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The Urban Farm Podcast with Greg Peterson

Welcome to The Urban Farm Podcast, your partner in the Grow Your Own Food revolution! This audio only podcast features special guests like Jason Mraz, Lisa Steele, and Kari Spencer as we discuss the art and value of growing food in urban areas. We'll explore topics such as urban beekeeping and chicken farming, permaculture, successful composting, monetizing your farm, and much more! Each episode will bring you tips and tricks on how to overcome common challenges, opportunities to learn from the experience of people just like you, and plenty of resources to ensure you're informed, equipped, and empowered to participate more mindfully in your local food system... and to have a great time doing it!
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The Urban Farm Podcast with Greg Peterson
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Visit our podcast page here to find photos, links and more information on this podcast as well as each of our other guest interviews.

Aug 18, 2018

Bringing gardening knowledge to your fingertips.

In This Podcast:

It was a need to become more mindful and eat the healthier foods he needed that led Dale Spoonemore to the garden.  It did not take long for him to get hooked on the flavors of homegrown vegetables.  But a conversation in line waiting to vote alerted him for a need to make it easier to garden. This inspired him to teach himself coding to write an app that is going to bring success to many more new gardeners.  His passion and drive continue to build this mobile tool, and his family are big parts of the whole project. 

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Dale and his family converted their urban Oklahoma backyard into a food farm to feed their family and built the “From Seed to Spoon” mobile app that makes it easy for others to do the same. The app will guide you through planting, growing, harvesting, and cooking over 70 different foods with information customized for your location. Dale and his family live in OKC with their four children.  You can learn more about them on their From Seed to Spoon social media pages and on their website at seedtospoon.net

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/seedtospoon for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Aug 14, 2018

Preparing school meals with gut health in mind.

In This Podcast:

After growing up believing the only healthy way to eat was “fat-free”, Hilary Boynton was not prepared for the fertility and health issues that plagued her family. Seeking the best for her children, she educated herself on “real-food”, the GAPS diet, and eventually wrote a cookbook with gut health in mind. This path led her to becoming a school lunch lady cooking and educating for gut health to the students.

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Hilary is a certified holistic health counselor, with a BA in psychology from the University of Virginia and trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Inspired by her experience of "food as medicine," she dedicated herself to helping others on their path to wellness as a cook, coach, and professional educator.

Seeing our chronic global health problems opened her eyes. The lessons she learned along the way helped to fuel her project LIVE YUM YUM and inspired her to co-author the bestselling The Heal your Gut Cookbook, released in September 2014.

Hilary’s passion and determination to empower people to take control of their own health and prevent disease is tireless.  Plus, along the way she has earned the title of The Lunch Lady

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/thelunchlady for more information and links on this podcast, her blog articles, and to find our other great guests.

Aug 11, 2018

Finding nature is an ally for waste disposal.

In This Podcast: He is always on the lookout to find ways to have a better relationship with nature, so when Eddy Garcia noticed that some beetle larvae were eating the polystyrene cup he put them in, he jumped into experiments to learn more.  Using a surfboard in a science experiment, his achieved some exciting and astonishing results. All of this tied into his work to educate others about regenerative systems, and even aspiring surfers in Iowa are learning about earth systems through his projects

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Eddy, has an E.B.N. or as he likes to call it Educated By Nature degree. With over 30 years of living off-grid on a remote Hawaiian island he has developed a deep connection to Nature. It has taught him fundamental truths that are woven into Living Earth Systems: Observation, Consistency & Patience. 

Eddy is the lead designer for Living Earth Systems which designs and builds holistic agriculture systems for the future. He is also one of the founders of  R.E.C. (Regenerative Education Centers) which demonstrates alternative technologies and approaches to solve some of our planet’s current problems. Eddy educates and inspires to promote regenerative lifestyles.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/livingearthsystems for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Aug 7, 2018

Digging into the vast world of invisible life in our soils.

