About Ann & Chris

Ann is a Nebraska girl, with a love of nature, plants and people. "The Gardening Gal" with a gift for annuals & perennials. Chris is an English transplant, he's a landscape design & build specialist with over 40 years experience, designing & managing construction & aftercare for a wide variety of landscape projects, from small residential, estates, parks, playgrounds, roof gardens, urban regeneration, power stations, office parks. Ann, my Co-Host and I, have a growing band of people who are passionate about their landscape & the environment on our internet radio show 'Growing Trends' - The show is all about people in our industry, people who are passionate about the environment, landscapes and sustainability. We talk to these fascinating people, about latest trends, in styles,materials, products, plants, vegetables, wines, just about anything connected with enjoying outside spaces. We hope you will find time to listen to a broadcast and then drop us a line with ideas, suggestions or even the odd request.

How we look at Food Tourism today

Ann and I interviewed John Stanley of John Stanley Associates  recently about his new book, he jointly wrote with his wife Linda,

 Food Tourism – A Practical Marketing Guide.

Food tourism

The fastest growth in tourism today is the culinary sector.

Listen to John as he explains the overall direction of food tourism, including how he sees future development.

A few snip bits:

Do you grow soil?

25% of the food we buy comes from 2% of the farmland around our cities, which is being swallowed up by development.

Farmers used to make 38 cents on every dollar now its down to an average of just 6 cents

Eating local seasonal food saves you around 25%, and is actually healthier for you!

You can hear this really informative interview here (click below) or on iTunes at Growing Trends

Heaven is a Garden

A few years ago I read a paper about how grasses 'moved' to music, then I read about the effects of harmonious sounds on plant growth.

Just using white summer bedding is very effective in such a large garden

Why do I mention this ? Well a few weeks ago we were talking about Tesla and his discoveries, which led us to talking about vibrations, sound waves, force fields etc., then a strange thing happened.

Ann and I interviewed a wonderful lady landscape architect Jan Johnsen, about her new book "Heaven is a Garden" we talked a little about how at a very young age she discovered during a science fair competition – which against all the odds she won – the effects early morning birds singing have on plants. The sound waves, which are similar to a violin stimulate a plant to open its stomata taking in carbon-dioxide to help it grow quicker.

Fushia

Jan has written a new book called Heaven is a Garden, it's a really fascinating and informative read.  Jan has 'connected' the dots so as to speak, between the natural world and our emotions. How the Four Winds are important when laying out a space,the careful use of curves, and my favorite Golden Rectangles and the Divine Proportion. – Phi is the mathematical proportion ( 1 : 1.618) we see in every natural form. Using this proportion ensures a sense of harmony in any outdoor space that contains it. I've always tried to use these proportions in my designs.

Jan then talks about Trees – natures rechargers as she puts it… The Celts  shunnache,  the Hindu tree devas, and Greek dryads are really references to light energy? The Chinese call this energy chi…the Japanese consider the health giving properties of trees the basis of a medical therapy called ' Forest bathing', it helps reduce stress.

Jan then discusses the magnetic attraction in a Zen garden – rocks in these gardens reflect a deep understanding of the geomagnetic properties of stone and its impact on a place.

Finally the benefits of color in a garden.

Be inspired by Jan Johnsen's Book
You can listen to our truly fascinating interview with Jan Johnsen  or if you prefer on iTunes at Growing Trends
 
We would love to hear from you, with your comments or  ideas for shows write to us at info@grotrends.com
 
Ann and Chris
 
 
 

Are you growing herbs & veggies at home?

There has been quite a revival or is it renaissance  in growing herbs and vegetables at home recently ?

The beauty of growing at home is that the gardener knows where this food has come from, what he has used to grow it.

Square Foot Gardening

The produce tends to be fresh, packed full of nutrients, tastes delicious. More and more people are joining in this healthy pursuit.

