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Gardening Tips, Permaculture, Farming/Agriculture - Audio




Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Off-the-Grid News

The War On Heirloom Seeds ContinuesNeil Thaper, staff attorney with the Sustainable Economies Law Center A number of states have laws or regulations that govern seed-saving operations. The rules are generally meant to apply to commercial seed operations, but in some cases are also being applied to non-profit seed-saving clubs and seed libraries, the burden of which makes such local sustainability efforts unworkable. Neil Thaper, a staff attorney with the Sustainable Economies Law Center, a legal organization working to defend seed saving and heirloom seeds, discusses the issue. Topics include examples of government action against seed libraries; how laws are threatening the future of heirloom seeds; recommendations for avoiding such pitfalls when trading seeds or starting a seed bank.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   21:22

GP comment:  Having spent some time saving seeds myself, I strongly support doing so in a community effort. But I also support participants getting knowledgeable on problems like cross-pollination, viability, storage methods, and other seed-saving hurdles that have nothing to do with government interference.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Jan.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Agroinnovations Podcast

Food Hubs — Erik Hoffner talks about the local food movement, focusing on the exciting development of "food hubs" that are springing up across the country. He describes the opportunities of scale and collaboration food hubs and related innovations are providing for local food entrepreneurs. Also discussed are energy cooperatives, fair trade, and the prospects for sustainable agriculture to replace the industrial model.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   49:36

GP comment:  This is probably going to be of most interest to farmers and small processors, but these are good trends for everyone to be hearing about.

Original Show Pub Date: 19.Jan.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Agroinnovations Podcast

The Farmers Union and the Future of Food — Tom Giessel, honorary historian of the National Farmers Union, talks about the history of the Farmers Union, which was started in the early 20th century by cotton farmers in Texas. Giessel discusses the importance of community organizing and collaboration; the impact of technology on the Farmers Union; and visionary leaders throughout the Union's history. ~~ In Part II, Giessel explains the advantages of small operations unifying under a cooperative structure. He advises listeners to beware of threats to uniform cooperative law, and the further danger of wholesale privatization of cooperative assets. The discussion concludes with a look at the role of commodity groups in the political landscape and the dwindling role of cooperative extension in the face of persistent budget cuts.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   38:15
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   36:59

GP comment:  An important topic, though not the most scintillating of presentations.

Original Show Pub Date: 18.Nov.2014 ~~ Original story titles: History of the Farmer’s Union, The Future of Food and Farming


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Sleuth Radio

Pesticides—Beware the Drifter — Attorney Amanda Heyman's job is providing legal counsel for independent farmers and food businesses. Here she discusses the legal aspects of pesticide drift, GMOs, organics, and "natural" labeling.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:15

GP comment:  Pesticide drift may sound like a boring technical topic, of limited interest to anyone but farmers. But it affects a wide variety of issues, from air quality for residences around non-organic farms to the integrity of organic foods.

Original Show Pub Date: 20.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Sleuth Radio

The Seed Underground—A Growing Revolution to Save FoodJanisse Ray Janisse Ray discusses the threat to seed sovereignty posed by multinationals like Monsanto, which are endeavoring to lock up the food-related profit stream from field to fork by owning the means of production. She explains how activism and seed saving both play a role in the fight.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:15

GP comment:  A simple solution would be to pass a constitutional amendment banning patents on life forms. Um, did I say simple?

Original Show Pub Date: 13.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Democracy Now

Food Chains: New Film Tracks How Immokalee Farm Workers Won Fair Wages from Corporate Giants — A new film, Food Chains, documents the groundbreaking partnership between farm workers, Florida tomato farmers, and some of the largest fast-food and grocery chains in the world. Twelve corporations have agreed to join the Fair Food Program, including McDonald’s, Taco Bell and WalMart. Participants agree to pay a premium for the tomatoes in order to support a "penny per pound" bonus that is then paid to the tomato pickers. Soon, the Fair Food label will appear on Florida tomatoes at participating stores. Gerardo Reyes-Chavez, a farm worker and organizer with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, discusses the issue.
Watch  |  Download/listen   9:32

GP comment:  Like all industrial products, modern food corporations do their best to put their "externalities" on the shoulders of others. Farm workers have always gotten more than their share of the unfairness.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Quirks and Quarks

Chicken Bigchicken sizes increasing: 1957, 905g to 2005, 4,202g Chickens raised for meat have quadrupled in weight since the 1950's, thanks to selective breeding. The meatier chickens are also being produced with much less feed, which makes the process of raising and marketing chicken more cost efficient. Martin Zuidhof, Associate Professor of Poultry Systems at the University of Alberta, explains how we got here.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   9:29

GP comment:  This is not a bad thing, but it says nothing about animal welfare in the industry, which is generally appalling.

Original Show Pub Date: 08.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Dealing with Salination in Modern Irrigation AgricultureManzoor Qadir Accumulation of salt in soil is a problem that has plagued irrigation agriculture for millennia—and still does today. It's happening all over the world, from Australia's Murray Darling Basin, to America's San Joaquin Valley, to the Indus valley in Pakistan and India. Every day, the world is losing 2,000 hectares—almost 5,000 acres— of valuable farm soil to salt damage because of inept irrigation practices. Manzoor Qadir explains the problem, and the solution.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   15:28

GP comment:  Just as net energy declines as energy exploiters pursue ever-lower-quality resources, so too does "net agriculture" become a problem as we try to grow in soil that is ever-more depleted of nutrients and inundated with salt and pollutants.

Original Show Pub Date: 05.Nov.2014 ~~ Original Story Title: Losing Farm Land the Size of France, Due to Faulty Irrigation


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Chain Radio

Feeding the Billions — As we head to ever-higher population levels, some say only industrial agriculture can feed the masses; others say only sustainable agriculture can get it done in the long run. Guests are John Kempf of Advancing Eco Agriculture and Mischa Popoff of the Heartland Institute. Topics include the divergent courses of ecological and industrial agricultures; whether government should encourage the development of one form of agriculture at the expense of the other; and the battle over the organic standard and small-farmers' rights.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   43:30

GP comment:  Popoff disses organic advocates for shunning genetic engineering and sewage sludge. Really?? There are very good reasons that those two things are not allowed in organic practice. And to praise Bill Clinton's failed effort to promote their inclusion only proves that Clinton was 100% corporatist and no friend of sustainability.

Original Show Pub Date: 25.Oct.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Post Carbon Institute

Michael Shuman Delicious Development—The Powerful Role of Local Food in Job Creation — Michael Shuman, author of Local Dollars, Local Sense, makes the case that local food enterprises are a great way to get the "local economy" ball rolling in any community. He offers numerous examples of successes and explains some of the creative ways people got it done.
Watch  |  Download/listen   27:21

GP comment:  If you want to not only fight TPTB but also make a difference in your community, here's how.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Turn Fall Leaves into Black Gold — Mike McGrath's topics include .... the harmless but menacing cicada killer; the top strategies for repelling deer; the environmental and psychological effects of urban trees; getting fruit (or not) from a northern avocado plant; why raised-bed gardeners may want a machete; which leaves make the best compost, why you should avoid black walnut leaves, and what else you want to put in there with the leaves.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:58

GP comment:  If your city has vacuum/shredder trucks for fall leaves, find out if you can get some delivered or whether you're allowed to load some in your truck at a depot. That's a great free resource if you can nab it.

Original Show Pub Date: 01.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Agroinnovations Podcast

Neofeudal Permaculture — Permaculture designer Darren Doherty talks to Frank Aragona about his experiences from the "Regrarians" world tour, and then describes the precarious economic situation of the commodity farmer and the often degraded state of the world’s agricultural landscapes. The conversation then launches into the complexities of the current land tenure system, as Doherty explains the neofeudal character of agricultural economies. The interview concludes with some observations about the need to develop a capable labor force to meet the market demand for sustainably produced food.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   57:18

GP comment:  Small-scale permaculture can make you a living, but it is not a casual pursuit.