In This Podcast:

It takes a real love of science and soil ecosystems to be as comfortable with microbes as Anthony Dominguez is such that he rattles off names of bacteria species like he is sharing the guest list for a party.  This passion translates into a true dedication to making life supporting products for the soil microbiome. We should all enjoy our jobs as much as he does; and knowing how much he cares can inspire you to build a better soil for your plants. www.urbanfarm.org/hykreations1

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Anthony is an Arizona native from the town of Gila Bend, with a degree in Microbiology from the University of Arizona. He is a co-founder and C.O.O. of HiKreations, a company dedicated to bringing beneficial microbes to the world and farmers everywhere.  With an organic philosophy and a science core, they have developed a line of soil amendments for both indoor and outdoor cultivation.  He has a long interest in microbes, especially in their beneficial properties.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/hykreations1 for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Aug 4, 2018

Seeking out answers about food labeling.

In This Podcast: Returning from a trip to Europe it became clear to Aube Giroux, that food labeling in North America was controlled by a very different set of rules and she sought to learn why. Documenting the process on video, she and her mother set out to learn about the labeling of genetically modified food ingredients, a journey that took a turn when her mother developed cancer. Instead of closing the project, she persisted and the resulting film garnered many indie awards.

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Aube (pronounced ōb) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, organic gardener, and food blogger. She is the creator of “Kitchen Vignettes”, an online farm-to-table cooking show on PBS which received the 2012 Saveur Magazine Best Food Blog Award and is a two-time James Beard Award nominee. Aube holds an MFA in Film Production from York University. Modified is her first feature-length documentary, which she wrote, directed and produced.

In Modified, the filmmaker and her mother embark on a personal and poignant investigative journey to find out why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not labeled on food products in the United States and Canada, despite being labeled in 64 countries around the world.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/modified for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

#modifiedthefilm

Jul 31, 2018

Building simple, cost-effective solutions for conserving water resources.

In This Podcast: 

When looking into how water was being cycled in her community, and then looking at other desert-like cities in other states and countries, Brook Sarson was intrigued. California was in a drought and she realized there was a lot of potential ideas and processes implemented elsewhere that could help her community. Brook shares what she discovered about the ‘ethics of place’ and the significance that small changes in a community can have on a whole watershed.

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Brook is co-owner and CEO of CatchingH2O and H2OME. She started H2OME in 2008 with the mission to be a resource to the San Diego Community for water harvesting. She was determined to create change from the ground up by showing homeowners, educators, and policy makers how simple and effective rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling can be.  Her continued mantra has been that individual contributions create tremendous impact toward a larger water conservation strategy.  

Since H2OME’s inception Brook has directly installed or facilitated hundreds of thousands of gallons of water conservation between rainwater tanks, greywater systems, and landscape design changes.  Her engineering background perfectly complements the permaculture design framework she uses to approach design problems.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/smartwatersavings for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jul 28, 2018

Documenting the first town-wide pesticide-free ordinance in the world.

In This Podcast:

On a trip overseas, a professor of Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems stumbled onto a story worth telling about the first community in the world to ban pesticides. Philip Ackerman-Leist was able to document this endeavor from almost the very beginning and he shares the reasons why anyone who cares about their community needs to understand what happened and why it is so important.

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Philip is Professor of Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Green Mountain College in Vermont, where he established the college’s organic farm, sustainable agriculture curricula, and the first online graduate program in Sustainable Food Systems in the United States.

He and his wife Erin live on a remote off-grid farm in Pawlet, Vermont with their three children, where they raise grass fed American Milking Devons cattle. He is the author of Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems and Up Tunket Road: The Education of a Modern Homesteader.  His newest book is A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement, Published by our friends at Chelse Green Publishing.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/topplinggoliath for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jul 24, 2018

Guarding forests as a valuable part of the agriculture system.

