Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Katrina VanDeusen, Ecological Engineer

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Description: What is phytoremediation? It’s plant-based solutions to healing toxic spills on our land. Katrina, ‘Kat’ VanDuesen explains how our invaluable plants clean up toxic waste and contamination whether metals, radiation, oils, and other contaminants. Serious health issues, as well as health issues within our soil, water, and air, are well documented from some of these very toxic spills. Ecological environmental applications work. Kat tells us how nature has solutions.

About My Guest: Katrina. VanDeusen is an Environmental Scientist with over 20 years of broad-based professional experience in environmental applications developing multi-media remediation strategies for both public and private sector clients in the New York City metropolitan area.  Her technical experience includes Phase I, Phase II Site Investigations, Preliminary Assessments, Ecological Evaluations, Remedial Investigation, Remedial Alternatives Analysis, Environmental Site Assessments, design of bioremediation systems, due diligence, legal support, wetland delineation, hydrology assessments, sensitive habitat multimedia sampling, community and habitat surveys, ecological engineering/restoration for both hazardous and non-hazardous sites.  Ms. VanDeusen’s technical writing skills include Preliminary Assessment reports, Remedial Action Workplans and reports, Site Investigation and Remedial Investigation reports, NEPA reports, Phase I and Phase II technical reports, environmental liability assessments, Vapor Intrusion Reports, wetland delineation, and ecological restoration reports.

Transcript: #27 Kat VanDuesen 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Susan Hoffman-Fishman, Art and Climate Change

Description: So many world events grab our attention and some stab at our hearts. Meet Susan Hoffman-Fishman, artist and writer who was deeply moved by the Fukushima, Japan nuclear accident, 2011. She and art partner Elena Kalman have partnered up to create hands-on art dedicated to raising awareness about our precious water and homelessness. Intrigued? I hope you will listen in as Susan describes her passion and projects and maybe invite her to your area creating art for the awareness we need for these issues.

About My Guest: Susan Hoffman Fishman is a public artist, painter, writer and educator whose work has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries throughout the U.S. All of her public art installations and mixed media paintings concern current social and political issues. Susan’s latest bodies of work focus on the threat of rising tides caused by climate change, the trillions of pieces of plastic in our oceans and the wars that are predicted to occur in the future over access to clean water.

Susan is also the co-creator of two on-going, socially engaged public art projects: The Wave, a national installation which addresses our mutual need for and interdependence on water and Home, which calls attention to homelessness and the on-going need for affordable housing in our cities and towns. The Wave has been installed to date in 24 museums, galleries, parks, schools and festivals.

Transcript: #71 Susan Hoffman Fishman

Mindalia TV Interview: All About Nature

 

Description: I had the wonderful opportunity to be interviewed on Mindalia TV. This time instead of interviewing others I was able to share some of my passions with their audience. Dan Blanchard, one of my guests on “the Holistic Nature of Us”, invited me to join him for a lively discussion along with Mira, a Mandalia TV host. Dan and I are fellow authors here in CT. Each of us travels to speaking engagements, podcasting, interviews and we’re dedicated authors enjoying the journey of promotion. While this interview was broader than houseplants, though I love mine and they have wonderful value and gifts for the home environment, our discussion went deeper.

I hope you will listen in, take a moment to send us a comment and enjoy. Please share. Thanks. Judith

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Mark Shepard asks: How does nature do it?

Description: How does nature do it? is a question frequently asked by Mark Shepard, one of my podcast guests. In this video, we get to see Mark’s farm, while he shows us chestnut trees, his property development and describes permaculture principles he puts into effect every day. Many of my podcast listeners tell me how much they enjoyed Mark Shepard’s discussions. He observes: what makes the system work? And then applies those very principles. Nature is a bit messy yet diversity creates backup systems.

I enjoy videos like the one above because he shows us what he has put into practice. So for a bit of a break in my podcast schedule, I am offering a couple of weeks of other videos by my guests. I hope you enjoy them. Any comments? All are appreciated.

