Rank #1: 385: Chris McLaughlin on Heirloom Flowers in the Garden.
Appreciating the histories of flowers.
In This Podcast: A delightful interview with a Chris McLaughlin as she helps us understand more about flowers and what they offer to us as gardeners and more. She even shares some tips on some of her favorites to grow.
Chris is a Northern California writer and author who has had her hands in the soil for nearly 40 years. She's the author of seven books including, Growing Heirloom Flowers from our friends at Cool Springs Press, A Garden to Dye For and Vertical Vegetable Gardening.
Chris' work can also be found in several magazines including Urban Farm Magazine, and The Heirloom Gardener Magazine. Online, she's written for a variety of gardening sites including Vegetable Gardener.com, Fine Gardening.com, and About.com. Chris and her family live on a flower and fiber farm in the Northern California foothills, where they grow flowers, fruit, vegetables and Angora goats.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/flowersink for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
Rank #2: 405: Rhonda Sherman on Worm Farming
Organically recycling through vermicomposting.
In This Podcast: Rhonda Sherman, an extension specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University, shares how throwing away our food waste is a major problem in landfills, releasing methane gas which is a contributor to climate change and causing heavy metals to be released into water sources. She spends 90 percent of her work time educating people in what to do with their food waste instead, namely by composting or vermicomposting. Rhonda shares access to many of the publications she’s written which can be found on her website.
Rhonda is an extension specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University, providing leadership for university outreach programs on solid waste management issues through the Cooperative Extension Service. She holds degrees in Environmental Studies and Urban/Regional Planning, and Environmental Resources Analysis with an emphasis in solid waste management.
Rhonda’s areas of expertise are vermicomposting, composting, recycling, and waste reduction. She gives about 40 presentations annually and has authored over 65 publications on these topics. Her new book is The Worm Farmer’s Handbook: Mid- to Large-Scale Vermicomposting for Farms, Businesses, Municipalities, Schools, and Institutions published by our friends at Chelsea Green.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/wormfarmershandbook for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
405: Rhonda Sherman on Worm Farming
Rank #3: 346: Justin Ehrlich on Chinese Medicine and Nature
Emphasizing simplicity with self-discovery.
In This Podcast: Growing up between two worlds and two lifestyles, Justin Ehrlich realized working behind a desk was not his calling. The Asian influence in his youth, and the environmental awareness he gained from his father’s business, blended naturally into a calling to be an acupuncturist. He now seeks to help educate and empower about the connection Chinese medicine has with nature and how true healing can take place.
Drawn for most of his life to many of the mystical practices that originated in ancient China, Justin has been a California state licensed acupuncturist since 2002 and a student of the Jade Purity branch of Daoism since 2001.
After many years of questioning the nature of reality, then using these practices to work through his own struggles, heal old wounds, and find a deeper connection to the Divine, he can attest to how powerful and transformative this path can be.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/justinehrlich for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
Rank #4: 344: Jennifer Pratt on Easy Garden Spacing
Making simplified gardening even easier.
In This Podcast: New at gardening, the lackluster results of their first garden could have turned them off, but Jennifer Pratt and her husband decided there was an easier way. Using their need for a simpler method of spacing seeds in the garden, they designed a guide to do the measuring for them. This new tool is so easy to use that even Mel Bartholomew called to tell them how much he liked it. A kickstarter program has helped launched this simple idea into a new business for them.
Jen is an entrepreneur and inventor. After a frustrating first attempt at growing a family garden, she and her husband saw the need for a tool that would simplify the process of both planting and tending their vegetable garden - and felt that the proper spacing of seeds was the ticket. And they were right! Now, after crowd funding, patents and a few more gardens under her belt, she’s here to tell us her story and share more on the tool that is changing the way people grow food.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/seedingsquare for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
Rank #5: 423: John Jeavons on Biologically Intensive Gardening & Farming (Part 1)
Empowering people globally to build food security while using very little land.
In This Podcast: Biologically Intensive Gardening allows farmers to grow more food, with less water, in a sustainable way. In this podcast, we speak with John Jeavons who has been a Bio Intensive pioneer for over 50 years. An Arizona native, his books have made an impact on our own Greg Peterson. He enthusiastically shares his journey, discoveries, and tools to create your own Bio Intensive Garden.
