Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Manic Gardener PODCAST

Want to know where I’ve been? I’ll tell you: podcasting. Yes, the Manic has gone live, and it’s been a steep learning curve. Hence my utter absence from the blog.

The show is an hour a week on organic and sustainable gardening, (you can find it here) interviewing everyone from a neighbor to Linda Chalker-Scott, one of the esteemed Garden Professors and former science editor of the alas now defunct Master Gardener Magazine. No one’s safe: not the local organic potato farmer, not his wife, not a Bokashi blogger in Switzerland.

And yet, I like to pretend, at least to myself, that there is some sort of organization behind it all, or underneath. After a certain amount of delving, here are the five major foci I’ve unearthed:
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A new look for the Manic: Comments, please!

You may notice that, while the inimitable banner remains the same, the blog now has but one sidebar, re-organized categories, and for the moment an absurdly brief blogroll. I’ve long wanted more space for text and pictures, and guess what? Ta-da!

The move from Type-pad to Word Press was a work in progress for almost a year, the work (and progress) provided primarily by my most excellent web guru and husband, while the unfinished pieces fall entirely in my purview.

HELP ME FIND THEM, if you would, by leaving comments on broken links (probably not all survived the move) and other problems.

I’d also appreciate feedback on the new layout, as well as other features. I’d considered having a drop-down menu across the top with such things as the categories and archive—and I’ve just noticed that the archive has disappeared. Oops. Got to do something about that.

Anyhoo, if you’ve got something to say, pro or con, about drop-down menus on blogs or other fascinating topics, please weigh in.

In the meantime, I’ll try to do something about those archives and the lists of my fine fellow-bloggers.

Podcast #4 – Fall Garden Tasks

For this show I interview the inimitable Linda Chalker-Scott, author, editor, blogger, podcaster, educator and sustainable gardener, on how to put the garden to bed in autumn. I may have kept her on the topic of mulching a bit overlong, but hey, it’s one of those things that people who’ve done it take for granted, and those who haven’t can find completely baffling: when? with what? how deep?

As I write this and prepare to announce that all those questions and many more are answered on the podcast, I realize with a sinking feeling that the last one (how deep?) may not have been addressed—incredible, given how much time we spent on the topic! So let me say it here: several inches, as much as six in cold areas, if you’re truly trying to keep the soil Continue reading

Podcast #3— Steps Towards Sustainability

Windrower and tractor, Wada Farms, Idaho

The Show

What first took me out to the Kimm’s farm was the fact that they grow organic seed potatoes. That operation, run by Yvonne Kimm, became the topic of “No Small Potatoes,” my second podcast.

But at least as interesting to me was what her husband, Jason, has done on the conventional fields to make them more sustainable. After all, no large operation can go organic overnight, and so the question arises: what can a conventional farm do to move away from the overuse of pesticides, herbicides, and even water? Continue reading

Podcast #2 – No Small Potatoes

Yvonne Kimm lives surrounded by potato fields and potato farmers. A native of Manitoba, she married a potato farmer who’s the son, grandson, and brother of potato farmers.

So what did Yvonne do? She became a potato farmer. With a difference: she became an organic potato farmer and one of a handful of certified organic seed potato producers in Montana. I interviewed her at her farm, ten or fifteen miles west of my town Bozeman; you can listen to or download the show, No Small Potatoes, by following that link, or by navigating from the logo in the right sidebar. Continue reading