Compost-Powered Hot Tub, Urban Micro-Farm Program

Microbe-Powered Hot Tubs

Our first guest is a big proponent of firing up the soil using compost. We learned about Tom Bartel’s work when we stumbled on his video about using microbial activity to heat a hot tub.

Tom gardens in the high desert of Colorado, at an elevation of 6,500’. His growing season is only about 130 days, but from his 1300 square foot garden, he harvests over 1,000 pounds of produce every year.

Tom is a garden educator who shares his techniques on his website, Grow Food Well.

Inspiring Ag in the City

In the second half of the show, we chat with Ryan Cullen, the field supervisor at Durham College. He oversees a diverse market garden that includes fruit, small fruit, cut flowers, field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, and microgreens. Ryan is a passionate advocate of small-scale, organic farming, and works to inspire a new generation of farmers.

The on-campus farm is part of Durham College’s Food and Farming program, which focuses on urban and small-scale agriculture and has a field-to-fork philosophy. Located on a former industrial site, the farm produces a variety of vegetables and fruits to supply the on-campus restaurant, Bistro 67.




Edible Perennials, Farming at 15, Ocracoke Fig Festival, Dwarf Tomatoes

Edible Perennials

In the first half of the show we chat with Ben Caesar, who operates Fiddlehead Nursery in the Beaver Valley, near Collingwood, Ontario. His specialty is edible perennial plants and fruit bushes. Earlier this year, Ben hosted a workshop at the Guelph Organic Conference about edible perennials.

Farming at 15

In the second half of the show we chat with 15-year-old farmer Dawson Mehalko from Texas. Dawson is in his second year of commercial production, and is selling at market, to restaurants, and directly to customers. He shares his tips on both growing and the business of growing. Dawson shares photos of his farm, Jubilant Fields Farm, on Instagram @jubilantfieldsfarm.

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In the Biggs-on-Figs segment, Steven chats with Sundae Horn who helps to organize the Ocracoke Fig Festival on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina. This two-day festival takes place this year on August 16th and 17th, and celebrates figs through food, history, music, and all sorts of fig stuff. Find out more about the festival—and find the recipe for Ocracoke fig cake—at the website for the Ocracoke Preservation Society.

In Emma’s Tomato Talk segment, she speaks with Craig LeHoullier, the author of the book, Epic Tomatoes. Craig talks about his driveway garden in North Carolina, the dwarf tomato breeding project, and some favourite varieties.


Grow Chilies, Backyard Foraging, Tomatoes Remixed, Greehouse Figs

Chili Peppers

In the first half of the show we chat with pepper expert Claus Nader, owner of East York Chile Peppers in Toronto, Ontario.

Claus’ specialty is growing peppers in containers. He grows specialty peppers, saves seeds, and makes hot sauces, pickled peppers, jams, salsas, and dehydrated peppers.

Backyard Foraging

In the second half of the show we chat with foraging expert Ellen Zachos from Sante Fe, NM. Ellen is the author of Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat, and The Wildcrafted Cocktail. Ellen splits her foraging time between the desert southwest and the northeast.

In the Biggs-on-Figs segment, Steven chats with greenhouse operator John Biberich from Wolfcreek Farms in Grove City Pennsylvania. John and his wife Sue grow figs and citrus in the greenhouses where they used to grow bedding plants.

In Emma’s Tomato Talk segment, she speaks with vegetable gardening expert Niki Jabbour about some of the neat tomato varieties that she features in her inspiring book Veggie Garden Remix.



Grow Berries, Grow Citrus in Containers, Grow Camellias

Berries

In the first half of the show Charlie Nardozzi tells us about growing blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries—as well as unusual berries such as honeyberries (a.k.a. haskaps). He’ll also give us pointers on growing berries in containers. Charlie is an award-winning garden writer, speaker, and radio and television personality. We met him this past March at Canada Blooms and love his approach to making gardening simple, fun, and practical.

Citrus And Camellias

In the second half of the show we chat with Darren Sheriff, who goes by the name The Citrus Guy. Darren is a garden writer, educator, and speaker in South Carolina, where he fills his yard with 55 varieties of citrus—all in containers! Darren will also tell us about another passion of his, growing camellias. He is the president of the Coastal Carolina Camellia Society, and the current American Camellia Society South Carolina State Director. But more than that, he has a great knack for explaining gardening.

Biggs On Figs

In the Biggs-on-Figs segment, Steven chats with Ross Raddi. Ross is a 27-year-old backyard orchardist in the Philadelphia area who is passionate about growing his own fruit and vegetables. Ross will share tips for transitioning fig trees from winter to spring. Find Ross on YouTube. On Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, he goes by @rossraddi.