In This Podcast: Being a farmer in these days of changing climate can be challenging, so when a severe drought threatened the livelihood of sheep farmer Steve Gabriel, he resorted to using previously ignored wooded areas. Examining the forest near his home he realized the bounty that he had been overlooking, and sought out more information about forest farming. He now teaches others how to do this natural farming process.  There is a bonus on mushrooms too!

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Steve is an ecologist, forest farmer, and educator living in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. He passionately pursues work that re-connects people to the forested landscape and supports them to grow their skills in forest stewardship.

He is an Agroforestry Extension Specialist for the Cornell Small Farm Program and co-owns Wellspring Forest Farm & School with his wife Elizabeth, where they produce mushrooms, maple syrup, duck eggs, pastured lamb, and elderberry extract, all from forest-based systems.

The school hosts several educational programs each season with the goal of increasing people's understanding of healthy forests and how they can play a critical role in their stewardship. He is the author of two books: Farming the Woods, and Silvopasture, both published by Chelsea Green.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/wellspring for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jul 21, 2018

Actively teaching through growing food at school.

In This Podcast: (10 pt, centered, ITP and names bold)

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Lanita is a Special Education teacher at Irving Elementary in Cleeeburne, Texas and teaches in a Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities.  She’s very excited about garden-based education and the opportunities it gives her students to learn across all academics in every grade level.  Her school garden is funded through grants so she is able to work with teachers and students to create their own garden.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/lanita for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jul 17, 2018

Having the perspective and impact of younger generations on growing food.

In This Podcast:

Early childhood impressions of environmental pollution led Matthew Kozuch to seek out solutions, and while at UC Berkley he worked on several projects with Engineers for a Sustainable World.  After graduation he continued with them and became the National Build Day Coordinator. This is the first of hopefully an annual event in more than 50 chapters across the United States.

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Matthew currently serves as the Build Day Coordinator for Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) which he’s been a part of since joining the UC Berkeley chapter as a project leader in 2014. He graduated in May 2017 with a B.S. in Energy Engineering and is facilitating solar photovoltaic maintenance for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Build Day is an initiative started by ESW creating local sustainable change by bringing together technical expertise and community organizing.  During the ESW Build Day event this past April, the chapter met with about seventy other volunteers to help construct a chicken coop, plant a strawberry patch, and create sheet mulching for expanding the Hoover Hawks Victory Garden.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/esw for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jul 14, 2018

Bringing permaculture education to city dwellers.

In This Podcast: After realizing teaching was not her passion, Amy Stross was looking for something to excite her and fill her need for a purpose. She found both of these when she started growing food and writing about her journey. Embracing permaculture into her gardening and her life, she realized how the techniques could benefit others, so of course she shared! Here is her story and a bonus at the end for Urban Farm Podcast listeners

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Amy is a permaculture gardener, writer, educator, and author of The Suburban Micro-Farm, with a varied background in home-scale food production. As a permaculture designer, she specializes in ecologically regenerative and productive landscapes. Her own front yard landscape is a thriving example, catching water from the roof and growing a variety of edible crops.

Her current adventure is transforming a 3-acre property into a micro-farm with her husband and mischievous farm cat. She reaches hundreds of thousands of people with her expertise and adventures in small-scale permaculture gardening on her popular website, TenthAcreFarm.com.

Her new book The Suburban Micro-Farm: Modern Solutions for Busy People, is published through Twisted Creek Press and Distributed by our friends at Chelsea Green Publishing

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/tenthacrefarm for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jul 10, 2018

Bringing gardening experts together in one event.

In This Podcast: 

Sharing is caring, growing, empowering, and a natural part of the food growing community and Stacey Murphy brings several amazing members of the food growing community together in one online summit about Gardening! She explains what the Garden Hack Summit is and why you need to be a part of it this year. 

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Stacey has helped thousands of new gardeners from six continents grow vegetables and herbs in small spaces, so they can enjoy fresh, affordable vegetables and live a healthy, happy life. She walks eager growers through her holistic garden system, showing what to grow, when and where. Stacey is a garden geek, growing food since 1979, and her superpower is packing, literally, tons of food into tight spaces.

