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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: 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.

Apr 27, 2017

227: Jan Dohner on Predators on the Urban Farm

Adjusting to a new normal with predators near our farms.

In This Podcast:  We learn quite a bit from Jan who has spent four decades researching livestock guardians and the predators they guard against.  She helps explain why there has been a resurgence in these wild predators and what steps can be taken to guard our precious farm resources for both urban and rural farms. 

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Jan is a researcher and writer concerned with historic livestock breeds and husbandry, as well as issues surrounding predator control and the use of livestock guardians. She makes presentations on these topics at various conferences, including Mother Earth Fairs and The Common Fair in Maine. She has written several books and maintains a blog you can find on her website. She is also a longtime member of the American Livestock Conservancy.

Jan lives on her family farm in Michigan and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control.

 

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/farmdogs for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.

Apr 25, 2017

226: Kevin Van Eekeren on Store Bought vs Home Raised Eggs 

Recognizing eggs from lovingly raised hens and factory raised, regardless of labeling.

In this podcast: We get to know the personal motivations behind Kevin Van Eekeren, a tactical advisor and egg farmer with a focus on clear visioning 10 years into the future.  He tells us how his experience developing tactical training has helped him with his farm. He also explains about some of the labeling misperceptions of eggs, and why there is such a marked difference in eggs depending on how the hens are raised.

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Kevin is not your typical farmer.  He was a SWAT team logistics officer; started Fulcrum Tactical- a charity that specialized in training SWAT teams nationwide; and couple years ago he started Fulcrum Investing- a venture capital fund investing in startups.  He most recently started hosting a podcast called State of Logic which has a planned release date of mid 2017 with a duel focus on both the startup world and topics that affect our world, and not just in business.

In the middle of it all Kevin started Fulcrum Farms with just 28 chickens raised for personal use which gave him 20 eggs a day. So, of course he started giving eggs away and that is when restaurants and families started offering to buy them.  To meet demand, he grew the operation to what it is today, 30 pigs, a few hundred quail, 100 ducks, 100 chickens, a few cows and two goats named Thelma and Louise.  They quickly learned the best practice was to follow Joel Salatin's example and use the nitrogen cycle for their own benefit.

Now they keep most of their animals rotating constantly to give them new pasture to graze and allow the land they just grazed to rest.  Their biggest seller are his eggs and the reason is clear, there is a visual and taste difference between their eggs and those bought at the store.

 

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/fulcrum for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.

Apr 22, 2017

225: Edward Griffin on Indoor Smart Gardens

 Solving some space and time issues around growing fresh food.

In This Podcast:  We meet Edward, a millennial concerned about sustainability and food equity issues, who also wanted to have an active lifestyle and still grow his own food.  Not having a backyard did not stop Edward as he took agricultural and sustainability concepts he learned in college and created his own solution.

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Edward graduated from Arizona State University in 2013 double majoring in Sustainability and Political Science. During this time, he studied some of the hardest questions relating to sustainability at a social, economic, and environmental level. The area of global sustainability that always spoke to him was the complex issue of agriculture, specifically food deserts because it was something he dealt with his entire life.

Faced with environmental and time constraints he began experimenting and developing new ways to integrate technology and grow food inside his apartment. This quickly became a new-found passion of his, and with this new obsession he founded the company Lyfbox, which has just released the first fully intelligent indoor smart garden to automatically grow fresh organic food inside your home year-round and is controlled using the Lyfbox app on your phone.

 

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/lyfbox for more information and links to our other guests!

Apr 20, 2017

224: Lisa Steele on Gardening with Chickens

 Incorporating chickens into the gardening process as willing workers. 

In This Podcast:  We connect again with Lisa Steele to get some great suggestions on how to bring the chickens out of the coop and into the garden.  She explains how these feathered friends can do even more to earn their keep and become true gardening partners.