Original Show Pub Date: 20.Oct.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Food Sleuth Radio

Failed Promises and Real Risks of GMO Crops — Raymon Seidler is a former senior scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency. Decades ago, he led the first team to study the environmental and health impacts of newly introduced GMO crops. He explains how we have ignored risks in favor of broad market penetration; in particular, plans for containing the unintended contamination of organic and non-GMO crops with GMO genetic material have been utterly inadequate. Pesticide use has also risen, not fallen as the industry promised.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:15

GP comment:  He's right—we should stop talking about labeling GMOs and begin the conversation about banning them.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.Oct.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Agroinnovations Podcast

Market Cooperatives and Worker-Owned Permaculture — Luis Sierra of the California Center for Cooperative Development explains the concept of a cooperative as well as the rationale for creating co-ops. He also delves into existing cooperative models and their history in the state of California. He describes some of the pitfalls a cooperative can face in its creation and operation. In part 2, Sierra talks about the difference between a worker cooperative and a service cooperative, and provides historical examples of agricultural worker cooperatives. Why has the worker cooperative model been so sparsely adopted in the agricultural sector? How can people interested in agricultural co-ops make them work? Are social organization and enterprise management the holy grail of scalable permaculture?
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   31:56
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   28:01

GP comment:  Agriculture aside for a moment.... We can see that capitalism—the elevation of money as the top force in civilization—is a disastrous model. But we can also see that socialism, despite its promise, does not work well with human nature. The proper alternative is the for-profit cooperative model—a system that incentivizes, empowers, and rewards the active participants in the enterprise but eliminates the parasitic financial overlord.

Original Show Pub Date: 15.Sep.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Agroinnovations Podcast

Small-Scale Sustainable Agriculture—$90K per Acre, or Heartache By the Numbers?Joe Kovach Dr. Joe Kovach of Ohio State University describes a small-scale mixed fruit-vegetable polyculture designed to produce steady, high-yields with a good economic return on investment. Labor inputs, pest pressures, weed control, crop selection, retail sales, and marketing are all discussed in some detail. ~~ In part 2, Frank Aragona shares several articles that depict small-scale sustainable agriculture as a financial struggle, even for those with abundant capital and land resources. With story after story of small-scale sustainable producers struggling to make ends meet, he explores whether the permaculture movement is a failure on socio-economic grounds. Some suggestions for moving forward are offered.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   42:20
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   34:43

GP comment:  Both clips are very insightful for anyone who is contemplating small-scale organic growing—or is already trying to make it work.

Original Show Pub Date: 18.Aug.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Sleuth Radio

Children in the Fields — Norma Flores Lopez, director of the Children in the Fields Campaign, describes child labor in agriculture, including her own personal experience at age 12.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:15

GP comment:  Child labor in the US farm industry is another subsidy for cheap food.

Original Show Pub Date: 18.Aug.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen One Radio Network

Together, We Can Protect Our Food, Our Farms, and Our Environment — Colin O'Neil and Larissa Walker of the Center for Food Safety talk about a variety of food and farm issues. Topics include the new 2,4-D-resistant GMO crops; toxic pesticides associated with cancers and birth defects; importance of honey bees to large-scale agriculture; effects of chemicals on honey bees, native bees, and other critical beneficial insects; neonicotinoid pesticides as a particular problem for bees.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:13

GP comment:  Nice to hear the "buzz about bees" give native insects equal weight for a change.

Original Show Pub Date: 18.Aug.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Is Your Lawn Causing Water Pollution? — Mike McGrath's topics include .... adequate soil calcium combats tomato blossom end rot; weather and care factors in cherry production; crepe myrtle conundrums; outdoor potted plants approach the doom of winter; tips for new trees. In the question of the week, McGrath talks about runoff from lawn fertilizer, a problem that recently made Toledo's water undrinkable. Find out how to not be part of the problem when you feed your lawn.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:58

GP comment:  After all, it's just a lawn. Stop the madness!

Original Show Pub Date: 23.Aug.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Bat Houses, Lawn Chemical Breakdown, Garden on Wheels, Gooseberries, more — Master gardener Mike McGrath answers garden questions, such as... How do I design a raised bed to keep grasses from growing into the new soil? What is the best design for a bat house? When is an area too wet for a fruit tree? How long does it take lawn chemicals to completely break down after applications stop? He also interviews the inventor of the "Garden on Wheels," a portable raised-bed design that incorporates a frost cover and water recycling. In the question of the week, McGrath covers gooseberries (which taste a bit like grapes), including sun/shade requirements, climate, and disease-resistant varieties.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:58

GP comment:  The Garden on Wheels has some nice design ideas that are widely applicable, but this particular item will likely be too limited and pricey for average gardeners who are not limited by physical challenges.

Original Show Pub Date: 19.Jul.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Chain Radio

Hope in Heritage — Bob Cantisano, an expert on heritage varieties of fruit trees and vines, explains why the characteristics of the old varieties—members of which can be productive for more than 100 years—are superior to most of the current hybridized and genetically engineered varieties. Topics include Felix Gillette's mountain orchard, the plan for a mother orchard, strategies for preservation of heritage varieties, integrating superior characteristics into new varieties.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   42:45

GP comment:  Fun story about how Cantisano discovered the lost orchard of Felix Gillette, one of the most important developers of heritage varieties in the history of agriculture.

Original Show Pub Date: 05.Jul.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Helpful Garden Pests, Ants, Carpenter Bees, Lawn-to-Garden Woes, Potatoes, Wild Violets, more — Master gardener Mike McGrath's topics this time include ... why a few pest insects eating your plants may be better than none at all; what to do about ants in garden pots and around/in your house; how to keep carpenter bees from making swiss cheese out of your wood fence; problems in a garden space from recently converted lawn; something went wrong with the potatoes—or maybe not; wild violets—friend to some, foe to others.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:59

GP comment:  A few violets here and there are nice, but they can get out of control.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Jul.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Container Gardening, Grass Gripes, Plum Problems, and more — Mike McGrath offers tips on container gardening, including design, optimum container size, soil mixes, which plants will do well and which won't. Other topics include why plum trees must be pruned heavily in the winter, and how to do it; saving your lawn from invasive grasses and toxic fruit blooms; stinging nettles as medicine.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:58

GP comment:  Container gardening has its advantages, but you will have to water more.

Original Show Pub Date: 05.Jul.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen The Lifeboat Hour

Reclaiming the Future of Food — Michael Brownlee, founder of Local Food Shift in Colorado, explains what we're not being told about our food. Topics include the unholy alliance between Big Food, Big Ag, and Big Pharma; the systematic suppression of local food options; water issues; radical climate shift and agricultural output.
Download/listen   56:01

GP comment:  This is generally good, though I find it rather laughable that he promotes agriponics—a growing technology that is solidly in the "industrial agriculture" basket—as part of the solution to food sustainability.

Original Show Pub Date: 06.Jul.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Peak Prosperity

Toby Hemenway: Explaining Permaculture — Permaculture is a word fast gaining adoption in (and beyond) the agricultural and gardening worlds. But what exactly does it mean? One of the top experts in the permaculture field, Toby Hemenway, gives an layman's overview of the philosophy, science, and best practices of the craft. Permaculture is about understanding and appreciating how systems naturally operate, and combining those systems in intelligent ways to accomplish intended goals, sustainably.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   42:20

GP comment:  I need to spend more time studying and implementing such methods. I've heard that "someday" there will indeed be more free time to do such things.

Original Show Pub Date: 17.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Food Chain Radio

Waste, Want Not — Caroline Snyder talks about the toxic chemicals that are found in sewage sludge and the conspiracy of corporations and municipal treatment operations that hides the truth from the public and attacks anyone who dares question their practices. Snyder is professor emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology and founder of Citizens for Sludge-Free Land. Joining the conversation is Patty Martin, a former town mayor in California and co-founder of Safe Food and Fertilizer.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   42:22

GP comment:  Just one more reason to eat organic—no sludge allowed on the fields.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Keeping New Trees Safe from the Summer Heat — Mike McGrath's topics this time include ... rose pests; combating your neighbor's running bamboo; industrial-scale composting; keeping seedy characters out of your compost pile; seeds vs. starts for new gardeners; tips for keeping new trees from croaking over the summer.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:58

GP comment:  New gardeners should not be afraid to try some things from seeds, though starts are always good for redundancy.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good One Radio Network

Grow Your Own GroceriesMarjorie Wildcraft with vegetables "Homegrown Food On Every Table" is the catalyzing statement of Marjory Wildcraft's organization. Topics here include .... food as medicine to prevent cancer; why sunlight is the key to a successful garden; how meat is one of the easiest food sources to grow, but also has a spiritual component; the role of a good dog on a homestead; which plants are the easiest to grow with the highest yield; more.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  All good, though probably further into homesteading than most of us will venture.

Original Show Pub Date: 15.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Food Sleuth Radio

Powell Gardens The Nation's Largest Edible Landscape — Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture at Powell Gardens in Kingsville, MO, talks about the concept of "complementary crops"—adding crops that help reduce pest problems on adjacent plants—and how to choose plants that attract pollinators and predator insects. His project known as the Heartland Harvest Garden has been dubbed the largest edible landscape in America.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:15

GP comment:  I should do more of this in my garden!

