Sun, 11 June 2017
Episode 140: Before 2006, Andrew McMillion wasn’t thinking too much about plants, soil health, or ecology. He was living the American Dream, spending a lot of money, and commuting to work at his job for a large corporation. The only catch? He felt miserable. After taking a test to see how high his carbon footprint was, Andrew committed to make a change. Now residing in Ornes, Norway, Andrew lives on a small ecological farm where he focuses on earth care, people care, and increasing and protecting plant biodiversity.
In this thoughtful and inspiring interview, Andrew shares his journey from knowing nothing about plants (in 2013) to growing over 200 varieties of vegetables, trees, and herbs. We talk about some of his favorite plants including Tree Collards, Shetland Kale, Habblizia or Caucasus Spinach, Syrian Homs Squash, Lambsquarters, Ashitaba, Udo, and Achocha (Bolivian Cucumber). Andrew shares his experience of the positive effect of building relationships to individual plants and the many cycles of life in which we are embedded and how changing his focus from matter and production to connections and life quality has been pivotal for the thriving of the web of life on his farm.
Andrew also shares his experiences from the Norwegian Seed Savers, the Green Party and the Refugee Greenspace Initiative, the new nonprofit Andrew co-founded, which sets up kitchen gardens at refugee centers. For more information and to contact Andrew, visit: RefugeeGreenSpace.org
Fri, 24 March 2017
Episode 139: Dr. Vandana Shiva, author, activist, and scholar, talks about the forgotten richness of pulses and how growing these plants can help us practice a more biodiverse and permanent agriculture.
In this short interview, we talk about Pulses, the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. Common pulses include chickpeas, lentils, beans, and dry peas. Vandana says that growing pulses is an excellent way to begin farming nonviolently. Pulses fix Nitrogen, increase soil fertility, are drought tolerant, and are an excellent source of protein.
Vandana talks about the "violence" of fossil fuel-based agriculture, the Green Revolution in India, Bt Cotton, and how she became an activist.
Vandana believes that our role is to protect natural systems and to be co-creators with the earth. In one of my favorite quotes from the interview, Vandana says that, "Making peace with the earth means recognizing our creative abilities and not being proud of our destructive capacity."
Fri, 3 February 2017
Episode 138: Natural building is good for both people and planet. In this episode we hear from natural builders who are committed to their craft and who create beautiful structures using natural locally-sourced materials.
Recorded at the Natural Building Colloquium at Quail Springs Permaculture Center in New Cuyama, CA, I speak with many natural builders including Sasha Rabin, Linda Smiley, Patrick Hennebery, Liz Johndrow, and Bob Theis.
I visit projects at the Colloquium including a feral straw bale office- created to be an affordable replacement for a trailer, a cob bench and Rumford fireplace- part of an outdoor gathering space, and a plaster wall- a gorgeous butterfly with layers of color derived from natural pigments.
Sun, 1 January 2017
Episode 137: Take a ride around the world with aromatic explorer John Steele. In this interview John talks about the sacred use of fragrance in ancient Egypt and Amazonian shamanism. John draws upon his decades of experience as an archaeologist and aromatherapist to delve deeply into the shamanic use of fragrance. John talks about smell as "direct intuition", how certain plant fragrances can be used to restore flow when stuck in negative thought patterns, and how fragrance can be used as an aromatic tool for conscious transformation.
John Steele urges us to think "outside the perfume bottle" and open up to the "floral highway of awareness."
John is the owner of Lifetree Aromatix and teaches workshops about the aromatic domain around the globe. To contact John you can email him at info (at) lifetreearomatix.com.