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Food Garden Life Show

Emma Biggs, Steven Biggs

1
Followers
5
Plays
Food Garden Life Show

Food Garden Life Show

Emma Biggs, Steven Biggs

1
Followers
5
Plays
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About Us

The Food Garden Life Show (formerly The Garage Gardeners Show) celebrates food gardens, food, family, community, and a slightly slower life.

Host Emma Biggs is a 15-year-old, Gen-Z gardener with driveway and rooftop gardens. Co-host Steven Biggs is a horticulturist, author, and college instructor.

Monthly podcasts from their live radio show include Emma’s Tomato-Talk segment and Steven’s Biggs-on-Figs segment. Twice-weekly podcast episodes include talks with gardeners pushing the boundaries of food gardening.

Latest Episodes

Grow Exotic Edibles in Cold Climates

We chat with Winnipeg-based garden educator Dave Hanson, co-host of The Grow Guide Podcast, and founder of Sage Garden Greenhouses. Hanson, who spent time in his youth in a tropical climate, has been growing herbs and spices since his childhood, eventually working at a herb nursery as a teenager. He loves growing exotic edible plants. His Winnipeg climate means that frost-sensitive plants can come out June 1, and be back under cover in time for the first fall frost in late September. That doesn’t stop him. Hanson gives his tips for growing guava, yacon, starfruit, cinnamon, curry leaf, and black pepper.

47 min6 d ago
Comments
Grow Exotic Edibles in Cold Climates

Get 5 Harvests by Growing Your Own Garlic

Ever thought you could get five garlic harvests from your garden? Today on the podcast, garden expert Doug Oster joins us from Pittsburgh, PA to talk about growing and cooking with garlic. Oster, who loves growing and cooking with garlic, shares his love of garlic by taking seed garlic to friends…earning him the nickname “Dougy Garlic Seed.” Oster recently gave two presentations about garlic at the Virtual Tomato and Garlic Days hosted by Phipps Conservatory: How to Get Five Harvests from Growing Your Own Garlic, and Garlic is Love. Oster explains that there are 5 possible harvests when growing garlic: greens in the spring, scapes, bulbils, fresh garlic, and the main harvest.

35 min1 w ago
Comments
Get 5 Harvests by Growing Your Own Garlic

Create a Lifestyle: Starting a Regenerative Farm and Homestead

Ryan Cullen, co-owner of City of Greens farm We chat with Ryan Cullen, co-owner of City of Greens in Bowmanville, Ontario, about starting a regenerative farm and homestead.Cullen, who joined us for the last episode to talk about the food-forest garden at Durham College, is in the process of turning a 10-acre property into a regenerative farm and homestead, and is creating a market-garden business as part of that plan.The Market GardenThe market garden currently has four 50’x50’ plots. The goal is to expand to ten 50’x50’ plots.There are 12 beds per plot; each bed is 30” wide. Cullen explains that they chose these dimensions because they are suited to standard equipment.The crop focus is high-yield, high-value crops that are quick to mature. This includes a lot of salad mixes containing arugula, mustard, baby kale, spinach, and lettuce.Farm InfrastructureInstead of spending money pouring foundations and building barns, they bought used shipping containers. In addition to costing less, the shipping containers are mobile.Cullen says that by using shipping containers, the two key pieces of infrastructure that will be the heart of the operation—the cold storage unit and the wash-sort-pack unit—cost them less than $10,000 and were simple to modify and set up.Marketing and SellingCullen says that the goal is to sell directly to consumers.He finds that Facebook is proving an effective way to connect with customers because it is suited to two-way communication. The website allows customers to build a customized basket of produce, and then select a pickup location. They have partnered with a few local businesses, allowing them to offer multiple pick-up locations, at predetermined times and locations.Cullen says that having pre-scheduled pickups means that they are not standing all day at a farmers market waiting to see how much they sell; instead, they know what their sales are before they go.Top Tip for Would-Be Farmers“Start small, but start.”Connect with Ryan Cullen and City of GreensWebsite: cityofgreens.square.siteFacebook: cityofgreensfarmInstagram: cityofgreensConnect with The Food Garden Life Show on Social Media New Book for Northern Gardeners Growing Figs in Cold Climates: 150 of Your Questions Answered No Guff Press, 2020 By Steven BiggsThis book will help you apply creative “fig thinking” in your garden and harvest fresh figs even if you have a short summer or cold winters. With some fig thinking, you can harvest figs in areas where they don’t normally survive the winter! In this book, I share many of the questions I have been asked about growing figs in temperate climates, along with my responses.

