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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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Now displaying: December, 2017

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

Dec 30, 2017

Translating fowl language for urban farmers.

In This Podcast:

After moving all the way across the country, Melissa Caughey shares why she added chickens to her family.  She tells about how, with her science and teaching background, she eventually started teaching people about chickens. Always learning, she discovered there is a fowl language that could be understood and started teaching others how to Speak Chicken. She coaches Greg through a few key calls that, once translated, will be obvious to anyone who keeps chickens.

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Melissa is the author of How to Speak Chicken and A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens published by our friends at Storey Publishing. She is a backyard chicken keeper, beekeeper, and gardener who writes the award-winning blog Tilly’s Nest. She writes for HGTV, DIY Network, and the magazines Grit, Chickens, Community Chickens, and Country Living. She also gives presentations on chicken keeping at events across the country. She lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

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

Dec 26, 2017

Recognizing the connections between insects and plant life.

In This Podcast:

Several years into running a landscaping company, a few key employees opened Jessica Walliser's eyes to the importance of avoiding pesticides. Taking the time to educate herself, she converted to a whole new mindset and is now an avid teacher about natural pest control. She tells us about the predator-prey cycle and why we need to stay out of the process as much as possible, and shares a few tips on how to help the population of beneficial bugs grow in your space. We hear descriptions of several types of insects and bugs that are part of healthy ecosystems in gardens and farms.

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Jessica earned her degree in Horticulturist from Penn State University and co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners”, an award-winning program on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of The American Horticultural Society. She is a regular contributor to Fine Gardening, Urban Farm, and Hobby Farms magazines, and her two weekly gardening columns for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review have been enjoyed by readers for over ten years. Jessica also blogs weekly for both SavvyGardening.com and HobbyFarms.com.

She is also the author of several gardening books including the Amazon best-seller Good Bug, Bad Bug: Who’s Who, What They Do, and How to Manage Them Organically (St Lins Press), and Attracting Beneficial Bugs to the Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Timber Press), which was awarded the American Horticultural Society's 2014 Book Award.

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

Dec 23, 2017

Breaking down some factors in the science of studying soil.

In This Podcast: It was not her first thought when she went college, but after an inspiring study abroad trip, Mary found her passion in the science of studying soil. She tells us how this life path change occurred, and how she not only found a topic she could literally dig into, but also a society that she would enjoy and now represents through her blog articles.  She also tells us more about the factors involved in the formation of soil and how to keep it healthy in our raised bed gardens.

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Mary is a soil scientist and Agro-ecology PhD student at Florida International University in Miami. Originally from Iowa, she received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Environmental Science and Agronomy at Iowa State University. Her master’s research was on ants and the ways they influence prairie soil formation.

Her passion for soils has taken her across the globe, from the Alaskan to, tropical rainforests –and many places in between - all in hopes to better understand soil functioning in different ecosystems. When not chipping away at her dissertation, Mary is a volunteer blogger for Soils Matter, a blog run by the Soil Science Society of America which is working to share soils information with broad audiences.

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

Dec 19, 2017

Stacking beekeeping businesses with alternative energy for everyone's benefit.

In This Podcast: Chiara and Travis Bolton are not just any regular beekeepers, they are also changemakers in that they have devised an innovative way to help several aspects of their local community in environmentally friendly and the area of sustainable energy.  They realized they could stack the functions of beekeeping with the land intensive areas of solar panels for mutual benefit and provide a product that was healthy, local, and in demand.  Then they decided to expand this concept to help others do the same thing and have set up a business just to help in this process.

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Chiara and Travis are beekeepers in Minnesota.  In their business, Bolton Bees they sell Minnesota-Hardy bees adapted to survive Minnesota's harsh northern climate and distinct location specific honey.

They have been featured in National Geographic, Martha Stewart, Smithsonian Magazine, and Modern Farmer for their innovative partnerships with solar developers.  They formed a public benefit corporation called “The Solar Honey Company” and have trademarked the term. They are a mission-based company promoting the stacking of multiple benefits to farmland including clean solar energy, pollinator-friendly habitat, and local beekeeping. 

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

Dec 16, 2017

Embracing simplicity and starting a new life.

In This Podcast: After spending some time completing an earthen building project and maintaining two mortgages and many of the standard life trappings, Leanne Phillips realized this was not the lifestyle she was looking for and decided to simplify.  She moved to a remote property off a 10-mile dirt road and started over without the infrastructure many people take for granted.  She tells how she got solar power set up, established a new well, and even planted 100 new fruit trees before those were done.  Her experiences are fortifying her classes that she teaches and her story telling helps to make it all really interesting!

