Maximizing functions from landscape elements to save time, energy and money. Greg meets Shawn who explains a key permaculture concept of having multiple functions from one element. Shawn tells how he has designed many projects focusing on elements that have at least seven functions each. With his experience, he has brought together several examples in his new book and so he shares some ideas in this interview.
Expanding the habitat of an essential pollinator through garden choices. Greg chats with Matthew of the Xerces Society to learn more about their latest book titled 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, as well as some of the projects the Society has been working on. Matthew’s story of how he got to work for the Xerces Society is a little world tour and then he helps explain more about different bees and what they need.
Being green is all about having less of a negative impact on the planet and here Greg chats with Quita who has fully adopted a new lifestyle and loves helping others find their way into it as well. Quita tells how she got the courage to start gardening, and how that gave her confidence to try new ways to become self-sufficient even while living in a major city. Her encouraging attitude and caring nature helps as she spreads the word about little steps people can take in their own lives.
Greg talks to Brian Smith, a transplant to Arizona who needed to improve his gardening results and found out about biochar. Brian explains the process that was used over 2000 years ago, to transform burned wood into a long lasting organic super buffet with nutrients galore. He tells how he was so interested in the results that he took his research to the point that he can now make his own biochar in his backyard.
Greg reconnects with Penn to talk about the greenhouse designs she and her husband create, sell and teach about. Penn tells how her husband Cord took passive solar concepts and implemented them into the first greenhouse they built from reclaimed and scrap materials, and how they have made many improvements over time.
The complex and often misunderstood situation of food insecurity and hunger is the focus of discussion in Greg’s interview with Jayson. Jayson’s personal history growing up as the son of a young single mother gave him the empathy he needed to fill his role at the United Way. Jayson helps to explain many of the distinctions of hunger as well as how prevalent the reality is in the urban communities in America.
Greg interviews health and fitness advocate and radio show host Drew Taddia, and they talk about the importance of reducing stress and making sustainable lifestyle changes that work. Drew teaches about using a different mindset when making lifestyle changes, and how that can be the difference in succeeding or failing.
Greg meets Cory, a man who could not take ‘You can’t do that’ for an answer. Cory has transformed his home just outside of Phoenix to his own tropical fruit forest paradise using micro-climates, observation, experimentation, and frankly ignoring naysayers. His interest started with a few wine grapes and he got bit by the growing bug as he now has over 150 trees on his urban property and is not done trying new things.
Greg chats with a new friend Kaye, a recent convert to organic gardening who has been chronicling her challenges and amazing successes in her small garden. Living in California on the beach has it benefits, but it also comes with a challenging microclimate due to early morning fogs that limit the sun to her small garden.
Greg talks to a newer farmer, Shaun Keesee, who is having some success using biointensive farming techniques. Shaun shares how he reclaimed the land his family was leasing out to a hay farmer and starting growing crops to sell to markets and restaurants. He is applying the skills he has learned through his reading, internet and agriculture courses at his local college.