 

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Lisa is a 5th-generation chicken keeper, nationally recognized author and the creative mind behind the Better Homes & Gardens award-winning blog - Fresh Eggs Daily.  Lisa inspires both the newcomer as well as the seasoned chicken keeper and engages almost a million fans worldwide on her Facebook page of the same name with her easy, fun, and accessible approach to raising backyard flocks naturally.

The author of three top-selling books, Lisa’s writing can also been found in such publications as Chickens, Backyard Poultry, the Farmers Almanac, and Hobby Farm as well as at HGTVGardens.com. She’s been featured in American Farmhouse Style, Down East and Cottage Journal magazines plus has appeared on numerous national radio and television programs and most recently is hosting her own 30-minute “chicken lifestyle” television show called Fresh Eggs Daily with Lisa Steele which airs on the local CW affiliate in Portland Maine.

 

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/gardeningwithchickens for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.

Apr 18, 2017

223: Paten Hughes on Heirloom:
Tomatoes and a Web Series.

 Growing tomatoes when life gives you lemons

 

 

In This Podcast:  We get the inside scoop from actress Paten Hughes on the inspiration for her new web-series which is based on her transition of actor-to-tomato-farmer. She did not just plant a few, she planted more tomato plants than most people can even conceive and now she has several restaurants that order from her. 

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Paten is the star and co-creator of the hit digital series HEIRLOOM on Vimeo, written by Bekah Brunstetter (NBC's This Is Us) and co-starring Margaret Colin, Tom Wopat, Pascale Armand, Ryan Cooper, and John Lavelle.  

This semi-autobiographical web series follows the character Emily who gives up her struggling acting career in New York to move to California and farm heirloom tomatoes on a property she inherits.  Paten, who really moved to Northern California and become a first-time farmer, sells her juicy organic tomatoes to several local restaurants in Sonoma.  She is very committed to preserving nature, supporting local and organic farming.  The show’s flavor carries her pro-environment, sustainability, and organic preferences. 

 

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/heirloom for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.

Apr 15, 2017

222: Heather Szymura on Hydroponic Container Farming.

 Growing limited-season crops year-round regardless of climate extremes.

In This Podcast:  We meet Heather who decided to change directions away from a professional one towards one more in tune with nature and healing and to her surprise ended up becoming a farmer! She is selling lettuce and kale she is growing year-round in the suburbs near Phoenix and tells Greg how she is doing that in a shipping container in her backyard.

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After 15 years in the corporate business world and a degree in Global Business Marketing, Heather decided it was time for a shift. She resigned from her position at UPS, went back to school to pursue a degree in Naturopathic Medicine and at the same time delved more into her hobby of urban farming. It was in here that she found her life’s passion unearthing the amazing benefits growing herbs and veggies.

Her business, Twisted Infusions, became a reality in 2016 when the container farm arrived on their doorstep! They sell non-GMO, pesticide free, hydroponically grown lettuce, kale and herbs! Now, being a farmer and business owner is Heather’s full time job. She and Brian, her husband and best friend, live in Glendale, Arizona with their two children, Killian and Mary. Throw in two snakes, a pink tarantula, a bearded dragon, and a leopard gecko and that’s the Szymura family.

 

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

Apr 13, 2017

221: Ocean Robbins on the Food Revolution Summit.

Finding a path of health, hope, and possibility through better food choices.

In This Podcast: This is a special podcast interview with food activist Ocean Robbins about his Food Revolution Summit happening April 29 to May 7.

Click here to register for the Food Revolution Summit

At 15, Ocean was a co-founder of the Creating Our Future environmental speaking tour, on which he and three other participants spoke in person to more than 30,000 students, presented for 2,000 people at the United Nations, and opened for the Jerry Garcia band in San Francisco.

In 1990 at age 16, Ocean founded YES!, an organization he directed for the next 20 years with the goal of connecting, inspiring and mobilizing visionary young leaders worldwide.  He has since spoken to hundreds of thousands of people, led hundreds of retreats, workshops and Jams for leaders in over 65 nations, written books, mentored (and learned from) changemakers, and been a creative partner and lead editor for several bestsellers.