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Leanne, creator of Wisdom ooh Zivaat, is an organic lifestyle and holistic health Educator, and an inspired advocate for creating clean, deeply nourishing foods.  She extends this into a full organic lifestyle and teaches classes in Living foods, Gardening, Essential oils and more. 

Wisdom ooh Zivaat is an off grid 34-acre Food forest/Full spectrum natural living demonstration that was born in January of 2017. Leanne feels that humanity is in an unnecessary place of stress and decay and that we are being called to embrace that aspect of ourselves that is simplicity and wisdom.

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

Dec 12, 2017

Finding amazing seeds and becoming a seed storyteller.

In This Podcast: Her young life was spent on a small island near a 300-year-old farm, with a family that loved to share history through storytelling.  Then Shannon McCabe got a chance to work for Baker Creek Seeds and now she documents the stories of seeds from around the world. She explains just what an heirloom seed is, and why they are special. She also shares a couple seed stories, including one for garden berries in Peru, and another about an ancient, crooknecked watermelon from a cave in Arizona.  We cannot spoil this, you must listen for yourself!

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Shannon is a writer, seed explorer and horticulturist for Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. After earning a degree in Environmental Horticulture from the University of Rhode Island, she worked on mixed-vegetable farms and a fruit orchard before starting her own small-scale farm on historic farmland.

She combined her life-long love of writing with her passion for farming when she began working as the farm manager and catalog writer for Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  

Through co-writing the award winning Whole Seed Catalog, hosting instructional videos and dreaming up the Baker Creek children’s gardening book, she has enjoyed bringing the arcane heirloom vegetables of our past back to the foreground of the gardening discussion.

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

Dec 9, 2017

Seeking natural solutions for food waste recycling.

In This Podcast: It was his grandmother’s principles about not wasting food or resources in rural Georgia that influenced Dr. Jeff Tomberlin’s philosophies on his life. He found his calling in college and has dedicated much of his energies to teaching others about nature’s extremely effective recycling tool – the Black Soldier Fly. Growing and harvesting this insect is actually quite easy once you know the steps, and he wants everyone to do it at home.  He tells why this insect could prove to be a solution to not just dealing with food waste, but providing a source of food for both chickens and fish, closing a loop in the food-waste cycle.

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Dr. Tomberlin has been working with the black soldier flies for almost 20 years. His PhD research with Dr. Craig Sheppard resulted in methods for mass-producing the black soldier fly for use in recycling food or animal waste and the subsequent use of the larvae as feed for livestock, poultry, aquaculture, and reptiles. Companies around the world use these methods to protect the environment, create jobs, and increase protein availability.

Dr. Tomberlin is currently the Director of EVO Conversion Systems, which has a primary mission of building food and waste management facilities that utilize the black soldier fly.

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

Dec 5, 2017

Getting to know more about the popular culinary fungi.

In This Podcast: His space was limited and he wanted to start a small food growing business, then Kevin Fitzgerald found his perfect match in growing mushrooms and selling them at the farmers market.  He talks with us today about the mycelium that is a favorite of many foodies, and has such potential to nourish while also helping the environment. He has even started selling mushroom kits that can help the home grower start off on their own mushroom adventure.

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After spending years in communications contracting and feeling unfulfilled Kevin decided to start farming and settled on mushrooms as something that fit his interests and could be profitable on small scale. Starting on a hobby scale he has grown from mini green house and small humidifier to full size room fully climate controlled. He grows mushrooms for both culinary and medicinal uses.

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

Dec 2, 2017

Bringing exotic flavor to local food systems.

In This Podcast: Starting off at age 18, Joshua Burman Thayer was headed in the direction of working with plants and nature. He took his time before getting his permaculture certificate, but he packed a lot of learning and hands-on experience in during that period. Now, he is sharing that training, knowledge, and passion as he builds food forests, educates his clients, and writing articles about permaculture and food forest design.  

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Joshua has a degree in Community Engineering from Humboldt State University. He proudly admits he has always had his hands in the Earth, especially through his extensive travels throughout the Americas working with communities around plants and food.  He worked as a WWOOF volunteer on organic farms throughout Latin America, and as a laborer on organic CSA farms in California. He gained even more experience while apprenticing and working in ecological landscape design, as well as doing native plant field research with renowned mentors.

Joshua has become a lead designer and advocate for uniting ecology with aesthetic, creating beautiful, productive, natural systems that work with nature to foster bounty.

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

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