SG562: Resident Farmer Trevor Johnson Discusses Organic and Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening

March 17, 2017

Trevor Johnson is the Resident Farmer at the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in Michigan. In 2012, the hospital launched an organic greenhouse with the main goal of feeding the sick patients. Little did Trevor know, the hospital’s greenhouse has become a community center where Michigan residents can take cooking classes right inside the hospital.…

SG561: Bringing Farms to Schools in Oregon with Rick Sherman

March 10, 2017

Rick Sherman was hired by the Oregon Department of Education in 2012 as the Farm to School/School Garden coordinator after working for 32 years for a food service management company. The last 20 of those years have been spent as a Director of Nutrition Services in Eugene, Albany and Dallas (Oregon). Rick is a Master…

SG560: Turn Compact Spaces into Successful Market Farms with Josh Volk

March 3, 2017

Josh Volk is a farmer turned inventor and author.  In his book, Compact Farms: 15 Proven Plans for Market Farms on 5 Acres or Less, Josh profiles the winning strategies and systems that transform these unique compact spaces into successful growing operations.  During our chat, Josh personally guides us through every single farm – all…

SG559: Amp Up Your Gardening Skills (5 Ways You Can Get Started Today)

February 24, 2017

I was having a chat with a woman a few weeks ago who asked me about becoming a better gardener. I asked her how long she had been gardening, and she said five years. Looking embarrassed, she sort of looked down at the ground; as if this was not enough time to qualify her as…

SG558: Finding Joy in The Garden with Nell Foster

February 17, 2017

Nell Foster’s garden blog, Joy Us Garden, celebrates all things garden as she shares her passion for plants, pruning, and the great outdoors! Nell recently packed her bags and moved to Tucson, Arizona after living in Santa Barbara, California for over 30 years. I love Nell’s perspective after working almost two decades in design and landscaping. Nell also has a fun YouTube channel which is filled with lovely DIY tutorials.

SG557: Gardening Challenge: Grow and Preserve a Year’s Worth of Food with Megan Cain

February 10, 2017

Megan Cain never touched a vegetable plant until the summer she turned 26. Today, Megan shows people how to successfully grow their own food and get the most from their vegetable gardens. Megan trains gardeners through her business, The Creative Vegetable Gardener, and is the author of several books including the book we dive into today: Super Easy Food Preserving.

SG556: Joel Karsten Helps Farmers in Cambodia and How Straw Bale Gardens Solves the Toughest Growing Challenges

February 3, 2017

Joel 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. Cambodia’s agricultural challenges are many including yearly flooding and drought with temperatures in the summer well over 100 degrees. 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.

SG555: How to Grow a Gorgeous Garden Using Less Water with Pam Penick

January 27, 2017

Pam Penick is the author of two books, The Water-Saving Garden and Lawn Gone! She is also one of the founders of the Garden Blogger’s Fling. Pam has been blogging about her garden since 2006, which means she’s definitely blogging royalty by this point. Today, we do a deep dive into her book, The Water-Saving Garden, and how everyday gardeners can create a more efficient and water-savvy garden.

SG554: Tools and Tactics to use Craigslist for your Garden

January 20, 2017

Over the years, I’ve found surprising, wonderful items for my garden by strategically using Craigslist. So, I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks with you – things you can do right now (in the off season – or in the peak time in your garden) – to score some great finds without breaking the bank. Plus, I’ll walk you through the 25 search terms in my account right now that help me filter out the junk and find the perfect pieces for my garden.

SG553: How Native Plants Bring Nature Home with Peggy Anne Montgomery

January 13, 2017

Peggy Anne is a passionate plantswoman with more than 30 years of experience. Peggy Anne went from studying and practicing landscape design in the Netherlands to working for reputable garden powerhouses like Bailey Nurseries and the Mount Cuba Center where she cultivated her passion for native plants. Today, Peggy Anne is the Brand Manager at American Beauties Native Plants and she’s leading the charge for bringing nature home in gardens across America by encouraging the use of native plants. A fellow Minnesotan, Peggy Anne gave a fantastic talk about native plants at the evening reception on Day 2 of the Garden Bloggers Fling and I knew within the first five minutes that I had to get her on the show for a repeat performance.

Editorial

The View From Up Here This Month

March 2017 | jennifer@6ftmama.com

Capital M

Maybe if I had seen how busy my March was going to be, I’d have spent more time in January and February making sure I made sleep a priority.

I mean, I’ve never been really all that disciplined about keeping a regular bedtime – but just looking at the days ahead in March make me tired.

When I was a sophomore in college, I fell on the ice walking up the steps to a side door of my dormitory.  Much to my surprise, my friend Diane remembered this (isn’t this just one of the best parts of having golden oldie friends?)  She reminded me that we had been returning from a Toastmasters meeting (I started the town's Toastmasters club – could I have been more geeky? Probably not.)  Anywho, my shoulder’s been a bother ever since – but it’s gotten much worse over the past year. 

When I went to my orthapedist, he said, “Congrats, you popped a piano string”.  As someone who had considered becoming a piano tuner at one point in my life, I thought that was a funny segway into a breaking the bad news: rotator cuff surgery.

I’ve been trying to keep my mind off it, but my shoulder is throwing a big ol’ celebration – reminding me this cannot be put off any longer.  So, March means surgery for me.

I can tell you, for a fact, that my happy place is in my southern garden - and that's exactly where my mind is going the minute that pain block kicks in and the surgery starts.  

Deep breath.

Happy place...

– – – – – – 

Growing Gardeners

This month I’m speaking at the Schoolyard Gardens Conference at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. My breakout session is called How to Keep Kids Engaged in the Garden: Lessons from My Experiences with Student Gardeners.

If I’ve learned anything from working with students over the years it’s this: they form their own unique connection to the garden.

Back when I worked in Human Resources, we were always trying to leverage people’s strengths in order to boost performance.

I’ve found that the same principle works fabulously in the garden.

You’re artistic? Let’s make some garden art.”

You’re handy? It’s birdhouse building day!”

You don’t enjoy getting sweaty? How about taking some photos of the garden?”

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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

SG561: Bringing Farms to Schools in Oregon with Rick Sherman

Bringing Farms to Schools in Oregon with Rick Sherman

Rick Sherman was hired by the Oregon Department of Education in 2012 as the Farm to School/School Garden coordinator after working for 32 years for a food service management company. The last 20 of those years have been spent as a Director of Nutrition Services in Eugene, Albany and Dallas (Oregon). Rick is a Master…

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Teacher Feedback 6ftmama blog

Getting Feedback From Your Child About Their Teachers

A few years ago, I wrote about how I prepare for Parent Teacher Conferences in my post The Ultimate Prep Checklist for Parent Teacher Conferences. Building on that, this year I wanted to go a little more in-depth and try to better understand what school is like for our kids from their perspective. Here are the…
Succulent row 1 6ftmama.com

Succulent Fix

Ok. Twist my arm. Let’s go look at succulents in the nursery. The first thing I would do with this guy is give him a bath and clean him up a bit. Beautifully shaped leaves on this Kalanchoe. Say hello to my leetle ledebouria…. Meet mammilaria cristata – not a fan. Sometimes I like the brown…
Sonny rides to Puptown 2014 the Still Growing Gardening Podcast 6ftmama blog

Some things never change

Some things never change. You know how Facebook reminds you of old status updates with those Time Hop photo memories? Generally speaking, they make me feel a little sad because old pictures of the kids just seem to punctuate how fast they're growing up now that they're teenagers.

Tap the page to see my Garden Chores!

March 2017 To Dos

March 2017 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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