Enjoy, Judith

Bio: Mark Shepard is the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises LLC, founder of Restoration Agriculture Development LLC and award-winning author of the book, Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers. Mark has also been a farmer member of the Organic Valley cooperative, the worlds largest Organic Farmer’s marketing co-op, since 1995. He is most widely known as the founder of New Forest Farm, the 106-acre perennial agricultural savanna considered by many to be one of the most ambitious sustainable agriculture projects in the United States.

New Forest Farm is a planned conversion of a typical row-crops grain farm into a commercial-scale, perennial agricultural ecosystem using oak savanna, successional brushland, and eastern woodlands as the ecological models. Trees, shrubs, vines, canes, perennial plants, and fungi are planted in association with one another to produce foods, fuels, medicines, and beauty. Hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts and various fruits are the primary woody crops. The farm is entirely solar and wind-powered and farm equipment is capable of being powered with locally produced biofuels.

Trained in both mechanical engineering and ecology, Mark has developed and patented equipment and processes for the cultivation, harvesting, and processing of forest-derived agricultural products for human foods and biofuels production. Mark was certified as a Permaculture designer in 1993 and received his Diploma of Permaculture design from Bill Mollison, the founder of the international Permaculture movement. He teaches agroforestry and Permaculture worldwide.

For more information about Mark Shepard, one can visit newforestfarm.us
For Restoration Agriculture Development, visit restoration.com @restoration.ag on Instagram
For Forest Agriculture Enterprises, visit forestag.com
He can be located on Facebook by searching mark.shepard.906 and his Instagram is @mark_shepard_rad

 

 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Craig Floyd’s Ted Talk

Description: Craig Floyd is passionate about helping children who are food insecure. His “Giving Garden”, here in Mystic CT, a part of the Denison PequotSepos Nature Center does just that. Armed with dedicated volunteers his garden not only flourishes but becomes a safe haven for children, our Veterans and more. New London County, CT is the recipient of these delicious, nutritionally packed no-till, no spray crops. 

I had a chance to visit Craig and his garden over the winter. What he has done with 11,000 square feet is truly amazing and a well thought out role model for change. When we help others we help ourselves, a holistic principle that  Craig and his garden embodies.

Since I am taking a break I thought I would offer his TED talk to my listeners. I hope you enjoy his passion, dedication, and education as Craig shares his story. Remember, all comments are appreciated.

Thanks & Enjoy,

Judith

 

Blog: Horticultural Therapy

 

 

I’ve come across a couple of small articles on how gardening soothes us. “Geosmin” is the component in soil that affects our brains and gives us a feeling of peace. But, did you know there is a formal association for and about horticultural therapy? My guest this week, Jeff, the Plant Guy, reminded me. He highlighted the various institutions he personally travels to, various programs he shares and the positive results. Results can happen on a more subtle level. Memories are stirred, we think back to other times and places often with positive results. Here’s a great article that talks about gardening improving longevity.

Horticultural therapy is a time-proven practice. The therapeutic benefits of garden environments have been documented since ancient times. In the 19th century, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and recognized as the “Father of American Psychiatry,” was first to document the positive effect working in the garden had on individuals with mental illness.” (American Horticultural Therapy Association)

They also state: “A therapeutic garden is a plant-dominated environment purposefully designed to facilitate interaction with the healing elements of nature. Interactions can be passive or active depending on the garden design and users’ needs. There are many sub-types of therapeutic gardens including healing gardens, enabling gardens, rehabilitation gardens, and restorative gardens.” (American Horticultural Therapy Association)

I had an opportunity a couple of years ago to help out at the Hobbs Farm on LI. They produced food for the 11 food banks that existed at that time throughout LI.

The founder had a son who was severely injured in a car accident and disabled. They were able to put in a macadam surface for wheelchair access and built high raised beds for wheelchair bound folk. The canopy and benches gave them a place for snacks and a way to get out of the sun. It was and is a very practical and useful therapeutic design garden area, all part of the bigger farm.

Today I’d like to remind you to get out into your yards, gardens, nearby forests. If you can’t and have houseplants spend some time with them today. They clean our air, add moisture to it and lend a feeling of well being. All good.

Do you have any memories connected to a particular plant or flower? We enjoy hearing from you. Please share. Thanks. Judith

 

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