Original Show Pub Date: 15.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

Less Nutritious Grains May Be In Our Future — In the future, Earth's atmosphere is likely to include much more carbon dioxide. Scientists say that some of the world's most important crops will likely contain fewer crucial nutrients when they grow in such an environment.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   2:59

GP comment:  It's sort of the same effect as too much nitrogen fertilizer on your tomato plants—lots of vegetation, not so many tomatoes, and not so tasty. The balance is delicate.

Original Show Pub Date: 08.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living On Earth

Gardening in a Climate-Changed Worldberries From vicious drought to terrible storms, climate change is affecting people throughout the world. But writer Jim Barilla sees that climate change is also being felt in his own urban garden in South Carolina. He explains how climate disruption has changed his gardening practice and offers suggestions on how gardeners can adapt.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:10

GP comment:  Including more (southern) varieties—good idea.

Original Show Pub Date: 09.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Cool-Climate Gardening; Goats & Sheep for Weeds; Tomatoes When Space is Limited; morewoman shoveling compost Mike McGrath's topics this time include ... adding a high tunnel to support summer crops in a cool, sun-deprived climate; using goats or sheep to control weeds; strategies for planting tomatoes when space is limited; keeping cats out of an urban garden; making spring compost when fall leaves are unavailable.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:56

GP comment:  All good, but we've heard a lot of these same questions and answers before. And you CAN use hay as mulch, but you have to keep the mulch thick enough that the hay seeds won't be able to sprout. That said, if you can afford it, straw is better.

Original Show Pub Date: 03.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Weeds, Voles, Grapes, Bulbs, Tomato Varieties — Mike McGrath's topics this time include ... starving weeds out; keeping dandelions out of your sidewalk or craggy driveway without chemicals; grape basics; bulb tips; and how to get rid of voles in your lawn and garden. Guest Chelsea Fields, vegetable product manager at Burpee Seed Company, discusses considerations for choosing tomato varieties.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:58

GP comment:  A flameweeder will indeed work on the sidewalk dandelion problem, but I've found that spraying with vinegar on a couple sunny days in a row works more efficiently. This is for driveways and walkways only---the vinegar will kill things you like, too.

Original Show Pub Date: 26.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Aquaponics, Best Compost Ingredients, New Trees, more Sylvia Bernstein, author of Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together, discusses the pros, cons, and details of including fish in your gardening mix. ~~ Mike McGrath's topics include ... dealing with strange bagworms and wayward, A/C-invading slugs; timing corn gluten meal to combat crabgrass; the proper way to plant and mulch a new tree; what things are best to include—and exclude—from your compost pile.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   54:00

GP comment:  Go ghoti!

Original Show Pub Date: 19.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Did This Miserable Winter Wipeout Mildew and Blight?mildew on leaf Mike McGrath's answers this time cover two important questions: Did the super-cold of the last winter help gardeners by killing off pathogens and pests? How do you know if the compost available at your local municipal composting facility contains lawn-pesticide residues or weed seeds? Other topics include crop rotation vs. crop interplanting and tips on begonias, daffodil variations, and roses.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:58

GP comment:  Fewer pests should be the LEAST the weatherman can offer after three months of polar vortex.

Original Show Pub Date: 11.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Peak Prosperity

A Model for Profitable Micro-Farming — We are all awakening to the realities of a future defined by declining net energy, concerns about food security, community resilience, and reliable income. Small-scale farming usually quickly surfaces as a pursuit that could help address all of these. Yet most dismiss the idea of becoming farmers themselves; mainly because of lack of prior experience, coupled with lack of capital. Enter Jean-Martin Fortier and his wife, Maude-Helene. They are a thirtysomething couple who have been farming successfully for the past decade. In fact, they've been micro-farming—their entire growing operations happen on just an acre and half of land. And they make a fine living at it.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   34:15

GP comment:  It can be done, IF you develop the right skills, have a high level of persistence, and have access to a customer base willing to pay something other than Walmart prices.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Mar.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Agroinnovations Podcast

The Soil Food Web and Compost Microbiology — Elaine Ingham gives listeners an overview of soil microbiology—the scope, scale, and dynamics of the soil food web. In part B, Dr. Ingham discusses the impact of natural disasters on soil microbiology, testing laboratories for soil microbes, aerobic composting techniques, and methods for managing soil microbiology using compost tea.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   38:48
Go to page  |  Download/listen   47:33

GP comment:  Material was recorded in 2011 but was broadcast for the first time in 2014. Still 100% relevant.

Original Show Pub Date: 22.Jan.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Local Seed Banks, Asparagus Tips, Wildflowers on City Lots, Monarch Butterflies, more ...monarch butterfly Master gardener Mike McGrath's tips include ... the benefits of starting a seed bank in your town; how to make that asparagus you planted last year happy; what crops might be a good idea for a few acres of ex-pasture; putting wildflowers on a bare city lot where a building was torn down; ways we can help the threatened monarch butterfly do better.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:58

GP comment:  Saving seeds and swapping with neighbors is the easy way to start a seed bank. But learn a little about the how-to of seed saving before you dive in—no point in wasting time on things that won't work.

Original Show Pub Date: 15.Mar.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Chain Radio

To Catch a Thief — Perhaps farming wasn't hard enough already. So Universe created a class of criminals that specialize in large-scale stealing from large-scale farms. They steal equipment, pump wiring, farm chemicals, even whole loads of harvested crops. Sgt. Mike Chapman of the Fresno County Task Force talks about the problem of farm thieves.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   42:49

GP comment:  Yup, that's a problem. I'm totally for catching them thar theives. I do note, however, that small organic operations don't seem to have this problem.

Original Show Pub Date: 01.Mar.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Winter Damage—Can This Plant Be Saved? — Has this miserable winter done damage to your poor plants? Mike McGrath discusses how to tell if those precious plants are really dead—or just pining for the Fiords. Plus: Author Miriam Goldberger discusses adding wildflowers to your landscape for beauty and for supporting native bees. Other topics include hanging tomato plants (or not); horse compost basics; clever fences for clever groundhogs.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:58

GP comment:  The winter has indeed left many of my plants stunnnned. But soon enough they will again have beautiful plumage.

Original Show Pub Date: 08.Mar.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Sleuth Radio

Pollinator Problems—Honeybees and Beyond — Eric Lee-Mader of the Xerces Society explains how food production is dependent upon beneficial insects for pollination. Topics include honeybees and colony collapse disorder; pressure on native pollinators; dependence of modern agriculture and plant species on pollinators; conservation as a solution.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:15

GP comment:  Where is the native-pollinator habitat on YOUR property?

Original Show Pub Date: 27.Feb.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Worm Composting, Rat Poison, Raspberries, more... — Master gardener Mike McGrath answers green-thumb questions... Should your new raspberries go in a raised bed? (No) Can you add too much coffee grounds to plant areas? (Yes) How can you deal with rats—other than poison? (Agh!) Can you use worms to improve your composting? (Yup)
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:58

GP comment:  McGrath recommends only a light pruning of raspberry canes at the end of the season. He's correct that this will give you a bigger early crop the following year, but those canes will die shortly after bearing, and the greater volume of dead canes can add unwanted obstructions to picking the later (and better) crop from the new season's canes. For people with a large number of plants, cutting canes back to 12" at the end of the season is a reasonable compromise.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Feb.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Chain Radio

GMOs and “The Stomach Study” — Howard Vlieger, an independent crop and livestock nutrition consultant, discusses the troubling results of his study on the long term consumption of GMOs on the stomachs of pigs.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   42:36

GP comment:  Vlieger is a well informed commentator on the ills of GMOs, though his message gets a little lost here because of the awkward interviewing style of the host.

Original Show Pub Date: 16.Feb.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Red Ice Radio

Farmwars—The Anti-GMO BattleBarbara Peterson Barbara Peterson lives on a small ranch in Oregon where she raises geese, chickens, goats, and horses. Yet this rural lifestyle is threatened by regulations, policies slanted towards corporate agriculture, and invasive GMO technology. Topics include how to grow your own food, small-scale animal agriculture, and healthy recipes.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:11:29

GP comment:  The corp-gov juggernaut promotes the interests of giant corporations over the interests of the little guy (or gal) in all facets of life, including farming.