25 min1 w ago
Comments
Create a Lifestyle: Starting a Regenerative Farm and Homestead

Make a Food Forest

We chat with Ryan Cullen, the field supervisor at Durham College, about the newly planted food-forest garden at the college’s Whitby campus. Food-Forest Garden Cullen explains that the idea behind the food forest is to grow a mix of food-producing species, layered in the same way that a forest is. There’s a herbaceous layer at ground level, a shrub layer, and a canopy layer of trees above. With time, the food forest becomes self-maintaining and, with the appropriate mix of plant species, can have self-renewing fertility. The top layer of the food-forest garden is the “canopy” layer. Cullen says that they planted this layer with fruiting tree species including cherries, plums, persimmon—and even a hawthorn. The lower herbaceous and shrub layers, which are still being developed, will be a polyculture—a mix of different plants. Along with edible properties, plants in the lower layers might make available soil nutrients (deep-rooted plants bring up nutrients,) supply nutrients (pea shrubs capture nitrogen from the air,) and attract pollinator species. Lower-layer plants include bee balm, chamomile, rosa rugosa (for rose hips), strawberreis, and blueberries. Cullen says that this list will grow, as there is still a lot of planting to do in this layer.

25 min2 w ago
Comments
Make a Food Forest

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

We chat with Steven Peck, president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the Toronto-based industry association that supports the North American green roof and green wall industries. He talks about about what goes into a green roof, what’s new in green roofs, and how home owners can find out more about green roofs. Why Green Roofs? The need for green roofs goes beyond creating more space to garden. Peck talks about the urban heat island effect, which can make urban areas up to 10°C warmer than rural areas. He explains that the effect is the result of the removal of vegetation—which is replaced by surfaces that radiate heat. He says that vegetation is like a natural form of air conditioning—and green roofs keep buildings—and the city—cooler. What’s New in Green Roofs A lot has changed since Green Roof for Healthy Cities was founded in 1998. At that time, the green roof industry had yet to be developed and policy developed to permit and encourage green roofs.

22 min2 w ago
Comments
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

Growing and Sharing Figs in a Community Fig Orchard

We chat with Jack Spruill in North Carolina about the community fig orchard on his family farm and about his work developing a conservation project to protect the farm from future development. Spruill explains that the farm grows very good figs. They were an important crop for his grandparents, who bought the farm in 1914. But by the time his father took over the farm, things were starting to change. The figs still grew well…but they were no longer a money-making crop. So his father started to let people come to pick figs for free. Along with fresh eating, there is a local tradition of making fresh figs into fig conserve. The fig orchard was a community fig orchard even before he started to call it such. Spruill says that these days, some people come to pick a few figs for fresh eating—and some still come for figs to make fig conserve.

16 min3 w ago
Comments
Growing and Sharing Figs in a Community Fig Orchard

Grow Melons, Grow Heirloom Tomatoes: An Interview with Amy Goldman

In a broadcast that originally aired on The Food Garden Life Radio Show, we chat with author Amy Goldman about growing melons, growing tomatoes, her passion for seed-saving, and about her research when writing her books The Melon and The Heirloom Tomato. The Melon: Goldman took nine years to write this tribute to melons that is filled with mouth-watering pictures and information about selecting varieties, growing, seed-saving, and melon recipes. Did you know that charentais melons are the true cantaloupes; and that they’re different from the American muskmelons that we mistakenly call cantaloupes? Heirloom Tomatoes: Was the original Brandywine tomato pink-fleshed and potato leaved or red-fleshed and regular-leaved? “This is something that only a gardening nerd would care about,” says Goldman. Incidentally, it’s the latter! Seed Saving: Goldman is passionate about seed-saving and sharing and perpetuating heirloom varieties. For gardeners new to seed saving, she recommends a book ...

