22 episodes

Hothouse is a podcast about design, ecology, and the way we garden now. Host Leah Churner sits down with experts and enthusiasts to talk about permaculture, the urban landscape, and how plants sometimes give us the feels. A meeting of the minds for plant people and the horticulture-curious, Hothouse is a different kind of gardening show: less of the how-to and more of the who, what, where, when, and why.

Hothouse Leah Churner

    • Nature

Hothouse is a podcast about design, ecology, and the way we garden now. Host Leah Churner sits down with experts and enthusiasts to talk about permaculture, the urban landscape, and how plants sometimes give us the feels. A meeting of the minds for plant people and the horticulture-curious, Hothouse is a different kind of gardening show: less of the how-to and more of the who, what, where, when, and why.

    The Horticulturati: Crap(e) Myrtles & Cushaw Squash

    The Horticulturati: Crap(e) Myrtles & Cushaw Squash

    Hothouse is returning from hiatus! From here on out this podcast feed will be all Hothouse, so if you want to keep hearing The Horticulturati, please subscribe to that feed HERE (for Apple Podcasts) or HERE (for Spotify).  
    Crape myrtles are blooming all over the place and Leah is DISGUSTED. What’s triggering this Lagerstroemiaphobia? Perhaps it's not about the crape myrtles at all, but rather the lingering demons of her past in exurban hell. Next, Colleen reports on a storied gourd that vine borers can’t touch: the cushaw squash. Domesticated some time around the dawn of agriculture, the obscure cushaw took on special significance to African American foodways as a “slave food” staple. We discuss plants and memory, the merits of “folklore,” and the importance of heirloom seeds as “living archives” of cultural information. Happy belated Juneteenth!
    See photos of Colleen’s cushaw plant and drop us a line at www.horticulturati.com. 
    Mentioned in this episode: 
    The Botany Coloring Book; The Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney; Neil Sperry on topping crape myrtles; Nandina ‘nana”;  the “Pool Party Incident” of 2015; Homestead Heart (YouTube); “The Seeds of Survival” (NYT); Kathe Hambrick-Jackson, The River Road African American Museum (Louisiana); Michael W. Twitty, The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty; Farming While Black, by Leah Penniman. 

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Horticulturati: Compost Clues & Urban Foraging

    Horticulturati: Compost Clues & Urban Foraging

    Please donate to The National Bail Fund Network! On this Horticulturati, Colleen teaches us the best way to build a compost pile. Leah forages far and wide and lives to tell the tale. 
    Visit our website for images from this episode.  
    Mentioned: 
    The City of Austin’s Home Composting Rebate Program; Mantis Compostumbler; Soil, a novel by Jamie Kornegay; The Telluride Mushroom Festival; The WIld Wisdom of Weeds by Katrina Blair; Turtle Lake Refuge in Durango CO; Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Horticulturati: Metamorphosis & Victory Gardens

    Horticulturati: Metamorphosis & Victory Gardens

    On this Horticulturati, we bring you stories of adaptation and change. Leah has been studying up on butterfly holometabolism -- that is, complete metamorphosis -- with assistance from her niece, nephew, and Vladimir Nabokov. Colleen describes the history of Victory Gardens, from World War I to the present day, and outlines three ways to start a “pandemic garden” of your own. But first: we revisit the sleeper masterpiece that is the Secret Life of Plants doc (1979), which is only available in bootleg on YouTube. Watch it here.
    Mentioned in this episode: 
    A color guide to familiar Butterflies Caterpillars and Chrysalides by Josef Moucha; Butterfly Gardening for the South by Geyata Ajilvsgi; Gayata on Central Texas Gardener;  photo of a giant swallowtail chrysalis and a monarch chrysalis; Nabokov’s 1948 “Butterflies” essay from the New Yorker; Sebastian’s rescued chrysalis and newly emerged monarch; National Audubon Society Field Guide to Butterflies of North America; A Brief History of Gardening by Neil Fairbairn; Nature’s Garden for Victory and Peace by George Washington Carver;  Victory Garden (undated propaganda film); “How to Plant a Victory Garden” (NYT Sunday Style); this article about panic gardening; this article about scallions; and Central Texas Seed Savers.
    Many thanks to our young lepidopterists in the field, Sebastian and Margot.
    Get in touch with us on our website. 

