SG575: The Victorian Fern Craze with Rare Book Specialist Stacy Stoldt

June 23, 2017

Listen to the Show Stacy Stoldt of the Chicago Botanic Garden is a rare book specialist and a true gem of information in the world of horticulture. As luck would have it, we had a fascinating chat back in November of last year.  Stacy gave me a glimpse into her work as a librarian at…

SG574: How to Make Your NEW Garden Feel OLDER

June 16, 2017

Today we are going to explore the various methods to make your new garden feel much older! Back when I first started gardening, I remember learning with a little sense of frustration the old adage about perennials – the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap.  I…

SG573: Basilmania!

June 9, 2017

Basil is my all-time favorite edible to grow in the garden. In fact, my first purpose for digging in the dirt every Spring is to plant my basil crop – and despite getting a late start after rotator cuff surgery, this year was no exception. Like me, many gardeners associate the smell of basil with…

SG572: Ten Little Changes to Your Gardening Practice That Will Make You Much More Productive

June 2, 2017

Productivity is a constant area of focus for me. I’m always trying to maximize my efforts in the garden – streamline my time and feel a sense of accomplishment after working outside. Every gardener is wired a little differently: some people want to get up and garden first thing in the morning while others wait…

SG571: The Top 40 Most Wanted Plants List

May 26, 2017

In today’s show, I’m sharing the Top 40 Most Wanted Planted List or as I like to call it, “The Plants We Pine For”. These are the plants that gardeners around the country mention when you ask them to finish this sentence: “I wish I planted more….” This particular Most Wanted List is compiled from…

SG570: My Recommended Essentials for Your Garden Tote

May 19, 2017

In today’s show, I’m sharing my gardening tote essentials – yes I am! I’m sharing all my favorite and wonderful items I like to use when I’m in the garden. Every gardener uses pruners and garden gloves, so today I’m talking about some of the more unique things I’ve incorporated into my gardening practice over…

SG569: The Foodscape Revolution – Increasing the Beauty and Bounty of Your Landscape with Brie Arthur

April 28, 2017

Have you been wanting to add edibles to your garden but feel you simply don’t have the space?  Are you tired of having a cookie cutter garden, but don’t know what to add to bring excitement and a unique design esthetic to your landscape? Over the years, I’ve naturally gravitated to adding edibles in my…

SG568: Sharing Your Garden – Special Tips for Welcoming Guests and Maximizing Your Happiness on Your Garden’s Big Day!

April 21, 2017

Are garden parties, garden tours, or open days on your summer calendar this year? No matter the occasion, sharing your garden is a lovely, generous, and memorable gift for your guests. But, the most important question for you, as the gardener and host, is: how can you make the gift sharing of your garden life-giving…

SG567: The Legend of the Dogwood Tree an Easter Special with Lynn Gendusa

April 16, 2017

I’m pretty sure I experienced a divine alignment the day I discovered Lynn Gendusa’s column in the LaGrange Daily News. I had the distinct pleasure of reading her Easter column a few days ago. In an instant, I was completely taken with Lynn’s story of self-awakening – it was an Easter hunt of sorts. Buried in the tasks of daily life, Lynn had become what she calls “A forgetful daughter”. In the story, Lynn shares the legend of the Dogwood tree and her description of the tree she discovered on her walk is simply beautiful.

SG566: Getting the Help You Need in the Garden with Jenny Prince of American Meadows

April 14, 2017

Are you needing to find help with your garden this year? Have you ever tried to find neighbor kids or local students to help out? Over the years, I’ve worked with lots of kids in my garden. And with my upcoming surgery, I’ll be needing help again. But how can you find good helpers and…

Editorial

The View From Up Here This Month

June 2017 | jennifer@6ftmama.com

Capital M

My recipe for happiness in June always includes making mom's rhubarb bars, getting back into a groove with my garden practice, and planting tons of basil.  All of these simple pleasures represent the start of summer (and schlepping the kids to basketball camp - but let's focus on living the dream!)

My favorite rhubarb dessert is the one that my mom used to make when I was a little girl - it's still my favorite.  In Episode 571,  at the 1:10:00 mark, I thought it would be fun to give mom a call at the point in the show where I was talking about rhubarb (it's a "most wished-for plant").  Mom had no idea I was recording when I asked her to tell me the recipe so I could make this fantastic little dessert. 

See if you don't hear your own mother's voice as you read through mom's verbatim instructions:

OK.

Put four or five cups finely chopped rhubarb into the bottom of a 9x13 glass cake pan. 