61 min3 w ago
Comments
Grow Melons, Grow Heirloom Tomatoes: An Interview with Amy Goldman

Community Compost Exchange Program Makes Food Accessible

We chat with Paige Lockett, the director of operations for The PACT Urban Peace Program in Toronto about garden-based experiential learning for at-risk you and about a Community Compost Exchange Program. Garden-Based Experiential Learning Through its Grow to Learn partnership with the Toronto District School Board, PACT provides experiential garden-based learning at three gardens and one orchard located on school properties. The gardens are used to teach subjects as diverse as English as a second language to carbon sequestration. Lockett says that the vermicomposting program is especially popular. Community Compost Exchange Program The community compost exchange program provides participants with bags in which they can contribute home kitchen waste for composting. In exchange, they are given “PACT dollars” that can be used to purchase fresh produce at the PACT produce market.

15 minSEP 2
Comments
Community Compost Exchange Program Makes Food Accessible

Growing Giant Pumpkins and Giant Tomatoes

In this interview that first broadcast live on the radio show in 2018, we chat with Phil Hunt from the Giant Vegetable Growers of Ontario (GVGO) about growing giant pumpkins and giant tomatoes. Hunt and his wife, Jane, grow giant vegetables near Lindsay, Ontario. We first spoke with them when they shared giant-pumpkin-growing tips for our book Gardening with Emma. After seeing them on the news in 2018—for growing a record-breaking giant pumpkin—we invited them onto the show to share tips. After showing their giant pumpkins at competitions, they collect seeds from them, and then put them on display on their front lawn when neighbours can see them. Hunt says they carve the pumpkins for Halloween—and there are local children who have come years after year to see their carved giant pumpkins.

20 minAUG 28
Comments
Growing Giant Pumpkins and Giant Tomatoes

A Community Pulls Together to Save a Garden

We chat with Nathan Larson, Director of the Cultivate Health Initiative in Madison, Wisconsin. When we visited Madison in summer 2019 to attend the National Children and Youth Gardening Symposium, Larson gave us a tour of a wonderful community garden—the Troy Community Garden. There are currently about 100 families growing food there…although at one point it looked as if the land on which the garden stands would be sold off for a housing development. Larson talks about how people and groups pulled together to find a way to save the space. The plot of land was reimagined to include community garden plots, an urban farm with a CSA, a kids garden, some housing, a tall-grass prairie restoration project, and a food forest. When we visited the Troy Community Garden, we were struck by signs for a “worm city” and the “mud pie kitchen.” Larson is passionate about garden-based education. The garden now includes a pizza oven that is used for weekly nights, along with music.

25 minAUG 26
Comments
A Community Pulls Together to Save a Garden

Latest Episodes

Grow Exotic Edibles in Cold Climates

We chat with Winnipeg-based garden educator Dave Hanson, co-host of The Grow Guide Podcast, and founder of Sage Garden Greenhouses. Hanson, who spent time in his youth in a tropical climate, has been growing herbs and spices since his childhood, eventually working at a herb nursery as a teenager. He loves growing exotic edible plants. His Winnipeg climate means that frost-sensitive plants can come out June 1, and be back under cover in time for the first fall frost in late September. That doesn’t stop him. Hanson gives his tips for growing guava, yacon, starfruit, cinnamon, curry leaf, and black pepper.

47 min6 d ago
Comments
Grow Exotic Edibles in Cold Climates

Get 5 Harvests by Growing Your Own Garlic

Ever thought you could get five garlic harvests from your garden? Today on the podcast, garden expert Doug Oster joins us from Pittsburgh, PA to talk about growing and cooking with garlic. Oster, who loves growing and cooking with garlic, shares his love of garlic by taking seed garlic to friends…earning him the nickname “Dougy Garlic Seed.” Oster recently gave two presentations about garlic at the Virtual Tomato and Garlic Days hosted by Phipps Conservatory: How to Get Five Harvests from Growing Your Own Garlic, and Garlic is Love. Oster explains that there are 5 possible harvests when growing garlic: greens in the spring, scapes, bulbils, fresh garlic, and the main harvest.

