Still Growing with 6ft Mama Podcast

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In the Garden

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SG527 Pam Hoepner of Pam’s Pepper Jam

In this week’s episode (SG527), I interview Pam Hoepner – the creative and driven woman behind Pam’s Pepper Jam. It’s an inspiring story for anyone who has ever dreamed of making a business out of their garden harvest.

In the Kitchen

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6FTMAMA

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SG549: An Inside Peak Into The Chicago Botanic Garden

Today, I invited two people onto the podcast from the Chicago Botanic Garden. The first is Jodi Zombolo. She is the Associate Vice President of Visitor Events and Programs at the botanic garden and discusses some of the exciting events the botanic garden hosts each year. The next guest is Lisa Hilgenberg, who is the lead Horticulturist for the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden. As a fellow Minnesotan, she is in charge of over 50,000 vegetable plants at the botanic garden, which she discusses a bit more in-depth on the show!

The View From Up Here This Month
December 2016 | jennifer@6ftmama.com Capital M Many moons ago, twelve to be exact, we started this tradition of hosting an annual Christmas Celebration in our home. I can trace back the origin to two events. First, Philip and I were invited to a Soup and Sing.  We brought the soup; the host provided a guitarist. It was so peaceful as we sat around their living in a small circle and sang Christmas carols.  Around that time, I was still giving piano lessons. Incredulous to me, I was struck by how my students knew so few Christmas carols; after naming Jingle Bells, Rudolph, and Frosty - it was slim pickings. Our Christmas Celebration starts with the big locust tree in the front yard.  The night of the party, we fill the lower limbs with candlelit mason jars (real candles!) It's breathtaking. Mason Jars Christmas Celebration 6ftmama blog Singers from the local high school stand in the great room and great the guests as they arrive. The guests bring the food and we provide the beverages and the chocolate fountain for the kids. I make a garnish bowl with herbs from my garden. garnish bowl 6ftmama blog The kids make a sugar wafer tower for the chocolate fountain. cookie tower 6ftmama blog The guest list has changed a little through the years. Grandpa and Grandma are ready for any singing assignment. Christmas guests arrive 6ftmama blog Santa arrives at 7pm and is greeted by the strains of "You'd better watch out. You'd better not cry. Better not pout, I'm telling you why..."Santa arrives 6ftmama blog Some years, Santa's glasses fog up when he comes in from the cold. Luckily, he's used to it - and, after all, it is Minnesota. Santa is here 6ftmama blog Young and old, nice and naughty - all get their time with Santa. Folks file through to get their picture taken with Santa by the tree. I have it on good authority that he may be part of a mannequin challenge this year. 12366444_10206331843747218_2903978844122026649_n 12360278_10206331825066751_8730220563317588747_n There are guest musicians playing the guitar in the basement. 1937166_10206331838987099_8546259116886857942_n All the kids know that extras of the best snacks are stashed upstairs in the kitchen. 10305170_10206331843667216_3678286901925240664_n-1 Speaking of elves, this crew has been in charge of decoration and celebration for over five years. Nothing slips by them - and if it does, they catch it and wrap it. 12360408_10206331822946698_4263689329561686639_n This elf, in particular, wants things just a certain way - and I couldn't agree more! 12373354_10206331839067101_5802728589719727919_n Before the caroling begins, Santa bids everyone a good night. Then it's time to dim the lights. (It turns out that people sing better when the lights are lowered - so if you decide to sing, dim the lights first!)12376029_10206331825826770_8013274026206025431_n We start with Auld Lang Syne and continue alphabetically through the set list until we end on We Wish You A Merry Christmas. That hour, with all of us singing together, is Christmas. to me. 12376176_10206331831746918_2073599105280388992_n It's nostalgic, of course, but also hilarious. There's a hundred foot jingle bell ribbon for everyone to shake during Jingle Bells. Everyone breaks into groups for the Twelve Days of Christmas. Last year, I added Sharon Jones, "Big Bulbs". This year, we will sing it again and wish her Merry Christmas in heaven. During our chat this past fall, author Anna Thomas asked, "What are we without our traditions?" The answer was in the question - we are without. Traditions bring honor and completeness. The countless little actions and tasks that are completed every December all lead up to that one hour of singing together. It is in that hour of singing that we attune to the entire point of our Christmas Celebration: togetherness. 12391316_10206331838467086_5788084805068070185_n Well, that's the View From Up Here for December 2016.  

Still growing...

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Hi there I'm Jennifer
harvesting hydrangea Jennifer Ebeling
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Latest Episode

SG549: An Inside Peak Into The Chicago Botanic Garden

Today, I invited two people onto the podcast from the Chicago Botanic Garden. The first is Jodi Zombolo. She is the Associate Vice President of Visitor Events and Programs at the botanic garden and discusses some of the exciting events the botanic garden hosts each year. The next guest is Lisa Hilgenberg, who is the lead Horticulturist for the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden. As a fellow Minnesotan, she is in charge of over 50,000 vegetable plants at the botanic garden, which she discusses a bit more in-depth on the show!