Now what it doesn't say is I always took a frozen stick of butter and I just peel the wrapper back a little bit so I can keep my hands clean. (I don't take the whole wrapper off but just make it so you can use the end.) And I would go back and forth on the bottom of that cake pan and around the edges because you don't want it to stick for cleaning up, see? 

Then it's four to five cups of chopped rhubarb - and you're just dumping this stuff into the pan so you don't even need a mixing bowl - which is really nice.

Now, if you put in six cups of rhubarb - Oooooh well.

So four or five cups rhubarb chopped really fine - well, not really fine but nice fine - because you don't want a big clump of rhubarb in your mouth.

And you sprinkle one cup of sugar over that rhubarb.

Then you sprinkle one cup of miniature marshmallows (and if you don't have miniature marshmallows and only have big ones, you can take your kitchen shears and cut up big marshmallows into four chunks, you know?)

Then you add at least a cup of red raspberries.  (Just buy a couple of packages of fresh raspberries in the grocery store or you can buy frozen. But, if they're fresh then you know you don't have to wait for them to thaw.) 

[insert 70's flashback] This is where you and Lara (my best friend) got your hands all cut up because I was thawing out my frozen raspberries on the counter. Marj and I were out sitting on the picnic table and you both came out and your hands were all cut up because those raspberry cans at the time - you know when you peeled off the top then there was a sharp ridge all around the inside - had kind of a metal ridge, do you remember that?

So, Marj says, "What have you been doing?!"

And I'm like,  "Oh my! They got into my raspberries!"

[I didn't remember this - so mom continued on with the recipe.]

So, I would throw two packages of fresh raspberries over the top and now you pour over all of that your box of white jiffy cake mix. (And if they don't have that - it's just a half a box of another kind of cake mix - don't matter what kind you buy.)

You bake at 350 for about 40 to 50 minutes. You just watch and when it's all bubbly and the cake mix itself has browned so it looks yummy, you're done.

It says raspberries are optional of course but it tastes like a berry short cake if you use them.

And then you can serve that with whipped cream on top or ice cream - and it is also good plain. 

And then you refrigerate itafter it's cooled and everybody's had some of it.  Then if there is any left, you refrigerate the rest.

It's pretty darned easy. You just gotta have the ingredients.

Emma bakes rhubarb dessert

 

Now that she's done with her freshman year, Emma's back in the kitchen at least a few days a week. She's a baker at heart - like her Aunt Jill and Great Grandma Ruby.  Lucky me.

- - - - -

Gardening productivity is a bit of an obsession for me. I'm always trying to maximize my efforts in the garden, streamline my time, and feel a sense of accomplishment after working outside.

That said, every gardener is wired a little differently:

Some people want to get up and garden first thing in the morning while others wait to tackle their garden work late in the day.

Still others are weekend warriors.

But, whenever we talk about pursuing a hobby or a passion like gardening, it's important to remember that we're not doing it for a paycheck. We're not even doing it purely for happiness sake (because sometimes we can actually feel pretty miserable after being in the garden.)

So what makes us continue to garden and what makes certain that we don't give up on gardening?

The answer is a universal truth for any activity: It's being able to make consistent progress and feeling that our time in the garden is meaningful.

These thoughts on gardener productivity were the inspiration ofr Episode 572: Ten Little Changes to Your Gardening Practice That Will Make You Much More Productive

Ten Little Changes to Your Gardening Practice That Will Make You Much More Productive

- - - - - - -

One of the most popular episodes of the Still Growing Gardening Podcast came about almost by happenstance. I had been planting my yearly spring crop of basil and it occurred to me that basil might warrant it's very own episode. 

Many gardeners associate the smell of basil with summer.  Just by rubbing a basil leaf to release it’s earthy, rich, fragrance with hints of both mint and clove, makes me remember teaching my children how to harvest basil outside on the deck - where our kitchen garden is located.  In fact, one of the first recipes the kids memorized by heart is how to make basil pesto.  Now my family is definitely not alone in our love for basil - without a doubt, it’s among the most popular culinary herb. 
 
So what makes basil such a hot commodity in the garden? As the classic herb of summer, basil is a very well-rounded winner - from being a wonderful companion plant, cut-flower, easy propagator, bountiful producer, successful herb for preserving, a distinct aromatic addition to perfumes, a natural pest repellent, and absolutely amazing in the kitchen when used with an infinite constellation of 
recipes.
 
Episode 573 is simply called Basilmania - and it's my way of playing match-maker between you and the King of Herbs - Basil.  If you’ve never grown basil or cooked with basil - I want to make the introduction for you and if you’re already head over heels with basil (like I am), I want to give you even more reasons to keep your passion for basil alive.
 

