Sustainable World Radio- Ecology and Permaculture Podcast
Learning From and Working With Nature- Interviews, news, and commentary about ecology, regenerative farming, permaculture, organic gardening, sustainability, green living, and ethnobotany. Visit us at www.sustainableworldradio.com

Episode 124: In this episode we dive into the world of Natural Process Farming with Bob Cannard. Bob grows highly diversified food crops by working with nature and natural systems. In Natural Process farming, crops are grown 50% for people and 50% for Nature. In this interview, Bob talks about the value of "nature support plants," why weeds need to be managed, not eradicated, the digestive systems of and in the soil, how to feed the soil, and why we should strive to give plants a "life of choice."  Bob also tells us how home gardeners can begin practicing Natural Process Farming on a small scale. 

Bob has been farming for thirty years in Northern California and is the co-founder and operator of Green String Farm and the Green String Institute which offers internships in farming the Green String or Natural Process way.

Direct download: Bob_Cannard_Natural_Process_Farming.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:59pm PDT

Episode 123: In this episode I speak with Mary Alford of Rabble Housers. Mary Alford is a professional engineer and expert in energy optimization and sustainable building practices. 

The Rabble House is a 600 square foot home designed to be built by individuals, groups, and/or volunteers. Modeled after the Craftsman Home Kit that was available from Sears in the early 1900s through 1940, the Rabble House is a home designed for efficiency, comfort, and affordability.

The Rabble House can be built in 20 weekends with two people working fifteen hours each. To see the plans of the house, click here. 

This version of the Rabble House is designed for the hot and humid climate of the southeast, but Mary promises more Rabble Houses in the future! 

 

Direct download: Rabble_Housers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:20pm PDT

Episode 122: In this episode we dive into the world of Vetiver. With powerful roots that grow 12-15 feet deep, Vetiver is a valuable plant that acts as a living infrastructure. Vetiver is planted around the world to remediate polluted soil and water. 

To learn about this multi-faceted plant, I spoke with Vetiver expert Jason Fox of Vetiver Farms Hawaii. Jason fills us in on vetiver's many uses including slope and erosion control, wastewater treatment, toxin absorption, water diversion, and flood prevention.

Vetiver is the plant that keeps on giving. It's roots yield an aromatic and medicinal essential oil, it sequesters excess atmospheric carbon, and Vetiver mulch is mycorrhizal-rich. 

 

Direct download: The_Many_Uses_of_Vetiver.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:24pm PDT

Episode 121: Learn how to grow your own organic veggies and fish in an Aquaponics system. In this episode, I talk with Sylvia Bernstein, the President of the Aquaponic Source and author of the book Aquaponic Gardening: A Step By Step Guide to Growing Fish and Vegetables Together.

Aquaponics is a closed recirculating system. Using only 10% of the water of conventional agriculture, Aquaponics can be done almost anywhere, even in times of drought. Aquaponics uses the waste byproduct of fish as a beneficial organic input to grow plants.

Sylvia tells us what fish and plants thrive in an Aquaponics system. Vegetarians can grow "ornamental" fish like koi and fish eaters can grow tilapia, catfish, or trout to harvest. 

According to Sylvia, some of the other benefits of Aquaponics include a lack of weeds, waist-high beds for gardening ease, and no costly inputs like fertilizer and herbicides.

 

Direct download: Sylvia_B._Aquaponics_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43am PDT

Episode 120: Seaweed is a superfood from the sea! Terry d’Selkie of Ocean Harvest Sea Vegetable Company tells us about the many benefits of seaweed. An algae, seaweed is high in vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and fiber. Terry introduces us to many different types of seaweed, including Kombu, Sweet Kombu, Ocean Ribbons, Sea Palm, Pacific Coast Wakame, Wild Nori, Fucus, and Turkish Towel. Terry tells us how to ethically harvest, dry, and cook with seaweed. Seaweed is also medicinal and can be used in compost tea and fertilizer. 

