215: Suzanne Bontempo on Gardening without Pesticides
Contemplating the best options for:
If, when, and what type of insect control to use in the garden.
Suzanne has worked in the horticultural industry for over 20 years in a variety of capacities; as a landscape contractor, a fine gardener leading garden maintenance teams, and in retail nursery management. Currently she is an environmental educator and IPM Advocate, where she mentors & educates people. She does this by providing IPM trainings at hardware stores & garden centers, providing educational programs for garden clubs, businesses & organizations, and presenting lectures for the public through government agencies.
Her message is focused around less-toxic pest problem-solving in the home & garden, pesticide reduction, and how to garden sustainably. She helps people see their home or garden as its own ecosystem, and that the real solution to their problem usually doesn’t require a pesticide at all. She enjoys raising the awareness of beneficial insects and how biological control methods in the garden are easy, effective and fun!
Suzanne was recognized for her excellence in her field winning the 2013 IPM Innovators Award and in 2016 received the San Francisco Green Business award.
IN THIS PODCAST: Insects and pesticides are challenging topics for gardeners and even more so for organic gardeners, so of course Greg loved hearing from Suzanne about how to make the best choice for controlling pests in the garden. She breaks down the options in ways that make sense and loves to help others find the most beneficial way to manage their pest controls.
214: Michael Miller on Poverty in the World.
Examining the problems of poverty and solutions we need to reconsider.
Michael is a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute and the Director and Producer of Poverty, Inc.
Previously, Michael was the Director of Media and Director of Programs International at the Acton Institute and has appeared in various videos including Doing the Right Thing. Before coming to Acton, he taught philosophy and political science at Ave Maria College in Nicaragua and was the chair of the philosophy and theology department. Michael holds graduate degrees in philosophy, international development, and international business.
He has lived and traveled in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America and speaks extensively on themes of international development, entrepreneurship, political economy, and moral philosophy. He has been featured on FOX Business, CNBC, numerous radio shows, and published in The New York Post, The Washington Times, The LA Daily News, The Detroit News, and Real Clear Politics.
IN THIS PODCAST: Greg gets a chance to talk about a serious social sustainability topic when he interviews Michael Matheson Miller, the Director-Producer of Poverty Inc. Michael has examined this issue at great lengths and tells why some of the things we think are helping are really fostering additional problems and why we should be asking if we are part of the problem.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/povertyinc for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.
Nikki Golly on Nutrition and Wellness
Recognizing the highly important nutrients that might be missing from our foods
Nikki is a micronutrient coach on a mission to help people experience the healthiest and happiest version of themselves. She graduated with highest honors with a degree in nutrition from Arizona State University. She worked for 8 years in a vitamin store in Phoenix where she gained her vast knowledge of supplements.
Fuel Your Body is a coaching program, as well as, a series of products to help you reach your health goals. Everything you eat makes a difference in how you feel. Your immune system starts in your gut and the foods you eat affect your whole body, from the bottoms of your feet to the top of your head. Through her simple tips, recipes and how to videos, she empowers others to reach their goals.
In this Podcast: We get to meet Nikki Golly who’s focus on micro nutrients gives her a detailed perspective on the essentials of good nutrition. Her chat with Greg is a chance to break down the descriptions of some important food terms in today’s vocabulary and bring to light some very key details on the tiniest, but very powerful ingredients.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/fuelyourbody for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.
Jenny Beasley on Community Gardening
Building a community revitalization garden project from scratch.
Jenny received her certification as a health coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City along with her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Northern Arizona University. She is currently the Director of Heart for the City Community Garden located in Glendale, AZ.
She became involved with Heart for the City seven years ago, a non-profit that helps change lives of inner city at risk youth by walking life with them. She was asked to spearhead a 1/2-acre community revitalization project.... a community garden in which they educate Title 1 school children and their families on gardening and provide families ways of growing their own healthy foods.
She decided to become a health coach to fulfill her passion of working with individuals to enhance their own well-being.
In this podcast: Starting a community garden from scratch is no easy feat, and Greg talks with Jenny Beasley to hear about her work to bring a bare lot to life with a very thriving and highly appreciated garden resource in her community.
Colin Austin on Wicking Beds and Healthy Food
Examining wicking garden beds and bio-intensive vegetables.
Many years ago, at the birth of the computer revolution Colin learned to write code and set-up a company which grew to become Australia’s leading exporter of technical software. Then twenty years ago, Colin developed a growing system, which is known today as wicking bed technology and has gone feral worldwide. He runs a website WaterRight.com.au and a newsletter which are leading sources of information on wicking bed growing technology around the globe.