Basilmania!

 
Wishing you a lovely June!
 
Still Growing,
6ftmama flower signature
 
 

The Still Growing Gardening Podcast

helping you + your garden grow

About

Each week, I produce and host Still Growing - a long format podcast - from my home in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota.

Why a long format? First of all, there are few podcasts in the garden space that are long format.  Secondly, there is a satisfaction that comes only from a good, long conversation.

My focus is on the journey of discovery that every gardener goes through. If I can help people find joy and the wisdom from gardening, they will be life-long gardeners.

For the ladies...

 

Did you know that only 12 percent of podcasts are produced by women? In fact, there are 7,500 female bloggers for every one female podcaster. That's a revealing and inspiring ratio.

 

If you're a woman who is interested in podcasting, She Podcasts is a wonderful group for female podcasters on Facebook. You will find loads resources, advice, and support there.

 

I'd love to see more women in podcasting.

Latest episode with arrow in White

SG575: The Victorian Fern Craze with Rare Book Specialist Stacy Stoldt

Listen to the Show Stacy Stoldt of the Chicago Botanic Garden is a rare book specialist and a true gem of information in the world of horticulture. As luck would have it, we had a fascinating chat back in November of last year.  Stacy gave me a glimpse into her work as a librarian at…

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New Episodes Released Every Friday (1)
The Still Growing Gardening Podcast Featuring Megan Cain Lucky Listeners Win Her Two Books

Winners of Books by Megan Cain the Creative Vegetable Gardener

Last week, Megan Cain was featured on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast in episode SG557 to tell us all about amazing guide to Super Easy Food Preserving and to announce the release of her latest book, The Smart Start Garden Planner. At the end of the episode, Megan graciously offered to give-away a copy of both books to…
2-17-17 Garden News Roundup

2-17-17 Garden News Roundup

The Garden News Roundup Featured in the Still Growing Gardening Podcast Episode 558 on February 11th, 2017
Straw Bale Gardens by Joel Karsten on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast 6ftmama blog

Straw Bale Gardens by Joel Karsten (6 Winners!)

Last week, Joel Karsten returned to the Still Growing Gardening Podcast in episode SG556 to tell us all about his amazing trip to help farmers in Cambodia. At the end of the episode, Joel graciously offered to give-away six copies of his original book on Straw Bale Gardening. The six winners of Joel Karsten's bestselling book Straw Bale Gardens are...

Tap the page to see my Garden Chores!

Listeners Favorite Episodes

Anna Thomas

Anna Thomas is one of the most versatile and talented women I’ve had the pleasure to interview.  An academy award nominated filmmaker and imaginative home cook, she is the author of several incredible cookbooks including The Vegetarian Epicure and the James Beard Award–winning Love Soup.  In Anna's warm and lively style, she shows us how to cook for the family table; with over 150 recipes for all tastes, and menus for every occasion.  Anna is featured in episode 537 Vegan, Vegetarian, Omnivore and 547 Holiday Menu Planning.

Eric Sannerud

Eric Sannerud is a fourth-generation back-to-the-land farmer. By Spring 2017, Eric Sannerud's Mighty Axe Hops will be the largest grower and harvester of hops in the State of Minnesota. I was especially inspired by Eric's Ted Talk which focused on a significant issue in the food system’s future: our farmers are aging. This young farming entrepreneur's business has done nothing but shoot up - just like his hops plants. Eric is featured in episode 532.

Marta McDowell

Marta McDowell Marta McDowell combines her love for history and gardening in her books and the trend continues with All the Presidents’ Gardens. In her book, Marta curates facts and stories - from the fascinating to the charming - about each of the Presidents’ gardens and their significance over the years. This interview offers an in-depth look into the delightful aspects of the White House Grounds and how they have evolved along with the gardens of America. Marta is featured in episode 545.

Joel Karsten

Joel Karsten pioneered his now popular method of Straw Bale Gardening almost 25 years ago. The author of Straw Bale Gardens, Joel receives letters from grateful gardeners from around the globe. In April of last year, Joel was invited by the Korean Trade Partners (KOTRA) to Cambodia to teach Straw Bale Gardening using plentiful Rice Straw. By mitigating challenges and leveraging the ingenuity of the agricultural community, Joel’s method is increasing self reliance and improving food security for Cambodians.   

Joel is featured in episodes 515 Joel’s Story, 516 How to Straw Bale Garden, and 517 Advanced Straw Bale Garden Techniques and Q&A and 556 Joel's Trip to Cambodia.

 

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