Garden

The Healing Power of Organic Herbs

jane--hawleyMy guest today is Jane Hawley Stevens, Founder of Four Elements Organic Herbals. From the time Jane chose her professional path, it was clear it was with the plant world. For over 30 years she has specialized in herbs. Four Elements Herbals began in 1987 as the pursuit of Jane’s dream to establish a family farm and continue her horticultural career while raising a family. Jane started producing herbal products made from herbs she grew on her farm. Certified organic since 1990, she still grows and produces herbal products from the 130-acre farm in the pristine Baraboo Bluffs of Wisconsin, designated as one of the Last Great Places by the Nature Conservancy. Her products are inspired by the healing qualities of herbs and align with the power of Nature. They are available online and at health food stores and supermarkets throughout the Midwest. www.fourelementsherbals.com

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How to Create Good Garden Soil to Grow Healthy Food

diann-dirksToday my guest is Diann Dirks, a frequent guest on this show and a dedicated organic gardener of 45 years. We’ll be talking about good soil for your garden—what it is, and how to create it.  The biggest part of gardening organically is the creation and nurturing of the soil. No chemical fertilizers or pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or other ‘icides (meaning killers) are ever used in organic gardening, so the biggest part of success is having strong well nurtured plants which don’t attract insects, and soil which is full of micro-organisms that convert the basic ingredients of the dirt into a living eco system. Mulching techniques which inhibit weed production saves needing herbicides. This all is achieved using a number of critical techniques which will be discussed today. Using natural systems, and returning all available resources back into the soil as well as techniques for growing worms, enhancing the bio-available food for plants and to feed the micro-organisms is a very vital and interesting subject. thegardenladyofga.wordpress.com

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Extending Seasons in the Garden to Grow Food All Year Long

My guest today is Diann Dirks. She is a seasoned organic gardener in the foothills region of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. With over 45 years experience growing food and herbs she grows food and medicinals all year long. How she does this is the subject of the show today. Having grown gardens in Michigan, California, and Georgia, extending the growing season with several techniques can increase garden yield and make things available otherwise out of season. Passionate about giving people the tools to survive and flourish despite pressures of big corporate food control with chemicals and genetically modified and engineered foods, increasing one’s ability to grow safe, chemical free, heritage and heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables may mean health versus deteriorating health. Simple techniques to keep growing even if it’s snowing or very hot can make the difference between success and failure, small yield or abundance. www.thegardenladyofga.wordpress.com

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Fall Bounty In the Garden

Today my guest is Diann Dirks, a 45-year organic gardener, speaker, author, artist, environmental and agricultural consultant, and educator. She is also a Certified Permaculture Designer (from Permanent Agriculture – a very advanced design science of edible environmental agriculture based on a system of ethics and the laws of nature expressed as precepts). Diane researches and works out solutions to today’s challenges and communicates them so we may survive the times, flourish and prosper, and keep a positive viewpoint. Resources surround us but often without knowledge they are wasted. Today we’ll be talking about what we can do in the garden at the end of the summer growing season in the Northern Hemisphere to effectively use the harvest resources. Now is the time to carefully save seeds, prepare and preserve harvest, gather organic matter to recharge the soil, and look to the future. How we handle these resources puts us on a path – waste and lessening potential future, or intelligent use and fore-thinking for long and prosperous future. It’s in the details, one back yard garden, farm, or growing zone at a time. With the harvest, autumn is the season of abundance. We may feel we can afford to waste, but our ancestors saw abundance as an opportunity to stretch out future survival and give a happier existence with stability. www.thegardenladyofga.wordpress.com

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Saving Seeds

Diann DirksMy guest today is Diann Dirks, a sustainable organic gardener of over 45 years. In order to continuously grow a sustainable garden, it takes heirloom and heritage, open pollinated varieties of plants that will grow true from seed. But we are loosing our diversity of edible plants by the thousands because people are not preserving these precious life forms for the future. And corporations are whittling down what farmers grow for convenience and profit and raiding our national seed banks to patent what nature has given us. So, Diann has made it a study and practice to learn the best way to preserve seeds. Collecting and growing unusual, rare, and regional varieties of food plants is something every gardener and farmer has to take responsibility for. Bio-diversity is vital because our climate is changing so if we can expect to have food growing plants, we must account for changes in growing conditions. That can only happen if we plant a large variety of each kind of thing we wish to eat. So, the whole subject of the future of food comes into play. thegardenladyofga.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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The Garden in Your Gut – Immune System and Healthy Soil, What They Have in Common