Tomato Talk With Emma

In Emma’s Tomato Talk segment, she speaks with tomato expert Linda Crago, who runs Tree and Twig Heirloom Vegetable Farm in Niagara, Canada. Linda’s specialty is tomatoes—and lots of them. Every May long weekend she has a Tomato Days plant sale with hundreds of varieties. She will tell Emma about compact tomato varieties such as ‘House.’

Raised Beds and Backyard Plant Breeding

Tara Nolan

Tara Nolan

Raised Beds

In the first half of the show, Tara Nolan, author of the inspiring book Raised Bed Revolution, shares tips and ideas for raised beds. Raised beds are a great way to push garden boundaries.

As well as working as a garden writer, editor, and speaker, Tara is a co-founder of the award-winning gardening website Savvy Gardening. She gardens in Southern Ontario. Ever thought of a suitcase planter or a lettuce table? Tune in for more information!

Backyard Breeding

Andrew Barney

Andrew Barney

In the second half of the show we chat with Andrew Barney, who pushes garden boundaries by breeding unique and cold-adapted vegetable varieties in his garden in northern Colorado.

His projects include breeding teosinte and watermelon suited to his garden zone, which is dry and cool. Andrew bred a red-podded snap pea that we’re excited to by trying in our garden this year.

Andrew shares some of his projects on his blog.

Tom Ashley and Linda Crapo. (Photo by Liza Ashley)

Tom Ashley and Linda Crapo. (Photo by Liza Ashley)

In the Biggs-on-Figs segment, Steven chats with fig growers Trish Crapo and Tom Ashley from Dancing Bear Farm in Massachusetts about how they got into figs.

In Emma’s Tomato Talk segment, she speaks with Andrew Barney about blue tomatoes and the Galapagos tomatoes.

Edible Flowers, Rogue Gardeners, Container Tomatoes, Community Fig Orchard

Edible Flowers

In the first half of the show we talk with Pittsburgh horticulturist and author Denise Schreiber, author of the delicious book Eat Your Roses. Denise not only eats flowers, but she cooks with them too. Nasturtium-flower lasagna, calendula-corn muffins, rose petal ice cream. Yum!

Rogue Gardeners

In the second half of the show we chat with Toronto author and garden-boundary pusher Lorraine Johnson. Lorraine will share stories of "rogue gardeners," gardeners who push the boundaries of convention—sometimes running into trouble—but sometimes changing values about what is acceptable. Two of Lorraine’s focus areas are native plants and urban agriculture. Lorraine is the editor of the new third edition of the Canadian Gardener’s Guide.

In the Biggs-on-Figs segment, Steven chats with Jack Spruill of Spruill Farm in North Carolina about the community fig orchard on his farm.

In Emma’s Tomato Talk segment, she checks in with garden expert Jessica Walliser of SavvyGardeing.com about her top tomato variety recommendations for containers.

Herbs’N Hens: Year-Round Herbs, Urban Chickens, Cooking Figs + Tomatoes

Conrad Richter from  Richters Herbs

Conrad Richter from Richters Herbs

Our first guest is Conrad Richter from Richters Herbs in Goodwood, Ontario. We will discuss what to do with herbs that don’t like being in a warm house for the winter, but are not hardy when left outdoors. (Maybe he can give Steven pointers on not killing his rosemary plant every winter!)

Then we will talk about herbs that do well in the house over the winter.

Emma’s mint garden 20+ plant mint garden was inspired by a visit to Richters Herbs!

Visit the Ricthers website for the video series, called Herbs TV with great videos on lots of herb-related topics. You will find Steven in a couple of the episodes, sharing tips about how to grow figs and how to grow brugmansias.

Our second guest is author, storyteller, and chef-turned-writer Signe Langford. Signe will tell us all about urban chickens and share tips from her fantastic book, Happy Hens and Fresh Eggs: Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden.

We met Signe when she wrote an article for Toronto Life about the underground world of backyard chicken growers. Look at the pictures in the article and guess which one is Steven!

For our Biggs-on-Figs and Tomato-Talk segments, Signe will share lots of fantastic ideas for using figs and tomatoes in the kitchen.

Signe’s Fig Recipes: To get you started, here are Signe’s recipes for FRESH FIG OLIVE OIL ANISE CAKE and MAPLE-ROASTED FIGS WITH WALNUTS, BACON & TAHINI.

Foodscaping, Backyard Orchards, Growing Figs

Our first guest is Brie Arthur, a horticulturist, foodscaping expert, and author of The Foodscape Revolution. Foodscaping is about making the most of the square footage that is available.

