Journey to Dreamtime

The professor takes Sophie, Dylan and their two pets Monty and Naomi on a wild adventure

The professor takes Sophie, Dylan and their two pets Monty and Naomi on a wild adventure

I’ve been writing this blog for a few years now, in addition with my wonderful co-host Ann we have been interviewing the fascinating people we find for our podcast www.growingtrends.org

Last year I was asked if we might develop a learning aid for children based on how we grow food, develop sustainable approaches to agriculture and cope with modern city life. I agreed because I felt we do need to help this planet of ours every so often.

After much thinking coupled with the odd glass of wine – I’m fairly partial to a nice burgundy. This along with late night chats with friends and my lovely wife the small light bulb ( well it has to be an LED these days) began to flicker.

“Why not make the learning an adventure story?”

Journey to Dreamtime was born, currently available as an eBook it will soon be available as a paperback, you can see more here…www.journeytodreamtime.com

 

Now available in a paperback, you can order either on Amazon or from BookLocker

Please do let me know what you think…. book two is going to be based in America.

Thank you.

The right-sized Flower Garden

Kerry Mendez has a passion for gardening, in her latest book “The right-sized Flower Garden” she discusses how to develop a garden that you can manage, often this will reduce the amount of work involved. As she explains it’s all about making the right choices, whilst at the same time making simple design changes. Here is a practical book with sensible tips, lists, time and energy saving suggestions that will help the beginner and the experienced.

Come take a listen, I’m sure you will learn something new.

The right-sized flower garden

Garden Centers are changing..

Ann is in Paris, France talking to Valerie Langendorff, President of a Women’s Garden Executive Club.
Adjusted rose 1
Valerie looks at Garden Centers from the ladies perspective in France, her ladies group have identified a number of interesting trends..

Women make 70% of the purchase decisions.

Currently 90% of Garden Centers are managed by men.

They have developed an annual awards program judged by women.

Ladies nights are arranged in the Garden Center

They have an award for the most women friendly Garden Center.

They have discovered that women like innovation more than men..

You can listen to this fascinating interview here or on iTunes

If I were to open a garden center today ……

Garden Centers have evolved over the years, there are Independent Garden Centers often in a local neighborhood, there are larger groups with multiple locations.

Many of the big box ‘Do it Yourself stores’ have larger and larger ‘Garden Center’ sections.

The question recently has been where are they all heading.

So Ann asked Sid & John – “If I were to open a Garden Center today what would be your recommendations?”

Sid Raisch

CEO of Horticultural Advantage (www.AdvantageDevelopmentSystem.com) , providing business expertise and extensive leadership training to small to medium horticultural businesses, primarily retail garden centers and selected wholesale suppliers.

John Stanley.

International retail guru is what people call me. Specialising in helping retail businesses to grow their bottom line and expand their market base. I work in 26 countries with retailers of all sizes. My expertise ranges from conference speaking to hands on management consultancy. My specialist retail areas are in perishable retailing – anything that will not last long without loving care on the shelf

Garden Center

Sid and John discuss future trends for gardens, garden centers, and our urban environment.

This fascinating , very informative interview is going to have you thinking.

Send us your thoughts to Growing Trends

 

 

 

The Chelsea Physic Garden – Linking people to plants & nature

It's not often you find a garden that was founded in 1673, as the Apothecaries' Garden. Ann was on a trip to Europe recently and dropped in on the beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden on the side of the River Thames in London. The gardens purpose was to train apprentices in identifying plants. The gardens location close to the river created a warmer microclimate, significantly increasing the many non-native plants that could be grown.

chelsea physic garden

In 1700 the garden had started an international botanic garden seed exchange system, which continues to this day.

The gardens cover some four acres and are leased on what is known as a peppercorn rent in perpetuity.

They are with out doubt one of London's secret 'gems' and thoroughly worth a visit.

chelsea physic garden

The gardens mission  " Linking people with plants and nature"

The interview starts with Ann talking for around 8 minutes to a group of school children on a field trip, the gardens have over 100 such visits a year.  Ann then talks to Michael a very knowledgeable and extremely helpful member of staff. We kept all the typical inner city sounds on the recording – the enthusiasm of the children is very heartening.

Integrated pest management is the preferred method of bug control…

They have a project called "Shelf Life' it is just an incredible way to show children where their food comes from

You can also listen to Ann's interview on iTunes at Growing Trends

We would love to hear your comments and suggestions for a show… just send us an email to Growing Trends

 

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
 
 
 

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,