Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Craig Floyd, Coogan Farm Manager

Description: Do you garden? If so, have you ever wondered what the potential of a single non-hybrid tomato plant could be? My guest this week, Craig Floyd, manages an 11,000+ square foot acre garden for the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic CT. Passionate about sustainable farming; he gives us detailed advice about soil health, water needs and practical tips for any level gardener. It’s exciting to meet folks like Craig who are out there walking the talk, growing fantastic gardens. He relates how troubled children, teens and those with disabilities are transformed by walking in his gardens, how the soil heals. Fascinating? Definitely!  I hope you will join us and leave your comments. They are appreciated.

About My Guest: Craig Floyd. Farm Manager for the Coogan Farm in Mystic CT. Craig manages 11,000 sq feet as part of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. He’s passionate about using his extensive farming experience creating a sustainable, healthy no-till,, no-spray garden in order to give quality food to the needy. He watches children with emotional and physical handicaps change as they roam the garden. It works for adults too. I encourage everyone to put the Coogan Farm and Nature Center Trails on their to-do list this year. It’s worth it. and if you have the time, why not lend a hand? Volunteers are always welcome.

Transcript: #47 Craig Floyd (1)

#47 Craig Floyd (1) Craig Floyd potting soil mix

Blog: 25th Anniversary of Untied Plant Savers 2019

 

 

 

 

Plant saving, plant preservation for future generations are just two of the goals for United Plant Savers. Those of us in the herbal field rely on their up to date ‘at risk’ and ‘to watch’ plant list. Rosemary Gladstar and other concerned herbalists created an organization that was/is deeply concerned about the depletion of our plant populations. They began twenty -five years ago, in 1994, when herbalism experienced a resurgence. Many wild plants hit the airwaves like St John’s Wort and others creating intense demand. These grass root herbalists took their concerns, created UpS, United Plant Savers, and put those concerns into action.

In Rutland Ohio, the first UpS sponsored botanical sanctuary was born where species like American Ginseng, Goldenseal and others are propagated and replanted all over the country. Today many sanctuaries exist all over our country including personal backyards all the way to well known botanical gardens, all striving to propagate, educate their communities on the importance of respecting and using plants with mindfulness to species needs.

UpS also offers the opportunity to apply for grant money to fund your community project. It worked for me. Two years ago, with the grant money awarded to the  Garden Path Garden Club in Tolland CT, we created the Turtle Teaching Circle. With parents help and students, a 20′ diameter circle was placed near the children’s garden with 12 stumps marking the places on a typical native American Wheel. Each place on the wheel has a trail quality sign featuring an ‘at-risk’ or ‘to-watch’ plant native to New England. The project is near a community trail with easy handicap access. Students are taught about gardening and seed saving.

We still see a decrease in plant populations due to popularity. I have been to the sanctuary in Rutland Ohio. Meadows and woodlands, forest and trails highlight the diverse habitats needed to preserve ‘at-risk- plants and more. They offer classes in herbalism with experts guiding foraging experiences that are respectful of habitat, plant-specific needs, and place in complex ecosystems. Sustainable regenerative gardening practices are key to the survival of our plants.

I hope you will go to their website and explore their articles, their resources and maybe get to one of their events. They will be honored and highlighted at this year’s International Herb Symposium in MA. If you use herbal supplements and garden, add another herb to your planting list this year to conserve our plant resources. If you use herbal supplements and don’t garden, please consider a donation to UpS.

I have been a member off and on for these past 25 years. We are activists, environmentalists, herbalists, folks who simply care about this earth and her resources, each in his or her own way. Check them out. This is a fantastic time for the organization, a time of honoring the work done and where and how we need to focus today on our journey, our partnership with the earth.

Enjoy. Judith

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Mark Shepard, Founder of Restoration Agriculture Development

Description: This is exciting! Folks out there are working diligently every day to protect, build and maintain viable healthy ecosystems and produce food. Meet Mark Shepard who founded Restoration Agriculture Development, RAD, in order to save viable ecosystems while growing nutrient-rich food. His approach with his team is to imitate the structure and function of the specific ecosystem’s natural plant communities while utilizing the appropriate agroforestry and water management techniques to produce an agricultural yield. While restoring carbon sequestration, water purification, and infiltration, nutrient cycling occurs while supporting, maintaining and preserving biodiversity. Individually, taking steps to support biodiversity, adds up to big results. I am excited to learn more about how company’s like Mark’s educate and support better agriculture development and maintain various ecosystems we desperately need today.  This is hopeful, positive progress. Please share!

About My guest: Mark Shepard with RAD: Restoration Agricultural Development:
RAD is a full-service environmental consulting, research, and development firm committed to developing agricultural ecosystems that provide nutritious food for humankind while enhancing the life-supporting ecosystem services of planet Earth. Mark Shepard has over 30 years of experience in environmental consulting, production agriculture, and real estate development. Together, RAD has worked on 100+ projects in multiple climates across 4 continents. Through active ecosystem management, RAD combines ecological restoration with agricultural development to improve your landscape.

Transcript:  #46 Mark Shepard (1)

Blog: All About Seeds: 3 Tips for Saving, Germinating and Planting

 

 

The vegetable life does not content itself with casting from the flower or the tree a single seed, but it fills the air and earth with a prodigality of seeds, that, if thousands perish, thousands may plant themselves, that hundreds may come up, that tens may live to maturity; that, at least one may replace the parent. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Seeds, amazing structures, some tiny, barely the size of the head of a pin, some large like the sunflower or a bean, that produce an almost infinite variety of plants, delight and nourish us. When January comes along so do the seed catalogs. We have the time and the energy to pour over endless possibilities. Never boring, we drool over page after page of color and form all in preparation for that spring garden. Seeds, tiny and large have the potential of infinitely so much more. I wonder how we can doubt that the universe is abundant beyond measure?

