202: Andrew Mefferd on Hoophouse and Greenhouse growing.
Improving crop production through the smart use of protected structures.
Andrew spent seven years in the research department at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, traveling around the world to consult with researchers and farmers on the best practices in greenhouse growing. He put what he learned to use on his own farm in Maine. He is now the editor and publisher of Growing for Market magazine.
Prior to starting his own farm, he worked on farms in six states across the US. Andrew also works as a consultant on the topics covered in his book The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook Organic Vegetable Production using protected culture another great book published by Chelsea Green.
In this podcast: Getting excited about agriculture in protected structures is the topic of discussion for Greg and his guest Andrew Medferd today. With a journey that took him across the United States, Andrew learned a lot about different types and sizes of farms. He explains how he used that experience to improve his skills why he hopes others can learn from it as well.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/onedropfarm for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.
201: Jake Mace on Gardening with Seeds
Chat with an expert on gardening
Jake Mace started his garden in 2011 with a peach tree, fig tree, pomegranate tree, and kumquat tree to save money on his food budget. Today, it’s a luscious green food forest. In Episode 001, we interviewed Jake about his urban farm, learned some of his best tips and tricks, how to avoid his failures, and became inspired by his mission to live a life that’s compassionate with a a zero- to positive-sum impact on the earth, particularly through his commitment to a vegan lifestyle.
He also teaches Martial Arts, Fitness, Tai Chi, Yoga, Gardening, and Golf to people from around The World via his successful YouTube channel and Online Schools at JakeMace.com. Outside of teaching, Jake’s real passion is as an advocate for the environment, animals, and people. Jake has been a Vegan Vegetarian for nearly 16 years and believes in preserving The Earth, it’s resources, and it’s living inhabitants so that future generations can enjoy them as he has! Jake Studied Mandarin Chinese while attending ASU and Duke Universities. Currently Jake lives with his wife Pamela and their many adopted animals on their edible urban homestead in Tempe.
200: Josh Trought on Community-Scale Permaculture Farming
Appreciating the wonders of a community farm with a resilient lifestyle.
Born to two service-oriented medical professionals, he spent most of his upbringing in the fields and forests of North Carolina which at the time was transitioning from a rural agricultural economy into a service based economy. The sprawl and destruction of the traditional culture lost in the transition process left him with an undeniable distrust of growth and consumerism.
So, he graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Environmental Conservation, and after college he spent the summer as an intern for the Solar Energy International’s renewable energy and construction school. He’s spent time abroad in Spain during college, and traveled through South America. And in 1997, he moved full time to what is now known as D Acres where he has specialized in forestry, construction, and farming.
Currently he is a member of the Artistic Roots Co-op in Plymouth and serves as Treasurer of the Pemi-Baker Solid Waste District. He also participates in local government as the Dorchester Town Moderator overseeing elections and facilitating the annual Town Meeting. The fate of humanity preoccupies his thoughts.
In This Podcast: Greg talks with Josh, a member of a permaculture farm community near Plymouth, NH, and learns about living a resilient lifestyle from someone who is living a truly community-oriented and sustainable farming lifestyle.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/dacres for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.
199: Kanin Routson on Apple Tree Diversity
Studying the genetics of an iconic and incredibly wide-ranging fruit.
Kanin, has devoted his life to heritage apple tree diversity. In the pursuit of apple knowledge, Kanin has researched apple varieties from historic homesteads across Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.
During this research, he documented 34 known apple varieties and 110 unique trees of unknown origin. He has collected and propagated unique varieties of heritage trees from numerous small homestead orchards in Northern Arizona, as well as Capital Reef National Park and the historic Philmont Scout Ranch and Chase Ranch in New Mexico. This research and further research on wild apple genetic diversity led Kanin to complete a Master’s degree at Northern Arizona University and a Ph. D at the University of Arizona.
In This Podcast: Greg was super excited to talk to Kanin and talk about the history of Apple Trees and find out why there is so much diversity in this very popular fruit tree. Kanin’s interest in apple orchards started young and prompted him to pursue his PhD to study this fruit tree even further. Find out why and what he is doing now with all that research!!