 

Many people are concerned about the safety of eating seaweed after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. All of the seaweed that Terry harvests is tested by an independent lab for radiation and so far has tested negative for radioactive isotopes.

 

To learn more about seaweed, visit Terry’s website: SeaweedMermaid.com

Direct download: Seaweed-_Oceans_Gift_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am PDT

Episode 119: Eric Scott Bresselsmith is an herbalist, wildcrafter, and artisan distiller of essential oils. Owner of the House of Aromatics, Eric uses Conifers and Brushes native to the intermountain region of Southern Utah to create medicinal therapeutic grade oils. 

 

Believing that "the medicine you need is always just a few steps away," Eric creates oils from local ethically wildcrafted material and trees damaged by humans or weather.

 

In this episode, Eric talks about the medicinal and psychological effects of the essential oils of conifers and brushes, including Great Western Sage (Artemesia tridentata), Pinon Pine (Pinus edulis), Rabbit Brush (Ericameria nauseosa), Utah Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma/utahensis), Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and Grindelia (Grindelia squarrosa). He also discusses Snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), a great remedy for muscle trauma, which he thinks one day may be called "the Arnica of the desert."

 

 

To learn about these plants and many others, visit Eric's website: House of Aromatics.com.

Direct download: House_of_Aromatics.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm PDT

Episode 118: Can plants learn? Do they have memory? Can they make decisions? In this episode, Monica Gagliano, Research Associate Professor of Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Western Australia, talks about her research with plants. Monica has pioneered the new field of plant bioacoustics and recently extended the concept of cognition to plants.

Monica talks about her research exploring whether plants can learn and if they have memory and decision-making capabilities. Monica also talks about plant time vs. human time, the chemical vocabulary of plants, and why she treated plants as animals and not as objects in her experiments. 

To learn more about Monica's work, click here. 

 

 

Direct download: Monica_Gagliano.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:45pm PDT

How Cleaner Biomass Cook Stoves Can Change The World

Episode 117: How can a cook stove change the world? Three billion people burn traditional biomass and coal indoors in cook stoves. These stoves are having a tremendous impact on our environment and on the health of those who use them. Some of the health problems associated with non-improved cook stoves include increased rates of asthma, indoor air pollution, (CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide), and respiratory infections. Cook stove use also contributes to climate change and deforestation. 

For over thirty years, the Aprovecho Research Center has been designing and implementing improved biomass cooking and heating technologies in more than sixty countries. Aprovecho is the world leader in open source development of all aspects of improved cooking stoves.

In this episode, Dean Still, Aprovecho's Executive Director, talks about the benefits of improved stoves, Stove Camp, and why it's important to "find a problem that entrances you". 

Direct download: Biomass_Stoves_with_Dean_Still.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42pm PDT

Living in Community on a Permaculture Farm- Josh Trought of D Acres

Episode 116: My guest for this episode is Josh Trought, author of The Community-Scale Permaculture Farm: The D Acres Model of Creating and Managing an Ecologically Designed Education Center.

 

Josh Trought is the co-founder and current director of D Acres, a Community-Scale Permaculture Farm located in New Hampshire. D Acres is a hub of learning, an educational center that researches, applies, and teaches skills in Permaculture, organic farming, and sustainable living. (D Acres stands for “Development Aimed at Creating Rural Ecological Society.”)

 

In this interview Josh talks about the beginning days at D Acres, the challenges and rewards of living in community, working with animals on the land, and his goal of creating a perennialized farm that lasts for centuries. Josh also gives advice to those who want to start a farm or educational center. 

 

For over twenty years, Josh and the D Acres staff and farm have been creating positive change on a community-scale. To learn more, visit DAcres.org.

 

Direct download: D_Acres.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:25pm PDT

The Wild Wisdom of Weeds with Katrina Blair

In this episode, we talk about the weeds that surround us with forager, chef, writer, and plant lover Katrina Blair. Author of the book The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival Katrina talks about the wild integrity of weeds, their medicinal and nutritional value, and how to harvest and prepare them. Katrina shares recipes for their cosmetic and culinary use. Some of the plants that we cover include Mallow, Dandelion, Mustard, Clover, Purslane, and Thistle. 

