Welcome to The Urban Farm Podcast, your partner in the Grow Your Own Food revolution! This 3-day per week audio only podcast features special guests like Jason Mraz, Lisa Steele, and Kari Spencer as we discuss the art and value of growing food in urban areas. We'll explore topics such as urban beekeeping and chicken farming, permaculture, successful composting, monetizing your farm, and much more! Each episode will bring you tips and tricks on how to overcome common challenges, opportunities to learn from the experience of people just like you, and plenty of resources to ensure you're informed, equipped, and empowered to participate more mindfully in your local food system... and to have a great time doing it!
Retired after years of leadership in Monsanto, David Stark was asked to mentor a young company making what was essentially compost tea.Reluctantly and with some concerns over the science, he agreed and now is excited to share what he has learned about soil science and plant health. Grateful for not turning down the request, he now can help teach about soil and plant health and explain about the various microbes in the soil and the essential roles they play. www.urbanfarm.org/holganix
It was after spending some time out of the country that Francey Slater woke to the poor American relationship with food. This motivated her towards food justice and making a difference in her community. With a belief that healthy food is a right for everyone, she co-founded a non-profit that is creating community and school gardens, and building a stronger, resilient community as a result. www.urbanfarm.org/millcitygrows
His first introduction to okra did not go over well, but years later Chris Smith was given okra seeds as a gift and he felt responsible to do his best with them. This prompted him to research, learn, and experiment with many varieties and recipes. He learned a lot and he shares part of his journey becoming fascinated with this often discounted vegetable. Check out the recipe for pickled okra he shared with us as well. www.urbanfarm.org/okra
Watching his coworker through her lunch scraps into a large bin under her desk was just too exciting for Bentley Christie and soon he was on his way to becoming the Compost Guy with a popular blog and website about worm composting. He shares his excitement and admiration for the legless wonders that produce a valued garden soil amendment. Not stopping there, he explains a new method of composting that transformed his garden into a bountiful wonder. www.urbanfarm.org/compostguy
The area Shannon McBride grew up in experienced a tumultuous change when the light rail was built down the middle. Instead of letting herself get angry, she started a collaboration for the area. Building around a vision for a safe walkable community, she started with a community garden. Through team work, donations, and community buy-in, the results are impressive. But she’s not done and there's so much more to this collaboration. 19North is not your typical garden by any means! www.urbanfarm.org/19north
After running the Cooperative Extension Program for Urban Gardening in Atlanta, and taking leadership roles in several other community organizations, Bobby Wilson was not going to stop when he retired! Instead he invested his retirement money into a farm and has transformed it in a community resource with education, support, and community plots along with the production agriculture. He has a huge vision for what his team can accomplish. www.urbanfarm.org/bobbywilson
While becoming a licensed acupuncturist and doctor, Nicole Finklestein felt the carbon footprint of the medicinals and botanicals in her practice was extensive. She drew on her family farming background to start growing herbs and flowers. She discusses holistic practices used on her farm, as well as regenerative agriculture used to rebuild the soil. She has great advice for those interested on jumping into the niche market of medicinal farming. www.urbanfarm.org/herbanaustin
When an entrepreneurial opportunity came his way, Carl Atwell jumped on board with a passion. He is now president of Gempler’s and is building it again with a commitment towards his customers and employees. He shares the story of how Gempler’s was created with a focus on good values and how he connected with that. He also explains how the relationship with his customers and employees is so important to him and to his vision for the company. www.urbanfarm.org/gemplers
Her 9-year-old son wanted to eat snails while in France, and once home he wanted to eat the garden snails too – so food writer Molly Watson did the research and figured out how to harvest and cook the snails they collected. Her down to earth descriptions can help any gardener who wondered if the pests had an edible purpose. She also shares a lot about her research for her upcoming book about how to decide about being vegan. www.urbanfarm.org/snails
Production farming in America is not an easy business path to start on without some help or connections. Appreciating the value of farming after his travels in the US Navy, Chris Rawley realized these challenges farmers face when trying start or expand small-to-midsize farms and decided he could help. He breaks down the basic process for agriculture investing outside of traditional bank loans and the benefits for both farmers and investors. Check out his article too! www.urbanfarm.org/harvestreturns