Original Show Pub Date: 17.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good One Radio Network

Geoff Lawton—Create Your Own Paradise on Earth with PermacultureGeoff Lawton Geoff Lawton is a permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. Topics here include off-grid living; solar and wind power; waste management; healing the land; using problems to create solutions; permaculture as a weapon against GMOs; intensive rotational grazing; profitable farming.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:22:00

GP comment:  Some really interesting thoughts here on pollution as unused inputs.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Food Sleuth Radio

2,4-D-Resistant Crops Just the Latest Aspect of Disastrous Agriculture Policy — The Union of Concerned Scientists reports that herbicide-resistant weeds have reached epidemic proportions, infesting 61 million acres. Doug Gurian-Sherman of UCS discusses genetic engineering, the resulting rise of superweeds, and the risks of newly developed 2,4-D-resistant GMO crops. Gurian-Sherman explains how genetic engineering facilitates industrial agriculture, why corporations have no interest in sustainable farming practices, and why scientists have concerns about GM crops. He advocates agro-ecological practices for true sustainability.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:15

GP comment:  There's no money in doing the right thing. So why do we let money (capital) continue to rule the world?

Original Show Pub Date: 13.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

Paradise Loturban garden Chances are you are not living on an ideal homestead of 20 acres, ready to feed yourself and your family, come what may. What if you are on a normal city lot, maybe even in a northern climate? What can you do? Quite a bit. Jonathan Bates and Eric Toensmeier have turned a tenth-of-an-acre yard in Holyoke, Massachusetts into what they call "Paradise Lot." Bates describes their gardening approach, offers some thoughts on important hand tools, and gives tips on greenhouse design for northern climates.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   18:43

GP comment:  The greenhouse tips are good, and such features can help mitigate cold. But in my experience, some supplemental heating will still be required unless you're only going to grow cold-tolerant plants like greens and brassicas.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Feb.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living On Earth

2014 Farm Act Means More Topsoil Loss — After years of haggling, Congress has passed and President Obama has signed new farm legislation. The Farm Act shuffles the US approach to subsidizing farm operations, and in the process promotes practices that will increase future erosion. Craig Cox of the Environmental Working Group comments.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:24

GP comment:  "Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." -- Mark Twain

Original Show Pub Date: 14.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good One Radio Network

Roots Demystified Robert Kourik on and Drip Irrigation and Gardening Secrets — Sure, you can use drip irrigation to help plants limp along during droughts, but why not learn how you can help plants flourish in normal periods, too? Drip-irrigation expert Robert Kourik explains the benefits of the technique and covers other garden topics too, including the suprising reach of root systems; optimal spacing of vegetable plants; possible downsides to using horse manure in the garden; best types of earthworms.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:05:24

GP comment:  If you're going to try drip irrigation, be sure to read his book so you avoid the clogging problems associated with most off-the-shelf systems.

Original Show Pub Date: 27.Jan.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Food Sleuth Radio

Chemicals and the Myths of Modern Farmingcrops in field Klaas Martens was a conventional farmer who used pesticides. Then soil quality degraded, yields began to drop, income fell to poverty levels, and he began having neurological problems. After researching the potential of organic farming, he made the switch, and his fortunes have reversed—literally and figuratively. Martens discusses some of the myths of modern farming, the little-publicized toxicity of widely used farm chemicals, and the need to bring biodiversity back to farming.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   28:15
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   28:15

GP comment:  Every time we buy non-organic food, part of our money is going to the chemical companies.

Original Show Pub Date: 23.Jan.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Progressive Commentary Hour

"Organic Cannot Feed the World" is the Century's Biggest Lie — David Montgomery discusses a variety of farming related issues, including soil health, topsoil loss, monoculture vs. polyculture farming, and the role of failing agricultural models in the collapse of civilizations. Jeffrey Smith discusses the role of genetically modified crops in making our agricultural system—and us—ill. Though GMOs are still going strong, we may be on the verge of a tipping point, as natural foods companies join the Non-GMO Project labeling campaign.
Download/listen   58:08

GP comment:  You can rid your own diet of GMOs by following the steps at the Non-GMO Shopping Guide.

Original Show Pub Date: 03.Feb.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Off The Grid News

The Battle Over Front-Yard Gardens — Imagine meticulously tending to your garden each year for 17 years, and then having a city official knock on your door and demand you uproot all your plants or face a $50-a-day fine. That is exactly what happened to a couple in Miami Shores, Florida, who tended an organic garden until the city council passed an ordinance banning front-yard vegetable gardens. Attorney Ari Bargel, who is representing the couple in a lawsuit against Miami Shores, discusses the case.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   32:08

GP comment:  The good news is that city ordinances can be influenced by the will of the people. Do you know how YOUR local officials feel about food plants in the front yard or chickens in the backyard?

Original Show Pub Date: 16.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Using Perlite to Amend Your Soil — Mike McGrath explains the right soil mix for far-southern climes, how to make the dream of growing your own tea leaves a reality, what plants will spruce up a small pond, how to cultivate currants and gooseberries, and ideas for leveraging large piles of leaves into raised beds. In the question of the week, he explains how to use perlite, which is a natural product based on volcanic rock, to amend your soil.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:58

GP comment:  It's not too early to start planning and organizing for your spring plantings!

Original Show Pub Date: 18.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

How Mass-Produced Meat Turned Phosphorus Into Pollution — Industrial agriculture is not doing a very good job of balancing manure production from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) with the nutrient needs of nearby farm fields. Over-application of manure results in nutrient-rich rainwater runoff—and phosphorous pollution in waterways that causes oxygen-stealing algal blooms. Go to page  |  Download/Listen   4:35

GP comment:  How sad that the relatively easy solutions for this problem continually get trumped by the supposed need for cheap meat.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.Jan.2014

MORE AUDIO (old format)

Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Food Sleuth Radio

The Cooperative Business Model, Local Food, and Beyond — 21 Nov 2013 — Art Sherwoodon discusses the economic and community benefits of cooperative business models, especially as they apply to grocery stores. Topics include why coops integrate better with the needs of local farmers, why coops sometime struggle to be successful, and how hundreds of thriving food cooperatives are springing up across the US. Sherwoodon is Associate Professor of Management at Indiana State University and Vice President of the Bloomingfoods Co-op Board of Directors.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   28:15

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio Ecoshock

Fixing City Soil for Gardening — 19 Nov 2013 — Nance Klehm gives a presentation on reclaiming urban landscapes for agriculture. Many sites, however, are either contaminated or have highly compacted soil with low levels of organic matter. She explains bioremediation and other techniques for getting a piece of ground back in shape for growing great green things. Klehm is a landscape designer, horticultural consultant, and permaculture expert.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   45:00

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Sleuth Radio

Corporations, Global Trade Agreements, and Family Farms — 12 Oct 2013 — John Peck of Family Farm Defenders explains how family farmers are fighting back against the increasing dominance of corporate- and trade-agreement-driven rules. Topics include farmers rights, food security, food sovereignty, free trade vs. fair trade, food labels, food safety, economics, and human rights.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   28:15

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good TUC Radio

Global Seed Companies—Who Owns What — 22 Oct 2013 — There are a rapidly dwindling number of seed companies. Many of the companies buying up small seed companies are not even primarily in the agriculture business, they are chemical companies such as Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta, which have now taken over a majority share of the world seed supply. Speaking at the 2013 Third Annual Heirloom Seed Expo, Philip Howard reviews the facts. Topics include patenting of seeds and how seed saving is becoming increasingly illegal
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   29:00


Diet Science, 04 Nov 2013
Mexico Suspends Growing GMO Corn
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   6:00

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Crops and Climate — 29 Oct 2013 — Environmental engineer Sharon Gourdji reviews the likely impacts of climate change on food production around the world. Her latest co-authored paper was published in Environmental Research Letters. Topics include heat and yield; insect populations and pollination; rainfall and soil erosion.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   17:38

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Spider Mites, Fall Weeding, and Fall Tree Fertilizing—Or Not — 12 Oct 2013 — Mike McGrath explains how to get rid of weeds in the fall season, the hidden dangers in old apple orchards, and why fruit trees should NOT be fertilized in the fall. He gives info on the many varieties of cockscomb and celosia, and pest control expert Ed Rosenthal discusses spider mites.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:58

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Peak Prosperity

Agriculture—The Sobering Impacts of Climate Change and Global Resource Scarcity — 05 Oct 2013 — Lester Brown discusses the challenges ahead for agriculture, as climate change kicks in and the depletion of fossil aquifers worsens. Grain yields have already stopped increasing, but the global population has not. Though the outlook for sustainability looks rather gloomy in general, he has noticed a few positive trends, such as the closing of over 100 US coal-fired power plants as well as adoption of alternative transportation methods in some cities.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   32:29

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good C-Realm Podcast

The Importance of Saving Open-Pollinated Seeds — 02 Oct 2013 — Chuck Burr of the Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute and Restoration Seeds explains why folks should plant open pollinated seeds rather than hybrids, how humans once lived within a viable ecological niche, and how nature misses us in our roles as tenders of the wild. He also describes ways of living that avoid societal debt traps, and he details what sorts of skills we should be cultivating in ourselves and looking for in potential collaborators. Burr is author of Culturequake—The Restoration Revolution.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   1:00:00

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Chain Radio

The Food Patent Wars — 21 Sep 2013 — Patent law is well established and has increasingly been applied to food items. But when it comes down to a basic food plant, say a strawberry, should that be patentable? If so, what are the implications?
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   43:00

(GP comment:  The food-patent Nazis—whether they be Monsanto or an organic berry grower—will be the end of us all.)

