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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Now displaying: October, 2016

Visit our podcast page here to find photos, links and more information on this podcast as well as each of our other guest interviews.

Oct 29, 2016

Transitioning to a plant based diet for a healthy lifestyle.

Karine was once an extreme carnivore and she happily ate sweetbreads, blood pudding, lots of meats including game, and all kinds of raw meats. Food was her life. She had a catering business and organized dinner parties that would have made a vegan faint. Life was spent in the kitchen, and life was good. Then she embarked on her vegan journey just over year ago to combat significant skin issues. She started by first eating fruits and vegetables in large quantities but she struggled from low energy levels. Then she tried a paleo diet which did not work out for her, so she started educating herself about plant-based protein.

Education was the key to her success, and two pillars of veganism became important to her: mercy for animals, and protection of the environment. Grains, seeds, and nuts are now the biggest part of her diet while she is striving to achieve a complete plant-based diet.  She loves whole and natural ingredients, and wants to show others how a vegan diet can be fun, easy, and delicious!

IN THIS PODCAST:  Greg gets to chat with new friend Karine who has a mission to help others cook delicious vegan meals.  Karine shares her experience of going vegan and explains why she was she was motivated to make that change. With her experience running a catering business, it makes sense that cooking would be a passion that continues even with a dramatic lifestyle change. She is committed to helping others by sharing her journey and sharing many tasty and healthy vegan recipes and she explains why this is so important to her.

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Oct 27, 2016

Considering design in architecture and it’s impact on urban agriculture.

Sean complements his design practice with research in green building technologies including, among other things, urban and vertical agriculture. Sean is a Lecturer at Danube University Krems, Austria, was an Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong, and is a frequent lecturer at international universities and conferences.

For the past several years, Sean has led research in Urban & Vertical Farming, and developed a prominent exhibition on urban ecology and biomimicry at the Hong Kong-Shezhen Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. His research has been presented to key stakeholders at the United Nations, as well as for multiple international governments, diplomatic, private, and non-profit organizations. Sean believes that urban agriculture can provide a multi-faceted solution to the health and resilience of cities while catalyzing community and economic growth.

IN THIS PODCAST: Greg gets to interview Sean Quinn, who works to meld sustainable architectural design with urban agriculture for one of the largest global design firms. Sean talks about how this field has changed over the years and is tackling the issues of food systems and just connection to nature in highly urban landscapes like Honk Kong and San Francisco. Just by focusing on these issues, he has developed a sincere passion for designs that build solutions combining flora and human interaction.

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Oct 25, 2016

Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier

Michael Ableman, the cofounder and director of Sole Food Street Farms, is one of the early visionaries of the urban agriculture movement. He has created high-profile urban farms in Watts, California; Goleta, California; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Michael has also worked on and advised dozens of similar projects throughout North America and the Caribbean, and he is the founder of the nonprofit Center for Urban Agriculture.

His newest book is called Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier and is out now by Chelsea Green Publishing. Michael lives and farms at the 120-acre Foxglove Farm on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia.

IN THIS PODCAST: This is an interview that Greg has wanted to do since before he even started the podcasts. A epic urban farming project more than a decade ago inspired him greatly, and now Michael brings Greg up to date with his Street Farm project he’s been working on for the past several years and it is just as epic and inspiring. With a natural ease, he tells us the story of an urban farm that is situated in the heart of one of the worst parts of a large city and is farmed by a group of the lost and disenfranchised. This project takes the hopeless and the discarded, plants them on the unwanted and unworthy land with a box and some soil, and magic happens.

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Oct 22, 2016

Utilizing managed intensive grazing for maximum benefit for land and animals

Shawn and Beth have been farming together since the 1980’s, for the last twenty years in eastern Ohio, where they manage 24 acres designated by the state as ‘not suitable for agriculture’.  Using intensive grazing as the primary source of food energy, they raise dairy and beef cows, sheep, farm-fed hogs, and a variety of poultry, producing most of the food, and feed, on the farm. 

Concerned that farming is so often dependent upon multiple off-farm resources, from feed, fuel and fertilizer to water and electricity, their ongoing project is to identify and test the means by which farming was done for centuries with a minimum of off-farm inputs. Their research has led them to identify grass conversion, especially the daily conversion of grass into milk by dairy ruminants, as a key to whole-farm sustainability, combined with the integrated nutrient feed-backs that are possible with a community of diverse animal and plant species, domestic and native. They are the authors of The Independent Farmstead, Chelsea Green Publishing 2016.

IN THIS PODCAST: Greg is thoroughly impressed with the transformational successes of Shawn and Beth on their “really trashy” plot of land to the diverse, beautiful, and healthy pasture they now enjoy.  They tell their story of how they bought what they could afford were prompted to do research and replicate the methods of grazing that preceded the modern day mass production farms. They explain why managed grazing is important and so beneficial to both the animals and the land they occupy.
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Oct 20, 2016

Robert is a scientist, author, and environmental entrepreneur who founded several leading market-based environmental concerns. Currently he serves as host of Green Sense Radio Show and Founding Farmer/CEO of Green Sense Farms.  Robert is recognized as a national expert and an authoritative source on brownfield redevelopment, sustainability and indoor vertical farming.

