August 10, 2010

Tonight we are going to discuss Gardening—Summer into Autumn—in the Northstate. We’ll be interviewing two guests tonight. First, David Grau is joining us in the studio. David Grau is the owner of Valley Oak Tool Company and organizer of the Organic Gardening Classes that have been conducted at the Chico Grange for the past two years  The newsletters from that class are filled with gardening tips, really, practically a whole course on organic farming and gardening. You can find issues of the newsletter by going to the website: Click on the link on the left “Organic Gardening Newsletter.”

In the second half of the show, we have an interview with Jennifer Jewel. Jennifer is a Northstate garden writer, and her radio program on KCHO—In a Northstate Garden—can be heard on Saturday and Sunday mornings. We talked with her last week in her garden here in Chico. Jennifer Jewel’s website includes many excellent resources for those interesting in knowing about and creating gardens. Her “Regional Resources” include information on:
–Botanic, Teaching and Open Gardens
–National & State Garden Club Organizations
–Regional Garden Clubs
–Plant Societies
–Master Gardener Programs
–Independent Nurseries
–Horticulture Libraries & Bookstores
–Regional Gardening Publications

She also has a list of websites and blogs that are related to gardening, farming, landscape and food, including some of our favorites, The Chico Permaculture Guild, GRUB, Local Harvest, River Partners, and the Shasta Slow Food Cascade.

Conducting our interviews tonight are Jef Inslee, a new programmer here at KZFR, and Susan Tchudi, co-host of Ecotopia.

Listen to Jef Inslee’s interview with Jennifer Jewel.

Our Conversation with David Grau

 Thank you for joining us in the studio this evening. As you know, tonight we also will be including a pre-recorded interview that we did last week with Jennifer Jewell about what to think about this time of year in your ornamental or mixed garden. Given your expertise and experience with vegetable gardens, we’d like to hear your advise on what we should or could be doing in our vegetable gardens. Of course, that discussion could span several hours, so maybe you can talk to us about  some of the general themes that we should be focusing on right now. It’s early August in California’s North State region, so even though we may be at the peak of summer, we have several more months of potential growing season.

 1. We’ve just retired some of my tomato plants and replaced them with new cherry tomato plants. How do we know when to remove zucchini, bean,  and tomato plants? Any of the plants that are indeterminate producers.

2. Do you think we can still plant potatoes? And if so, what are the varieties that work well for layering. And by layering we mean adding soil vertically as the potato plants grow in order to increase the potato yield.

3. Early this spring we planted several raspberry plants and built an inadequate trellis system. Now that part of the garden is just chaos and we have no idea what to do. Is there any way  to regain some control? And what kind of maintenance is required for plants like this, including grapes.

4. Tell us about some of the reliable fall favorites to plant. And maybe some unusual and unique vegetables or fruits that we might want to experiment with.

5. As our vegetable plants come to the end of their usefulness, what should we do with all of that empty garden space? Is there anything that we can do to improve or protect the soil over the fall and winter

6. Tell us about the Organic Gardening Class for the coming year. Who do you have on tap so far?

7. Susan and Steve participated in your first class, but were out of the country for the second class, so we followed it via the newsletters. We know it’s probably hard to choose but: What have been some of the most engaging surprising and/or interesting sessions you’ve had. (We remember one report about soil science with Carl Rosato and the Organic Flower Farm owner . . . )

8. Are there some newsletters that you’ve gotten particularly positive response to? What are some highlights people might find there?

We’ve been talking with David Grau, owner of Valley Oak Tools and organizer of the Winter/Spring Organic Gardening classes at the Chico Grange. His website is where you can read newsletters from past organic gardening classes.

Playlist for Ecotopia #98: Gardening–Summer Into Fall 

1. Seed 6:25 Afro Celt Sound System Seed

2. Lean In 5:15 MaMuse All The Way

3. Poor Old Dirt Farmer 3:53 Levon Helm Dirt Farmer

4. Mr. Soil’s Song 1:45 Singin’ Steve Billy the Bean

5. Zemelya-Chernozem. Black Soil. (Variations ) 3:35 Andrei Krylov Russian Classical Guitar Music. Vol 2. Romance, Folk Songs.

6. Weave Me the Sunshine 4:28 Peter, Paul And Mary The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary

7. Plant a Radish 2:34 Hugh Thomas & William Larsen The Fantasticks (Soundtrack from the Musical)

8. Food Food Food (Oh How I Love my Food) 2:10 The Wiggles Toot Toot