If you are not careful, you might find that hatching eggs can quite easily develop into a passion, just ask Pascale Pearce! She took a job that needed her to hatch eggs at least once, so she knew what she was talking about – and now she loves to help others understand the process. She shares some key points about incubating bird eggs and starting the chicks off right. We also include a link on our shownotes to a great article from her with even more egg hatching info! www.urbanfarm.org/brinsea
Studying the changes in shifting populations, Jason Bradford is predicting the trend for urban growth is going to reverse. He breaks down why our energy dependency is indicating a reversal, why technology is creating discounted problems, and more importantly why personal action toward energy literacy and resilience is critical. He talks about what to do as the approaching change draws near. www.urbanfarm.org/thereport
Her passion for bringing people together in educational garden summits is quite evident when you listen to Stacey Murphy tell us what she has planned this year. She explains why she started presenting her summits and some of the exciting results she’s getting in return. She also talks about how food dies, nutrients are lost every day and what you can do about it. Her collection of experts will be covering several topics related to growing superfoods in your garden. www.urbanfarm.org/superfood
Realizing that his apple trees were barely producing compared to his neighbors, Dave Hunter found the answer was mason bees. His hobby increased his harvest, and eventually his new passion developed into a brand-new industry and a new company. Now he is working hard to educate how mason bees and leaf cutter bees are a significant pollination solution. His goal is to build more native bee industries around the world. www.urbanfarm.org/crownbees
Taking a permaculture course as a young adult gave Raven Venturelli the confidence and inspiration to start her own farm. However, finding land in California to develop her nature-based farming concepts was difficult so she followed her parents and moved to Arizona. She has used her holistic design methodology to build a farming business the way she wants and the quality and diversity of produce at Blue Apple Farm has developed a following at the local farmer’s market. www.urbanfarm.org/blueapplefarm
Growing up in a plant based family and then struggling with health concerns it felt natural for Devon Young to turn to herbals remedies for wellness and relief. When she started noticing results, she focused on helping others as expanded her knowledge through studies and training. She shares some key details about how to make typical remedies and why her new book is jam packed with details on 50 North American herbs. www.urbanfarm.org/nittygritty
Once again we join a conversation with Bill McDorman and Greg Peterson to learn about growing from seed, growing for seed, and why our seeds are so important in these changing times. This is the replay of the May 2019 Seed Saving Class - In this class he covers seed school, how to become a teacher, allowing plants to go to seed, and of course a few more things as well.
We welcome back Matt Smith from Smith House Design to hear more about improving family life with a garden. Matt and his wife have created a learning environment in their backyard full of fruit trees and plants. Now, their children prefer nature over screen time. He shares his secrets to gardening with kids and how to make your neighbors never want to leave your backyard. Also, get a sneak peek on Matt's farm to table project and how it will revolutionize their cooking!
What do you get when a civil engineer loves to garden but doesn’t want to spend two hours a day in the backyard? You get a LEHR garden! Meet Ed Williams, the creator of this regenerative, functioning ecosystem that utilizes aquaponics and mushroom spawn. His garden beds are low maintenance, create soil, self-water, and fertilize using earthworms, fish, and chicken droppings. Listen in to learn about the amazing backyard garden that Ed is creating at his LEHR Urban Homestead. www.urbanfarm.org/lehr
Our apple expert Kanin Routson joins us again to help us understand the process of making delicious apple cider using white wine making techniques. He explains the difference between juice, cider, and hard cider, and how the new modern ciders vary from the heritage ciders. We are introduced to Stoic Cider and we learn more about his dedication to apple tree diversity with the RAD project. www.urbanfarm.org/stoiccider
Awakening to the desire to grow their own fruits, vegetables, and meat, Brittney Schiff and her husband Stephen started with a few garden beds and chickens. Gradually this increased and they moved to a property that allowed them to do more. Now they raise, chickens, ducks, rabbits and goats and their kids are learning homesteading skills too. She shares what she appreciates most about this journey. www.urbanfarm.org/worththewait
The home purchase was going to be a stretch, but she could not escape the pull. After several visits, Katie Critchley took the leap and this farming community is much more than she expected. The appeal was so strong that her extended family joined her as well. She found herself becoming more and more involved and eventually became the Farm Director at a truly integrated farming community. A one sentence description is impossible – you must hear this podcast to understand!