John has been the Director of the Ecology Action Mini-Farming Program since 1972 and is the author of How to Grow More Vegetables a book on BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming in use in over 150 countries in virtually all climates and soils. John advises on projects in countries such as Mexico, Kenya, Russia and India, as well as all corners of the United States.
Ecology Action has been a non-profit since 1971 and currently has two research and demonstration sites in California. Their mission to teach people worldwide to better feed themselves while building and preserving the soil and conserving resources through the GROW BIOINTENSIVE closed-loop small scale agricultural system.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/johnjeavons for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
423: John Jeavons on Biologically Intensive Gardening & Farming (Part 1)
Rank #6: 469: Francey Slater on Urban Ag and Food Justice.
Creating resilience in an urban community.
In This Podcast: It was after spending some time out of the country that Francey Slater woke to the poor American relationship with food. This motivated her towards food justice and making a difference in her community. With a belief that healthy food is a right for everyone, she co-founded a non-profit that is creating community and school gardens, and building a stronger, resilient community as a result.
Francey is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Mill City Grows in Lowell, MA. Her experience creating garden-based educational programming spans two decades, several continents, and youth through adult learners.
Mill City Grows is an organization that fosters food justice by improving physical health, economic independence and environmental sustainability in Lowell through increased access to land, locally-grown food and education.
Prior to founding Mill City Grows, she was the Education Director for CitySprouts, worked as a member of the Urban Nutrition Initiative in Philadelphia, PA, helped to restore agricultural efforts in a village school in Bangalore, India; and provided education for farmers, gardeners, and youth in Hocotepec, Mexico.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/millcitygrows for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
469: Francey Slater on Urban Ag and Food Justice.
Rank #7: 351: Lisa Ziegler on Urban Farming with Flowers
Growing florals for a farming business.
In This Podcast: She married her husband for all the right reasons of course and everything was going well. Then later Lisa Ziegler realized also got the bonus of the land and equipment she needed for the dream career she did not know she wanted. Now Lisa is a flower farmer on a small farm in the middle of a city and loves it so much she teaches the basics of this career path to others. She recommends this as a great side business for anyone who likes gardening.
Lisa is a cut-flower farmer, author, and speaker on organic cut-flower gardening. She has been farming since 1998 in Southeastern Virginia on the Ziegler family homestead. In season, her urban three-acre farm produces thousands of stems of flowers and an abundance of vegetables, which she sells to florists, supermarkets, at farmer’s markets and for her members-only farm market. In recent years, she has started leading hands-on-training on the farm for flower farmers and everyday ‘flower junkies’! Lisa is the author of four books including Vegetables Love Flowers, The Companion Planting Guide for Beauty and Bounty by our friends at Quarto Publishing.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/thegardenersworkshop for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
Rank #8: Bonus Episode 28: Seed Saving Class May 2019
Bonus Episode 28: Seed Saving Class May 2019.
A chat with an expert on Seeds.
In This Bonus Podcast: Once again we join a conversation with Bill McDorman and Greg Peterson to learn about growing from seed, growing for seed, and why our seeds are so important in these changing times. This is the replay of the May 2019 Seed Saving Class - In this class he covers seed school, how to become a teacher, allowing plants to go to seed, and of course a few more things as well.
Join the class! Register anytime for the next event.Register Here for the Seed Saving Class with Live Q&A
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/bonus28 for more information and links on this bonus podcast, and to find our other great guests.
Rank #9: 467: Bentley Christie on Worm Composting
Having WAY too much fun with worms!
In This Podcast: Watching his coworker through her lunch scraps into a large bin under her desk was just too exciting for Bentley Christie and soon he was on his way to becoming the Compost Guy with a popular blog and website about worm composting. He shares his excitement and admiration for the legless wonders that produce a valued garden soil amendment. Not stopping there, he explains a new method of composting that transformed his garden into a bountiful wonder.