Dozens of her students who trained at her backyard urban farm in Brooklyn have gone on to start their own homesteads, gardens & farms. Featured on Martha Stewart Radio and PBS’s Growing a Greener World, Stacey believes growing food organically is the best health plan for people, communities, and the earth. You can find her at GrowYourOwnVegetables.org and don't forget to sign up to receive her best gardening tips and strategies.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/gardenhacked for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jul 7, 2018

Finding bounties of flavor hidden in plain sight.

In This Podcast:

It was more mostly just to keep herself busy that Sar Bir went to culinary school, and afterward she still found herself trying lots of new things. So it is not a surprise to hear that she stumbled upon fruit trees in the wild and learned she had an interest in foraging. She shares some of the important things to think about when foraging, and how foraging and gleaning can help you meet some of your neighbors.

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Sara is a seasoned chef, gardener, forager, and author.  She graduated from The Culinary Institute of America and prefers to create recipes that draw on her professional skillset yet are realistic for home cooks.

Sara’s writing has been featured in Saveur, Edible Ohio Valley, two Full Grown People anthologies, as well as on several websites. Her book The Fruit Forager's Companion is published through our friends at Chelsea Green Publishing

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/foragingfruit for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jul 3, 2018

Enjoying a good meal cooked with great food.

In This Podcast:

When you are passionate about getting a good meal from locally grown farms into your home, you have some technology experience, and you are community minded, it is likely that you’d create your own app to make this happen for others. After you are done, why not make short films about some of these experiences? Roza Ferdowsmakan has developed an app to create Farm-to-Table experiences for the benefit of foodies, chefs and farmers; then she created a film series allowing others to have a sample taste of what the experience is like.  We learn why this is an ethos driven app, and how this is helping the three key players in a great meal.

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Roza’s goal is to change the way people connect with food, with their communities, and with the earth. As a tech company founder, she created a community-driven, farm-to-table mobile app called bites which launched officially in February of 2018. She also developed two new, related film projects as well as a mural project promoting farm-to-table experiences.

Foodie + chef is an indie film series, where she interviews chefs while they hang out in her kitchen and give her a farm-to-table dining experience.

Farm Talk is another indie film series, featuring tours of local farms with conversations about who they are, how they do what they do, and what the farmers grow.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/bitesfoodieapp for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jun 30, 2018

Finding healing through farming and growing healthy food.

In This Podcast: Coming home from deployment is hard enough without adding a significant disease to the mix, yet this is what propelled Stepheni Norton and her husband to make substantial changes in what they ate.  From there, they started growing their own healthier food on a portion of their new property and then started offering it to their community.  This developed into their farming business and CSA and more. It’s almost enough to make you want to move to her town so you can participate! 

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Stepheni is a retired Chief Petty Officer and decorated military Veteran with almost 20 years of hands-on entrepreneurial experience.  She’s the co-owner and founding farmer of National City’s Dickinson Farm & Dickinson Larder. Her journey to heirloom farming began when she purchased the Wallace Dickinson House while she was deployed with the U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Detachment.

Stepheni designed the Dickinson Farm, the first licensed farm in National City since the 1900s.  She launched Farmacy, a curated CSA and anti-inflammatory meal prep service designed for caregivers and patients receiving on-going out-patient care as well as for individuals and families on specialty diets.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/dickinsonfarm for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jun 26, 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.

 
Jun 23, 2018

Experimenting with bacteria and beverages.

In This Podcast:

Having first come across this drink at a cousin’s house and thinking there was something wrong with the odd beverage, it was not until much later - and with an appreciation for fermented foods - that Alex Lewin gave kombucha a real chance.  Now he has a real understanding of the process and teaches others how to make their own. We learn some chemistry, some fun tricks for additional flavor, and even what his new favorite drink as we chat with him.

