Jenny Prince American Meadows on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast 6ftmama blog

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

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…
Ingredients to Look for When Shopping for Organic Soil with Mark Highland

SG565: Cultivate Happier Plants Using Organic Soil with Mark Highland

Are you an organic gardener? Do you use organic potting soil? Back in 2006, the idea of organic potting soil would have been an emerging area in the world of horticulture – but it was a question and a concept that Mark Highland had been thinking about for a while. Mark Highland is known as…
Jodi McKee Herbalism on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast 6ftmama blog

SG564: Grow Your Own Apothecary with Herbalist Jodi McKee

Jodi is the creator of Inspired Living Home Body Spirit. She started her study of herbs over 15 years ago. Jodi is the soulful mother of three boys. Her specialties include: herbal consultations, hand-crafted herbal remedies, energy healing, herbal instructional classes and inspiration. Herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow. In fact, I…
0 Ways to Engage Kids in the Garden

SG563: 10 Ways to Engage Kids in the Garden

How do you get kids interested in gardening? That’s a question I get asked often. It’s a big question, because kids are pretty sophisticated these days. Their lives are fast-paced and they process information just as quickly. Indeed, they are growing up in the age of acceleration. So when it comes to fostering a love…
Trevor Johnson Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital Greenhouse on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast 6ftmama blog

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

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.…
Bringing Farms to Schools in Oregon with Rick Sherman

SG561: 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…
Turn Compact Spaces into Successful Market Farms with Josh Volk

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

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

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

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…
Finding Joy in The Garden with Neil Foster

SG558: Finding Joy in The Garden with Nell Foster

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.
Megan Cain 300 on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast 6ftmama blog

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

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.
Straw Bale Gardens Cambodia

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

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

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.

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,
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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.

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SG578: Day Two of the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling

SG578

In today’s show, I’m continuing my three part series about the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling held in and around Washington DC at the end of this past June. We will be reviewing Day 2 of the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling. On this day, we saw gardens in the suburbs of the DC area, so we’ll…

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Each week, after an update on the Listener Community, the show begins with the Garden News Roundup. The Garden News Roundup is made up of a dozen different segments - from updates on past guests to articles featuring fascinating folks in the world of horticulture I'd love to chat with (and that's something that I call the Dream Guest segment.) All of the segments are designed to honor the commitment of the show: to helping you + your garden grow.

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The Quotables segment has played a part in every Episode of the Still Growing Gardening Podcast. In early Episodes, the kids would read garden poetry or musings.

Today, the Quotables segment is a favorite among listeners of the show (and it's a personal favorite as well.) It's the perfect capstone to the Garden News Roundup.

 

SG578

 

Gardener,

Podcaster,

Still Growing

Thank you for listening to the show. It's the perfect mix of my two passions: podcasting and gardening. They both come together to create The Still Growing Gardening Podcast and bring it to life each week. 

 

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