Bentley, also known as "Compost Guy", earned an Honors Bachelor of Science in Biology with undergrad and grad studies in: plant pathology, microbiology, soil and compost science. He has been working with worms for over 20 years, is the author of the blog Red Worm Composting and is currently teaching about trench vermicomposting.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/compostguy for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
467: Bentley Christie on Worm Composting
Rank #10: 310: Who needs a title? This is JOEL SALATIN!
Chatting with a Sustainable Farming giant.
In This Podcast: Having three generations of regenerative and sustainable farmers to learn from, Joel Salatin was very immersed in the philosophies of farming that rejected the use of chemicals. Their efforts over the years on the virtually barren land his father purchased in the early 60’s has resulted in a vibrant, and productive farm that Joel now runs. He shares several key lessons he learned about farming and soil generation, and throws out some gems worth quoting!
Joel and his family own Polyface Farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Featured in the iconic foodie book Omnivore's Dilemma and award-winning film FOOD INC., the farm's moniker is "healing the land one bite at a time." A prolific author (12 books to date) and speaker, he promotes local food systems, freedom of food choice, and farming systems that build the commons.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/polyface for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
Rank #11: 166: Susan Poizner on Fruit Tree Care
166: Susan Poizner on Fruit Tree Care
Nurturing relationships with community and nature through orchards and fruit trees.
Susan is an urban orchardist in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book “Growing Urban Orchards” and the creator of an award-winning online fruit tree care training course. In her in-person and online workshops Susan has trained hundreds of students from across North America. Her students include Master Gardeners, arborists and people who are completely new to gardening and fruit tree care. Susan is also the host and creator of The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast on RealityRadio101.com.
IN THIS PODCAST: Greg meets another lover of fruit trees with Susan who founded a community orchard in her home town and found her calling as well. Susan tells how she got the idea to start an orchard in her neighborhood park, and how learning everything she could about fruit trees has morphed into her popular education program. Her down-to-earth nature is very apparent as she explains some highs and lows on this journey and how her love for her community of people and trees has grown beyond her expectations.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/blog/podcast/ to see our list of podcasts and to sign up for weekly updates.
Rank #12: 468: Chris Smith on Okra
Fascination with an underappreciated vegetable.
In This Podcast:
His first introduction to okra did not go over well, but years later Chris Smith was given okra seeds as a gift and he felt responsible to do his best with them. This prompted him to research, learn, and experiment with many varieties and recipes. He learned a lot and he shares part of his journey becoming fascinated with this often discounted vegetable. There is a lot more to this plant than just a simple pod. Check out the recipe for pickled okra he shared with us and included on our shownotes page.
Chris is a garden writer and homesteading consultant who serves on the board of The People’s Seed. When he is not okra-ing he can sometimes be found at Sow True Seed, an Asheville-based open-pollinated seed company. The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration by our friends at Chelsea Green Publishing, has just been released and is available!
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/okra for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
468: Chris Smith on Okra
Rank #13: 429: Thomas Tuoti on Growing Mushrooms at Home.
Minimizing food waste and improving soils by growing fungi.
In This Podcast: We learn the ins and outs of growing mushrooms at home with Thomas Tuoti. Listen in for the differnce between mushrooms and mycelium as well as how to use them to build your soil. Mushrooms are the compsting tool we never knew we needed, and Tom shares how to harness the biological efficiency of mushrooms, use them to enrich your landscape, and how to start growing them at home.
Thomas Tuoti practices permaculture at his home, or as he calls it "The Homestead," in Mesa, Arizona. He has been doing urban agriculture for 8 years; but before he ever stuck a shovel in the ground, he became interested in mushrooms and how they can be used to mitigate food waste and improve soils. He now manages edible landscape projects in the greater Phoenix area and is developing an at home mushroom kit so people can grow their own.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/mushroomtom for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
429: Thomas Tuoti on Growing Mushrooms at Home
Rank #14: 400: Eliot Coleman on 30th Anniversary of 'The New Organic Grower'
Being a resource for organic growers for over three decades.
In This Podcast: In 1988, Eliot Coleman literally wrote the book on being an organic grower and has been an invaluable resource for organic gardeners and farmers for three decades. He only started growing food because it sounded like an adventure; and he learned how through books and making friends with farmers around the world. We learn who inspired and taught him, how he uses livestock on his farm, how he virtually moved his farm 500 miles to the south for the winter, and more.
