Today’s interview is really fascinating, our friends Bill Sosinsky and Rich Sapienza of Energime University discuss, coming trends, in particular the growing sense of community involvement. Community gardens the modern name for an ‘Allotment’ is a case in point.
The growing popularity of farmers markets, are helping to provide locally grown produce, that is grown in season, rather than having all food always available. There are some real benefits to eating ‘for want of a better word’ the right vegetables for the season.
We talk about water usage and the changes coming. To how we will all have to change some of our habits in these new times. In the meantime we all need to reconnect with nature, spend time to just take a stroll in a garden or park.
Our interview this week is with Bill Sosinsky and Joe Ravet, it’s all about the amazing properties of algae and the work being done today that could transform many areas of our lives. This fascinating interview is in two parts, with the second part coming next week.
Algae has some fascinating uses :-
As an Energy Source – a 737 plane flew from Houston to Chicago on fuel derived from algae, way back in 2011
As a Fertilizer – from as long ago as the 16th century, seaweed has been used a fertilizer.
As a source of Nutrition – China has been consuming Algae for over 2000 years, they harvest over 70 species as does Japan, Ireland, Chile, Wales, Korea, California, New Zealand, Hawaii, Scotland, Greenland and Iceland to name a few. It was an ingredient in Aztec foods.
Oils obtained from some algae have high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, others essential omega 3 fatty acids.
As a Pollution control – treating sewage with algae, reducing the use of toxic chemicals that would be used. They can absorb fertilizer run off from fields. Aquariums can be filtered by algae
As a Pigment – alternative to chemical dyes
As a Medicine – helping fight malnutrition, immune health, reducing cholesterol
Amazingly there could be more than 72000 algae species worldwide.
Recently Ann and I have been out on safari helping clients design & plant new landscapes.
It’s always nice to ‘keep your hand in’ as they say.
This time we tried a somewhat different approach.
We took the clients to various nurseries helping them choose the plants we were suggesting they would use.
Then we set out the planting on site helping them to plant, by using tried and trusted techniques we had learned over the years it helped to reduce transplant shock , giving the plants a great start. The clients learned a new way to plant.
It was really great fun, everyone enjoyed the experience, even the neighbors popped over to help.
We’ve already started to plan the next event… this time we are thinking of showing school children how, the last time we did this, some twenty years ago, every plant in the school project was planted at least five times.
The garden won a multitude of awards , there was no vandalism, with everything establishing well.
It’s time to teach our children’s children how to enjoy the calmness of a garden, to connect with nature and to learn so much more about our planet.
Ann & I caught up with Denise Shreiber recently. We interviewed Denise about her fascinating book, all about edible flowers.
Being a transplanted ‘Brit’ it was interesting to hear that her book was born after a trip to England where she sampled ‘Rose Petal Ice Cream’, Here I was, under the illusion that everyone visited our wonderful gardens and stately homes for the good old English cuppa with perhaps a scone, butter, jam and clotted cream !
A subject that has become more and more important to my family over the past few years.
My grandson Callum was born with severe allergies , which appear at the slightest opportunity, so much so that my daughter Nathalie has developed a huge number of allergy free recipes, started a company to help others with young children with allergies, has been featured in the newspapers, magazines and on television.
This prompted Ann and I to start some research to see how many children and adults are affected.
We were really surprised at how many people suffer severe allergic reactions, how this has exploded across the whole of the USA, partly it seems due to the demise of the Elm trees. You can hear more about this from Tom Ogren in our latest interview.
Nathalie had explained Callum, was a baby boy with severe eczema & food allergies, makes for an interesting journey of discovery!
We found only one food pantry offering exclusively gluten free and allergy free food in the USA.
in OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – It’s opening next month in Overland Park, Kan.
The ReNewed Health Food Pantry, it’s located at 87th and Antioch, will be holding its grand opening on May 13th.
In England rules for premises selling food changed back in December 2014, This has resulted in all premises selling food, whether freshly made or packaged, to provide details of any of the top 14 allergens used. It is still early days, and there has been some resistance, but there are signs that eating out with allergies is improving.
The medical profession in England is also beginning to realise the prevalence of allergies and how many more people are now presenting with serious allergic reactions in hospital – 20,000 attendances last year alone, with over 12,500 of those being an emergency situation!
Here in the USA , Ann and I were fortunate to interview Tom Ogren about his fascinating , very informative book about Allergies in the garden, this is a must read for avid gardeners everywhere.
Is this really salad ? it tastes so good like this !
Ann & I were fortunate to talk to three amazing ladies from Tennessee a little while ago. They wanted to start a school garden at their school, here is their story, the school garden is now in its third year.
Some of the main points we heard were:-
It’s essential to have teacher as well as parent support.
Take time to plan carefully
Initially growing from seed is harder , due to the school calendar.
Choose plants that will fit into this schedule.
The children want to take ownership of their plants !
Educating children in the different choices of produce increases the varieties they will eat.
Children really take pride in taking home to their family the produce they have grown.
In a blind radish test, the children could tell which were home grown as opposed to store bought and much preferred home grown !
If you would like us to put you in touch with these wonderful ladies,or if you would like more information on starting your own school garden just complete the comments box below and we will be in touch. If you would like us to interview you, send us a picture of your garden along with contact details, we will be adding a section to our web site www.grotrends.com specially on School garden projects.