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Horticulturati: The Mulch Episode

    Horticulturati: The Mulch Episode

    What’s the deal with mulch? Why do we do it? Where does it come from? Mulch is a noun, a verb, and--for many--a pile of mystery. On this episode, we delve into mulch's history, weigh in on the bag vs. bulk debate, and call into question the whole dang practice. Roll up your sleeves and grab a shovel, because your hosts are here to deliver many, many cubic yards of mulch facts! 
    Mentioned in this episode: Austin Resource Recovery Recycling Center (currently closed due to COVID); Rodale's How to Grow Vegetables and Fruits by the Organic Method; Cheryl Hazeltine's Central Texas Gardener. 
    More info at our website: www.horticulturati.com. Email us at info@horticulturati.com. Our theme song is “Plants” by The Horticulturati House Band. 

    • 1 hr 11 min
    The Horticulturati: Local Food & Living Soil

    The Horticulturati: Local Food & Living Soil

    How is the global pandemic impacting local food systems? We interview @Hallie_Casey of Sustainable Food Center and On To Grow On podcast to find out. We discuss food supply chains, how local farmers’ markets are adapting, and who counts as “essential” workers during a Shelter in Place Order. Then we dig into a more fun topic: soil!  How do you know if your soil is healthy? What's the role of soil in regenerative agriculture? Lastly, we introduce a segment called the “Gardener’s Gauntlet,” in which we invite guests to spill their horticultural passions and peeves. 
    Mentioned in this episode: 
    The Essential Worker Travel Form letter from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, the SFC Farmers’ Markets, the USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service (NCRS), Texas Plant and Soil Lab, and One To Grow On’s series on organic agriculture. This one goes out to John Prine, who is battling the virus. 
    Drop us a line on our website or email info@horticulturati.com and find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

    • 57 min
    The Horticulturati: Music & Plants

    The Horticulturati: Music & Plants

    Best wishes to everyone! Here is a little plantastic escapism to entertain you. [We recorded this episode on 2/28 and added a little corona check-in intro on 3/21. Episode begins around 4:19.]
    Can plants “hear” music? What would plant-generated music sound like? On this episode, Leah and Colleen attend “The Secret Song of Plants,” the release party for an album of the same name by music therapist Andrea Cortez. Accompanying Andrea is cellist Henna Chou and… a pothos ivy?!?! 
    Join us as we dive deep into the world of plant music, plant sentience, and philosophy, from the Plant Wave, to The Secret Life of Plants, to Mort Garson’s “Plantasia,” and beyond. 
    Watch the Secret Life of Plants documentary here.
    More info at our website: www.horticulturati.com. Email us at info@horticulturati.com. Our theme song is “Plants” by The Horticulturati House Band. 
    Also mentioned in this episode:  
    “Inside the Spiritual World of Plant Based Instruments” (Vice magazine, 2016); “Data Garden Quartet” at Philadelphia Museum of Art (2012); Multiple intelligences; “Rock or Bach an Issue to Plants, Singer Says” (New York Times, 1971); In Search of … Other Voices with Leonard Nimoy (TV series, 1977)
    PS. In our research, we found several great podcast episodes on the topic of plants and music and tried not to rehash too much territory. Highly recommend you check out: “Smarty Plants” (Radiolab, 2018); “Plants That Sing” (Twenty Thousand Hertz, 2019); “The Secret Life of Plants” (The Organist, 2018), “Are Plants Listening?” (Sound Meditation Radio, 2020).

    • 1 hr 13 min

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