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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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Now displaying: January, 2018

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

Jan 30, 2018

Paying attention to the pests and diseases that affect crops.

In This Podcast: Science and the study of the biology of plants is a true calling for Robert Reeder, as he has been part of different projects at CABI for several decades; and his focus on the Plantwise Programme is something that is making a difference. He shares with us how the Programme is helping farmers in developing countries diagnose and tackle different crop issues, as well as their work to help counter the spread of soil born diseases that are affecting banana crops around the world.

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Robert is a plant pathologist working with the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), based in the United Kingdom. His areas of interests are in international development and the management of pests and diseases of tropical crops. Having worked for CABI for nearly 25 years, he’s gained extensive experience in diagnosing pests and diseases of a diverse range of tropical crops. As part of his work he has traveled to many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

His current focus in the Plantwise Programme which aims to help farmers lose less of what they grow to plant-health problems. Plantwise operates in 34 countries and works closely with national agricultural advisory services to establish and support a sustainable network of plant clinics.

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

Jan 27, 2018

Adding some sweet and spice to life through delicious fruit jams.

In This Podcast:

A simple request to help fill a charity basket for cancer patients has turned into a small food-craft business for Jan McCarthy. Acting on the request of her son to help out a charity event, Jan made a few jars of jam.  Little did she realize how popular they would become, especially once she put her own special twist of adding hot peppers to some of her recipes. She tells about some of the steps she needed to go through to make her business legit, as well as some tips to making good jams.

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Jan worked in her parents’ bakery from age 12 until she was 32 when she went back to school to be a para legal which she has done for 30 years. Ready to put some of the high stress of the legal world behind her, she was willing to try something new so as a favor to her son she started making jams for community projects of the Joy Bus Diner. Now her specialty is making hot spicy jams.  

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

Jan 23, 2018

Operating a small-scale diversified farm.

In This Podcast:

Growing up in an urban community in Chicago would not normally lead a person to choose a farming lifestyle, but during her college years several things led her to the agriculture career she has now. Liz Whitehurst tells us about the nudges that pushed her this direction as well as the amazing opportunity that came her way at the right time.  She also shares some useful tips that can help any new farmer who is working their own CSA program. We also hear about a heartwarming story of her five-year old customer who missed his peashoots!

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Liz is the owner/operator of Owl’s Nest Farm, small-scale diversified vegetable farm 15 miles outside Washington, DC.  Before starting her farm, she worked on a wide variety of farms and gardens as a grower and educator, including the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Angelic Organics Learning Center.

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Owl’s Nest Farm grows unique, delicious, nutritious, diverse vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit on four acres. Liz was recently featured in a Washington Post article about how young farmers are changing the food system.

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

Jan 20, 2018

Bonus Episode 9: Seed Chat, September 2017

A chat with an expert on Seeds, Bill McDorman

In This Bonus Podcast: There is always a bounty of information available in conversations with Bill McDorman. This is the September 2017 episode with a Seed School Chat Class continuing the conversation on Seed Saving Principles, Intellectual Property rights, Seed Saving policy history, and so much more.

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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/bonus9 for more information and links on this bonus podcast, and to find our other great guests.

Jan 16, 2018

Making the most of small spaces for gardens.

In This Podcast: Returning guest Jessica Walliser opens our eyes and minds to working in small spaces with container gardens.  She worked hard to make a comprehensive book with important steps and key details for those who wish to make a container work for growing their vegetables, fruits and flowers too. And we get a few ideas for containers too.

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Our Returning guest Horticulturist Jessica 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.

In addition. 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, and her fourth book, Attracting Beneficial Bugs to the Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control, which was awarded the American Horticultural Society's 2014 Book Award.

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

Jan 13, 2018

Growing crops and raising livestock in urban spaces.

In This Podcast: Returning guest Kari Spencer talks about her first book City Farming, and shares about some of the key aspects of farming in a city space.  She visited several farms to research other perspectives and methods and gathered all the data into this book. She also tells about how it is so jam packed with information that part of the book had to go digital.  There are several great ideas to help urban farmers gain confidence and overcome some challenges.

