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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: November, 2019

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

Nov 30, 2019

Encouraging landscapes and gardens with plants favorited by native bees.

In This Podcast: We've heard about bees on previous podcasts, but Jaime Pawelek, a taxonomist who identifies bees and unnamed species, is sure to teach you something new! We go outside of the typical honey, carpenter, and mason bee discussion and into some unique varieties like a sweat bee. Jamie shares details on how bees collect pollen and nectar, their motivation, seasonal needs, and environmental needs to bring these pollinators to your garden. Learn more on how to plant garden bees!

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Jaime is the owner of Wild Bee Garden Design and has been studying native bees for nearly 15 years. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Conservation and Resource Studies in 2008. At the university, she worked in the Urban Bee Lab with Dr. Gordon Frankie for several years where she learned about the close relationships of bees and plants by observing their interactions all across California.   

With the information she learned, and started designing gardens full of native and drought tolerant plants for homeowners and businesses to help them create valuable pollinator habitats.  She currently works as a taxonomist identifying bees for various researchers around the country.   

Visit www.urbanfarm.org/wildbeegarden for the show notes on this episode, and access to our full podcast library!

498: Jaime Pawelek on Pollinator-Friendly Habitats

Nov 26, 2019

Providing organic, non-GMO, and soy-free chicken feed to local backyard farmers. 

In This Podcast: Even if you don't own chickens, if you've ever considered the difference that eating organic makes, this podcast on Chicken Feed Co-ops is for you! Learn why Scott Brown is passionate about finding reasonably priced organic feed for his hens and how his plight created a community co-op. Most importantly, he shares some of the science and studies on GMO's, soy, and organic foods. Through bioaccumulation, our food's food is our food and he puts a whole new spin on eating well.

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Scott is just a guy who started a chicken feed co-op to save money on eggs. He organized Phoenix Organic Feed, Flour and Grain, as a local buying club to get organic chicken feed at reasonable prices.  Plus as an added bonus he can specify which ingredients go into the premium USDA certified organic feeds, grains, and flours.   

Phoenix Organic Feed, Flour and Grain is a local supplier of organic, non-GMO chicken feed serving Phoenix and Tucson.  

Visit www.urbanfarm.org/scottbrown for the show notes on this episode, and access to our full podcast library!

497: Scott Brown on Chicken Feed Co-ops

Nov 23, 2019

Making growing healthy food at home fast, easy, and fun.

In This Podcast: The idea of growing 20% of your own food at home can be intimidating, but Jason Pechenik found a way to make it attainable, affordable, and fool-proof. He shares how his hydroponic Farm Stand saves water, energy, shortens time to harvest, and extends growing seasons. The most amazing part of the program is the plant suggestions by zip code and continuous coaching and reminders to add water and nutrients. Listen in for a promo code and free app that helps all food growers!

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Jacob is a passionate entrepreneur who has built a career around questioning and improving industry status quos. After graduating from MIT with a BS in Chemical Engineering he founded and led an early web-based B2B supply chain platform, a peer-to-peer derivatives trading platform, and a film finance and production company with over 30 film credits.  

But when expecting their first child, Jacob became acutely aware of limitations in our food system, and they were inspired to look into possible solutions. This passion led them to found The Farm Project, a Public Benefit Corporation whose mission is to transform our food system by engaging and empowering consumers.  

With Jacob as Founder and CEO, The Farm Project launched the hit web series “Your Food’s Roots” in partnership with ATTN: in 2017. And in the spring of 2019, the company launched Lettuce Grow, an initiative that empowers everyone to grow 20% of their own food at home.   

Visit www.urbanfarm.org/lettucegrow for the show notes on this episode, and access to our full podcast library!

496: Jacob Pechenik on Home Grown Salads

Nov 19, 2019

Pursuing regenerative farming solutions for desert climates and communities.

In This Podcast: Dry, arid regions make for some creative watering strategies. Sara El-Sayed has taken the traditional olla method of watering to a new level by incorporating drip irrigation tubing. The Clayola system creates a hands-off watering system that only needs monthly attention. She also shares about how food creates culture and identity, how to consider the whole food system beyond the grocery store shelves, the growing conditions in Egypt, and how to regenerate areas using biomimicry.

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Sara is pursuing her Ph.D. at Arizona State University in food system sustainability, specifically on Women in Arid Region's Regenerative Practices. She is dedicated to making a difference in her local food system and has co-founded multiple organizations for this purpose.   

Nawaya is a social enterprise working as a catalyst to transition small scale farmer communities in Egypt into more sustainable ones through education and research. Dayma is an LLC responsible for outdoor Environmental Education, teaching young adults about Biomimicry and local Egyptian communities. And, Clayola, is an LLC creating low-tech irrigation systems in collaboration with local Egyptian clay artisans.  

Sara has served as a board member in Slow Food, an international movement aiming to safeguard local food cultures and traditions by promoting Good, Clean and Fair food for all. 

Visit www.urbanfarm.org/clayola for the show notes on this episode, and access to our full podcast library!

495: Sara El-Sayed on Low-Tech Irrigation.

Nov 16, 2019

Foraging and harvesting edible plants.

In This Podcast: Explore the abundance of the desert with Cactus Kelly Athena. Normally a teacher and wild desert cuisine harvester, Kelly will open your eyes to ways you could be eating the native plants in your area or harvesting them and selling to local chefs and restaurants. After this episode, you'll be harvesting your neighborhood trees to try desert edamame, mesquite flour, nopales, and prickly pear! Also, she explains the environmental and social benefits of hyperlocal cuisine.