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Growing in a Hotter Drier World — 17 Sep 2013 — How can we feed ourselves as the climate becomes unstable? Research scientist Gary P. Nabhan talks about adapting growing practices to a hotter, drier world.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   20:41

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living on Earth

Sustainable Shrimp Farming — 13 Sep 2013 — The United States imports over a billion pounds of shrimp annually. Most of it arrives frozen from environmentally destructive farms is Asia. One US company is using environmentally friendly techniques to produce a fresh, delicious product with a much gentler environmental footprint.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   12:14

(GP comment:  Also remember that US-produced Gulf seafood is highly suspect because of remaining contamination due to the use of Corexit during the 2010 BP spill.)

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Nutrition Diva

Red Wine, Beef, and Cholesterol — 20 Aug 2013 — The press release for a new study declares that drinking red wine when eating beef reduces the LDL cholesterol from the meat. Too bad the studied cohort did not eat any beef. This is what happens when you let marketing departments present science.
Download/Listen   6:52


Food Sleuth Radio, 05 Sep 2013
Mark Kopecky on How Soil Health is Key to Crop Yields, Plant Nutrition, and Human Health
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   28:15

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Food Sleuth Radio

Don Davis on Nutritional Decline in Modern Crop Varieties — 29 Aug 2013 — Long-time agricultural nutrition researcher Don Davis discusses the decline and dilution in nutrition that has come with the push for higher yields and bigger crops. He discusses the evidence on whether eating organic is a solution to this problem.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   28:15

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Chain Radio

Farming Food Sovereignty — 24 Aug 2013 — Why did we end up with a food supply controlled by big government and big business? How can we foster food sovereignty? Topics include why the production and distribution of food tends to become consolidated in the hands of a few corporations and why many people are resisting the domination of centralized food systems. Guests are Beverly Bell and Tory Field, authors of Harvesting Justice.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   43:00

Unrated You Bet Your Garden

Are GMOs Contaminating Your Compost? — 17 Aug 2013 — Gardening guru Mike McGrath discusses what to do about GMO presence in your compost. Other topics include: why you must get rid of diseased clippings, how to conquer squirrels once and for all, tips for getting air and light to your eggplants, how to eliminate kudzu from your landscape, tricks to get the most out of your tomatoes.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:58

Unrated Peak Prosperity

Jere Gettle on Growing Heirloom Plants — 03 Aug 2013 — Preserving heirloom strains and expanding their use among small farmers and backyard gardeners is important for many reasons, including: improving genetic diversity and reducing the impact of large monocrop failures; keeping public access to seed stocks as the "growing rights" to hybrid and GMO seeds are locked up by corporations; getting health benefits from heirloom varieties, which often have more nutrients than other varieties. Heirloom guru Jere Gettle discusses the origins of heirlooms, the importance of seed saving and seed swapping among small farmers, and how the interested backyard gardener can participate.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   35:00

Unrated You Bet Your Garden

Are You Noticing More Snails and Slugs in Your Garden? — 03 Aug 2013 — Mike McGrath explains how to get rid of poison ivy safely, how to create nitrogen-rich compost, how to grow grass under the shade of your trees, ideas for improving your backyard space, why pink mushrooms will sometimes appear in wood mulch, and what it means for your garden when snails move in.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:58

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Sleuth Radio

Theresa Podoll on the Myth of GMO Co-Existence — 15 Aug 2013— Farmer Theresa Podoll talks about the difficulties of organic farming, with problems ranging from contamination of organic crops with genetically modified pollen and pesticide drift to USDA ignorance and agribusiness machinations. Notably, she explains why genetic contamination is inevitable, making the industry's claim that organic and GMOs can co-exist an insidious myth.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   28:15

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Why You Shouldn't Pick Produce When It's Wet — 20 Jul 2013— Master gardener Mike McGrath's topics include ... why you picking produce when it's wet is just asking for trouble; rehabbing a chemically insulted raised bed; getting rid of a yellowjacket nest; and turf care for heavily traveled areas. In the question of the week, Mike discusses horsetail—it has good qualities, but its aggressive growth can make it a powerful weed enemy.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:55

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Chain Radio

Soil Loss—The Erosion of Civilization? — 20 Jul 2013 — Geomorphologist David Montgomery discusses topsoil loss throughout history; soil as a strategic resource; the importance of ground cover to preventing erosion; why agriculture does not have to be synonymous with soil loss.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   42:28

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen KunstlerCast

Generation A—The New Wave of Alternative Farmers — 05 Jul 2013— JHK talks with Severine von Tscharner Fleming, a "next ten" agricultural activist, founder of Greenhorns and the National Young Farmers' Coalition. She also works with the Farm Hack organization, the Family Farm Coalition, and is editor of the New Farmers' Almanac. She has a lot to say about the alternative farming scene—that is, the alternative to Big Ag.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   45:21

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Garlic, Lawns, and Targeting Invasives (or Not) — 06 Jul 2013 — Mike McGrath's topics include on growing and harvesting garlic, picky pomegranates, fixing damaged spots in the lawn, and terminating an unwanted tree with extreme prejudice. Special guest Emma Marris discusses ways to view invasive species in a more positive light.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:58


Quirks & Quarks, 22 Jun 2013
Phytonutrient Levels in Plants Follow Circadian Rhythm
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   8:46

Radio EcoShock, 25 Jun 2013
Sylvia Bernstein on Sustainable Aquaponics
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   27:01

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Why You Should Always Mulch Your Grass Clippings Into the Lawn — 15 Jun 2013 — Mike McGrath's topics include growing mustard plants for greens and seeds; helping plants deal with a saltwater inundation; planting a gogi berry tree; whether or not to add dandelions to a compost pile. In the question of the week, Mike covers the topic of leaving your grass clippings on the lawn. Won't doing so create thatch? Does temperate affect how well the grass clippings decompose in the lawn? Can you "harvest" the nitrogen value of the clippings and add it to your compost pile?
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:58

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You bet Your Garden

Using Raised Beds to Keep Grass Out of the Garden — 07 Jun 2013 — Mike McGrath's topics include ... using new trees to take back a large patch of lawn; which compostables will work well together; using raised beds to keep grass from creeping in at the edge of the garden; dealing with the highly pestiferous but commercially useful Japanese knotweed.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:58

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Eating and Living on What We Can Grow Ourselves — 11 Jun 2013 — Barbara Damrosch is the author of numerous gardening books. She is also partner with Eliot Coleman of "four season gardening" fame. Here she talks about integrating gardening efforts with cooking activities as a way to move towards eating and living on what we can grow ourselves.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   15:00

Unrated Radio EcoShock

Lisa Kivirist on Gardening, Self-Reliance, and Ecopreneurship — 18 Jun 2013 — So you want to escape city life, go rural, and try your hand at market gardening? Will you be able to pay the bills? Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko have managed to do just that for the past 17 years.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   23:54

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Home-Grown Potatoes Without the Digging — 18 May 2013— Mike McGrath offers tips on growing raspberries, the benefits of ants in your garden, the proper timing for putting out starts, and dealing with a leaning tree. In the question of the week he explains multiple strategies for growing potatoes well—and without the digging.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:58

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

Integrated Aquaculture—How To Clean Up Fish Farms And Raise More Seafood — 06 May 2013— Marine aquaculture provides about half of the seafood we eat, but it produces a lot of water pollution as it does so. Enter integrated aquaculture, a technique that sees fish poop not as a waste problem but as an input to other marketable food crops.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   7:44

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Sleuth Radio

Cynthia Connolly on Soil Management vs. Irrigation — 02 May 2013 — Cynthia Connolly, owner and operator of Ladybird Organics Farm and president of Monticello Vineyards and Winery—Florida's only organic farm winery—describes how worm castings and soil management have eliminated her need for expensive irrigation.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   28:15

