An interview with Jenny Peterson

Cancer Survivors Garden Companion1

Ann and I were fortunate to interview Jenny Peterson, just after her new book was published. Jenny is an amazing, extremely positive lady who is an inspiration for us all.

A Garden that Heals
Pittsburgh, Pa. (October 5, 2015): When Jenny Peterson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, it rocked her world. Her cancer treatment was hard, emotional and often deeply depressing. But Peterson, a garden designer and Master Gardener, did not let the cancer diagnosis define her. She used her desire to garden and dig in the dirt again to pull her out of the darkness. And she discovered that gardening is good medicine –for the body, mind and spirit.
The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion: Cultivating Hope, Healing and Joy in the Ground Beneath Your Feet
(St. Lynn’s Press, January 2016) tells Peterson’s story and explores the therapeutic benefits of this vital “earth connection,” including inspirational profiles of other cancer survivors, both men and women, whose gardens became their partners in healing.

With gentle empathy, beautiful photographs and easy how-to steps, Peterson shows others how to create their own backyard haven for healing – a personal restorative garden – with well-grounded guidance about diet, exercise, mental focus and spiritual renewal. Her book adds a fresh voice to the growing fields of horticultural therapy and therapeutic gardens.

What others are saying about The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion:

“Jenny’s tips for incorporating gardening into your life for mind, body, and spiritual health are ingenious! As a cancer coach, I will definitely be suggesting this book to my clients.” – Susan Gonzalez, BSN, CPCC, co-author of 100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It, and editor of The Savvy Sister blog
“Jenny’s beautiful book reminds us all that life can be found in the healing, meditative act of gardening. By lovingly tending a garden, we can learn to nurture ourselves, restoring our mind, body and spirit in the process.” – Ray Anne Evans, Executive Director, Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas
“Jenny’s connection with gardening, garden design, and simply being in nature remained strong throughout her cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. In fact, it was part of what helped her through. And now she is helping others to learn from her powerful experience.” – Naomi A. Sachs, Founding Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network; co-author, Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces
The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion will teach readers how to use the garden to heal, find hope and feel joy.
About the Author
Jenny Peterson is a landscape designer and Master Gardener specializing in xeriscaping and small urban spaces. She is a cancer survivor who found hope and healing in her garden, even during the darkest days of chemotherapy and radiation. In the process, she made deep connections with the cancer support community, including physicians, nutritionists, bodywork practitioners, psychologists and spiritual counselors. Peterson co-authored Indoor Plant Décor: The Design Stylebook for Houseplants (St. Lynn’s Press, 2013) with Kylee Baumle. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her fiancé, 19 chickens, two dogs, two quails and a goat.

You can listen to the interview here :   Interviewing Jenny Peterson

If you would like to purchase the book : The Cancer Survivors Garden Companion

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

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
 
 
 

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,

 

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..

GT107: Alternative sources of energy power & storage – it’s looking good for the future

windpower

Ann & Chris continue their talk with Rich Sapienza and Bill Sosinsky, starting with windmills and wind turbines.

Rich is a believer in 'Small is beautiful' – the idea of making incremental savings of say 25% with smaller units being preferable to building huge systems that may or may not work.

Most of the savings will come as we discover more efficient energy storage and they have been exploring some interesting options.

We then move on to hydrogen power, thorium, Tesla and so much more. It's fascinating to listen to the bright picture they paint for future generations..

GT106:Sustainability for the world today.

Ann and Chris interview Rich Sapienza and Bill Sosinsky  we talk about sustainable solutions for the world today.

It's fascinating, interesting and very enlightening.

allotment

Sustainability must work on its own, grow on its own, support itself with the built-in ability to endure and grow naturally. There must be a plan. As long as we rely on subsidies and philanthropy as the means by which we re-establish our sustainable balance on this planet, we are ultimately doomed. This lack of strategy insures we run out of sufficient monies way before we have fully addressed these essential challenges. The simple answer is that everything must work together and their needs to be a singular general vision that incorporates the best efforts of all the contributing parties