Earning his degree in agronomy put Marty Campfield on a path that led him eventually to work for AZOMITE selling this unique nutrient dense fertilizer/soil amendment product. He helps explain about the importance of nutrients in the soil, and how different forms can easily break down for quick plant consumption or slowly break down for long term nutrient availability. Marty also shares tips on different methods of application for this mineral rich substance. www.urbanfarm.org/azomite
In the pursuit of resetting his health, Luke Allen took a four-day fasting journey and ended up taking his life in a new direction. Eventually he resettled, started growing food, and seeds! With his experience as a seed grower, he helps break down some seed terminology for us and discusses the importance of true breeding in seeds. www.urbanfarm.org/sundial
Once again we join a conversation with Bill McDorman and Greg Peterson to learn about growing from seed, growing for seed, and why our seeds are so important in these changing times. This is the replay of the April 2019 Seed Saving Class - Bill talks about growing grains and saving seeds safely. www.urbanfarm.org/bonus27
Knowing that curb appeal is important, Matt Smith has applied this concept to his backyard to improve the value of his home. He shares how growing food and appreciating nature has become so important to him, and which historical figures influence his goals for his green space. Matt also explains why home improvement shows can diminish home values and what to focus on to prevent that from happening in your space. www.urbanfarm.org/smithhousedesign
Early influences helped Kasey McCaslin develop both a love for food and making things, and that eventually led her to try making small batch chocolate to sell at the farmers market. From there she has gone on to develop recipes that have earned her several awards and she shares about the steps and care she takes to make her internationally inspired flavors. www.urbanfarm.org/stonegrindz
For years, Julia Hubler couldn't find a garden planner that had it all. After running her family's homestead of chickens, goats, and gardens, she put together a comprehensive garden planning guide and journal. Here, she paints a picture of life on her homestead. Listen in to learn why she added native trees back into her orchard, what it's like raising chickens for meat, and how you can win a free copy of her e-book so you can start planning your best garden yet!
What do you do with the abundance of fruit from your yard? Making jams and jellies are an easy solution. Sara Wolters from Pomona's Universal Pectin shares how their fruit-based pectin allows you to create delicious preserves with little to no added sugar. She also shares about the pectin industry, the recipe and video resources they have available to the public, methods of making jams with young kids, and additional uses for pectin.
Jason Johns is the author of 18 books on gardening. Here, he shares everything anybody needs to know about growing tomatoes! From the ideal soil, varieties, conditions, and pruning you'll be ready to plant amazing tomatoes. We also discussed common pests and what to do about them, as well as his first failure with tomatoes and what he learned from the experience. Jason plants something new each year. As a bonus, he also shared some of his other growing experiences!
How does one become a farmer when you haven't gone to school for agriculture? Emily Heller did just that using local education programs and opportunities. Here, she discusses successful selling as a small space producer, parameters for success in gardening, and some of her best practices. She also speaks to the emotional journey of farming and how to handle the imperfections and challenges. Emily also shares how to educate customers at Farmers Markets and build repeat clients. www.urbanfarm.org/emilyheller
We had the pleasure of talking aquaponics with Jill Shea from Trifecta Ecosystems. Trifecta Ecosystems practices sustainable farming in their aquaponics farm and educates the community to grow their own food as part of the City that Feeds Itself initiative. In addition to the great community programs, we dove into how aquaponics works, is lower cost, uses less land and conserves water. The AgTech field is growing tremendously, with several great opportunities for new farmers. www.urbanfarm.org/jillshea
There are new things to learn in every conversation with Bill McDorman. This is the March 2019 episode of a Seed Saving Class - we go back to the basics on why to save seeds, how to start, how to store seeds, cross-pollination, planting diversity, and so much more. www.urbanfarm.org/bonus26
Akiva Silver spent years observing and learning from nature. He discusses how to partner with trees, talks about his new book, and shares some of his favorite trees. Listen in to learn about the different functions of trees, all the amazing ways we can use Hickory trees, and how to use some of the lesser know varieties in really cool ways. He also shares what it looks like to raise 20,000 trees in a year and when he prefers to grow from seed vs cuttings. www.urbanfarm.org/twistedtree
Garrett Hill loved gardening using grow bags so much, he made it into a business. Today we talk about starting a business, the benefits of grow bags, how they work, and some of the cool things Garrett is growing in them. We also dive into the wifi controlled watering system he recommends to all his clients that helps him to conserve water and integrate technology to improve his farm to table gardening. www.urbanfarm.org/growbaggardens
Who knew when Christine Heinrichs told her daughter they could get chickens that it would shape her life into three popular books and a backyard full of heritage breeds? We sat down with Christine to discuss the re-release of her book, different chicken breeds, their characteristics, and her learnings along the way. We also discussed the mindset of raising meat hens and the importance of predator proofing. www.urbanfarm.org/christineh