Thank you Penny, Peggy and Emily, this was a fascinating interview.
Tomorrow we will talk about growing herbs & veggies in containers.
Chris & Ann are landscape designers, gardeners, inventors , radio show hosts, we live in the MidWest , are passionate about food, cooking, wine and love to interview people who share our passion for the environment.
Returning to growing your own Herbs & Veggies is taking on a new importance these days with the changes to our weather patterns, the realisation that many pesticides, insecticides and mass growing techniques are not necessarily the most efficient, cost effective or even healthy way for us to provide for our food needs.
Ann & I thought we would explore the various ways we knew how you can grow at home – we may have missed an idea or two, for which we apologise in advance ( please do send us your ideas and we will add them to our blog post).
Most people start by growing basic Herbs , then move on to the Tomatoes, Potatoes, Garlic, Lettuce, Spinach, Corn, Onions, Carrots, Beets, Garlic, Leeks, Chicory, Asparagus, Beans, Cucumbers, Zucchini ( Courgette), Squash, Sweet Potatoes, etc, etc.
Generally the ideal prerequisites for growing are, although these can be ‘created’ artificially these days.
A sunny site
Space to grow
Time to tend to plants.
1. Adding plants to an existing landscaped garden.
The easiest and simplest method is to introduce plants into your existing shrub planting beds. You would be amazed at what herbs and veggies can grow symbiotically with your favorite flowers and shrubs, some are even edible ( Take a look at a book we recently reviewed called Eat your Roses – by Denise Schrieber ) . .
When we interviewed the creators of this beautiful garden last year and found lots and lots of herbs, vegetables and fruits growing next to the flowers and shrubs.
2.Grow herbs & some veggies in pots.
You can use virtually any pot for this or you can purchase additional features to make the arrangement much more interesting.
Here a simple pot of herbs near to the kitchen door.
By adding a special rod system inside the pots, you can make the arrangement much more interesting and space efficient.
3. Square Foot Gardens – invented by Mel Bartholomew some years ago this is a fantastic solution for those with either a small space or for those who want an effective herb & growing method in a confined space.
If you want to you can add all manner of amazing refinements as seen here in this Chelsea Flower Show exhibit.
4. A traditional ‘allotment or community garden.
5. From a bygone era when labour wasn’t an issue and doing things on a grand scale no matter what it was, was considered the way..
We will spend a little time with each style, in the coming days, in the meantime you can listen to our podcast at www.growingtrends.org as we talk to a variety of guests from a passionate young mother, to a group of school teachers and to Mel Bartholomew,
We have all rather taken water for granted over the years. Today for some it is becoming a topic of conversation, for others it is a topic of concern, and for yet others they are not sure if or when they will see enough potable water again.
Many European countries have developed system to recapture and reuse water more than once, others have quite simple systems of returning water as quickly as possible back to the aquifer ( it’s still a long process).
North America is waking up to the idea that extended droughts mean much more serious water conservation, something South American countries have been struggling with for quite some time.
As homeowners there are a number of ways to help preserve our dwindling water supplies, some are very effective others not so, but as they say every little helps.
The simplest is, I suppose the rainwater barrel, it will collect up to 40 gallons of water ( which means it just needs about 1/3rd of inch of rainfall for each downpipes to fill one). It’s best to keep out of full sun as in hot areas the water could become rather too hot for use on plants.
A slightly improved version of this would be a cistern, as seen below, they were often circular for strength. – this particular one would be quite costly.
Today a much more interesting wrapped interlocking framing system has been devised – the ground is excavated and a waterproof membrane is laid on the sub base then filled with rectangular ‘Versitanks’. – These tanks can be from very small single units to many hundreds as seen here.
These can be almost any size or shape.
To get the surface water to these storage vessels requires a few more modifications to the current surface water run off arrangements.
The first is a simple slot drain to divert the water from a surface, such as this car parking area.
They can also be used at home to collect water from a driveway, here the downpipes will also be connected to the slot drain and probably then run to a soakaway.
So what’s a soakaway? well most folks in England will know this, however my colleagues in the USA are just not as familiar with these simple victorian solutions to collecting water for returning to the aquifer.
In it’s simplest form all that is required is a hole filled with porous material – such as the brick version above. Drainage pipes run to this and water then is able to slowly seep back into the sub strata. ( Not a good idea in heavy clay soils as it will take way too long)
This much larger version is able to hold a huge amount of water, which can be reused for irrigation or just returned to the aquifer.
The collection method from say a down pipe is quite simple, involving a gulley pot .
A simple gulley pot is used to ‘grab’ the water before directing it to the drainage pipe. Below the gulley pot has a downpipe collector, and a slot drain collector and localized surface drain all in one unit.
Once the water has been collected it’s a simple matter to design a recycling system.
In it’s simplest form, often used by early Egyptians a localized storage vessel often made of clay was used right next to say a fruit tree.
Next came a slightly larger arrangement, although if you try this remember water can heat up, this might not be healthy for plants…
Finally a rather more sophisticated system that addresses many issues and is virtually hidden from view.
This next system requires , quite a lot of time, planning and expense, but in warmer climates it is probably the future solution. Perhaps the lawn will need to be re thought as, it would seem to me that growing more fresh produce is a much wiser use of the space.
Ann & Chris would love to hear from you with ideas and suggestions for the show, please drop us a line at email@example.com
Manage Cookie Consent
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.