Eliot has over fifty years’ experience in all aspects of organic farming, including field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, rotational grazing of cattle and sheep, and range poultry. He is the author of The New Organic Grower, Four-Season Harvest,The Winter Harvest Handbook and an instructional workshop DVD called Year-Round Vegetable Production with Eliot Coleman - all published through our friends at Chelsea Green.
Eliot and his wife, Barbara Damrosch, operate a commercial year-round market garden, and run horticultural research projects, at their farm called Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/eliotcoleman for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
400: Eliot Coleman on 30th Anniversary of 'The New Organic Grower'
Rank #15: 175: Kaye Kittrell on Urban Gardening.
175: Kaye Kittrell on Urban Gardening.
Discovering organic gardening alongside a determined learner.
In the fall of 2011, Kaye converted the front yard and parkway of her home in Pacific Palisades, CA, into an edible garden. She removed all non-edible grass, small trees and bushes that occupied approximately 300 square feet of valuable sunny area, and planted citrus trees and herbs. In April 2012, Kaye began her urban garden blog, “Late Bloomer Show”, sharing her results with other urban gardeners, food bloggers and family farmers. With her photography skills and on-camera likeability from 30 years as a working actor in New York and Hollywood, Kaye created a web show, also titled “Late Bloomer,” chronicling her discovering how to grow food. A year later, her summer garden produced over 150 lbs. of produce, about 40 percent of which was given away. She also wrote her first e-book, “10 Steps to a Great First Garden.”
And, in 2015, Kaye created her first DVD, “Growing Heirloom Tomatoes,” a compilation of her five-part series on YouTube. “Late Bloomer” now has 96 episodes on YouTube and in 2015 won Best Edutainment Series at Miami Web Fest 2015. In 2016, Kaye added a vlog to the channel, which includes 50 videos and offers Kaye an opportunity to visit and share other gardens and urban farms with her audience. Kaye’s goal is to inspire anyone to grow their own food and take charge of their food security.
IN THIS PODCAST: Greg chats with a new friend Kaye, a recent convert to organic gardening who has been chronicling her challenges and amazing successes in her small garden. Living in California on the beach has it benefits, but it also comes with a challenging microclimate due to early morning fogs that limit the sun to her small garden. Kaye shares how she was inspired to start a vlog about her learning curve and has won several accolades for her work. She is still learning, but she is willing to share both the challenges and the answers she is finding on this new journey to food security.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/latebloomer for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to find our other great guests.
Rank #16: Bonus 18: Seed Saving Class May 2018
Bonus Episode 18: Seed Saving Class May 2018.
A chat with a seed expert about Why is Our Gut Messed Up.
In This Bonus Podcast: Belly hurt? Have gut problems? Bill McDorman and Greg Peterson unpack one of the reasons you could be ailing and share the market explosion of heritage grains that are changing the way we eat and bake. And of course you will find out where to get these precious seeds. This is the May 2018 episode of a Seed Saving Class at Urban Farm U.
Join the class! Register anytime for the next event.Register Here for the Seed Saving Class with Live Q&A
Bill McDorman is Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, Ketchum, Idaho. He got his start in the bio-regional seed movement while in college in 1979 when he helped start Garden City Seeds. In 1984, Bill started Seeds Trust/High Altitude Gardens, a mail order seed company he ran successfully until it sold in 2013.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/bonus18 for more information and links on this bonus podcast, and to find our other great guests.
Rank #17: 392: Gabe Brown on Beneficial Soil Ecosystems
Knowing the secret to building healthy soil.
In This Podcast:
Joining farming through his wife’s family, Gabe Brown learned the standard, commercialized, industrialized way of farming. Then when disaster struck four times in a row, he reached out to the past for some inspiration. He learned the value of a healthy soil ecosystem, how it affects many of the issues we are facing today, and the best ways to rebuild the soil. Now he shares what he learned in 5 principles that work anywhere in the world.