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

Growing Vegetables From Seeds the Right Choice For Many Gardeners — 20 May 2013 — More and more gardeners are bypassing "starts" the local nursery and instead growing their veggies from seed. Seeds are often cheaper, and they give gardeners a bigger choice of varieties. Sasa Woodruff checks out the seedy action at a community garden in Venice, California.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   3:57

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

How to Make Compost WITHOUT Fall Leaves — 28 Apr 2013 — In the question of the week, Mike McGrath discusses creative solutions if you have a dearth of fall leaves but still want to make good compost. Other topics include... using high tunnels and greenhouses to get a jump on the gardening season; using goats to get rid of invasives; why you must rotate your tomato plots; homemade electric-shock devices for squirrels and deer; whether banana and citrus peels can be used in your non-tropical compost pile.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   49:58


NPR, 07 May 2013
Honeybee Deaths May Have Reached A Crisis Point For Crops
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   4:19

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Square Foot Gardening Primer — 13 Apr 2013 — Mike McGrath's topics include... the importance of regionally appropriate seeds; the proper way to trim outdoor flowers; clever ways of dealing (gently) with house-damaging carpenter bees. Special guest Mel Bartholemew discusses Square Foot Gardening, a method of highly concentrated planting in small spaces. The question of the week is about trees—do they really ever need mulch, and can a tree survive severed roots?
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:58

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Need Gardening Inspiration? Go On a Tour! — 20 Apr 2013 — Mike McGrath's topics include a creative solution for weedy driveways; care and feeding of asparagus; why sawdust is not a good mulch; raised-container gardening for people with back problems and other can't-bend-over-so-well issues. Special guest Laura Palmer of The Garden Conservancy discusses the annual "Open Days" garden tours around the US.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   55:00

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

Wardeh Harmon on Food Dehydration — 17 Apr 2013— It's shocking that so many city folk say they are not interested in cooking or growing and preserving food. Don't they eat? Don't they read the headlines about toxic factory agriculture and fast-food restaurants? Maybe the just need to hear how its done. Wardee Harmon talks about different dehydration techniques that can be used to preserve a wide variety of food crops.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   23:05

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good One Radio Network

Rebuilding the Foodshed—How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems — Droves of people have turned to local food as a way to retreat from our broken industrial food system. From rural outposts to city streets, they are sowing, growing, selling, and eating food produced close to home—and they are crying out for agricultural reform. Philip Ackerman-Leist discusses rebuilding regional food systems so they can replace the destructiveness of industrial agriculture, meet food demands affordably and sustainably, and be resilient enough to endure potentially rough times ahead.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   1:00:00


Sea Change Radio, 05 Mar 2013
Eco Beef:  Imported Grass-Fed vs. Home-Grown Industrial — Choose Vicely
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   30:00

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Food Chain Radio

In the Beginning There Was Agriculture That Was Light on the Earth — 16 Mar 2013 — Many decades ago, Alan Chadwick asked the University of California at Santa Cruz for a small scrap of land to teach gardening, and then proceeded to turn university agriculture policy on its head by pursuing organic methods. Dr. Paul Lee, author of There Is a Garden in the Mind, discusses how this early effort helped give birth to organic farming and gardening; and what impact organic might have on our future.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   43:00

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen TUC Radio

The Future of Orchards in Times of Climate Change — 12 Mar 2013 — Farmers are not debating weather climate change is real or not, they are dealing with it already. Co-founder of the local food movement, ethnobotanist, and tender of an Arizona orchard, Gary Nabhan, explains the vast contribution orchards can make to mitigating climate change and resisting the impact of drought and heat.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   30:00

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

The Right Way to Weed — 02 Mar 2013 — Mike McGrath's tips include... garden infrastructure for the wheelchair-bound, the elderly, and lower-back-challenged people; grow lights: T-12 vs. T-8 vs. T-5; why your blueberry plants may not be doing so well; dealing with bag worms. In the question of the week, McGrath reviews some proper weed control techniques that will ensure you are killing the weeds, not helping them to grow.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:58

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Fast Primer on Backyard Chickens — 09 Mar 2013 — Mike McGrath and Adam Glas guest discuss raising your own chickens, including how much space you need per bird, securing the chickens against predators, dealing with community ordinances, ensuring proper nutrition, and predicting how many eggs your birds will lay. ~~ Also in the show... how to get grass to grow under pine trees—or not; the difference between poison ivy and poison oak; and what to do when your soil test agency recommends creepy chemical techniques from the toxic tableau of industrial agriculture.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:58

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen One Radio Network

Paradise Lot—The Making of An Edible Garden Oasis in the City — 02 Mar 2013— Radical urban gardener Eric Toensmeier describes the process of turning a tenth-of-an-acre barren lot into a permaculture paradise, stuffed with hundreds of species and varieties, most of them low-maintenance, food-bearing perennials. The garden functions like a natural ecosystem, with the plants and beneficial insects providing most of the garden's needs for fertility, pest control, and weed suppression.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   1:02:12

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

Local and Organic vs. Big and Industrial — 19 Feb 2013 — K. Rashid Nuri discusses the revival of urban agriculture and organic gardening as the solution to the increasing problems of industrial agriculture. Nuri worked for decades in the international food industry and was an adviser to the USDA in the Clinton Administration, but now heads up the Truly Living Well urban farming operation in Atlanta, as well as the Georgia Organic Farmers movement.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   24:00

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

How to Use Grow Lights to Foster Healthy Starts — 16 Feb 2013 — Mike McGrath's topics include strategies for growing in too-shady areas; what to do about a tree starting to fall over; how to keep cats from pooping in the garden soil; and dealing with invasive honeysuckle. In the question of the week, Mike covers the ins and outs of how to use grow lights to foster healthy starts.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:58

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Chain Radio

Can Local Farmers Survive the FDA's Food Safety Police? — 23 Feb 2013— The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, under former Monsanto executive Michael Taylor, now has the power and the protocols to police food safety. With regulations designed to suit big agribusiness, can small, local farmers survive the FDA's food safety police? Topics include why Congress gave the FDA the power to police food safety and what effect these protocols will have on the nation's farmers.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   42:39


Radio EcoShock, 19 Feb 2013
Michael W. Twitty:  A Historical Black Perspective on Modern Farming, Seeds, and Food
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   26:00

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

Wild Bees Are Good For Crops, But Industrial Crops Are Bad For Bees — 01 Mar 2013— Farmers rely on honeybees to pollinate, but scientists are now reporting that honeybees, while convenient, are not necessarily the best pollinators. A collaboration of bee researchers from more than a dozen countries looked at how pollination happens in dozens of different crops, including strawberries, coffee, buckwheat, cherries and watermelons. Even when beekeepers installed honeybee hives in a field, yields usually got a boost when wild, native insects, such as bumblebees or carpenter bees, were also present. But modern chemical-driven monoculture farming is anything but good for wild bee populations
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   4:25

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Gardening Strategies for a Warming World — 09 Feb 2013— Master gardener Mike McGrath talks about the best way to convert a grass-covered area into a garden bed, gives tips for growing figs in non-Mediterranean climes, and covers the invasion of little black dots on cars and houses, jettisoned by artillery fungus in wood mulch. Special guest Rachel Ndeto provides all the sticky details on how maple syrup is made. Near the end, Mike offers tips for gardening in a warming world, from water management to sun-damage avoidance to variety selection.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:58

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Best Soil for Your Starts — 02 Feb 2013 — Mike McGrath's topics include... pheromone traps for pantry moths; "surprise landscaping" (waiting to see what pops out of the ground); growing mangos in the US (or not); moles (what they eat and how to get them out of your yard); best types of soil mixes for doing starts. (Hint: it's not soil from your garden.)
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:49

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good One Radio Network

Growing Mineral-Rich Food — 21 Jan 2013 — George Altgelt applies chemistry and cellular/molecular biology principles to the practical matter of growing nutrient-dense food. Here he discusses the principals of healthy agriculture and good nutrition. Subtopics include... how trace mineral content determines vegetable taste and quality; getting the best type of potting soil for your starts; using seaweed extract to promote seed germination; the importance of using a planting guide for planting dates; the importance of open-pollinated seeds and Seed Savers.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   1:00:11

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen One Radio Network

Are TPTB Trying to Destroy the Family Farm? — 04 Feb 2013 — Morningland Dairy was essentially put out of business by a Missouri Milk Board raid. Denise Dixon, who with her husband owned the dairy, discusses the many aspects of the case that indicate a coordinated, unlawful action by multiple levels of government officials.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   29:28

Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! CounterSpin

"Ag Gag" Laws Shield Corporate Agriculture Abuses — 01 Feb 2013 — State legislatures are increasingly passing "ag gag" laws designed to stop activists, whistleblowers, and journalists from documenting the ill treatment of farm animals in CAFO and slaughterhouse operations. Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red, says this is squashing the public's right to know and is part of a larger campaign to demonize and criminalize anyone who would threaten corporate interests.
Page to download whole show  |  Download/listen to this segment   9:12

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen One Radio Network

To Fix Health Problems, First Fix Agriculture — 24 Jan 2013 — Jerry Brunetti makes the case that modern agriculture, because it ignores soil health, is a source of illness in many people. Subtopics include... the importance of cover crops; the benefits of foods from pastured animals; getting the right ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 EFAs; where chronic inflammation comes from; the importance of fermented foods.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   1:05:35

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen FSRN

Pushing Back Against GMO Corn in Mexico — 09 Jan 2013 — In Mexico, groups of small farmers and environmentalists are calling on the government to reject permit applications that would open up large swathes of productive agricultural land to commercial production of genetically modified corn. They object to the further genetic contamination of Mexico's heritage corn varieties, which they say would cause irreparable harm to the country's indigenous crops and culture.
Audio no longer available from host site (FSRN)   4:51


FSRN, 10 Jan 2013
Organic Farmers Challenge Monsanto in Federal Court Over GMO Suits
Audio no longer available from host site (FSRN)   4:28

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Food Sleuth Radio

The Symphony of the Soil — 13 Dec 2012 — Deborah Koons Garcia discusses the themes in her film "Symphony of the Soil," which explores the importance of soil health in terms of the quality of food produced, the health of the humans who eat the food, and the condition of the environment that contains the farms.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   28:15

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

Victory Gardens, Past and Present — 10 Dec 2012 — The American Victory Garden movement was launched in Chicago during World War II. LaManda Joy gives a talk and slide show about the Victory Garden movement, where millions of novice growers produced mountains of food for the war effort. It showed that a whole nation can adapt to local food production in just one year. Today, Chicago is organizing again to bring back urban food production.
Watch  |  Download/Listen   53:00

(GP comment:  You can get a lot from just the audio but seeing the slides helps.)

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Chain Radio

Can Organic Crops Co-Exist with Genetically-Modified Crops? — 01 Dec 2012 — The USDA commissioned a study group, called AC21, to determine how genetically-modified crops could best co-exist with organic crops. And the result is.... more discussion is necessary.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   42:49

(GP comment:  The evidence clearly predicts that GMOs will eventually contaminate every acre of farmland.)

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Sea Change Radio

Wind Blown—Ken Burns on The Dustbowl — 13 Nov 2012 — A lengthy dry spell, combined with farming practices that did not respect the natural conditions of the region, set into motion a decade that devastated millions of acres of land, displaced thousands of heartland families, and had ripple effects on food markets and the national economy. Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, who has produced a new film series on the 1930s Dustbowl, discusses some of the interesting details.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   28:30


You Bet Your Garden, 10 Nov 2012
Overwintering Your Plants
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:14

Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... You Bet Your Garden

Gardening Potpourri — 03 Nov 2012 — Mike McGrath's topics this time include... the beauty and ugliness of coconut-husk pots; best container plants for winter; fruit trees 101; stopping the relentless march of an invasive; dealing with chickweed; widespread woes with impatiens.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:14

Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... The Lifeboat Hour

Food Will Be the New Oil and Land Will Be the New Gold — 14 Oct 2012 — Guest host Carolyn Baker talks to Philip Botwinick, who notes the many signs of trouble, including gas prices that are not ratcheting back down, a disastrous year for commodity corn, and the zombie-like public acceptance the ruling corporatocracy and all its distractions. In response, he has started an organization to promote urban gardening, composting, and rainwater catchment, noting that this is one way for people to deal with the despair they feel in their modern lives.
Download/Listen   59:09


Food Sleuth Radio, 11 Oct 2012
Atina Diffley:  Organic Farming Works!
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   28:15

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Chain Radio

Permaculture—The Integration of Everything — 29 Sep 2012 — Bioneer Trathen Heckman explains why permaculture can cure many of today's ills. Topics include.... the elements necessary for growing a permanent culture; how those elements might be combined to develop a garden of plenty; and how that garden might be sustained in a world of ferocious change.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   42:37

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Hot Peppers in Cool Climates, Apple Trees, Compost Bin Designs, More — 29 Sep 2012 — Mike McGrath's topics this time include... dealing with thorny pruning problems; tips for growing hot peppers in cool climates; starting apple trees; dealing with southern root knot nematodes; what to do about trees with holes in the base; compost bin designs.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:14

Unrated C-Realm Podcast

Integrating Life into Food Production — 10 Oct 2012 — Dan Kittredge of The Bionutrient Food Association talks about soil, nutrition, and the problems inherent in a conventional agronomic sensibility that focuses too narrowly on chemistry and so fails to integrate the idea of life into the analysis of what kinds of conditions and interactions give rise to nutritionally dense food crops. As Dan puts it, "It's the results that speak."
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   1:00:00

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your garden

Which Fruits are Easiest to Grow? — 15 Sep 2012 — Mike McGrath's topics this time include... digging proper holes for new trees; why self-watering pots are a bad idea; and how to grow garlic in containers over the winter. Mike and guest Lee Wright, author of The Pruning Book, offer tips on which fruits are easiest to grow, including blueberries, raspberries, and pears.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:14


Sea Change Radio, 18 Sep 2012
Jason Mark—The Dirt on Compost
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   30:00

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Fall Tomato Issues, Growing Ginger, Fall Lawn Care, More — 08 Sep 2012 — Mike McGrath's topics include... How to plant and care for ginger; saving a failed potted tomato plant; why using straw bales for "container gardening" is a bad idea; why some tomatoes are still blooming and some aren't; using Bti for mosquitoes; lawn care tips to thwart weeds, overseeding, and other fall lawn tips.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   52:14

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Peak Moment

What to Do With All That Unused Fruit from Neighborhood Trees? — 12 Aug 2012 — Katy Kolker of the Portland Fruit Tree Project explains the system they have developed to use volunteer groups to harvest trees whose fruit would otherwise go to waste. Half of the fruit goes to neighborhood food banks, and the remainder goes home with the volunteers. Tree care workshops are offered to cover pruning, thinning, pest management, and disease control.
No longer available from host site.  

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Mulberries, Bagged Compost, Watering System Trouble, Gardening Uses of Human Hair, more — 25 Aug 2012— Mike McGrath's topics include ... why bagged compost may not be the right thing to buy; why automatic watering systems are likely over-watering your plants; how close to a tree can you put can a fence post hole; growing banana plants below the frost line; using human hair for deterring rabbits, killing slugs, and feeding soil; the difference between yummy mulberry trees and troublesome mulberry trees.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   54:15

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living on Earth

The Seed Underground—Saving Heirlooms Against the Tide of Industrial Agriculture — 10 Aug 2012 — More than ninety percent of U.S. seed varieties available in the early 1900s have disappeared, and a handful of revolutionary gardeners and farmers are trying to keep the rest of our seeds safe for the future. Seed saving expert Janisse Ray explains. ~~ In part 2, tomato grower Amy Goldman talks about her 250 varieties of open-pollinated tomatoes.
Part 1:  Go to page  |  Download/Listen   6:32
Part 2:  Go to page  |  Download/Listen   9:51


Food Chain Radio, 11 Aug 2012
Eating the Big Apple—How Immigrants, Innovators, and Traditionalists Continue to Raise Food in NYC
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   42:34

Referenced books:
Janisse Ray:  The Seed Underground:  A Growing Revolution to Save Food
Amy Goldman:  The Heirloom Tomato:  From Garden to Table


Search ....