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Kelly grew up loving nature in Northern California and moved to Phoenix in 1986. She holds a Master's Degree in Music and Photography, and is a Master Gardener of Maricopa County. She was named Arizona Photographer of the year in 2000, and especially enjoys photographing nature. Five years ago, she began hosting plant walks to help people learn to identify and sustainably harvest wild plants. Then she was dubbed “Cactus Kelly.” Kelly is especially interested in desert bean trees such as the Palo Verde, Mesquite, and Ironwood trees as well as edible cacti and weeds. She harvests wild desert cuisine for restaurants and chefs in the area, makes prickly pear juice and powder, and teaches desert foraging in schools and at the Desert Botanical Garden.  

Visit www.urbanfarm.org/cactuskelly for the show notes on this episode, and access to our full podcast library!

494: Kelly Athena on Wild Desert Cuisine.

Nov 12, 2019

Researching how urban farmers can increase the performance of our landscapes.

In This Podcast: If the term active carbon sequestration has you picturing scientists in hazmat suits, you aren’t alone! Returning guest Scott Murray shares how to harness the power of nature and use home landscaping to reduce carbon in the environment. Listen in for an easy to understand explanation of the impact of carbon on our global environment, how capturing it helps the growth of our plants and trees, and what we can do right now to create microsystems that reduce your carbon output.

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Scott  has 46 years of organic agricultural production experience in the United States and Mexico. He has a multitude of experience with conservation, food production, and environmental leadership—including serving as an elected California Conservation official for the last 27 years. Scott also specializes in farmland preservation projects utilizing Smart Growth Principles. These days he does farm creation and consulting as his primary work, including work on a farm growing coffee in Southern California which had its first harvest and sold out in one day for $796 a pound. 

Visit www.urbanfarm.org/activecarbon for the show notes on this episode, and access to our full podcast library!

493: Scott Murray on Active Carbon Sequestration

Nov 9, 2019

Working with military vets to share
urban farming skills.

In This Podcast: AOVS Urban Farm is much more than CSA and Farmers Market produce. The farm is home to veterans, and Christopher Peterson discusses the immense benefits for the veterans who work and walk through the farm. This unique model has its challenges, and he shares how they planned a regenerative, ADA accessible space that produces food, but also acts as landscaping for the on-site residents. Listen in to learn about this unique approach to helping our veterans and the surrounding community! 

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Christopher works as the Farm Manager at AOVS Urban Farm, a 2-acre Urban Farm and Gardens in South Memphis serving economically disadvantaged veterans who have suffered from physical and/or mental health conditions. Prior to this position, he ran Loch Holland Farm, a small, sustainable livestock farm focusing on multi-species rotational grazing and has worked on several other small, sustainable farms in the Memphis area.  

Christopher also previously served as Executive Director for GrowMemphis (now a program of Memphis Tilth) and has consulted on various other Mid-south food initiatives. In addition to food work, he holds an MA in Human Value and Global Ethics and continues to teach locally as an adjunct professor in Philosophy and Anthropology.  

Visit www.urbanfarm.org/aovs for the show notes on this episode, and access to our full podcast library!

492: Christopher Peterson on
Urban Farming with Vets

Nov 5, 2019

 Using the space above planters to the best advantage. 

In This Podcast: Sometimes it just doesn't feel like we have enough space in our gardens! Returning guest, Jason Johns, shares his solution that increased the yield per square foot from his garden, different styles of vertical gardens, and design tips. He also recommends his favorite plants and how to customize the soil and watering schedule when you are planting upward. Listen in for details on how to win his newest book to help you start creating your own vertical garden.

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Jason is the author of Vertical Gardening: A Complete Guide to Growing Food, Herbs, and Flowers in Small Spaces, as well as 17 other gardening books on everything from greenhouse gardening to growing giant pumpkins. 

Jason is passionate about gardening, having grown his own produce for over twenty years.  He started with a second-hand greenhouse, an 8’ by 6’ patch of his mother’s garden, and far too many tomato plants.   

Visit www.urbanfarm.org/vertical for the show notes on this episode, and access to our full podcast library!

491: Jason Johns on Vertical Gardening

Nov 2, 2019

Admiring the most commonly pickled vegetable in all its varieties.

In This Podcast: Do you know the difference between a cucumber and a cucumber melon? Neither did Jay Tracy, but a conversation with a desert gardening guru helped him discover this tasty, drought-tolerant plant that is easy to grow in hot climates. Learn all about how to grow cucumber melons, how he avoids cross-pollination, and why landrace varieties are more resilient. Jay also shares some of his favorite varieties, his secrets for pre-sprouting vs direct seeding, and how to win some seeds!

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Jay began gardening in 2006 in Tucson Arizona, then moved to Fairfield, California for cooler weather and health reasons. In Fairfield, he has three large garden beds - one at home, two at nearby friends’ houses - and one greenhouse. His blog Scientificgardener.com is where he records his experiments and discusses his love of gardening.  

Early in his gardening life he found an interest in growing cucumbers and has experimented with common and not-so-common varieties, and with each success, he expands to even more rare varieties. Over time this hobby has expanded to a small business known as the Cucumber Shop

Visit www.urbanfarm.org/cucumbershop for the show notes on this episode, and access to our full podcast library!

490: Jay Tracy on Cucumber Melons.

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