Tibetan Black Barley, Purple Corn, Kaniwa, Sorghum... the list goes on. Walking around Kandarian Farms is like being at Costco on a Saturday afternoon, there are lots of samples. It was a fun, delicious, and inspiring tour.

We also talked with Larry about gluten and why he believes that some of his crops may provide a delicious and nutritious alternative to modern wheat for those with gluten-sensitivity.

Note: Since this was recorded outside, you may hear wind and farm machinery during parts of this interview.

Learn more about Larry Kandarian and his amazing grains at KandarianOrganicFarms.com.    

Aug 23 2017

1hr 8mins

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Earth Care: How Connecting with Nature Can Change Your Life

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Episode 140: Before 2006, Andrew McMillion wasn’t thinking too much about plants, soil health, or ecology. He was living the American Dream, spending a lot of money, and commuting to work at his job for a large corporation. The only catch? He felt miserable. After taking a test to see how high his carbon footprint was, Andrew committed to make a change. Now residing in Ornes, Norway, Andrew lives on a small ecological farm where he focuses on earth care, people care, and increasing and protecting plant biodiversity. 

In this thoughtful and inspiring interview, Andrew shares his journey from knowing nothing about plants (in 2013) to growing over 200 varieties of vegetables, trees, and herbs. We talk about some of his favorite plants including Tree Collards, Shetland Kale, Habblizia or Caucasus Spinach, Syrian Homs Squash, Lambsquarters, Ashitaba, Udo, and Achocha (Bolivian Cucumber).  Andrew shares his experience of the positive effect of building relationships to individual plants and the many cycles of life in which we are embedded and how changing his focus from matter and production to connections and life quality has been pivotal for the thriving of the web of life on his farm.

Andrew also shares his experiences from the Norwegian Seed Savers, the Green Party and the Refugee Greenspace Initiative, the new nonprofit Andrew co-founded, which sets up kitchen gardens at refugee centers. For more information and to contact Andrew, visit: RefugeeGreenSpace.org

Jun 11 2017

58mins

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The Forgotten Richness of Pulses - Dr. Vandana Shiva

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Episode 139: Dr. Vandana Shiva, author, activist, and scholar, talks about the forgotten richness of pulses and how growing these plants can help us practice a more biodiverse and permanent agriculture. 

In this short interview, we talk about Pulses, the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. Common pulses include chickpeas, lentils, beans, and dry peas. Vandana says that growing pulses is an excellent way to begin farming nonviolently. Pulses fix Nitrogen, increase soil fertility, are drought tolerant, and are an excellent source of protein. 

Vandana talks about the "violence" of fossil fuel-based agriculture, the Green Revolution in India, Bt Cotton, and how she became an activist.  

Vandana believes that our role is to protect natural systems and to be co-creators with the earth. In one of my favorite quotes from the interview, Vandana says that, "Making peace with the earth means recognizing our creative abilities and not being proud of our destructive capacity."

To learn more about Vandana Shiva, visit her website: VandanaShiva.com and Navdanya.org.  To read Vandana Shiva's book  Pulse of Life: The Rich Biodiversity of Edible Legumes, click here. 

Special thanks to Camilla Becket of Becket Films for setting up this interview. To see a preview of their new film about Vandana Shiva, The Seeds of Vandana Shivaclick here. 

Mar 24 2017

18mins

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Natural Building: Good For People And Planet

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Episode 138: Natural building is good for both people and planet. In this episode we hear from natural builders who are committed to their craft and who create beautiful structures using natural locally-sourced materials.

Recorded at the Natural Building Colloquium at Quail Springs Permaculture Center in New Cuyama, CA, I speak with many natural builders including Sasha RabinLinda SmileyPatrick HenneberyLiz Johndrow, and Bob Theis

I visit projects at the Colloquium including a feral straw bale office- created to be an affordable replacement for a trailer,  a cob bench and Rumford fireplace- part of an outdoor gathering space, and a plaster wall- a gorgeous butterfly with layers of color derived from natural pigments.

Feb 04 2017

58mins

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Fragrance and Transformation with Aromatherapist John Steele

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Episode 137: Take a ride around the world with aromatic explorer John Steele. In this interview John talks about the sacred use of fragrance in ancient Egypt and Amazonian shamanism. John draws upon his decades of experience as an archaeologist and aromatherapist to delve deeply into the shamanic use of fragrance. John talks about smell as "direct intuition", how certain plant fragrances can be used to restore flow when stuck in negative thought patterns, and how fragrance can be used as an aromatic tool for conscious transformation. 

John Steele urges us to think "outside the perfume bottle" and open up to the "floral highway of awareness."

John is the owner of Lifetree Aromatix and teaches workshops about the aromatic domain around the globe. To contact John you can email him at info (at) lifetreearomatix.com.

Jan 01 2017

1hr 6mins

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Growing Soil, Biodiversity, and Food with Grassfed Animals

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Episode 136: Beth and Shawn Dougherty have been farming together for over thirty years and practice grass-based homesteading in Eastern Ohio. In this interview, Shawn and Beth explain how they use intensive pasture management on a small scale to increase soil fertility, regenerate land, and grow delicious, nutrient-dense food.

When the Dougherty's first spotted the place that was to become their home, they weren't impressed. It  was "in worse than bad shape" and had been deemed not suitable for agriculture by the state of Ohio. Using grass-based farming, they regenerated this neglected piece of land into a thriving independent homestead where they now grow 90% of their food.

In this interview, the Dougherty's explain how to harness the power of the sun into grazing ruminants, how to choose the right animal for your property, (hint, let the land tell you), and the joys and challenges of homesteading with animals. They also talk the detrimental effects that "animal-free" agriculture has had on the world.

