41: Joel Karsten on Straw Bale Gardening

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Joel is a farm boy who grew up tending a soil garden like others have for centuries, but he shook up the gardening world with his first book on his breakthrough concept, straw bale gardening.  Joel earned a BS in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota and spends his summers tending his vegetable garden, doing research, and experimenting with new ideas and methods he can pass along to his followers. Joel has inspired tens of thousands of first-time gardeners and a legion of “seasoned” growers who have found a new and better way to pursue their passion.  His methods have even enabled “retired” gardeners to begin gardening again since his method eliminates the physical challenges found in traditional soil gardening. 

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Where can you find Joel?



  1. I have listened to all of the podcasts, and they are inspiring. My favorite is the straw bale gardening episode. This is so practical in Arizona where most of the soil is very poor. Thanks for the great information.

  2. My only complaint is that the interviewer was eating during this interview near the end and you could hear him chewing ( or what sounded like it) and I would also suggest links to the books referenced as well as other additional sources recommended. I do want to say that I did love this podcast and do appreciate the time taken to do this and post. I will be following!

    • Thank you for your comment on our podcast titled Joel Karsten on Straw Bale Gardening. This particular podcast was one of our early ones and we learned since then that some of the “quiet sounds” were actually picked up quite easily by our microphones. Oops!
      Regarding the suggestion for book links, we have made a few changes over the past few months to the format of our pages including fuller descriptions and consistent book links. We are glad to see that this is something that our listeners are actually looking for and would use. We have not considered going back and re-doing the older podcasts due to time constraints, but perhaps we might just start doing that a little at a time.
      We appreciate and welcome your feedback,

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