35 min1 w ago
Comments
Get 5 Harvests by Growing Your Own Garlic

Create a Lifestyle: Starting a Regenerative Farm and Homestead

Ryan Cullen, co-owner of City of Greens farm We chat with Ryan Cullen, co-owner of City of Greens in Bowmanville, Ontario, about starting a regenerative farm and homestead.Cullen, who joined us for the last episode to talk about the food-forest garden at Durham College, is in the process of turning a 10-acre property into a regenerative farm and homestead, and is creating a market-garden business as part of that plan.The Market GardenThe market garden currently has four 50’x50’ plots. The goal is to expand to ten 50’x50’ plots.There are 12 beds per plot; each bed is 30” wide. Cullen explains that they chose these dimensions because they are suited to standard equipment.The crop focus is high-yield, high-value crops that are quick to mature. This includes a lot of salad mixes containing arugula, mustard, baby kale, spinach, and lettuce.Farm InfrastructureInstead of spending money pouring foundations and building barns, they bought used shipping containers. In addition to costing less, the shipping containers are mobile.Cullen says that by using shipping containers, the two key pieces of infrastructure that will be the heart of the operation—the cold storage unit and the wash-sort-pack unit—cost them less than $10,000 and were simple to modify and set up.Marketing and SellingCullen says that the goal is to sell directly to consumers.He finds that Facebook is proving an effective way to connect with customers because it is suited to two-way communication. The website allows customers to build a customized basket of produce, and then select a pickup location. They have partnered with a few local businesses, allowing them to offer multiple pick-up locations, at predetermined times and locations.Cullen says that having pre-scheduled pickups means that they are not standing all day at a farmers market waiting to see how much they sell; instead, they know what their sales are before they go.Top Tip for Would-Be Farmers“Start small, but start.”Connect with Ryan Cullen and City of GreensWebsite: cityofgreens.square.siteFacebook: cityofgreensfarmInstagram: cityofgreensConnect with The Food Garden Life Show on Social Media New Book for Northern Gardeners Growing Figs in Cold Climates: 150 of Your Questions Answered No Guff Press, 2020 By Steven BiggsThis book will help you apply creative “fig thinking” in your garden and harvest fresh figs even if you have a short summer or cold winters. With some fig thinking, you can harvest figs in areas where they don’t normally survive the winter! In this book, I share many of the questions I have been asked about growing figs in temperate climates, along with my responses.

25 min1 w ago
Comments
Create a Lifestyle: Starting a Regenerative Farm and Homestead

Make a Food Forest

We chat with Ryan Cullen, the field supervisor at Durham College, about the newly planted food-forest garden at the college’s Whitby campus. Food-Forest Garden Cullen explains that the idea behind the food forest is to grow a mix of food-producing species, layered in the same way that a forest is. There’s a herbaceous layer at ground level, a shrub layer, and a canopy layer of trees above. With time, the food forest becomes self-maintaining and, with the appropriate mix of plant species, can have self-renewing fertility. The top layer of the food-forest garden is the “canopy” layer. Cullen says that they planted this layer with fruiting tree species including cherries, plums, persimmon—and even a hawthorn. The lower herbaceous and shrub layers, which are still being developed, will be a polyculture—a mix of different plants. Along with edible properties, plants in the lower layers might make available soil nutrients (deep-rooted plants bring up nutrients,) supply nutrients (pea shrubs capture nitrogen from the air,) and attract pollinator species. Lower-layer plants include bee balm, chamomile, rosa rugosa (for rose hips), strawberreis, and blueberries. Cullen says that this list will grow, as there is still a lot of planting to do in this layer.

25 min2 w ago
Comments
Make a Food Forest

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

We chat with Steven Peck, president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the Toronto-based industry association that supports the North American green roof and green wall industries. He talks about about what goes into a green roof, what’s new in green roofs, and how home owners can find out more about green roofs. Why Green Roofs? The need for green roofs goes beyond creating more space to garden. Peck talks about the urban heat island effect, which can make urban areas up to 10°C warmer than rural areas. He explains that the effect is the result of the removal of vegetation—which is replaced by surfaces that radiate heat. He says that vegetation is like a natural form of air conditioning—and green roofs keep buildings—and the city—cooler. What’s New in Green Roofs A lot has changed since Green Roof for Healthy Cities was founded in 1998. At that time, the green roof industry had yet to be developed and policy developed to permit and encourage green roofs.