Gabe is one of the pioneers of the current soil health movement which focuses on the regeneration of our resources. Along with his wife Shelly, and son Paul, he owns and operates a diversified 5,000-acre farm and ranch near Bismarck, ND. Their ranch focuses on farming and ranching in nature’s image.
The Browns holistically integrate their grazing and no-till cropping systems, which include a wide variety of cash crops, multi-species cover crops along with all-natural grass finished beef and lamb. They also raise pastured laying hens, broilers and swine. This diversity and integration have regenerated the natural resources on the ranch without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides. Gabe is the author of Dirt to Soil published by our friends at Chelsea Green.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/brownranch for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.
392: Gabe Brown on Beneficial Soil Ecosystems
Rank #18: 132: Denise Stalder on Growing Food to Support Retirement
Denise is a grandmother of eight who was forced into retirement from a management position at the age of 57. She and her husband rented a community garden plot of 1000 square feet to save money by supplementing their food and decided they could try to live on a lot less money since life was nicer without her working a 50-60 hour work week.
Eventually they bought an old farmhouse on 1.7 acres 1-hour north of the city in southern Ontario, Canada and have developed raised beds, grow a good amount of their own produce and are starting with chickens this year. They have found this has been a wonderful retirement solution for them.
It has been a way to reduce expenses and yet create a lifestyle that is healthy, happy, and a wonderful example for their grandchildren who are learning all about where food comes from.
IN THIS PODCAST: Denise tells Greg how one day she was unexpectedly retired and needed to start saving money. After getting inspiration from a walk near a farmers’ market, she and her husband started with a small plot in a community garden and gained the confidence in what she could grow herself. A short time later they left that garden and moved to a larger property. Greg is moved by her story of her grandkids getting food from the garden. Then they share tips and suggestions on raising chickens. Denise has moved to the point of getting 60% of her food from her garden with a little from the farmers market.
Go to our Podcast page at www.urbanfarm.org/blog/podcast/ to find photos, links, and more information on this podcast, as well as for each of our other great guest interviews. You can also sign up for weekly email summaries of the interviews.
Rank #19: 196: Josh Volk on Compact Farms
196: Josh Volk on Compact Farms.
Making the most from small farms for the best viability.
Josh is the author of Compact Farms by Storey Press in February 2017. He is the proprietor of Slow Hand Farm in Portland, Oregon, and has been working on and managing small farms around the country for the last 20 years, studying the systems that make them efficient. He travels in the United States and abroad, consulting with farmers and researchers, teaching farm apprentices and new farmers, presenting workshops at agricultural conferences, and writing articles for publications, including Growing for Market magazine.
Josh didn’t come from a farming background. He grew up on the edges of cities and his parents had vegetable gardens that he mostly ignored. When he went away to college and started cooking for himself, he became more interested in where his food came from and how to grow it. That interest grew, inspired by books on small-scale food production. There weren’t many writers on that topic then, and it wasn’t so long ago.
In this podcast: Josh talks with Greg to explain his concept of making small farms the most productive and his background really helps give him an edge for understanding and explaining this to our listeners.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/SlowHandFarms for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to our other great guests.
Rank #20: Bonus 8: Scottie Jones on City Life to Farm Life
A chat with a farmer about her transition from the city girl.
In This Bonus Podcast: Returning guest Scottie Jones is back to talk about her new book and making a transition back to the simple life. She shares a bit about how the inspiration came to write the story of this adventure to start farming. She also tells why she opened her farm up to vacationers looking for a taste of the country life, and how that has helped her farm. And, we get an excerpt reading from her new book!
Scottie lived in Arizona for a while where she worked at Arizona State University for over a decade. Then she and her husband gave up the busy urban life by moving to Oregon, starting Leaping Lamb Farm and becoming sheep farmers. She loved this lifestyle very much and has opened her home to visiting families through her other passion of Farm Stays. This journey and the transition to a farming lifestyle became the basis for her new book Country Grit, A Farmoir of Finding Purpose and Love through Skyhorse Publishing. It describes their first years on the farm: the mistakes, the drama, the community, and what it’s like to adopt the farming lifestyle if that’s not where you’re from.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/countrygrit for more information and links on this bonus podcast, and to find our other great guests.