Diann DirksMy guest today is Diann Dirks. She is a Permaculture Designer – a design science that applies the laws of nature to establishing or revitalizing environments within a system of ethics – which is: care for people, care for the earth, and equitable distribution of the abundance formed when natural laws are applied to the earth. On this show we’ll be talking about how to restore lost micro-organisms in your body (see Toxic Free Talk Radio interview How Antibiotics and Antibacterials are Compromising Our Health from June 12). Within the system of Permaculture design, Diann has studied and deeply researched the relationships between care for people and care for the earth, not only to increase yield in growing environments, but to bring health to people living within that environment. Apropos to that has been a study of the relationship between the microbes that live in our gut and the microbes that live in healthy soil. They are the same identical set of microbes, interestingly enough, but when they are disturbed or killed off, we get the same kinds of problems in soil and people. So, in order to stay healthy it is important to know how to restore both human and soil populations of microbes and understand how it all works. We need to understand also how this relates to the overall health of human society and why building a healthy microbe population in both people and the soil may mean the difference to our future survival between flourishing and degeneration, health and disease. thegardenladyofga.wordpress.com

 

 

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Growing Organic in the City—Yes It’s Possible!

Dan SusmanToday my guest is Dan Susman, director of Director Growing Cities. Growing Cities is the first documentary about urban farming across America.From rooftop farmers to backyard beekeepers, Americans are growing food like never before. Growing Cities tells the inspiring stories of these intrepid urban farmers, innovators, and everyday city-dwellers who are challenging the way this country grows and distributes its food. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Growing Cities been accepted by American Public Television to reach a guaranteed 80% of PBS markets, but the filmmakers are responsible to secure all funding for the broadcast, including all the editing and conforming the film to PBS standards. So they are reaching out through a Kickstarter program to raise $30,000 by July 9th.

Dan has lived, breathed, and eaten urban agriculture over the past three years making Growing Cities. He has visited countless urban farms and food projects across the country and worked with many leaders in the sustainable agriculture movement. He is also the co-founder of Truck Farm Omaha, an edible education project which teaches local youth about sustainable farming and healthy foods. www.growingcitiesmovie.com

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Beyond Organic: How BioDynamic Agriculture Contributes to Good Health

Thea Maria CarlsonToday my guest is Thea Maria Carlson, Director of Programs of the Biodynamic Association. We’ll be talking about the basics of biodynamics and how to find and choose biodynamic foods. Biodynamics is a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition. It was first developed in the early 1920s based on the spiritual insights and practical suggestions of the Austrian writer, educator and social activist Dr. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Today, the biodynamic movement encompasses thousands of successful gardens, farms, vineyards and agricultural operations of all kinds and sizes on all continents, in a wide variety of ecological and economic settings. Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself. Biodynamic practitioners also recognize and strive to work in cooperation with the subtle influences of the wider cosmos on soil, plant and animal health. Thea is a farmer, organizer, educator, and artist with roots in California and the Midwest. She joined the Biodynamic Association while farming with Turtle Creek Gardens in 2011, and continued to balance both roles until she became Director of Programs in 2013. Her previous work includes teaching gardening, nutrition and beekeeping; developing community and educational gardens in California, Chicago and Maine; organizing strategic communications training programs for nonprofit leaders; and farming with Blue House Farm and Mendocino Organics. Thea earned a B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University, a permaculture design certificate from Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, and is trained in the Art of Hosting. www.biodynamics.com

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Late Winter Seed Starting for Spring and Summer Harvest

Today my guest is Diann Dirks, — 45 year Organic Gardener, Certified Permaculture Designer, Agricultural and Gardening consultant, Edible Environment planner, expert in Raised Bed and Food Forest gardening, soil composting for food and herb growing, and homesteader. February is the time to start seeds for spring and summer gardens. We’ll discuss why starting your own seeds is such a vital part of gardening today. We’ll also talk about why we start our seeds in late winter rather than wait till it’s warm. Learn what kinds of soil to start seeds in, easy and inexpensive starter containers, and what plants to start for spring (cool weather), and summer (hot weather) plants. We’ll also talk about how to make outdoor early starter containers and ‘cold frame’ growing areas if you don’t have room on a windowsill. www.thegardenladyofga.wordpress.com

 

 

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How to Grow Organic Food in Small Spaces: Container & Vertical Gardening

My guest Jai McFall is the owner of Organic Living for All, my local organic nursery and garden center here in Florida. We’ll be talking about why you should grow your own food as well as how—even if you only have a small garden space or none at all. Jai grew up on an organic farm, where her family grew fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, and other farm products. They baked all their own breads, pie’s cakes, and cookies. They canned fruits, vegetables, jams, jellies, and pickles. Jai is a Master Gardener in Michigan and Florida as well as an organic, edible landscape designer. She does everything from full service landscaping to providing healthy plants and soil amendments so customers become able to grow healthy, nutritious and nutrient-dense food in their own back yards. Under Jai’s direction, I have actually been able to grow tasty vegetables in soil that is basically beach sand. Weekends you’ll find her giving classes and tours at her garden center while serving the most delicious iced tea made with herbs from her garden, including naturally sweet stevia. www.organiclivingforall.com

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