Shawn and Beth wanted to farm like their great grandparents did and often asked themselves, "How can this be more beautiful and appropriate?" By working with Nature and in partnership with farm animals, they discovered that contrary to modern agriculture (which depletes soil fertility), land farmed properly becomes more capable of supporting the life on it and grows in fertility, biodiversity, and health.

You can find the Dougherty's new book,  The Independent Farmstead- Growing Soil, Biodiversity, and Nutrient Dense Food with Grassfed Animals and Intensive Pasture Management, online at Chelsea Green Publishing and at local bookstores.

Nov 14 2016

58mins

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Creating A Future We Want To Live In: An Interview with Starhawk

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Episode 135: Starhawk is an internally renowned activist, feminist, writer, and Permaculture Designer and Teacher. Founder of the Earth Activist Training, Starhawk travels the globe teaching about Permaculture Design, Social Permaculture, and Earth-based spirituality.

In this interview, Starhawk talks about how Permaculture changed her life, how to design beneficial relationships, and why she feels that there is no more vital work we can do than to heal our damaged earth.

We learn about the regenerative land management practices that she is doing on her land in Sonoma, CA and why she feels that "trees and veggies are the easy part of Permaculture." We talk about Social Permaculture and the many challenges of working in groups, cultural diversity and sensitivity, group cooperation examples in Nature, and how Permaculture ethics and principles can help us navigate the murky waters of working with others.

Starhawk also talks about her latest book, City of Refuge, a sequel to her perennially popular best seller, The Fifth Sacred Thing

To hear the interview I did with Starhawk in 2010, click here.

Sep 26 2016

57mins

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How To Create A "Fruit-Full" Food Forest

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Episode 134: Have you ever wanted to grow a cornucopia of organic fruit at home? In this episode, Permaculture and Ecological Designer Michael Judd teaches us how to plant a food forest in easy to follow steps. Michael recommends a "patch method" for starting your food forest, shares his recipes for sheet mulching, and talks about how to incorporate existing trees into your new food forest. Michael covers guilds (a selected group of plants that form a small ecosystem to support trees) and talks about the plants he loves to incorporate into food forests including: Comfrey, Strawberry, Lead Plant, Yarrow, Wild Blue Indigo, and many others. Michael shares his favorite Uncommon Fruits and "Edible Landscaping All Stars" which include: Hardy Kiwi, Gooseberry, Juneberry, Goumi, Autumn Olive, Paw Paw, Che Fruit, Elderberry, and Currants. 

You can read more about Michael and his amazing work at EcologiaDesign.com.  Michael is the author of Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist. 

You can taste some of Michael's uncommon fruit at his 1st Annual Paw Paw Festival on September 17th, 2016 at Long Creek Homestead. The Fest is a celebration of North America's largest (and many say most delicious) fruit. 

To hear more from Michael on my podcasts, click here: Have Your Yard and Eat It, Too!Outdoor Mushroom Cultivation, and Goumi, A Beautiful Bush With Benefits.

If you have the Sustainable World Radio App for Mac or Android, included in this interview is a short segment with Michael's recommendations for nurseries that sell uncommon fruit. 

Sep 03 2016

58mins

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Meadow Gardens

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Episode 133:  Is it time to turn your lawn into a biodiverse meadow? In this interview with John Greenlee, we learn about the many benefits of meadow gardens. An expert in grass ecology and sustainable design, John is the author of the books The American Meadow Garden and The Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses.

John Greenlee says meadows are the "places you want to be, sunny, soft, and human-friendly" and are an excellent replacement for the typical turf lawn.

In this interview, John asks a fundamental question, "Are we just decorating the planet or are we creating habitat?" He outlines how he readies land for planting a meadow, inorganic and organic methods of soil preparation, what grasses work where, plant driven design, and why meadow lawns are a boon to the ecosystem. 

John also talks about different types of meadows and how to add an edible component to meadows including Heirloom Grains, Berries, and Root Herbs like Salsify. 

To learn more, visit John's website Greenlee and Associates. com

Aug 19 2016

50mins

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The Lentil Underground: Dr. Liz Carlisle

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Episode 132: Can planting lentils be a radical act? Yes, if you live in a small conservative farming town in Montana, circa 1976. That was the year David Oien moved back to his family’s farm and planted a crop of lentils. This marked the beginning of the Lentil Underground, a group of farmers who created a new way of doing business both on the farm and in their community.

It wasn’t always easy. Planting lentils in a county known for wheat created waves and they weren’t amber waves of grain. But, what disapproving, wheat-loving onlookers didn’t know, was that the short, squat lentil plant is the “Robin Hood” of the plant world. A Nitrogen fixer, it creates fertilizer and increases soil health by sequestering Nitrogen out of the atmosphere and putting it in the soil in a plant available form. This fixing of Nitrogen is a valuable service to farmers and to plant and soil life. 

In this interview with author, teacher, and lecturer Dr. Liz Carlisle, we learn what happened when a group of farmers shifted from industrial agriculture to a more ecological farming method. This transition from a “farming up” to a “farming down” model, with a goal of regenerating soil health, is the story of the Lentil Underground.  It's also a story about community, agricultural policies, and our food system.

Dr. Liz Carlisle is the author of the book Lentil Underground. Liz is a Lecturer in Food Systems at the University of California, Berkeley and in the Thinking Matters program at Stanford University. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography, from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. from Harvard University. 

You can buy lentils and other products from the farmers mentioned in this interview by visiting their company Timeless Food. 

Jul 25 2016

46mins

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