Category Archives: The Scary Stuff

Podcast #26 Minding Your Manure

The Show

The manure problems—pollution and contamination—that I reviewed in my last post occupy the first part of this podcast, and if that were all we covered, you too might be inclined to crawl under your desk and stay there.

A quick recap: Rather to the surprise of many an organic gardener, even organic manures can cause problems: phosphorus can contaminate surface water, while nitrogen can leak into ground water and can also form nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas almost 300 times as powerful as carbon dioxide. Continue reading

Podcast #20 – Water-Wise Gardening


The Show: Water-Wise Gardening

Tom Christopher

Guests: Thomas Christopher – author, lecturer, gardener – on how and why to save water in the home garden.
Edwin Beck – entrepreneur, designer, consultant, gardener – on a rain barrel, EarthMinded RainStation, that’s even more environmentally friendly than most.

And while we’re on the subject– How do you save water in your garden? Add your ideas and experiences to the comments below.

The Show

image from Timber Press

The statistics in Tom’s introduction to The New American Landscape: Leading Voices on the Future of Sustainable Gardening are enough to make you want to fall on your pitchfork in the gardener’s version of the old Roman custom of falling on one’s sword when the battle was clearly lost.

Now some of these stats, I’d seen before–for instance the fact that about 30% of water used by residences goes to water lawns and gardens. But the claim that 36 states would face chronic water shortages by 2013? That’s next year. This was a new one on me. And the fact that Southern Florida, which gets 55 inches of rain, has a water shortage? How could this be? (If you don’t believe these are facts, please feel free to take it up with the EPA and the Gov’t Accounting Office, a.k.a. the GOA.)

Given such statistics, how did Tom manage to avoid is own pitchfork, much less encourage us to avoid ours? Continue reading

King Corn: an exposé with a light touch

We just watched King Corn this evening. I know, it’s been out for a while; we’re a bit behind the curve here. But if you are too–if you haven’t seen it–it’s worth the time. It’s funny and lowkey, and sort of sneaks up sideways on its subject, an exposé of commodity corn. Continue reading

Podcast #13 – Notes and Links for “Turning the Tables: Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto”

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.

Continue reading

Upcoming podcast: Organics vs. Monsanto

Yesterday I came off a marathon podcast editing session–about 20 hours straight, tacked onto the end of a work day.

It’s not the first time I’ve stayed up all night putting the podcast to bed; this fall I’ve probably been up more Tuesday nights than I’ve slept. But this was a bigger deal than most. This was a show about the suit brought by organic farmers, seed growers, and organizations against Monsanto, the seed company that keeps suing farmers whose fields become contaminated with its genetically modified–and patented–seeds. Continue reading