22 min2 w ago
Comments
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

Growing and Sharing Figs in a Community Fig Orchard

We chat with Jack Spruill in North Carolina about the community fig orchard on his family farm and about his work developing a conservation project to protect the farm from future development. Spruill explains that the farm grows very good figs. They were an important crop for his grandparents, who bought the farm in 1914. But by the time his father took over the farm, things were starting to change. The figs still grew well…but they were no longer a money-making crop. So his father started to let people come to pick figs for free. Along with fresh eating, there is a local tradition of making fresh figs into fig conserve. The fig orchard was a community fig orchard even before he started to call it such. Spruill says that these days, some people come to pick a few figs for fresh eating—and some still come for figs to make fig conserve.

16 min3 w ago
Comments
Growing and Sharing Figs in a Community Fig Orchard

Grow Melons, Grow Heirloom Tomatoes: An Interview with Amy Goldman

In a broadcast that originally aired on The Food Garden Life Radio Show, we chat with author Amy Goldman about growing melons, growing tomatoes, her passion for seed-saving, and about her research when writing her books The Melon and The Heirloom Tomato. The Melon: Goldman took nine years to write this tribute to melons that is filled with mouth-watering pictures and information about selecting varieties, growing, seed-saving, and melon recipes. Did you know that charentais melons are the true cantaloupes; and that they’re different from the American muskmelons that we mistakenly call cantaloupes? Heirloom Tomatoes: Was the original Brandywine tomato pink-fleshed and potato leaved or red-fleshed and regular-leaved? “This is something that only a gardening nerd would care about,” says Goldman. Incidentally, it’s the latter! Seed Saving: Goldman is passionate about seed-saving and sharing and perpetuating heirloom varieties. For gardeners new to seed saving, she recommends a book ...

61 min3 w ago
Comments
Grow Melons, Grow Heirloom Tomatoes: An Interview with Amy Goldman

Community Compost Exchange Program Makes Food Accessible

We chat with Paige Lockett, the director of operations for The PACT Urban Peace Program in Toronto about garden-based experiential learning for at-risk you and about a Community Compost Exchange Program. Garden-Based Experiential Learning Through its Grow to Learn partnership with the Toronto District School Board, PACT provides experiential garden-based learning at three gardens and one orchard located on school properties. The gardens are used to teach subjects as diverse as English as a second language to carbon sequestration. Lockett says that the vermicomposting program is especially popular. Community Compost Exchange Program The community compost exchange program provides participants with bags in which they can contribute home kitchen waste for composting. In exchange, they are given “PACT dollars” that can be used to purchase fresh produce at the PACT produce market.

15 minSEP 2
Comments
Community Compost Exchange Program Makes Food Accessible

Growing Giant Pumpkins and Giant Tomatoes

In this interview that first broadcast live on the radio show in 2018, we chat with Phil Hunt from the Giant Vegetable Growers of Ontario (GVGO) about growing giant pumpkins and giant tomatoes. Hunt and his wife, Jane, grow giant vegetables near Lindsay, Ontario. We first spoke with them when they shared giant-pumpkin-growing tips for our book Gardening with Emma. After seeing them on the news in 2018—for growing a record-breaking giant pumpkin—we invited them onto the show to share tips. After showing their giant pumpkins at competitions, they collect seeds from them, and then put them on display on their front lawn when neighbours can see them. Hunt says they carve the pumpkins for Halloween—and there are local children who have come years after year to see their carved giant pumpkins.

20 minAUG 28
Comments
Growing Giant Pumpkins and Giant Tomatoes

A Community Pulls Together to Save a Garden

We chat with Nathan Larson, Director of the Cultivate Health Initiative in Madison, Wisconsin. When we visited Madison in summer 2019 to attend the National Children and Youth Gardening Symposium, Larson gave us a tour of a wonderful community garden—the Troy Community Garden. There are currently about 100 families growing food there…although at one point it looked as if the land on which the garden stands would be sold off for a housing development. Larson talks about how people and groups pulled together to find a way to save the space. The plot of land was reimagined to include community garden plots, an urban farm with a CSA, a kids garden, some housing, a tall-grass prairie restoration project, and a food forest. When we visited the Troy Community Garden, we were struck by signs for a “worm city” and the “mud pie kitchen.” Larson is passionate about garden-based education. The garden now includes a pizza oven that is used for weekly nights, along with music.

25 minAUG 26
Comments
A Community Pulls Together to Save a Garden
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