24 episodes

The Garage Gardeners Radio Show is a garden radio show that talks to gardeners who are creative zone-pushers and season-extenders. It's hosted by two “garage gardeners” who use their garage to push their own gardening boundaries. Steve stores his dormant fig, lemon, and brugmansia plants in the garage over the winter, while Emma gets an early start with tomatoes on the garage roof. This show is about creatively gardening beyond your zone.

The Garage Gardeners Emma Biggs, Steven Biggs

    • Natural Sciences

The Garage Gardeners Radio Show is a garden radio show that talks to gardeners who are creative zone-pushers and season-extenders. It's hosted by two “garage gardeners” who use their garage to push their own gardening boundaries. Steve stores his dormant fig, lemon, and brugmansia plants in the garage over the winter, while Emma gets an early start with tomatoes on the garage roof. This show is about creatively gardening beyond your zone.

    Urban Farming to Build Community

    Urban Farming to Build Community

    Hear about urban maret gardening from Jessey Njau, who left a corporate job to make an urban farm his Toronto backyard. His operation, Zawadi Farm, has grown to include more yards, as neighbours see what he is doing and offer their yards. Jessey sells his produce to CSA subscribers and at local farmers markets.

    In Emma’s Tomato-Talk segment, she shares some of her favourite tomato varieties.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Apples with Stories, Native Fruit, Fig Networks, Top Tomatoes

    Apples with Stories, Native Fruit, Fig Networks, Top Tomatoes

    In the first half of the show Emma and Steven chat with Ken Roth about unusual apple varieties. Ever heard of Calville Blanc, Esopus Spitzenberg, Roxbury Russet, or Fameuse? Ken talks about these, as well as disease-resistant varieties suited to first-time apple growers. Ken is a collector of fruit trees and the owner of Silver Creek Nursery in Ontario.

    In the second half of the show Toronto native plant expert Tom Atkinson talks about native Carolinian fruit trees including pawpaw, American persimmon, and mulberry. Tom explains that the red mulberry is a rare tree in Ontario, made more so by hybridization with Asiatic mulberries.

    In Emma’s Tomato-Talk segment, she chats with veggie gardening expert Niki Jabbour about favourite tomatoes from 2019. Niki Jabbour is the author of The Year Round Vegetable Gardener and Veggie Garden Remix.

    In The Biggs-on-Figs segment, Steve talks with a Toronto fig enthusiast about growing figs, how he finds figs build community, and a neat online fig resource.

    • 1 hr
    Tomato breeding, High-Altlitude Growing, Passive Solar Greenhouses, Mountain Figs

    Tomato breeding, High-Altlitude Growing, Passive Solar Greenhouses, Mountain Figs

    In the first half of the show we chat with tomato breeder Fred Hempel, who has been breeding tomatoes on his small farm in California since 2006. His breeding business, Artisan Seeds, has produced a number of varieties that are grown by farmers and gardeners around the world. Most of these are striped cherry tomatoes, known for their flavour and aesthetic appeal. His current breeding work is focused on extended shelf life and disease resistance.

    In the second half of the show, we chat with Penn and Cord Parmenter, who grow food in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado at an elevation of 8000 feet. They discuss bio-intensive gardening methods, passive solar greenhouses, and cold-hardy crops and vegetable varieties.

    In the Biggs-On-Figs segment, Steven chats with Tony Christini, a fig grower in West Virginia. Tony’s focus is on hardy and early-ripening figs.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Haskaps, Cold-Hardy Fruit, Growing Food in Cities, Fig Breba List

    Haskaps, Cold-Hardy Fruit, Growing Food in Cities, Fig Breba List

    Our first guest is Dr. Bob Bors who heads up the fruit program at the University of Saskatchewan. Bob is the co-author of a new book that we are really stoked about, Growing Fruit in Northern Gardens. In recent years Bob’s program for breeding hardy fruit has released 5 sour cherries, 4 apples, and 8 haskap varieties. Find more about the program, Bob, and the book visit fruit.usask.ca

    In the second half of the show, we chat with food thinker Wayne Roberts. Wayne is the former head of the Toronto Food Policy Council, a group of citizens, food activists, and experts that helps to shape civic food policy. His books include The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food and Food for City Building; A Field Guide for Planners, Actionists and Entrepreneurs. Wayne now speaks around the world about things that relate to food: policy, waste, food-related careers, and the green economy. This show is all about pushing boundaries—and Wayne is a big believer that urban gardeners can push a big boundary: growing more food in cities.

    Tomato Talk Segment: After a tour of the field trials, Emma chats about top tomato varieties with Nadine, who manages the vegetable seed trials at William Dam Seeds.
    https://www.damseeds.ca

    Biggs-on-Figs Segment: For the Biggs-on-Figs segment, Steve chats with Ben Nguyen, a gardener and fig collector who likes to grow tropical fruits and veggies in Seattle, where they are not supposed to grow. Ben created a very useful tool: The Ultimate Breba List. Ben’s blog is Seattle Garden & Fruit Adventures.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Geothermal Greenhouses, Citrus in Nebraska, Choosing Apple Varieties

    Geothermal Greenhouses, Citrus in Nebraska, Choosing Apple Varieties

    In the first part of the show we talk about growing citrus in Nebraska and geothermal greenhouses with Russ Finch from Greenhouse in the Snow. In the second part of the show, we talk about apple varieties with fruit tree expert Susan Poizner from Orchard People.

    • 58 min
    Compost-Powered Hot Tub, Urban Micro-Farm Program

    Compost-Powered Hot Tub, Urban Micro-Farm Program

    Our first guest is a big proponent of firing up the soil using compost. We learned about Tom Bartel’s work when we stumbled on his video about using microbial activity to heat a hot tub.

    Tom gardens in the high desert of Colorado, at an elevation of 6,500’. His growing season is only about 130 days, but from his 1300 square foot garden, he harvests over 1,000 pounds of produce every year.

    In the second half of the show, we chat with Ryan Cullen, the field supervisor at Durham College. He oversees a diverse market garden that includes fruit, small fruit, cut flowers, field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, and microgreens. Ryan is a passionate advocate of small-scale, organic farming, and works to inspire a new generation of farmers.

    The on-campus farm is part of Durham College’s Food and Farming program, which focuses on urban and small-scale agriculture and has a field-to-fork philosophy. Located on a former industrial site, the farm produces a variety of vegetables and fruits to supply the on-campus restaurant, Bistro 67.

    • 56 min

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