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Kari is a popular local gardening & homesteading speaker. As a Master Gardener and a Master Farmer, she enjoys sharing her passion for growing and raising food with others. In addition to teaching classes all over the city of Phoenix, she is the creator of Urban Farm U’s Growing Food the Basics & Backyard Livestock courses.

She and her family operate The Micro Farm Project, a small farm in North Phoenix, where gardens and livestock animals provide her family with fun and food. Her new book City Farming: How-To Guide to Growing Crops & Raising Livestock in Urban Spaces, by 5MPublishing has just been released.

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

Jan 9, 2018

Checking for the presence of pesticide in our food.

In This Podcast:

A youth spent on an organic sheep farm, and early adulthood spent traveling as a journalist led Henry Rowlands to the development of Sustainable Pulse – a news source dedicated to informing on sustainable agriculture. He now leads up the Detox Project which helps increase awareness of pesticide exposure in our foods and our bodies, and is spreading the word about a testing process that can determine pesticide levels in foods or bodies.  This is information that can be used to help determine the toxicity of chemicals in use today.

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Henry was raised on a family-run, organic sheep farm in Wales.  This led to his deep interest in issues related to sustainable agriculture, and he worked for a time as a news agency journalist in many countries across Europe.  He eventually moved on to set up Sustainable Pulse, a global news source focusing on sustainable agriculture and food, with a readership of over 500,000 people per month from over 125 countries.  He is also an adviser on sustainable agriculture to several governments in the European Union.

Beyond their news platform, Sustainable Pulse is involved in several reference projects, all of which have the aim of educating the public on the problems surrounding the overuse of pesticides.  Henry is the Project Director for their program called The Detox Project, which has set up a unique pesticide testing platform for food and our bodies across America.

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

Jan 6, 2018

Attuning our minds to social permaculture solutions.

In This Podcast:

When given the opportunity to make an abandon greenhouse become useful Adam Brock and a few friends created the GrowHaus.  He has traveled many places focusing on the invisible structures of permaculture design and has crafted a course that teaches how to see the needs and make a difference in your community. He tells us how this came about and why he was encouraged to write a book on a topic that is not well known. Adam helps explain many permaculture concepts that are important but often left undeveloped when discussing the stages of design.    

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Adam is a facilitator, author, and designer working at the intersection of urban agriculture, sustainable business, and social change. As co-founder of The GrowHaus, Adam helped transform an abandoned half-acre greenhouse in Colorado's most polluted zip code into an award-winning hub for urban agriculture. The GrowHaus engages thousands of low-income residents per year, grows 1500 heads of lettuce per week, and has a million-dollar annual budget.

A certified permaculture designer since 2008, Adam is active in the local and national permaculture communities. In May 2017, Adam released his first book, Change Here Now: Permaculture Strategies for Personal and Community Transformation (North Atlantic Books). It is a “recipe book” of solutions for social change grounded in ecological principles.

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

Jan 2, 2018

Documenting the histories of seeds in Baker Creek Catalogs.

In This Podcast: Traveling the world to get the unique seeds and document their stories – a dream job for a writer and gardener like Shannon McCabe.  She tells us a little more about how she got started working for Baker Creek Seeds and some of the perks of working for a visionary like Jere Gettle. She also shares about the upcoming Seed Expo in California in the Fall and the donation program for non-profits and school programs.

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Shannon is a writer who found her passion melded beautifully with farming and growing heirloom vegetables when she landed the perfect job as the farm manager and catalog writer at Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.  She has traveled the world as a seed explorer for Baker Creek, from cycling the tulip fields in Netherlands in search of rare bulbs, to the remote jungle markets of the Peruvian Amazon in search of rare fruit.

Shannon co-writes the award winning Whole Seed Catalog, and dreamt 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.

Shannon strives to make growing heirloom varieties approachable to every gardener, from the children who read her kids books, to the large scale organic farmer reading her variety descriptions in the catalog.

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

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