In 2012 Ocean founded the Food Revolution Network, which now has more than 350,000 members working for healthy, sustainable, humane and delicious food.  He currently serves as adjunct professor in the Peace Studies department at Chapman University.  Ocean has personally spoken and facilitated leadership gatherings in Jordan, Israel/Palestine, Singapore, Costa Rica, Russia, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, India, Peru, and across the USA.

All this and he is also an active and proud father of special needs twins, a lover of life, and a human being who is trying to live in a good way on this earth.

 

 

Apr 11, 2017

220: Ben Raskin on Practical Advice for Community Gardens

In This Podcast: For those envisioning a perfect community garden, Ben Raskin has put together a fabulous resource to guide, inspire, and empower the designers and leaders of future neighborhood plots. He tells Greg about the purpose he had for writing his latest book and some of the lessons he’s learned during his years of farming.

Organizing a community garden from scratch with smart planning and long-term goals. 

 

 

Ben has been working in horticulture for more than 20 years and has been with the Soil Association in the United Kingdom, since 2006. His own experience includes; running a walled garden in Sussex which supplied a Michelin starred restaurant, and working for Garden Organic at their gardens in Kent. He also set up and ran the 10-acre horticultural production at Daylesford Organic Farm before moving to the Welsh College of Horticulture as commercial manager.

Ben also works on a range of other projects and over the years these have included working as Horticultural Advisor and founder Board Member of The Community Farm near Bristol, and running a program of biochar trials with organic growers. He is currently managing a new agroforestry planting on Helen Browning’s farm near Swindon.

He is also a board member of the Community Supported Agriculture Network UK and committee member for the Organic Growers Alliance.  With all of this experience, he is also an author and has written The Community Gardening Handbook, and two family gardening books titled Grow, and Compost.

 

Apr 8, 2017

219: Jennifer Osuch on Fundamentals of Self Reliance.

Teaching back to basics food preparation and preserving skills.

In this podcast: Jennifer tells about the importance of self-reliance skills and why they are becoming needed once again. She explains what led her to this place in her life where she teaches some of these old traditions that traditional homesteaders relied on daily.

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Jennifer is the author of the Preparedness Planner series, lead teacher at the online Self Reliant School (which is dedicated to teaching preparedness and self-reliance skills), host of the weekly live Self Reliant Living Show (which I was a guest on in Nov 2016), and a homeschooling mom. She is dedicated to teaching back-to-basics food preparation and preserving skills that help people eat healthy, save money, live greener and be prepared for anything.

Jennifer and her husband turned to the old-school basics when they found themselves in mountains of debt, two of their three boys suffering from asthma and allergies, and she, herself, struggling for years with her own weight management. She knows from experience that eating real food when you're watching every penny is not easy, and trying to put healthy food into storage is almost impossible.

Jennifer, her husband and her three teenaged boys live in Texas. She is on a mission to save the knowledge and wisdom of our grandparents, and to help people apply it to their lives today.

 

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/selfreliant for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.

Apr 6, 2017

218: Nafsika Antypas on Living a Plant-Based Life.

Understanding the reasons and options for choosing a vegan lifestyle.

Nafsika is the Host and Creator of the world’s first plant based lifestyle TV series that focuses on a plant-based diet living.  She has studied about olive oil and the Mediterranean diet in Greece through her father’s business, Pilaros Inc, a Mediterranean food importer, where she has been involved for over twenty years.  She created the TV show, Plant-Based by Nafsika which aired nationally in 2016, to change the world through food. This has not only sparked the interest of viewers around the globe but has planted some seeds helping veganism become more “mainstream,”

In 2015, she founded, The Struggling Vegan, which helps people transition to a plant-based/vegan lifestyle while strengthening the community in a public forum called, Veg Room. The organization offers daily menu plans, recipes, health tips and direct messaging to plant-based doctors and coaches.