He is the author of several books and numerous reports and articles on the subjects. He has appeared on national and local TV and radio programs, been quoted in national and local newspapers and has testified in congress in support of environmental legislation.  

IN THIS PODCAST:  Greg gets to chat with Robert, an environmental entrepreneur who is transforming indoor farming and finding economic solutions in farming. Robert has been seeking out and creating solutions for environmental issues for many years and this has led him to the business he has now which is producing crops year-round. He also talks more about his radio show and introduces the Equity Crowd Funding project he is currently working on and how to find more about it.

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Oct 18, 2016

Storm lives on the South Fork of the Cosumnes River in Northern California with her husband Allen and her youngest child Savannah. She is the founder of “Wings on the Wind Healing Arts Center and Sanctuary.” The center is located on her organic farm, where they raise food, herbs, alpacas, and chickens.

She has a bachelor degree in Metaphysical Science, is an ordained minister, a natural health practitioner, artist, author, herbalist, and Reiki Master. She has certifications in Advanced Pastoral Psychology, Herbology, Reflexology, Acupressure, Crystal Healing, Vibrational Healing, Flower Essences, and Survival Skills. She authored the book “A Pocket Full of Angels” and self-published in 2014.

IN THIS PODCAST: Greg meets another kindred spirit in Storm with her connection to gardening, making a difference in the community, trusting in nature, and making a choice to be happy every day. Storm shares her story of how she started gardening with no skills or experience and is now the founder of a very special place for healing and learning.  Storm worked to build a connection in her community so that even the front entrance evokes wonder and peace. Her organic gardens are central to her program teaching self-sustainability and her animals have many duties including helping guests heal. 

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Oct 15, 2016

Marianne is the co-host/co-producer of the Sustainable Living Podcast, the co-organizer of the San Diego Permaculture Meet up group and the founder and organizer of the TOP Organic Edibles Garden Club. Top stands for Transition, Organic and Permaculture. She also is a wife, mother and grandmother who is very much involved in the life of her 3 grandchildren. Marianne teaches Yoga and other subjects and keeps working on developing her writerly self.

IN THIS PODCAST: Marianne shares her story and motivations that have moved her to transform her 1/3 acre into a food forest. She shares her passion for permaculture with Greg and tells him how she has really put to use the water harvesting techniques she has learned. She explains how her upbringing in postwar Germany truly gave her a different perspective on nature and food, and now that she lives in an area that has a year round growing season as well as drought conditions she is really putting all her experience and learning to good use.  She tells of the many techniques she is using to harvest water, and how she is trying to make a difference in her community.

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Oct 13, 2016

Cara is passionate about the tradition of supper and takes Civil War history very seriously; So it made sense for her to couple her food passion with membership in MidStates Living History Association. 

In the tradition of Dutch oven cooking during the civil war, “a supper was served at four o’clock in the afternoon, a good plain and substantial meal, with nothing fanciful” according to Goedy’s Magazine, dated 1863. 

As a living historian, and owner of U-Relish Farm, Cara enjoys guiding others on low cost ways to store your urban farm harvest and offers secrets from the “Apothecara”.

N THIS PODCAST: We venture back in time with Cara to learn how the women homesteaders of the mid 1800’s cooked, gardened, nurtured, and survived during the trials of the Civil War.  She explains to Greg that as a history buff she was intrigued enough to try to replicate many of the processes in use during the time period of when the Civil War directly affected her community. She does not hold back as she taught herself how to do many of the period’s permaculture type processes and she shares some of those tips in this podcast.

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Oct 11, 2016

Craig’s love of the landscape was a natural progression of his upbringing in central Minnesota where he grew up at a youth camp. When he attended college in Chicago, he maintained his connection with the outdoors which he soon realized his career path needed to encompass.  In a confluence of events, Craig was hired as the Operations Manager at Chicago Christian Industrial League managing the landscaping job training program. Most of the landscaping contracts were with the city of Chicago where they maintained many of the city’s green spaces, median strips and public schools. 

Eventually, Craig joined D. Foley Landscape as Construction Manager in Massachusetts where he continued to fine tune his plant knowledge, installation skills, and design esthetic. It was here that the vision of an urban landscaping business was formed and in early spring of 2003, he returned to Chicago to start Topiarius. Craig’s first landscaping job was completed out of the back of his Ford Focus wagon using 5 gallon buckets and a shovel. Originally, during the landscape season they hired local college students to help out with the labor; however, now they have gone from a 2½ employee operation to an 11-person operation with an office and landscaping yard on the west side of the Chicago.