We dove into the world of urban seed saving and starting a seed co-op with Casey O'Leary. Casey has worn many hats: an environmental activist, farmer, CSA owner, and founder of the Snake River Seed Cooperative. She now supports her bioregion (and the world) with seeds specific to her area and educates on seed saving in her upcoming seed school. Her CSA challenges members to learn how to cook a variety of food, and they educate members on how to prepare and store new items. www.urbanfarm.org/snakeriverseeds
Peter Bane is a long time Permaculture advocate. He has served on the board of the Permaculture Institute of North America, ran the Permaculture Activist magazine, and taught permaculture design courses around the world. Today, Peter shares some of the basic principles, how anyone can enter the world of permaculture, and how permaculture is the answer to many social and environmental issues. Listen in for details on his new book and how 3 lucky listeners can win a free copy! www.urbanfarm.org/peterbane
Joel Karsten revolutionized the gardening world when he introduced the world to Straw Bale Gardening. Now, this best-selling author is back to blow our minds with the 6 Bale Greenhouse. Joel describes for our listeners how we can make a greenhouse for under $100 that can fit 360 vegetable starts. Using this temporary greenhouse allows us to start our garden 6 weeks early and turns into a trellis system for our plants. Listen in for a chance to win his new book! urbanfarm.org/strawbale
Give Garden is a recipe delivery service that teaches kids STEM skills and healthy eating habits. Stephanie Lucas, the program's creator, used her 15 years as a corporate nutritionist to create this Give Garden to encourage family bonding and build confidence in young cooks. Inadvertently, she is helping community members by creating jobs and using local resources in a new, innovative way. Listen in to learn about the monthly box and how to get a discount on your first one! www.urbanfarm.org/givegarden
There is always a bounty of information available in conversations with Bill McDorman. This is the February 2019 episode of a Seed Saving Class - with Special Guest Belle Starr. Listen and learn about highlights from the epic February 2019 Seed Summit, and so much more. www.urbanfarm.org/bonus25
What is it like growing up without fresh, healthy food available? Rob Horton used his experience living in a food desert as motivation for creating Trap Garden. In this community garden in Nashville, he is teaching kids, community members, and college students not only how to grow their own fresh food, but how to cook healthy meals using their garden. His garden offers innovative solutions to the physical, financial, and educational shortcomings in food-insecure communities. www.urbanfarm.org/trapgarden
John Wann-Ángeles is building the south Phoenix farming community in a big way! He shared with us how a school project turned into a community farming effort that now involves a 19-acre piece of land and a local farmers market. Listen in to learn about community farming opportunities and programs available to support small farmers in south Phoenix. John also shares tips for selling at a farmers market, creating healthy soil, and a local weed that is actually an edible crop. urbanfarm.org/spacesofopportunit
Laurie Ouding is working to revolutionize the food system on the south side of Chicago. Through her work as a nurse, she identified the need for healthy, affordable, and available food in local neighborhoods. Now, she is working with local educators to teach kids and their families healthy food habits through gardening and cooking at home. Listen in to hear about her amazing plans to build a year-round farmers market and empower her community to grow nutritious food near home! www.urbanfarm.org/foodmatters
Lee Perry passionately shares the progress of the Fleet Farming movement and how it is strengthening Florida communities. This collective farming movement is an awesome way for gardening novices and interns to get hands-on gardening education while helping the community. Listen in to learn more about this fun, positive community experience, how it converts lawns to edible landscapes, and how you can get involved! www.urbanfarm.org/leeperry
We learn the ins and outs of growing mushrooms at home with Thomas Tuoti. Listen in for the difference between mushrooms and mycelium as well as how to use them to build your soil Mushrooms are the composting tool we never knew we needed, and Tom shares how to harness the biological efficiency of mushrooms, use them to enrich your landscape, and how to start growing them at home. www.urbanfarm.org/mushroomtom
We are joined by Chad Chase, co-owner of Arrandale Farms and Urban Grounds Coffee Company. Chad has built his 2.5-acre farm from scratch, and now farms fruit trees, field crops, alpacas, and chickens. Listen in to hear how he’s building his urban farm dream and how he hopes to impact his community in the future! www.urbanfarm.org/arrandale
Zachery Berry from the Homestead Cactus Sanctuary teaches us about the edible cacti that grow naturally in Arizona. Listen in to learn about growing cacti at home and when and how to harvest them. Zach also shares tips on pollinating cacti, edible varieties of cactus, and glochids! www.urbanfarm.org/cactussanctuary
Join us for our conversation with Camille James and learn how she went from working in the tech industry, to owning a juice bar, to living off the grid in Hawaii. Camille shared what it’s like living communally on an off-the-grid farm and all the different foods they grow. Tune in to hear what her day to day life looks like, why she loves it, and how her successes and failures brought her to Hawaii.
After a long career in retail, Katie Fiore knew it was time for a change. Part of her future vision was a backyard full of fruits and vegetables, the other part was a flexible, fulfilling lifestyle educating others. Katie discusses changing her life direction at 37 years old, how and why she is growing sweet potatoes, how her travels inspire her garden, and her advice to other novice gardeners wanting to start their own food forest. www.urbanfarm.org/sweetpotatoes