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Alex grew up on the East Coast of the US.  In his evolving journey on the earth, he’s discovered that one of his gifts is the ability to co-exist side-by-side with friendly bacteria.  While others struggle with bacteria, Alex embraces them.

Alex is the author of "Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen" through Quarry Publishing, and the co-author of "Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond" through Fair Winds Publishing.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/feedme2 for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jun 19, 2018

Digging up the story of a slow-food pioneer.

In This Podcast: It must have been one well written obituary, because it stuck with Adam Federman and then after he found her book on his parents' shelves he wanted to know more about an almost forgotten culinary star. Ten years later and a treasure trove of writings uncovered, he released his biography of Patience Gray and brings her hidden history to light. Those who loved her book Honey From Weeds will love getting to know her better in his book Fasting and Feasting. He shares his story of finding hers, and leaves us hungry for more.

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Adam is a reporting fellow with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute covering energy and the environment. He has written for several publications including the Nation magazine, the Guardian, and Columbia Journalism Review. He is a former line cook, bread baker, and pastry chef.

He has been a Russia Fulbright fellow, a Middlebury fellow in environmental journalism, and the recipient of a Polk grant for investigative reporting. Adam is the author of Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray, published through our friends at Chelsea Green.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/adam for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jun 16, 2018

Building local food systems through community markets.

In This Podcast: She was not planning to be a Farmers Market Manager, but that where Sara Matlin ended up and she is passionate about her community. She tells about the Phoenix Public Market and how it has grown to over 100 vendors.  We also cover how growers can become vendors with their own booths and how they are supported by the market.  There are also opportunities for backyard growers to sell without having their own booth. www.urbanfarm.org/phxpublicmarket

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A native to the Phoenix Area, Sara is passionate about building community and supporting local businesses. Every Saturday you can find her running the downtown Phoenix Public Market managed through Community Food Connections, a nonprofit organization. This open-air market is open rain or shine, year-round. When she's not busy coordinating vendors or taking farm tours, she's hiking outdoors and exploring the small towns of the Southwest.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/phxpublicmarket for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jun 12, 2018

Composting with nature's own army.

In This Podcast:

It was a common tilapia being released into the wild that had a profound effect on Keiran Olivares Whitaker. He realization on how ecosystems were being devastated by man’s actions prompted him to try and make a difference.  He’s also highly aware of the cost of food miles so he’s been working on a solution that helps in many ways and a method to help build it close to where it is needed.  All it takes is an army of single focused soldiers… soldier flies, that is.

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Keiran is the founder and CEO of Entocycle. He has a Masters in Environmental Design and Conservation, and while working as a scuba diving instructor he was fortunate enough to travel and visit some of the most beautiful places on earth. He saw first-hand the environmental damage that human development and current lifestyles are causing to these paradises.

Convinced that we are killing our own planet, and that animal farming is the single most destructive activity humans have ever invented, he started Entocycle as an insect farming company using Black Soldier Flies to provide an alternative.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/entocycle for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jun 9, 2018

Trekking around the world to learn about organic farms.

In This Podcast: Starting a new adventure with a minimalist lifestyle and travel to foreign countries is not something readily understood by most people. Yet when faced with life changes and an opportunity to start anew, that is exactly what Jake Mace is going to do. Having sold most of their possessions they are off on a world-wide WWOOFing trip visiting organic farms in various countries. He tells what motivated the change and how they are going to document their experiences.

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Jake started gardening in 2011 with a peach, fig, pomegranate and kumquat tree to save money on his food budget. He has joined us multiple times on this show about his urban farm, best gardening tips and tricks, and learning from failure. As wells as how he became inspired by his mission to live a life that’s compassionate with a a zero- to positive-sum impact on the earth, particularly through his commitment to a vegan lifestyle.

These days Jake is traveling the world WWOOFing and looking for his next great vegan meal.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/jakestrip for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jun 5, 2018

Transforming food with healthy microbes.