Help a gardener + their garden grow… Please Share this Episode

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” ― Robert Louis Stevenson.
Jodi Zombolo and Lisa Hilgenberg from Chicago Botanical Garden are on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast!Tweet This

Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden

Wonderland Express

The Orchid Show

Interview Questions

Welcome Jodi, why don’t you start off by sharing a bit about yourself?
Time Stamp: 9:50
How many events do you put together in a typical year?
Time Stamp 10:25
Who is craving all these pumpkins during the Night of a Thousand Jack O’ Lanterns event?
Time Stamp: 13:10
What kind of candles did you use and how long did it take you to light them all?
Time Stamp: 13:45
Can you give us a high-level overview of The Wonderland Express? How did it get started?
Time Stamp: 15:45
The next event that I wanted to talk to you about is the orchid show. Tell us a little bit about that.
Time Stamp: 22:45
Do you sell some of the orchids too?
Time Stamp: 23:55
What’s the event like? Do guests learn how to care for orchids?
Time Stamp: 24:20
How many people come to the orchid show every year?
Time Stamp: 26:50
You also have an orchid show photo contest for your visitors?
Time Stamp: 28:10
How did you end up working at the Chicago Botanic Garden in 2010 – specifically as the lead horticulturalist at the Regenstein Fruit and Vegetable Garden– in charge of over 50,000 vegetable plants?
Time Stamp: 31:25
Welcome us to the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden of today. I was thinking your motto could be Fructus Insulam – Island of Fruit (is there Latin word for Vegetable?!)
Time Stamp: 33:05
The Chicago Botanic Garden traces its origins back to the Chicago Horticultural Society, founded in 1890. You and I were talking in the pre-show chat that there’s this fantastic book that has many images of the Chicago Botanic Garden during this time. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Time Stamp: 38:40
There was a lovely post by Katje Sabin about meeting you at the garden in wintertime. You shared with her how you work with the cycle of nature to handle challenges in the garden. How can home gardeners adapt the same practice – do you have some insights or advice to get them started down this path?
Time Stamp: 44:35
What would be an example of what you recently combatted with a more natural approach vs. a spray?
Time Stamp: 47:05
I loved the photo of the cold frames that your carpenters built. These are deluxe! They have hydraulic lid lifts and heating coils. How do they work?
Time Stamp: 50:15
You wrote an incredible post called Food for Thought: Celebrating the Vegetables of the 1890s. It was eye-opening for me to read it. Could you share your thoughts on this post and why it’s important for gardeners to know about seed preservation?
Time Stamp: 53:40
When you’re buying seed for the garden, do you have a specific source to go for seed? And when you do buy the seeds, do you focus on buying heirloom seeds?
Time Stamp: 57:25
There are a series of some beautiful vertical gardens at Regenstein. What tips do you have for gardeners who want to try this at home?
Time Stamp: 59:15
Now that the growing season is pretty much done, do you empty out everything?
Time Stamp: 1:03:45
You also offer vegetable classes at Regenstein. What are some of the things visitors can learn from your classes?
Time Stamp: 1:05:15
How concerned are people about the spreading issue with strawberries? They can take over your garden so quickly.
Time Stamp: 1:07:55
You wrote a post about Gardening Gift Book recommendations for the CBG last year. What would make your top ten list for garden books this year?
Time Stamp: 1:11:55
All gardens evolve. When you think about the crop plans for next year, what are you excited about as look ahead at the 2017 year in the garden?
Time Stamp: 1:16:15
Can you give listeners a quick overview about the seed swap event that the Chicago Botanic Garden hosts every year?
Time Stamp: 1:19:20

Website: Chicagobotanic.org
Facebook: Still Growing Facebook Group
Resources:
Incredible Fungi Timelapse from Planet Earth II
Woodlandtrust.org.uk
Illustrating Plants in Medieval Manuscripts
177milkstreet.com
J.M. Hirsch, Milk Street’s editorial director
The Smart Garden
Mightyaxehops.com
Chicago Horticultural Society
The Plant Lover’s Guide to Primulas
Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy
The Seed Garden by Lee Buttala and Shanyn Siegal
Heirloom Harvest by Amy Goldman
Epic Tomatoes by Craig LeHoullier

Listen to the Show

Subscribe to Still Growing

You can always find Still Growing on iTunes or on my favorite app: Stitcher Radio.

What listeners are saying…
I never write reviews but this is the best gardening podcast out there. Jennifer has interesting topics and guests and is not one bit annoying like some others are. I love that she involves her kids at the end of the podcast – usually with poetry or music. Really good podcast.
– Barbcfc, Mar 23, 2016
Still Growing is one of the reliably informative gardening podcasts from North America. The format consists of an intro (personal gardening status chat, seasonal remarks), an extended interview with a guest, and an outro with funny outtakes, side remarks, and some chatter (poems, readings) from the host’s children. The podcast is focused on reliable knowledge – the guests are typically experts like academics, master gardeners, gardening entrepreneurs or public garden leaders. The intro and especially the outro give it a homey feel. Given I live in the high northern region, just a little below the Polar Circle, I’m always looking for more cold-weather oriented gardening information. Jennifer Ebeling is in Minnesota, so that’s helpful to me! Vegetable gardening (my main interest) gets a good share, but is not predominant. Most topics transcend your specific gardening interest and are applicable to many styles: landscaping principles, vermicomposting, greenhouses. The episodes are typically an hour long, which is just fine for me.
– cwaigl, May 29, 2014
Best gardening podcast out there. Her preparedness leads to a good interaction with the guests and brings out the best in them. Very informative and yet personable.
– Corn bug, June 15, 2016
This is a great podcast. Really well produced and organized with good sound quality. I love the mix of information and personal touches. Jennifer has great guests and asks the best questions. You can tell she really does her homework. I listen to several gardening podcasts and this is my absolute favorite!
– So Cal Gardengirl, June 19,2016

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