There are a number of experts in the field of 'How to Grow ' today we are interviewing  the Square Foot Garden Guru – Mel Bartholomew

Square Foot Gardening

It's been a few years since Mel introduced us to his space saving vegetable and herb growing system.

Today it seems even more appropriate as a way to "Garden in Less Space with Less Work using less Water".

We hope you enjoy this first interview with Mel, do let us know what you think and please send us your ideas, suggestions, comments and requests to info@grotrends.com.

You can find out more about Mel's books Here

Ann & Chris

Growing Trends

You can also listen to the interview  on iTunes at Growing Trends.

 

Are we rediscovering a sense of community ?

Today’s interview is really fascinating, our friends Bill Sosinsky and Rich Sapienza of Energime University discuss, coming trends, in particular the growing sense of community involvement.

Community gardens – the modern name for an ‘Allotment’ is a case in point.

https://picagardi.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/allotment.jpg

The growing popularity of farmers markets, are helping to provide locally grown produce, that is grown in season, rather than having all food always available. There are some real benefits to eating ‘for want of a better word’ the right vegetables for the season.

https://picagardi.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/20140802_081355.jpg

We talk about water usage and the changes coming. To how we will all have to change some of our habits in these new times. In the meantime we all need to reconnect with nature, spend time to just take a stroll in a garden or park.

tree lined

If you enjoy our interviews with these fascinating people, do drop us a line with ideas or suggestions to info@grotrends.com or better still like us on Facebook 

Ann & Chris

The Growing Potential for Algae -Part two

When we started this latest series of interviews with Bill Sosinsky and Joe Ravet we soon realised how important Algae is to life on our planet.

algae 3

We never realised how interesting or how much interest these interviews would generate.

algae 5

Here’s the second part, it’s fascinating, informative and what the future holds for us all.

algae 6

Have a listen then drop us a line with your thoughts we would love to hear from you.

You can hear our latest interview here – just click on the bar below or on iTunes at Growing Trends

We would love to hear from you with ideas and suggestions, just drop us a line at info@growtrends.com

 

The Growing Potential for Algae – Part one

Our interview this week is with Bill Sosinsky and Joe Ravet, it's all about the amazing properties of algae and  the work being done today that could transform many areas of our lives. This fascinating interview is in two parts, with the second part coming next week.

algae2

 

Algae has some fascinating uses :-

As an Energy Source –  a 737 plane flew from Houston to Chicago on fuel derived from algae, way back in 2011

algae for jet fuel

As a Fertilizer – from as long ago as the 16th century, seaweed has been used a fertilizer.

As a source of Nutrition – China has been consuming Algae for over 2000 years, they harvest over 70 species as does Japan, Ireland, Chile, Wales,Korea, California, New Zealand, Hawaii, Scotland, Greenland and Iceland to name a few. It was an ingredient in Aztec foods.

Oils obtained from some algae  have high levels of unsaturated fatty acids,others essential omega 3 fatty acids.

As a Pollution control –  treating sewage with algae, reducing the use of toxic chemicals that would be used. They can absorb fertilizer run off from fields. Aquariums can be filtered by algae

As a Pigment  – alternative to chemical dyes

As a Medicine – helping fight malnutrition, immune health, reducing cholesterol

algae 3

Amazingly  there could be more than 72000 algae species worldwide.

You can hear our interview with Bill Sosinsky and Joe Ravet on iTunes at Growing Trends or here on our podcast just click below to hear 

We would love to hear from you, our email address is  info@grotrends.com

GT114 Eat your Roses

It's that time of year again, as we move from Spring into Summer all sorts of tasty treats abound in our gardens, our interview today is with a lady who has taken this to a new dimension.

Eat your roses

Ann & I caught up with Denise Shreiber recently to interview her about her fascinating book, all about edible flowers.

Being a transplanted 'Brit' it was interesting to hear that her book was born after a trip to England where she sampled 'Rose Petal Ice Cream', Here I was, under the illusion that everyone visited our wonderful gardens and stately homes for the good old English cuppa with perhaps a scone, butter, jam and clotted cream !

