SG585: The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder with Marta McDowell

Hit Play

The always fabulous Marta McDowell - the garden author from Chatham New Jersey and the author of All the President’s Gardens from Episode SG545 - is on the show today to talk about her latest book, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder; which tells the tale of the plants and places of the beloved author of the Little House series.

If you read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, then today’s show will be an extra special treat for you. In fact, my own well-worn paperbacks from the 1970’s are sitting happily on a shelf in our loft. My mom knew how special they were to me and hung on to them after I left home. Decades later, she brought them up to my house after we moved to lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota.

I must confess, chatting with Marta is extra special for me. In the first chapter of Marta’s book, there is a map showing all the places Laura Ingalls Wilder lived and my hometown, right in the heart of the prairie, is pretty much smack dab in the middle of that map. Growing up, Laura’s stories resonated with my midwestern vernacular and world view. 

One of the reasons so many of us have a soft spot in our heart for the Little House books is because Laura was so descriptive; she was a natural storyteller.  However, in retrospect, I think you may be surprised by the amount of material in Laura’s books devoted to the natural world - ma’s gardens, the landscapes Laura and her family experienced, and the reverence for  life - plants, animals, and human - all of it is so cherished by Laura and her loved ones.

Prepare to be amazed by the images you will recall; you’ll soon discover that there are passages from the book that are sewn into the heart of your childhood.  Listen to today’s show and I guarantee that you’ll enjoy a renewed appreciation for the lasting tribute Laura created when she wrote about the world of the pioneers in the late 1800s and early 1900s. 


Marta McDowell


Thanks for Listening!

Still Growing,

6ftmama flower signature

New Episodes Released Every Friday (1)

Heard Weekly on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast

Youre invited join the listener community
Welcome New Members

Khiet An

Susie Nasharr Shuma

Jessica Lynn Rose

Phyllis Marie

Tori Skezas

Susan Bishop

Karla Whitford

Nadine Keane

Harold Thornbro

Mary Heth

Petey Kitzmiller

Durgaprasad Durgaprasad

Cin Bar

Virginia Gonzalez

Neas Kcirtap Enaek

Lisa Smith

Listener AdvisoryBoard (LAB) (2)
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.

Still Growing Hotline (1)

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

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

Listen to Stitcher

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
Join the Still Growing Listener Community on Facebook! Click here

Leave a Comment