Nafsika spends her spare time with her family, which includes her two young boys. She and her husband both cook plant-based meals at home and she’ll educate just about anyone who would listen about why it’s healthier to switch to a plant-based diet and why veganism is not just a diet but a way of life.

 

In this podcast: Greg talks to television host Nafsika Antypas about living a plant-based life and how she was inspired to start her own television show all about living a vegan lifestyle.  She helps explain some of the core beliefs behind veganism as well as some of the basics of living a cruelty-free way of life.  Go to www.urbanfarm.org/nafsika for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.

Apr 4, 2017

217: Sine Lindholm on an Urban Farming 'Growroom'

Creating and sharing an open-sourced growing sphere to create poetic spaces. 

Sine is from Denmark and has a degree in architecture from Aarhus School of Architecture along with an emphasis on psychology. This shows in her projects where she is combining the two, with her main focus on the theoretical and abstract part of architecture.

She grew up on an organic farm with milking cows, however she had never worked with agriculture or urban farming before, until she won an architecture competition together with architect and carpenter Mads-Ulrik Husum. They had designed an Urban Farming pavilion, which received great attention that led to the further development of the project. They teamed up with SPACE10, a future living-lab, where they developed and released an open source design of their pavilion.  

Together they started the company Husum & Lindholm, where for the moment they primarily focus on further development of combining architecture with gardening. On the basis of a spatial experimentation with the Urban Farming concept, they strive towards creating architecture where atmosphere and sensuousness - acts as the primary design factors.  Their goal - to generate poetic spaces where a symbiotic relationship with vegetation arises.

In This Podcast: Greg sought out this interview with Sine Lindholm after seeing an article about a gorgeous growing sphere design and so today she tells us about the inspiration behind the design.  Sine also explains why they hope an open-sourced design will encourage others to improve on their model.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/growroom for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.

Apr 1, 2017

216: Emiley Kight on Loving Natural Foods.

Making little changes towards more real foods and feeling better.

Emiley has always loved food, and wanting to share this passion she dove into a Culinology® degree to explore a role as an R&D chef at SW Minnesota State University. That was until her mom became sick and she put her career on hold to act as her mom’s caretaker throughout her treatment for multiple myeloma cancer.

To her surprise, the doctors provided little information on what to eat as a cancer patient, and so Emiley started doing her own research on the effects that food have on chronic disease. Through trial and error in the kitchen, she discovered how whole plants can be used to combat side effects of medication, create pleasure by surprising and challenging your taste buds, and help your body work as efficiently as possible. Completely changing her mother's eating habits (as well as her own) helped her develop a brand-new love affair with foods in their natural state. Now, she is devoted to sharing her story and this information with others to inspire anyone who eats, to fall in love with food again.

In This Podcast:  A chance meeting at the Farmers Market connected Greg to Emiley Kight, a Nutrition Consultant who tells about how she helps people to make little changes and enjoy natural foods.  She explains about how her focus on food was taking her towards the kitchens of large food corporations until her mom’s illness and the realization that real food information and options were not included in recovery discussions and she decided to work on changing that.

Go to www.urbanfarm.org/emiley for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to hear from our other great guests.

Mar 30, 2017

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.

Mar 28, 2017

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.

Mar 25, 2017

213: Nikki Golly on Nutrition and Wellness.

 Recognizing the highly important nutrients that might be missing from our foods.

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.

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.

 

Mar 23, 2017

212: 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.

Mar 21, 2017

211: 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.

Mar 18, 2017

210: Don Titmus on a Synopsis of Permculture.

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

Mar 16, 2017

209: 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.

Mar 14, 2017

208: 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.

Mar 11, 2017

207: 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.

Mar 9, 2017

206: Allison Duffy on Food Preservation.

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.

Mar 7, 2017

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

Mar 4, 2017

204: 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

Mar 2, 2017

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.

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