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Growing Great Garlic — 11 Aug 2012 — Mike McGrath reviews the basics for growing and preserving garlic. Also discussed: Solutions for fleas that have invaded your space; bugs on Basil; and whether it's safe to live near a (pesticide-using) farm.
Download/Listen   52:14

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

What Can You Do About Tasteless Tomatoes? — 04 Aug 2012 — Topics this time include ways to combat urban garden thieves, re-treeing a property, putting the blitz on bagworms, making a case for leaving invasives alone, and a basketful of tips on getting the most taste out of your tomatoes.
Download/Listen   52:14


KunstlerCast, 19 Jul 2012
JHK's New Edible Yard
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   21:08

NPR, 26 Jul 2012
Droughted-Out Corn Crop Stokes Food vs. Fuel Issue
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   4:08

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Garden Vegetable Plants—Slippery When Wet — 28 Jul 2012 — Questions answered include... Is it a myth that one should not harvest vegetables or handle garden plants when they're wet? Is it a good idea to put a selection of semi-wild edibles under a large tree? How much sun do blueberries need? How does one control an invasion of the very aggressive weed known as horsetail?
Download/Listen   52:15

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Peak Prosperity

The Drought of 2012—Why Agriculture Failed — 29 Jul 2012 — Joel Salatin explains the advantages of perennial agriculture systems—plant and animal—over systems based on annual plants. He also discusses the importance of manmade farm ponds and non-chemical, no-till methods to preserve water for food-growing operations. People who are doing gardening on any scale should be installing rainbarrels, cisterns, and ponds. The discussion extends to other aspects of food resilience.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   47:08

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Chain Radio

Soil Nutrients, Food Quality, and Human Health — 28 Jul 2012 — Agricultural expert John Ikerd discusses the importance of soil nutrients for nutritious food, the how industrial agriculture has depleted these nutrients over the last century, and what the impact has been on farming and on human health.
Download/Listen   45:33
More Food Chain Radio

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

White Flies, Grapes, Ultra-Shady Turf Solutions, Pesticides and Honeybees — 21 Jul 2012 — Mike McGrath's topics this time include... non-chemical solutions for white flies; tips for watering, composting, and thinning grapes; over-wintering rosemary; turf solutions for ultra-shady foot-traffic areas; iris borers. Special guest: Pest management specialist Bill Quarles discusses the impact of chemical pesticides on honeybees.
Download/Listen   52:14

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Herbs, Native Flowering Plants, Peaches, more — 07 Jul 2012 — Mike McGrath's topics include... easy ways to establish native flowering plants in your yard; tips for growing hops; proper pruning for peach trees and thinning the fruits; aphids and worms in tomatoes; a primer on herbs like basil, oregano, marjoram, sage, rosemary, parsley, dill, lemon balm, and mint.
Download/Listen   52:14

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Italian Herbs, Wisteria, Lead in Soil, More — 14 Jul 2012 — Mike McGrath's topics include... tips for growing Mediterranean herbs; how to coax blooms out of wisteria; best height for mowing lawns; techniques for keeping weeds out of gravel driveways; dealing with lead-contaminated soil.
Download/Listen   49:46

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Japanese Beetles, Mosquitoes, Slugs, Tomatoes, Lavender, and More — 23 Jun 2012 — This show's topics include .... Japanese beetles and roses; controlling mosquitoes during an outdoor event; crepe myrtle woes; slugs; tomatoes and heat stress; best lavender varieties and growing methods; when is it time to take down a troubled tree?
Download/Listen   52:14

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

"Late Blight" Problems, Vine Borer Solutions, and More — 30 Jun 2012 — Tomato expert Meg McGrath discusses how to detect and solve "late blight" problems. Advice includes keeping the problems from spreading from this year's plants to next year's as well as tips on choosing resistant varieties. Other topics include... tips for dealing with flea beetles and vine borers; more non-toxic solutions for mosquito protection; new-lawn woes; mushroom compost; and strangler weeds!
Download/Listen   52:14


Sea Change Radio, 19 Jun 2012
Novella Carpenter on Urban Farming and Raising Meat Rabbits
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   29:59

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good NPR

Food Growers v. Corp-Gov — 05 Jul 2012 — You're probably pretty sure you can grow as much food on your land as you want. Guess again. A critical Supreme Court case in 1942 told a farmer he could not grow more feed for his chickens that 11 acres, as decreed by the USDA at the time.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   3:22

(GP comment:  The alternative blogs are hot these days with tales of raw-milk raids. But the corp-gov lockdown on farming and gardening activities has been unfolding for quite a while now.)

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

You're Watering How Often? — 16 Jun 2012 — Questions answered this time include... What's taking big bites out of my tomatoes? Are my garden plants getting the right amount and type of nitrogen? How can I tell if I'm watering the right amount? How do I control damage from saw fly worms on my plants?
Download/Listen   52:14

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Are Pesticide, Chemical, and Drug Contaminants in Straw and Manure a Problem? — 09 Jun 2012 — Topics addressed by master gardener Mike McGrath include... dealing with bad patches of grass under big trees; even deer know tulips are edible; fire blight problems on peaches; pesticide, chemical, and drug contaminants in straw and manure; zucchini overload; deciding whether Bermuda grass should be kept or fought.
Download/Listen   52:14

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Chain Radio

Biodynamics—Good Enough to Be World-Famous — 16 Jun 2012 — Cynthia Sandberg was a corporate attorney, but chucked it all to become a biodynamic farmer. Today, her Love Apple Farms grows for David Kinch's world-famous, top-50 Manresa Restaurant. What is it about biodynamic techniques that make the difference?
Download/Listen   42:43
More Food Chain Radio

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Organic Gardening with Mike McGrath and Paul James — 26 May 2012 — Host Mike McGrath and special guest Paul James of Gardening by the Yard discuss... red maple mistreatment; till vs. no-till gardening; designing your garden to minimize maintenance; waiting for volunteers to help you choose your plants; planting potatoes, carrots, and other garden crops for food and flowers; designing landscaping for a new yard; annual bluegrass (weed) vs. perennial bluegrass (grass); tomato seed saving tips.
Download/Listen   52:14

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Tips for Growing Tomatoes for Best Taste — 02 Jun 2012 — Mike McGrath's topics this time include... fig tree fiasco; crabapple conundrum; fixing white fly infestations; solving standing water situations; teasing top taste out of tomatoes; harvesting huge heaps of horse manure; and ju-jitsu'ing Japanese beetles on sweet corn. The question of the week involves growing old glory using red, white, and blue flowers
Download/Listen   52:14

Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Time Monk Radio Network

Joel Salatin Burrows Deep into Healthy Farming — 18 May 2012 — Joel Salatin continues to refine and redefine what good farming is, from non-chemical pasture management, to integrated farming systems, to time-motion studies to maximize efficiency and profitability.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   2:04:48

(GP comment:  Most of the interviews Salatin gives cover the same top-level issues. Here, he spends a lot of time reviewing the details of his farming methods. This is a really good one.)

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Gardening Q&A—Blueberries, Strawberries, Asparagus, Orchids, more — 19 May 2012 — Questions answered include... Can blueberries and strawberries be collocated? Can asparagus be mixed in with other plants? Can lush lawns and sports turfs be grown with nothing but organic fertilizers? Additional topics include orchids, bulbs, moving trees, and evil squirrels.
Download/Listen   52:15


KOPN Food Sleuth, 10 May 2012
The Farm Bill and Sustainable Agriculture—Or Not
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   28:15

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good You Bet Your Garden

Cedar-Apple Rust, Raised Beds Frames, and Click Beetles — 12 May 2012 — Master gardener Mike McGrath discusses.... Cedar-apple rust and cedar bagworms—a tough pest. Is pressure-treated wood OK for raised beds? Why should raised beds be no wider than 4-feet wide? Though click beetles are pretty cool, their younger form, the wire worm, is a serious pest. More...
Download/Listen   52:14

Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Peak Moment

Joel Salatin:  Biological Farming is the Solution — 27 Apr 2012 — Joel Salatin explains how biologically based farming that integrates animals into the soil fertility cycle can revitalize farms, reduce pollution, offer superior animal welfare, and set us on the path to solving a number of broader societal concerns.
No longer available from host site.  

(GP comment:  Salatin continues to amaze me with his broad grasp of what is wrong with agriculture specifically and the world generally, at the same time offering obvious and practical solutions.)

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Biodynamics Now

Fighting Pests and Disease the Biodynamic Way — 16 Apr 2012 — Michael Phillips discusses his holistic approach to orcharding and farming and the importance of cultivating healthy soil and plants as a first-line defense against pests and disease. Other topics include apple varieties, medicinal herbs, and the community orchard movement.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   1:19:41

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good KOPN Food Sleuth

Jan Weber:  We Are All Complicit in Industrial Farming — 05 Apr 2012 — Filmmaker Jan Weber discusses the state of rural life, the sorry state that corporate agriculture has imposed on our farms, and how we might work our way back to a more hopeful future.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   28:15

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Keeping Trees Safe from the Emerald Ash Borer — 21 Apr 2012 — Topics this time include... keeping trees safe from the emerald ash borer; natural pest controls for stink bugs; tips for propagating plants; more.
Download/Listen   52:15


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