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/azcider for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.
198: Constantin Bisanz on sourcing healthy food.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through real food options.
Health enthusiast, avid athlete and Austrian entrepreneur Constantin founded ALOHA in January 2014 with a mission to help others live healthier, happier lives. Along with his team, Constantin creates real food products made from simple, pure, sustainably-sourced ingredients, offering accessible solutions for everyone to maintain a healthy lifestyle. His inspiration for founding ALOHA came from studying Ayuryedic medicine in India—a holistic approach to health and wellness centered on the balance of mind, body and spirit—combined with his belief that nutrition is the foundation to overall wellness. This philosophy, fueled by his frustration with weak regulation, conflicting messages and lack of quality products and information in the food and health industries, laid the groundwork for ALOHA.
In this podcast: A health enthusiast and entrepreneur Constantin Bisanz shares his story with Greg about getting the inspiration to start a health food company because he was struggling to find healthy food options. His active lifestyle gave him a need for good food, while at the same time challenged him to get access to real food options and with his background, he was ready to make a positive solution viable for other health conscious people.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/aloha for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.
197: Perrine Herve-Gruyer on Miraculous Abundance.
Learning self-sufficient farming from scratch on an organic farm in France.
Perrine has worked as an international lawyer and head of the legal department of a major company in Asia, and has volunteered with the High Commissioner for Refugees. When she turned thirty, Perrine radically changed lanes, and began taking courses in psychotherapy, specifically in relaxation therapy, publishing a book titled La Relaxation en Famille. Then with her husband, Charles, she created their Bec Hellouin Farm, inspired by permaculture principles. They both wrote "Miraculous Abundance" Published by Chelsea Green and lead experiments on their farm. In 2018, they will publish another book that is a summary of all the technics they use to grow food….
IN THIS PODCAST: Greg gets a chance to talk to Perrine, a delightful French organic farmer and permaculture enthusiast and hear how she transformed her life by ditching her career as a lawyer to start a self-sufficient, organic farm without any engines at all. Now she and her husband are examples to others on how to successfully farm the old-fashioned way.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/perrine for more information, photos and links on this podcast and our other great guests.
196: Josh Volk on Compact Farms.
Making the most from small farms for the best viability.
Josh is the author of Compact Farms by Storey Press in February 2017. He is the proprietor of Slow Hand Farm in Portland, Oregon, and has been working on and managing small farms around the country for the last 20 years, studying the systems that make them efficient. He travels in the United States and abroad, consulting with farmers and researchers, teaching farm apprentices and new farmers, presenting workshops at agricultural conferences, and writing articles for publications, including Growing for Market magazine.
Josh didn’t come from a farming background. He grew up on the edges of cities and his parents had vegetable gardens that he mostly ignored. When he went away to college and started cooking for himself, he became more interested in where his food came from and how to grow it. That interest grew, inspired by books on small-scale food production. There weren’t many writers on that topic then, and it wasn’t so long ago.
In this podcast: Josh talks with Greg to explain his concept of making small farms the most productive and his background really helps give him an edge for understanding and explaining this to our listeners.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/SlowHandFarms for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to our other great guests.
195: Cricket Aldridge on Suburban Homesteading.
Finding personal euphoria in your own backyard.
Cricket is natural homesteader. Growing up in rural Idaho with a garden, a horse, and lots of home canned food, she brings those sensibilities to her suburban home in Phoenix. Add a little dose of cottage garden flavor and permaculture tendencies, and you’ll see why her blog, GardenVariety.Life is a reflection of everything she does.
Cricket enjoys sharing skills that promote a meaningful and practical connection to our gardens and environment. Because so many residents of the metro Phoenix area are transplants like her, she finds that the area’s unique desert climate is often misunderstood and underestimated in terms of what is possible. That’s where the fun begins. Arizona is a burgeoning permaculture haven with homesteading written all over it, and there is nothing Cricket enjoys more than encouraging others to jump in and give it a try.