Brie Arthur , foodscaping expert

Brie Arthur, foodscaping expert

Ross Raddi , urban orchardist and fig expert

Ross Raddi, urban orchardist and fig expert

Brie is a passionate advocate of local food production and producing food in our landscapes. Her goal is to change the way landscapes are designed and managed by planting edibles in traditional ornamental landscapes. Brie’s training as a horticulturist and previous work as a grower and a propagator give her some neat insights and an understanding of why things might or might not work in the garden.

Our next guest, Ross Raddi, is a 27-year-old backyard millennial orchardist from the Philadelphia area. Ross’ goal is to grow tasty food that’s hard to find at the store and that is not supposed to grow in his area.

His backyard orchard is home to pomegranate, persimmon, pawpaw, mulberry, honeyberry, and more.

One of Ross’ favourite fruits is the fig. He shares tips for fig-growing in his humid, cold climate. Find Ross’ fruit-growing videos on his @RossRaddi YouTube channel. His podcast is called FruitTalk.

Extend The Season With Containers, Tomato Hornworm, Montreal Figs

We chat with horticulturist Jessica Walliser from Pennsylvania about using container gardening to extend the gardening season. Jessica, an experienced gardener and former market gardener, is the author of Container Gardening Complete, a comprehensive book about container gardening.

Jessica is also a bug expert, so in Emma’s Tomato Talk segment, Jessica tells us all about the tomato hornworm. Jessica’s books about bugs are Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden and Good Bug Bad Bug.

In the Biggs-on-Figs fig segment, Steven speaks with Michal, a Montreal fig enthusiast who talks about fig plants and fig growers he has met in Montreal and in his travels.

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Gardening with Kids, Tomato Talk

We speak with Sarah Pounders, an educational specialist at Kids Gardening. Sarah, who gardens at home with her two young children, has been involved in gardening activities for young people for over 20 years. Kids Gardening is a non-profit organization focused on garden-based learning.

In Emma’s Tomato Talk segment, she chats with garden expert Ken Brown. Ken is an avid vegetable gardeners and an expert in “vertical vegetables” — the art of squeezing lots of veggie plants into an urban yard.

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Grow Nuts in Northern Climates, Figs in Niagara, Tomato Talk

We talk with Ernie Grimo of Grimo Nut Nursery about hardy nut trees for Canada and the northern United States.

Ernie Grimo talks about hardy nut trees for Canada and the northern United States.

Ernie Grimo talks about hardy nut trees for Canada and the northern United States.

Grimo Nut Nursery tests and produces a wide range of hardy nut trees. Ernie is past president of the Northern Nut Growers Association and the Society of Ontario Nut Growers.

In the Biggs-on-Figs segment, Ernie tells us about growing figs in Niagara, Canada.

For the Tomato-Talk-with-Emma segment, we talk to garden guru and horticulturist Donna Balzer.

Grow Fruit in Cold Climates, Prairie Fruit

Dr. Ieuan Evans from Alberta, growing fruit on the Canadian Prairies

Dr. Ieuan Evans from Alberta, growing fruit on the Canadian Prairies

We talk with Dr. Ieuan Evans about growing fruit on the Canadian Prairies. Ieuan will share tips for success with fruit in cold climates. Then he telld us about apple, pear, cherry, and plum varieties suited to cold areas. 

We can thank Ieuan for the Alberta-developed Evans cherry tree that has been sold in the millions across cold areas of Canada and the United States. He tested them back in the 1970s shared them with as many people as he could.

And something that is dear to our hearts: He grows figs in Edmonton!

Straw-bale Gardening and Epic Tomatoes

Craig LeHoullier (Photo by  Kip Dawkins)

Craig LeHoullier (Photo by Kip Dawkins)

We talk about straw-bale gardening and tomatoes with NC Tomatoman, a.k.a. Craig LeHoullier. 

Craig is the author of the books Epic Tomatoes AND Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales. He was co-host of Tomatopalooza, and is a co-leader of the Dwarf Tomato Breeding Project.

And something that is dear to our hearts: He has a garden where his driveway used to be!

Year-Round Vegetable Gardening

Year-round vegetable gardening with Niki Jabbour, author of a book we LOVE, The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener. Niki is a zone-pushing and season-extending vegetable gardener in Nova Scotia who tells us about cold frames, cloches, hot caps, and hoop tunnels—and what crops grow well in them. We also talk to Niki about her fabulous new book Veggie Garden Remix, which is full of ideas for new and unusual crops for the vegetable garden.

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