You can listen to Denise here…

GT113 Do you suffer from Allergies?

It’s allergy awareness week in  England .

Allergy Awareness

A subject that has become more and more important to my family over the past few years.

My grandson Callum was born with severe allergies , which appear at the slightest opportunity, so much so that my daughter Nathalie has developed a huge number of allergy free recipes, started a company to help others with young children with allergies, has been featured in the newspapers, magazines and on television.

You can read more here – The Intolerant Gourmand

This prompted Ann and I to start some research to see how many children and adults are affected.

We were really surprised at how many people suffer severe allergic reactions, how this has exploded across the whole of the USA, partly it seems due to the demise of the Elm trees. You can hear more about this from Tom Ogren in our latest interview.

Nathalie  had explained  Callum, was a baby boy with severe eczema & food allergies,makes for an interesting journey of discovery!

Callum

We found only one food pantry offering  exclusively gluten free and allergy free food in the USA.

in OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – It’s opening next month in Overland Park, Kan.

The ReNewed Health Food Pantry, it’s located at 87th and Antioch, will be holding its grand opening on May 13th.

In England rules for premises selling food changed back in December 2014, This has resulted in all premises selling food, whether freshly made or packaged, to provide details of any of the top 14 allergens used. It is still early days, and there has been some resistance, but there are signs that eating out with allergies is improving.

The medical profession in England is also beginning to realise the prevalence of allergies and how many more people are now presenting with serious allergic reactions in hospital – 20,000 attendances last year alone, with over 12,500 of those being an emergency situation!

Here in the USA , Ann and I were fortunate to interview Tom Ogren about his fascinating , very informative book  about Allergies in the garden, this is a must read for avid gardeners everywhere.

Allergy-Fighting Garden, cover

You can hear our interview with Tom  at www.growingtrends.org or on iTunes at Growing Trends

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments,

 

GT112 School Garden Projects have many positives, you can hear many of them here.

Children-eating-salad

Is this really salad ? it tastes so good like this !

Ann & I were fortunate to talk to three amazing ladies from Tennessee a little while ago. They wanted to start a school garden at their school, here is their story, the school garden is now in its third year.

Raised beds

Some of the main points we heard were:-

It's essential to have teacher as well as parent support.

Take time to plan carefully

Initially growing from seed is harder , due to the school calendar. 

Choose plants that will fit into this schedule.

The children want to take ownership of their plants !

Educating children in the different choices of produce increases the varieties they will eat.

Children really take pride in taking home to their family the produce they have grown.

In a blind radish test, the children could tell which were home grown as opposed to store bought and much preferred home grown !

strawberry picking

Ann & I would love to hear from you.  info@grotrends.com

If you would like us to put you in touch with these wonderful ladies,or if you would like more information on starting your own school garden just send us an email to Growing Trends and we will be in touch. If you would like us to interview you, send us a picture of your garden along with contact details, we will be adding a section to our web site www.grotrends.com specially on School garden projects.

Thank you Penny, Peggy and Emily, this was a fascinating interview.

Ann & Chris

 

 

 

 

GT111 Eating fresh local food

Here in the USA its Spring, time to think about fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs. It's even more important this year with the continuing drought in California where a lot of the countries fresh produce is grown as they now have a mandatory 25% reduction in water use.

If you are growing at home one of the most effective methods that has passed the passage of time is Mel Bartholomew's  – Square Foot Gardening method – Ann and I will be interviewing Mel very soon.

Square Foot Gardening

Before we do, Ann and I were privileged to interview Nellie, she is a young mother who is passionate about eating fresh produce on a low budget.

Our interview is inspiring for those who want to find the best way to eat fresh local food. Nellie explains how to balance your budget and yet find good healthy fresh food.

This is one very astute young lady, who is passionate about food – her mum tells me,she is also a great cook..