Katrina Blair also runs the nonprofit Turtle Lake Refuge whose mission is to celebrate the connection between personal health and wild lands. 

 

Direct download: Wisdom_of_Weeds_with_Katrina_Blair.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:50pm PDT

Medicinal Herb Farming- How to Grow Local Medicine

Episode 113: Melanie and Jeff Carpenter are medicinal herb farmers. The co-owners of Zack Woods Farm, a 30 acre organic farm and botanical sanctuary located in the green mountains of Vermont, Jeff and Melanie grow over 50 species of medicinal plants.

 

In this episode, they share their passion and knowledge about herb growing, how they use Permaculture on the farm, and how they grow healthy plants with high bioactive compounds. The Carpenters talk about the increasing need for medicinal herb farmers and the burgeoning market for medicinal plants. Growing local medicine for your community can be rewarding and profitable. It can also protect wild herb populations.

The authors of the new book The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer: The Ultimate Guide to Producing High-Quality Herbs, on a Market Scale, Jeff and Melanie can be found at ZackWoodsHerbs.com.

Direct download: Medicinal_Herb_Farming.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:55pm PDT

Have you ever wanted to grow your own grains? In this episode, farmer and author Gene Logsdon tells you what you need to know about small-scale grain growing. Gene talks about the most resilient crop for beginning grain growers and shares his knowledge about corn, wheat, sorghum, and buckwheat. A longtime farmer, Gene explains why you want to alternate growing legumes with grains, how much space is necessary, the tools you need to get started, and planting and harvesting.

Gene also shares his wisdom and humor about how to create fertile soil, why he thinks doing what you love is more important than making a million bucks, and how he realized that he wanted to be a farmer while living at a seminary. 

Gene Logsdon is the author of numerous books including Living At Nature's Pace, All Flesh Is Grass, Holy Sh**, and The Contrary Farmer. To learn more about Gene and his work, visit his blog at The Contrary Farmer.wordpress.com.

 

 

Direct download: Gene_LogsdonPodcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:45pm PDT

The Medicine of Being in the Forest: Shinrin-yoku

Can taking a slow walk in nature improve your health? How can you cultivate a better relationship to the natural world? If forests are therapeutic, what effect does deforestation have on us?

In this episode, I talk with wilderness guide and educator Amos Clifford about Forest Therapy or Shinrin-yoku. Also known as Forest Medicine or Forest Bathing, Shinrin-yoku is beneficial for your health and has been shown to increase white blood cell counts, decrease stress hormones, lower blood pressure, and improve people's moods.

No forest nearby? Amos also talks about how to connect with Nature no matter where you are and shares tips and techniques for slowing down and improving your relationship with the natural world. 

Learn more about Amos and his work at his website: Shinrin-yoku.org

Direct download: Forest_Therapy_with_Amos_Clifford.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:23pm PDT

Corn Vs. "Corn" - A Conversation With Non-GMO and GMO Corn

My guest for this episode is Zea mays, also known as Corn. In this exclusive interview Corn speaks about its long history, its beginning as a wild grass, and how humans and corn have influenced each other. Corn also talks about hybridization, propagation, and genetic modification.

The interview includes a cameo appearance by Bt Corn, Zea Mays' genetically modified brother.  Bt who goes by the nickname StarLink (which was a GM product that was recalled) defends genetic modification and gives its side of the story. 

Both Corn and Bt were voiced by Chris McClellan. Chris is a writer, photographer, and natural builder who is raising free range organic children in Northeast Ohio. Chris teachers natural building and sustainable living, mostly as an excuse to play in the mud! To learn more about Chris, visit his website www.UncleMud.com.

Direct download: Corn_vs.Corn.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:33pm PDT