Colin’s wife was very healthy and after moving to Australia from China she developed diabetes when she transitioned to a Western style diet. Consequently, he has spent many years studying the causes and remedies for diabetes. This complex disease involves many factors such as genetics and life style stress but the dominating one of course is diet. As a result of this research he is developing a new farming technology for growing in nutrient dense soil which is very biologically. He says living soils are based on recycling waste and are regenerative. He believes we have been destroying our soil and that we are now approaching peak soil.
In this Podcast: We get to meet a gardening pioneer when Greg talks to Colin Austin who is known world-wide as the man who engineered a simple but highly popular garden bed called a wicking bed. Greg learns why Colin was motivated to create the beds and how the wicking process works. Then they go further to talk about why healthy food is so important to him and his family.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/colinaustin for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.
Chat with an Permaculture Expert
Don grew up in London and at age 16 spent 4 years being trained in horticulture through an apprenticeship and a college course. From there he continued landscaping in his hometown until he moved to Arizona in 1981, where he worked in landscaping and then starting his own business in garden maintenance.
In 2003 he attended a Permaculture Design Course, which was life-changing for Don. He knew right away that this was the path he’d been waiting for, and later attended two Permaculture Teacher Trainings.
He co-founded the Phoenix Permaculture Guild, started a Permaculture design company, redesigned his home site into a permaculture destination, and helped develop a thriving permaculture community in the Phoenix, Arizona area. He has presented in 5 cities, worked in several states, attended classes in 5 states, and pretty much lives and breathes permaculture.
In this Chat with an Expert Podcast: Greg chats with Permaculture expert Don Titmus who has been teaching permaculture techniques for for more than a decade and working in landscape design for more than three decades. They talk about what Permaculture is, a synopsis of the key elements of Permaculture Design Course education and how it can change your perspectives on the world around you.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/dontitmus for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests
Alastair Monk on The Future of Indoor Ag.
Creating technology to help gardeners and farmers control their greenhouse watering systems.
Alastair, or Ally, is the CEO and Co-founder of Motorleaf, which created the first wireless, automated, indoor growing system.
A native from the UK, Ally has lived and worked in North America since 1999. He has a history of success within the technology sector, providing his 3 children, wife and Husky Dog (Shadow) a rich life filled with nature and opportunity.
Ally loves to keep it simple and he says he wakes up each morning feeling hungry. Hungry for company growth, hungry for new product features, and hungry for new happy customers.
In This Podcast: Greg talks to Ally and finds out what it is like to be a founding partner in a brand-new company that is focusing on making indoor gardening easier.
Chat with an Expert - Catherine Crowley "The Herb Lady"
Catherine, The Herb Lady, is a self-taught, hands-in-the-dirt, Urban Farmer who experiments and researches constantly for new and interesting edibles as well as playing with old favorites. She was given the nickname "The Herb Lady" when vendors and customers at farmers markets would say "go ask the herb lady" for questions on herbs. It stuck.
Catherine has taught many cooking and gardening classes at various locations private and public including the notable Boyce Thompson Arboretum which is an Arizona State Park, and Phoenix’s own Desert Botanical Garden. She has been a newspaper columnist for 4 years writing on growing and using edible herbs. Catherine has a blog online and is a regular vendor at her local Farmers Market.
In this Podcast: Chatting with Herb expert Catherine Crowley about growing herbs and using them in cooking other beneficial ways. She and Greg explore many of the different unique and awesome aspects of a myriad of herbs that can be grown in the home gardens and urban farms, with a special emphasis on garlic.
Megan Cain on Garden Planning
Joining a Legion of Gardening addicts through sensible preparation and design
Megan grew up an urban girl in a row home in Philadelphia. She never saw a vegetable growing in the ground until well into her 20’s. A few years ago, she quit her job and traveled to Africa for two months to volunteer with a fair trade organization. Now, she is a garden educator, writer and speaker. She has developed one of the first youth gardening programs in Madison, designed and installed gardens in many homeowners’ yards, managed a quarter-acre youth farm, worked on CSA farms, created a series of gardening class that often have waiting lists, and tends to a large home garden. She knows what works and what doesn’t…and loves to share it.
Megan is setting out to create a legion of gardening addicts that successfully and passionately grow their own food. Through her gardening education business, The Creative Vegetable Gardener, she helps people get more from their gardens by first mastering the essentials and then indulging in the colorful details that make gardening not just a favorite pastime, but a lifestyle.
In This Podcast: Acquiring a love of gardening transformed Megan into a fully focused farmer and she tells Greg how she went from being an naive urbanite with no plant growing experience to a gardening educator and resource to kids and adults alike.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/megan for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.