Here’s a couple of basic seed facts, good reminders for the upcoming growing season.

1. Seeds develop in the ovary of a flower, most from flowering plants and some from non-flowering plants.
2. It is a miniature plant with a protective cover in a suspended state of development
3. Inside each seed is the genetic information for future growth, a food supply, called endosperm that can be made up of proteins, carbohydrates or fats. Considered nutrition, this food store supplies the world’s major foods e.g. cereals, wheat, and rice.

Seeds are precious. Together with healthy soil, good water, and air they feed us, nourish us, delight our senses in so many ways. Yet, we have manipulated them, doused them and injected them with substances not natural to their very existence. I hope you will continue to buy heirloom, organic varieties of seeds. When we support the companies that offer us these invaluable choices we cast a vote. We make a difference, one choice at a time.

Seed Starting Tips*
1. Get your timing right for seeds chosen.
2. Buy fresh seed. Remember seed is alive.
3. Inoculating seeds is one of the best ways to encourage healthy production. “Inoculation may be defined as the process of adding effective bacteria to the host plant seed before planting. The purpose of inoculation is to make sure that there is enough of the correct type of bacteria present in the soil so that a successful legume-bacterial symbiosis is established.”
4. Use seed-starting mix or germination mix.
5. Cleanliness counts: when reusing flats, trays, cells or pots wash with a dilute bleach solution: 1:10 bleach to water; soapy water can also be used.
6. Pre-moisten mix before using but do not leave soggy.

Seed Germination Tips
1. Bottom heat is recommended and a dome or plastic lid or plastic wrap can create a germination chamber too; looking for 70 degrees.
2. Once plants have emerged, take off the lid and shut off heat.
3. Don’t let seeds dry out before they germinate: let the soil go slightly dry between watering.
4. Water new seedlings lightly. Heavy hose sprays can damage tender growth.
5. Seedlings need lots of light; Take outside by day and bring in by night till time for planting

Seed Planting Tips
1. Harden off seeds first: place outside during day 1-3 hours in a sheltered location. Do this over 7-10 days. Protect from strong sun, wind, and cool temperatures.
2. Chose the strongest and healthiest looking seedlings to plant in the garden. Weak or smaller than average can yield poor results.
3. Plan for succession sowings. Sow a short row every couple of weeks to avoid large servings of lettuce in a single day’s harvest.

We forget our holistic relationship to the world around us, a partnership is a dynamic, thriving one. While the above offers practical advice let us not forget about our connection to all that is around us. It is my deepest hope to kindle within you a reverence again for nature and that includes seeds.

“In every seed lie the components of all life the world has known from all time to now.” 
—Sister Joan Chittister
from “Seeds of a New Humanity”

* Disclaimer: I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn small fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliate sites. Thank you so much for supporting these efforts to pass on worthwhile and invaluable resources. And as I said before I love books and high-quality garden supplies. It’s a pleasure to share with you my favorites.  Enjoy. Judith

Podcast: Craig StandingBear, Stories and the Winter Solstice

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Description: Winter solstice is upon us. Our seasonal wheel turns once again into a new season marked by the path of the sun and the moon. It is said that Grandfather Sun starts his return to Grandmother Moon on the Winter Solstice.

I am honored to have Craig Standing Bear, Storyteller, flute player, moccasin maker tell a story for our Winter time. Winter, in indigenous tribal life here in America, was a time to fix and mend, a time for stories. The Storyteller was valued and held a place of esteem. After all, he had the news, the gossip, and the tales to pass along from one tribe to the next. On the Winter solstice, we end autumn and gives thanks for her blessings. As our wheel turns to winter, enjoy an original story told by Craig honoring winter. The podcast is enhanced with original flute songs by Craig from his CD, Reflections. Contact Craig directly to purchase his CD: www.mohawkleathers.com

About My Guest: Craig StandingBear is Mowak, Scottish and French Canadian. He has much experience telling stories for schools, libraries and other venues following his Native American tradition.  He plays the flute, makes moccasins and other leather goods. He can be found at Powwows here in New England, go to wandering bull website for 2019 powwow schedule. 

Transcripts:  #43 Craig Standing Bear

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Lisa Barrett, Counselor and Art Therapist

Description: All living organisms thrive/survive on two measurable wavelengths: audio and light. Each color has its own measurable wavelength with its own frequency and vibrational intensity. Color has a physiological response 24/7 in our bodies. We are activated by color and we can be calmed by color. Join Lisa and I as we explore how color affects us and how art therapy provides a valid and worthwhile dimension to a therapeutic practice.

About My Guest: Lisa Barrett is a Licensed Practicing Counselor and a Registered Art Therapist.  She has an extensive background within diverse clinical settings which include residential treatment facilities as a Director for Adjunctive Therapies and in a short psychiatric hospital as a primary therapist for children and adolescents.  Lisa practices in two different locations: East Windsor and South Windsor with her primary practice in East Windsor, CT. Lisa works with children as young as 5 years through adulthood and she specializes in trauma, grief, autism, depression, anxiety and dual diagnosis.

Transcript:  #42 Lisa Barrett

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