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…

SG565: Cultivate Happier Plants Using Organic Soil with Mark Highland

April 7, 2017

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…

SG564: Grow Your Own Apothecary with Herbalist Jodi McKee

March 31, 2017

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…

SG563: 10 Ways to Engage Kids in the Garden

March 24, 2017

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…

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…

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

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

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

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…

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Oven-Roasted Asparagus John prep cook 6ftmama blog

Oven-Roasted Asparagus (so easy your kids can make it!)

Asparagus is a great vegetable for kids to prepare and cook because it is so darn easy to make. John’s in 4th grade and he’s my little prep cook. Asparagus is the perfect vegetable to practice your knife skills on because it doesn’t slide around and it’s fairly sturdy. I always have the kids chop the asparagus…
Gardening Resources on Craigslist Francy's Elevated Planter Bed from Craigslist 6ftmama blog

Gardening Resources on Craigslist with a Complete List of My Favorite Search Terms

  Craigslist is such a great resource for gardeners. Did you know they have a farm + garden section? Last week, I bought this fabulous 4’x6′ elevated garden bed for $25 from a fabulous lady named Francy. (I’ve never met a Francy who is anything less than fabulous – great name!) When this marvelous beast…
Lemon Pudding Cake Marked on Cake Plate with Expo Marker 6ftmama blog

After School Snack Station

This weekend we did absolutely nothing. As PJ announced on Friday after school, “It’s Relaxation Weekend!”  No basketball tournaments. No appointments. No gatherings. Just chilling at home. Which was fine and dandy until I realized we had no food in the house on Sunday night. So, before I walked Sonny, we ran to the grocery store…

Tap the page to see my Garden Chores!

April 2016 To Dos 6ftmama blog

April 2017 Garden Chores 6ftmama blog

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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