In This Podcast:

Wanting to know more about healthy eating after his father got sick, Alex Lewin did lots of reading, studying, and research. He narrowed his focus to real foods and transforming food with healthy microbes.  Eventually he was quite skilled at fermentation and has enjoyed helping others get excited about this preservation process. He shares with us why this healthy option is worth learning about.

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Alex grew up on the East Coast where he discovered that one of his gifts is the ability to co-exist side-by-side with friendly bacteria. While others struggle with it, Alex embraces them. As a graduate of Harvard, the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, he seeks to create a healthier and tastier world by spreading the good news about fermentation and real food.

Alex is the co-author of "Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond" and the author of "Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen".

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/feedmelikeyoumeanit for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jun 2, 2018

Making the most of discarded plots for farming and community gardens.

In This Podcast: He did not finish college, but that has not stopped Jourdain Beltran from pursuing knowledge and growing healthy food. He found a great business partner and together they are improving access to healthy food in local food deserts. They are also tackling the problem of healthy eating by teaching the youth in these areas about where good food comes from and starting good habits early!

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Jourdain is an Arizona native who started gardening by growing jalapeño plants with his grandfather. He is the co-founder of Urban Farming Organics, who are looking to overcome the food desert crisis in Arizona.

Their mission is a “fresh off the vine” concept to make nutrient dense produce easily accessible to Phoenix locals. Part of that is working with local youth helping this next generation learn good, healthy, eating habits.

Early on they saw the potential of vacant land as space for small gardens, specifically to help local residents to get fresh food with higher nutritional value. UFO is working to find local vacant or unused land by contacting the owners to start repurposing the land for farming or community gardening.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/urbanfarmingorganics for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

May 29, 2018

Becoming the next generation of urban farmers.

In This Podcast: Raised by two farmers, Sowan Thai wanted to do anything else with his life. Yet pursuing a degree in science led him back to his roots and now he's proud to call himself a farmer. A post-college stint in a medical marijuana science lab, steered him into growing food with a new friend and partner. As new farmers, they participated in a couple ASU Venture Devils Pitch contests and won both times. Now they are building their urban farm and teaching young kids how to grow food.

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Sowan was born and raised in Phoenix, leaving just long enough to earn a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona in Tucson. There he studied controlled environment agriculture, plant biochemistry, and genetics. He returned to Phoenix and did tissue culture research at a medical cannabis facility, where he would meet his future business partner Jourdain Beltran. After about a year, they decided to depart from the medical marijuana industry to start an urban farm together with their third partner.

Beginning with only 2000 square feet, they were able to build a proof-of-concept urban farm and competed in ASU’s Venture Devils program, winning two rounds of substantial funding. Less than a year later, they have expanded their operation to an acre, supply several farmers markets, and share their knowledge and experience with the youth.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/ufoproduce for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Libsyn:

May 26, 2018

Empowering a community's strength and resilience through gardening.

In This Podcast: If you just can’t help yourself and tend to get involved in your community, then you might be just like James Ross.  He has a natural drive to help others and that often involves community gardens. James shares the story of the first garden he helped build which became quite long after everyone participated.  He also tells what he learned when negotiating leases for the land their gardens occupied.  Overall, the harvests are much greater than just the fruits and vegetables – so maybe there are other gardens around the corner.

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James, a father of five and grandfather of eight, is co-founder of the Quesada “kwe-seda” Gardens Initiative, QGI, a private, non-profit organization focusing on better health and quality of life in Bayview.  He and co-founder Jeffrey Betcher have helped to fund and nurture many community-building efforts; working with other foundations within Bayview Hunters Point to form a support network for the community.

QGI has started two major community gardens, one is a place for people to sit and relax, and the other is a learning garden where community children learn how to grow food from seed to harvest. The initiative also runs a free build-a-backyard garden program called BayBloom.  He now lives in Danville, KY where he has founded 3 community gardens.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/gardeningwithjames for more information and links on this podcast, and to find our other great guests.

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