IN THIS PODCAST: Greg chats with Craig, a landscaping artist who bring his dedication for a job well done to ensure his customers get long lasting value. With Craig’s natural understanding of basic permaculture techniques, he shares how he has developed a process for his employees to observe and adjust based on those observations. And with years of experience Craig also has a lot to share about best practices for planting trees of all kinds. There are many important tips and techniques discussed that will help anyone who is getting ready to plant in their yards. 

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Oct 8, 2016

Sherrie Pelsma on Pollinator Parkways.

Bolstering pollinators in urban spaces and expanding safe habitats.

Sherrie grew up on the rural Oregon Coast before moving to Portland to finish her degree. She has spent the last 10 years in Community Education, and runs a program where participants learn learn Do-It-Yourself skills to make homes safer and more energy efficient. As an environmentalist who loves macro photography, she took a special interest in pollinators and other insects which blossomed into the love that drove the founding of Pollinator Parkways. 

IN THIS PODCAST: Sherrie shares her passion for the bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other animals that serve such a vital purpose in the lifecycles of plants including the food we rely on every day.  Greg gets a chance to talk to her about how a simple interest grew into a passion and how she has turned that into a project that is truly making a difference in her community.  Sherrie is inspiring as she explains what she is doing to extend habitats and at the same time educating community members about pollinators.

Go to our Podcast page at 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.

Oct 6, 2016

Jack Wolfson D.O., F.A.C.C., is a board certified cardiologist who uses nutrition and supplements to prevent and treat disease. After ten years performing angiograms, pacemakers, and other cardiac procedures, Dr. Wolfson started Wolfson Integrative Cardiology in 2012 to offer patients the ultimate in holistic heart care.

Raised in Chicago, he attended Midwestern University for his D.O. degree and completed a 3 year Internal Medicine residency and 3 year cardiology fellowship. He was selected as the chief fellow of his class. Together with his wife, Dr. Heather Wolfson DC, they are The Drs. Wolfson. Their website is an excellent resource for holistic health and lifestyle information. The Drs. Wolfson have two beautiful boys who were born at home, nursed for over 3 years, and they are still co-sleeping.

IN THIS PODCAST: Greg chats with Dr. Jack about the paleo diet and how it affects heart health. Dr. Jack shares why he changed the way he practices cardiology and what he has learned about eating natural foods.  He explains more about how important it is to remove pollutants, improve nutrition, and even how eliminating gluten can make a difference in 24 hours. Greg asks many of the questions that come up when you are learning about the paleo diet and Dr. Jack helps make it a lot easier to understand why it works.

Go to our Podcast page at to find photos, links, and more information on this podcast, as well as for each of our other great guest interviews. Go to and use "Urban Farm" as a discount code and receive a 15% discount on your order.


Oct 4, 2016

Whitney is a teacher, trainer, and author with tremendous commitment to, and expertise in, inquiry- and place-based education; strategies for engaging diverse learners; school gardens; and the intersection between environmental education and public schools. She is the Education Director of Life Lab and a lecturer at UC Santa Cruz.

IN THIS PODCAST: Greg is excited and a bit envious of the kids who have participated in the natural world learning experiences explained by the Whitney in this podcast. She paints a beautiful picture of the resources of Life Lab’s gardens and how the programs offer many unique and awesome natural world laboratories for kids to learn. Their discussion ventures into the world of school funding and how garden based education can fill multiple needs of the schools, yet seems to on budget cutting blocks often. Life Lab has developed a potential resource for school interested in keeping a natural world option in their curriculums and Whitney explains how they hope to share this program nationally. 

Go to our Podcast page at 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.

Oct 1, 2016

Today's specials include healthy foods, great meals, dignity, education and community.

A childhood spent on a farm in northeast Ohio shaped Lyn’s views on community and how neighbors can help and support one another through sharing food and resources. He believes this is a forgotten way of living in America.

Thirty-plus years spent as a chef in world-class restaurants taught Lyn the importance of creating beautiful food for people to enjoy and gather together to share. In recent years, he spent time helping others open community kitchens and supporting local sustainability. This led him to open Seeds Community Café in September 2013.

As a nonprofit that is based on a “pay it forward” model, Seeds’ patrons can partake of healthy, nutritious, locally-sourced and creatively crafted meals, regardless of their ability to pay. Lyn is a huge supporter of Community Cafes, Kitchens and local gardens as a Social Enterprise and way of life.  He believes this concept of sharing local great food around a community table can change the world we live in by impacting food insecurity and building community in our own neighborhoods! It also enhances our local economies.

IN THIS PODCAST: Greg takes the time to get to know Lyn and is moved by his persistence and dedication to making a difference in his community. Lyn tells how he has always been doing something with food, and how he has worked with some well-known chefs over the years until he was finally able to open his own very special restaurant. With an idea in his head about a café where people pay what they think the meal is worth, and those who can’t pay have a chance to work off the meal through service, Lyn worked until he got enough support to open the doors to this very epic, community centric, aptly named, Seeds Community Café. 

Go to our Podcast page at to find photos, links, and more information on this podcast, as well as for each of our other great guest interviews.