Canning and other preservation techniques to safely store foods longer.
Allison has been growing and preserving food for over fifteen years. She is a Master Food Preserver, trained through the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and holds a Master’s Degree in Gastronomy from Boston University. She has written about food for various publications including the Boston Globe, Backpacker magazine, and Taproot magazine, and is the author of the book Preserving with Pomona's Pectin.
She regularly writes and develops recipes for the Pomona Pectin company, and blogs at her own website CanningCraft.com plus she teaches canning and preserving classes. Allison lives on several acres in Mid-coast Maine with her husband Ben and their two young boys, where they tend an apple orchard, look after a way-too-big vegetable garden, take care of chickens, and put up as much food as they can manage.
In this podcast: Canning food is a favorite topic of Greg’s so of course he was excited to talk to Allison about her experiences and get some tips from her as well. As a bonus, they also chatted about her ‘too big’ garden and how this homestead is so rewarding for her family.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/canningcraft for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.
Nancy Bailey on Prolific Vegetables in Small Spaces.
Increasing the yield of a small garden through planning and care.
Nancy had an idyllic childhood growing up in western New York State, right next door to her grandfather who she adored. He had a small farm where he raised a few head of beef cattle and always had a few dozen chickens. While much of the 10-acres was devoted to raising hay and grain to feed and bed the cattle, her father and grandfather also managed a large vegetable garden and an apple orchard.
The garden produced a considerable bounty which her mom canned and froze; and while young, it didn’t occur to Nancy to consider how special it was to be fed on free-range grass-fed beef and farm fresh eggs, and to eat organically grown fruits and vegetables year-round. Today she looks back and realizes how lucky and loved she was.
Although she’s always had a passion for ornamental horticulture, it wasn’t until retirement 2 years ago, that she got serious in raising vegetables and composting. By adding micro-nutrients and her own amendments, each season has yielded a more prolific harvest. Although her vegetable garden is less than 200 square feet, she reaps far more produce than she and her husband can consume. She says she raises vegetables for the joy of watching them grow as well as to consume and share with the neighbors.
In this podcast: Greg chats with Nancy, an urban farmer from Southern California who explains how she is maximizing the potential of her very small garden. She has faced off critters of various sizes with some ingenious tricks and she is using soil amendments to make her soil healthy and her plants happy and productive.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/honeyhill for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests
Vanessa Sardi on Farm over Pharma.
Learning how to prevent health issues through achievable diet changes.
Vanessa is Certified Health and Nutrition Coach with a unique perspective on health and wellness. She has a Master's degree in Cardiopulmonary Physiology, a bachelor’s in Sports Medicine, clinical work in Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, and research/sales positions in pharmaceutical and gene expression testing. Vanessa has a passion for nutrition & helping others to live healthy, fueled by her background and consistent studies.
When Vanessa realized that “more pills” wasn’t the answer to better health, she walked away from her cushy salary as an Executive Sales Rep for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world to start her own business, Nutriception®. As a Certified Health and Nutrition coach, she is now driven to help people get off their meds, many of which she promoted herself, and improve their health via a whole-foods, plant-based lifestyle. Vanessa’s slogan says it all…FARM over PHARMA.
In this podcast: Greg finds another EPIC moment in this interview with Vanessa Sardi who tells why she decided to stop selling pharmaceutical drugs and instead is focusing on preventing issues through teaching about healthy diet choices. Tired of feeling like she was adding to problems, she wanted to be part of the solution and she went out and found a way to do just that.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/vanessa for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests
Anna Swanson and Meg Stratton on School and Community Gardens
Helping kids and community members understand food origins.
Megan is a student at Binghamton University, and was drawn into the world of food and agriculture as a powerful way to address a range of current environmental, social, and ethical issues. After graduating with a self-designed degree focused on sustainable food systems, she moved to Glocester to join the FoodCorps. As a two-term FoodCorps service member, Meghan has been involved in all aspects of the Backyard Growers' school programs.
Anna graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Africana Studies and a minor in Environmental Studies. Looking for a way to integrate her desire to work for social justice and her interest in environmental sustainability, Anna became Backyard Growers’ first FoodCorps service member in the fall of 2013. After her year of service, she moved back to her hometown of Philadelphia, where she taught farm, food, and nutrition classes on the farm and in Philadelphia schools.
In this podcast: Greg chats with an inspiring couple of women from Backyard Growers. Anna and Meghan help explain the purpose of this community organization and how satisfying it is to watch kids and community members learn about growing food and cooking the food they grow.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/backyardgrowers for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.