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.

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

Growing trends new look and our first interview from a visit to China

Growing trends logo

Hello everyone, we hope you like our new logo ?

We have some great interviews planned for the next few months.

Our first is with Bill Sosinsky , CEO of Energime University. Bill has recently returned from a trip to China. He talks to us about how the Chinese are adapting, planning and coping with the enormous growth the country has seen over the past few years.

Cities of 5 – 10 million people built in under 10 years !

This type of growth brings staggering infrastructure issues or as Bill says ” This is a big deal !”

The interview is one of those must listen to events…  we all have seen or heard of the Great Wall of China, a quite amazing feat of building, as seen here.

Great_Wall

I wonder how many of us can comprehend the current building program?

100 million homes in the next 5- 10 years…!

That’s almost one third of the total housing in the USA

Kin_Ming_Estate

Truly a monumental task of ingenuity, engineering and collaboration, Ann and I were just amazed  talking to Bill about the growing issues they are trying to solve.

We will have two parts to this fascinating interview you can listen to the first part here….

We would love to hear from you with ideas or suggestions on programs, either fill in the form below or just send us an email to info@grotrends.com

Ann & Chris

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
 
 
 

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.

 

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