Former Shows & Episodes

The Manic Gardener

Kate Gardner

The Manic Gardener – Permaculture: Everything Counts

This is an arm of organic gardening that might be accused of taking itself over-seriously—until you realize how serious are the issues it confronts: not just the poisoning of air, earth, and water that organic gardening opposes, but the economic forces that push industries to adopt dangerous practices; forces that transform manure, one of the best and most obvious organic fertilizers around, into a waste; forces that keep most North Americans yoked to fossil fuels even when alternatives would allow us to live well, without poisoning ourselves or our earth.

Jerome Osentowski, founder and director of the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, grows figs and filberts at 7,200 feet, and actually sells energy to the “grid,” though he has four green houses, a house, a teaching institute, and several cabins. And no, they don’t use candles to read by. His descriptions of how he can make a pond, a patio, or even the walkway in a garden serve multiple purposes, make you want to rethink the whole idea of waste.

Kareen Erbe teaches composting, permaculture, and sustainable living in Bozeman Montana, and this podcast covers that city’s first permablitz: a four hour intensive transformation of a bare, recently weedy, backyard plot, into the start of a permaculture garden.

Permaculture redefines vegetable gardening—it’s not about annuals any more—and waste—who needs it?—and energy—it’s all around us; we just need to learn to capture and use it. This is mindboggling stuff.

Check The Manic Gardener: an Organic Gardening Blog with Twisted Roots for a parallel post with more info and links.