In this podcast: Fellow permaculturist and gardener Cricket Aldridge joins Greg in the studio to talk about her urban farm and how much she loves everything about it. She tells about some of her favorite aspects and what she’s able to grow or make from her harvests, from canning to mead making and many other things besides.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/cricket for more information, photos and links on this podcast and our other great guests.
194: Kate Miller on Bioregional Herbal Medicine.
Sourcing herbs and plants in the local ecosystems for health.
Kate is a bioregional community herbalist, medicinal herb grower, & Permaculture Design Teacher. She is both formally trained and self-taught in the field of Permaculture Design, with focus on Dry-land Herb Farming, Herbal Medicine, Mountain Ecology, & Ethical Wildcrafting Practices. And she is a Certified Herbalist from the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism in Boulder.
Kate became interested in herbal medicine through years of dealing with chronic illness, including Lyme Disease, food allergies, & autoimmune issues. Together with her partners Dawne and Stephanie, she runs the bioregional & biodynamic focused herbal product company, Dynamic Roots High Altitude Herbals.
Kate is also a co-facilitator for the new Boulder Permaculture Design Course, Across the Divide, running one weekend a month from April through October all around the Front Range of Colorado. In the next year, Kate is opening Alpine Botanicals, an herbal apothecary, community herbal kitchen, & clinic in downtown Nederland, Colorado.
In this podcast: Greg interviews Kate Miller, an herbalist with a focus on healing her community. She tells how she found her calling in herbalism and becoming a partner in an herbal product company and she explains why ethical harvesting of herbs is so important.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/dynamicroots for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.
193: Chat With An Expert - Bill McDorman
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. He authored the book, Basic Seed Saving, in 1994. In 2010, he and his wife Belle Starr created Seed School, a nationally recognized week-long training. He served as Executive Director of Native Seeds Search from 2011 to 2014. Bill is a passionate and knowledgeable presenter who inspires his audiences to learn to save their own seeds.
This is the first in a handful of special interviews in our chat with an interview series. Bill joins us to share what is happening right now in the Southwest region with seed saving, including the upcoming Seed Summit and other seed events in the region. Bill shares a few insights and a couple interesting stories about some unique and really cool seeds.
192: Gene Baur on Protecting Farm Animals.
Making choices to help defend animals in industrial agriculture.
Gene is co‑founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, a national non-profit organization working to end cruelty to farm animals and change the way society views and treats farm animals. Hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by TIME magazine and recently selected by Oprah Winfrey to join her Super Soul 100 dream team of “100 awakened leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity,” he was a pioneer in undercover investigations and instrumental in passing the first U.S. laws to ban inhumane factory farming practices.
He has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of animal agriculture and our cheap food system. Gene is the author of two national bestselling books: Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food, and Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day.
Gene has a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University, and is a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Vegan since 1985, he’s recently started competing in marathons and triathlons, including an Ironman, to demonstrate the benefits of plant-based eating.
In this podcast: The co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, Gene Baur, tells Greg about his life as a vegan and triathlete as well as what prompted him to create a safe facility for rescued farm animals. He has many helpful tips for those who are wanting to try the meatless lifestyle and diet, and he shares some insight on how to work with those you disagree with.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/farmsanctuary for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear our other great guests.
191: Petra Page-Mann on Certified Organic Seeds.
Selecting bio-regionally adapted seeds and pursuing seed transparency.
Raised in the Finger Lakes of New York, Petra spent over a decade traveling the world studying agriculture before returning to her hometown to start her own farm, Fruition Seeds, in 2012. She has worked for one of the smallest seed companies in the world & also one of the largest. She passionately grows, breeds, saves, shares & eats the seeds of certified organic, regionally adapted vegetables, flowers & herbs. If she’s not farming she is singing, on her bike, hunting mushrooms or sharing a feast with a friend.
IN THIS PODCAST: Organic seed seller Petra Page-Mann chats with Greg about bio-regional adaptations in seeds, genetic purity in seeds, a special heatless habanero, and her seed company which is focused on organic seeds with genetic purity and transparency.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/fruitionseeds for more information, photos and links on this podcast and our other great guests