Have you ever wanted to transform your organic gardening practice into something more? Are you interested in ecology, permaculture, or sustainability? This podcast takes a deep dive into these topics, through in-depth commentary and relevant interviews with forest gardeners, permaculturalists, and regenerative system designers.
The Forest Garden Podcast is a joint venture between Ben Bishop and Mike Amato, two plant nerds who in the summer of 2020 realized they shared the same alma mater and the same interests in alternative solutions to our rapidly evolving climate.
Yardwork: Gardening is Heavy Metal (Guest Episode)
Hey there podcast listeners, today we have a special treat for you - featuring voices other than our own! Tune in for a fantastic guest episode from the folks at Outside/In, a show from New Hampshire Public Radio. We chose to feature this guest episode because it poses a very important question for us (and probably for you too) "is the soil in my backyard safe to grow food in?". For those of us who garden in an urban context, this is a very important question! We also recommend checking out the other two episodes featured in the Yardwork series, we found each episode illuminating in very different ways. Find them at outsideinradio.org or wherever you get your podcasts.
Episode Description from Outside/In:
Every so often, when she’s digging in her backyard garden, amateur gardener Maureen McMurray encounters something she didn’t expect: a lump of coal. She’s planted vegetables in the same soil for a few years now. But as she prepared for an upcoming growing season, she wondered: is her homegrown produce poisoning her family?
The answer is nicer than you might think.
Featuring Maureen McMurray, Nate Bernitz, and Ganga Hettiarachchi. Reported by Justine Paradis. Full episode details, credits, and transcript available here.
Forage & Feast! Mushroom Hunting & Notes from the Russian Diaspora with Dan Bensonoff
Fall is nearly upon us podcast listeners! Cooler temperatures and rainy days will soon bring a bounty to the forest floor. In other words, it's mushroom hunting season. Tune in today for our conversation with Dan Bensonoff, director of the Permaculture Initiative at UMASS Amherst. Dan has been collecting mushrooms for the majority of his life, having been blessed with a cultural background that is especially mycophilic. When I first met Dan, he expressed to me a frustration with american mushroom foraging texts. He told me that many of them listed the mushrooms that he grew up collecting, preparing, and cooking as either poisonous or inedible - and that these texts were missing out on an entire cultural history of flavor and experience. So that is what we are going to be talking about on todays episode! Tune in to learn about a wide variety of mushrooms including but not limited to the Lactarius, Russula, and Sullius genera. Dan not only has experience foraging for these mushrooms, he's also a bit of a wizard in the kitchen - so stay tuned for mushroom preparation and processing techniques, as well as unique recipes and storage methods. And be sure to check what Dan's up to with the permaculture initiative on instagram at @umasspermaculture. IMPORTANT NOTE! Never consume a wild mushroom unless you are 100% sure it is the correct edible species and not a look alike! Look alikes are plentiful among many species of mushroom, spore prints and foraging with folks who are more experienced is recommended for beginners.
Outdoor Mushroom Cultivation with Field and Forest Products
It's September! This sweltering summer is coming to a close, and thank the heavens it's been raining a bit more in the past few weeks. (At least in our neck of the woods). With the coming drops in temperature and increased precipitation, we over here at The Forest Garden have our foraging baskets all set and ready for the weeks to come. But did you know you could experience a mushroom harvest in your own backyard? Join us for an in-depth episode delving into the world of outdoor mushroom cultivation with our lovely guests Phoebe & Joe Krawczyk of Field and Forest Products! Listen in to learn about Winecap cultivation in woodchip beds, shiitake cultivation on logs, and much much more! And if you don't follow them already on social media, check out Phoebe's incredible mushroom minute posts on the Field and Forest instagram page @fieldandforestproducts. You can also find us on instagram @forestgardenpodcast, which is the best place to reach out if you have any questions or comments about a topic we cover in a given episode.
Field and Forest Products links:
Other projects we discuss in the episode:
Carbon Farming Solutions & The Nutritional Value of Perennial Vegetables with Eric Toensmeier
Welcome back podcast listeners! Tune in today to learn from one of our personal heroes Eric Toensmeier, author of Paradise Lot, Perennial Vegetables, The Carbon Farming Solution (and co-author of Edible Forest Gardens written by Dave Jacke). We cover quite a bit in todays episode, prepare yourself for in depth descriptions of agroforestry practices, the incredible nutritional value of some of Eric’s favorite perennial vegetable crops, and much much more.
Establishing a Regenerative Community Network: The Resilience Hub with Lisa Fernandes
Welcome back podcast listeners! Today we have a really good one for y'all, a deep dive into the in's and out's of how The Resilience Hub got started. If you have never heard of it, The Resilience Hub is 'a 501c3 organization dedicated to regenerating land, growing healthy food, and building strong, resilient communities.' But it didn't necessarily start out doing all those things! Tune in today to learn about its origins, from our guest Lisa Fernandes - founder of The Resilience Hub, and current Communication Director for the Food Solutions New England network based at the UNH Sustainability Institute in Durham, New Hampshire. Today's episode is a crash course in how to get the ball moving in your own neighborhood if you are interested in establishing a community network of people who want more food crops in public spaces, in neighborhood backyards and front yards, and more! Tune in and don't touch that dial! Or whatever the modern analog for a dial is these days. Don't press that skip button? You get the idea... Remember that if you want to get ahold of us you can find us on instagram at @forestgarden podcast.
Organizations Lisa wants you to know about:
Food Forests in Public Spaces: Mount Joy Community Orchard with Aaron Parker
Today we have an extra special episode! We're lucky to be hosting Aaron Parker of Edgewood Nursery, Propaganda by the Seed, and most importantly - the Mount Joy Community Orchard Project. Mt. Joy is a food forest/community orchard located on Munjoy Hill in Portland, Maine. I first discovered it completely by accident. I stumbled into this magical landscape covered in herbaceous pollinator plants mixed in with fruit trees, and asked an elderly gentleman who was there picking raspberries "for his sweetie" - what's the deal with this place? He told me that is was a free to pick public orchard where anyone could come by and harvest whatever they wanted, so long as they were respectful of the landscape. From that moment I was hooked. If you've ever wanted your local park to look more like a forest garden, and less like a mowed lawn, today's episode is one you can't miss. Listen in as we learn about how Mt. Joy got started, what its evolution has looked like over time, and the steps that you can take to start a similar project in your community. Don't touch that dial! And remember that you can always find us at @forestgardenpodcast on instagram.
Other Links for organizations or events mentioned in the episode:
my mom thinks these guys are my friends
because i love this show so much and always talk about it. when she listens to an episode she says ‘oh i listened to your friends again and learned so much!’ and i say ‘mom they’re not my friends i don’t even know them but they are really cool and i love their show too.’ best podcast for not just food forests, but growing food in general, using what you have and making it work for where you are, and building climate resilience and community at the same time. after every episode i get so excited about like ten new plants and have already added many that i first heard of here. extra points for new england charm and making me feel less hopeless about the state of gardening in the face of climate change.
Very cool commentary
Really enjoyed your episode on perennial vegetables with the guy from cape cod!
Finally found what I need
So professional! Nice voice 😃