The incredible thing about interviewing Judy Owsowitz is how much she knows. This is true of just about everyone I interview, and I always learn something, but in a way it’s more startling when the topic is one that I actually think I know something about, such as starting seeds and caring for the seedlings. Continue reading
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Four guests, representatives and owners of one organization and three companies that sell heirloom and organic seeds, tell us about a few of their many seeds: new ones, undervalued ones, and personal favorites. But first, I hold forth at greater length than usual about some of the terms that you’ll encounter when perusing catalogs or websites in search of organic and sustainable seeds.
Okay, I have a confession: I am not a seed catalog addict. I do not pour over new arrivals, cultivars, and varieties, or old favorites, tried and true heirlooms, prolific producers, dependable bearers of heavy yields, whatever. Truth to tell, I didn’t really care.
After doing this week’s show, I do.
The “upcoming” podcast mentioned a few days ago is now up. You can listen to or download the show, “Turning the Tables: Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto,” to get part of the back story about why 83 organic seed growers, farmers, and organizations are suing GMO seed giant (and manufacturer of RoundUp) Monsanto.
You can also check out my original post on the suit, written a couple of days after it was filed last spring, for some background.
In the course of the show, many sins are laid at Monsanto’s feet: that genetically modified crops don’t increase yields as promised, that they may give rise to an organism that causes miscarriages in cattle, that they have fostered a race of super weeds, that Monsanto routinely engages in intimidating tactics, that it has sued thousands of farmers.
Permaculture has to be one of the most interesting gardening movements I’ve discovered recently, and I have to thank Jerome Osentowski and Kareen Erbe hugely for letting me interview them about it. The idea of perennial food gardens delights me, and in permaculture that’s just part of the picture: it’s a whole philosophy of living sustainably, and of getting as much of what you need from your own plot of land as possible. I’m all for that, and as I mention part way through—well, both interviews , I think—it’s given me a name for something I’m already trying to do.
I’m honestly not sure what I was up to when I stumbled onto Jerome Osentowski’s Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, which more or less blew my mind. Four greenhouses, and no power needed from off-site? Figs and passion fruit growing at over 7,000 feet? Hello? Continue reading
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 webtalkradio.net. logo in the right sidebar. Continue reading