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Permaculture is a way of growing food that works with nature, to minimize waste and to use energy, water and human labor efficiently. It requires careful observation of the natural landscape, to determine how to best use the available water, land, sunlight and climate to achieve abundant harvests. In this program you’ll meet a remarkable woman, Ros…
 
Hemp is a plant that can be grown sustainably, and that has a wide variety of uses from food to clothing, to car parts. and even walls for your house. Despite many positives, hemp's reputation remains clouded by years of incorrectly regarding hemp as the same plant as marijuana. It is a cannabis plant, but it does not contain high levels of THC, wh…
 
Don't kill those weeds. Eat them! That's what foragers do. You'll be amazed at the number of plants we call weeds, that are tasty and nutritious. Learn how to start foraging for wild edible plants, maybe in your own backyard. Of course, there are cautions, such as being sure about the safety of the plants you eat. My guest, Dr. Mark "Merriwether" V…
 
Have you thought about how many plastic items you use every day? It is quite a staggering amount, from our toothbrushes, to the plastic bags in which we carry home our groceries, to the water bottles we may buy by the dozens and so much more. In this program, my guest Rebecca Prince-Ruiz challenges us to eliminate single-use plastics from our lives…
 
Most environmental policy experts and environmental organizations have largely ignored one of the major contributors to environmental destruction, namely the production of animal flesh for food. They focus on fossil fuels and the transportation sector, while giving a pass to animal-based agriculture. In this program, we take a hard look at what mea…
 
The production of meat pollutes land, water and air. It is a major contributor to climate change, although it remains largely unacknowledged, even by most environmental organizations. Why can't we face the fact that meat-based diets harm not just human health, but also the environment? Timothy Thorpe of the U.K. based Vegan Society lays out the fac…
 
Most of the water we use is used outdoors. A lot of it goes to watering lawns. Water conservation outside the house means designing gardens that use less water, and using more efficient ways of watering plants.This program provides practical advice that you can put to use immediately, to become a wise user of one of our most precious resources, nam…
 
Along with the air we breathe, water is another absolute essential for life. As the world's population has grown, so has the demand for water. But there is only a limited supply of water on earth, which is why it is important for all of us to conserve this precious natural resource. We'll talk about practical ways to conserve water, with Dr. Robert…
 
Creating and maintaining a food forest in the middle of a city is a major undertaking. In this program, you will meet two people who are doing just that, in Austin, Texas. the Festival Beach Food Forest is now six years in the making. This public park provides fruit, nuts, and herbs for anyone who walks there, as well as for wildlife, and is a rema…
 
Fungi are fascinating organisms that come in many forms and sizes, from almost invisible to the naked eye, to giant mushrooms. Scientifically speaking, fungi are a kingdom of spore-producing organisms that include mushrooms, yeasts and molds. They are different from other living things in that their cell walls are made of a compound called “chitin”…
 
Open your mind and your heart to a new way of thinking about gardens! Garden spaces are not just for humans, but for all the creatures that live there, including animals, insects and birds. In this program, my guest, author and garden designer Benjamin Vogt, introduces us to gardens that are designed ethically, and which are therefore good for our …
 
Scientists are reporting staggering losses in the populations of birds in North America. The bird population decline is seen in virtually all regions, including forests, grasslands, arid regions and along the coast. My guest Rebekah Rylander, from Texas State University, talks about why this is happening, and what you can do about it.…
 
Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed plants in the spring, but need different plants, those that provide nectar, during their winter migration south. Cathy Downs, a Master Naturalist, and Monarch Watch conservation specialist, details both migrations, and gives us tips on what to plant, and when these unique butterflies will be coming thr…
 
We often hear about animal species that are on the road to extinction, or species that are becoming more rare. Plants, too, can suffer the same fate. There are many plants all over the world that are classified as rare and in many cases, the cause, loss of habitat, is the same as that for animal species. Botanist Anna Strong gives us insight into t…
 
Some of them we love, for example butterflies and bees. Some we hate, such as cockroaches and lice. Some are crustaceans that live in the oceans, such as crabs, lobsters and shrimp. There are many more invertebrate creatures that inhabit the earth, and many of them are vital to human survival. In this program, we enter the world of invertebrates wi…
 
Fresh water is essential to all life and it is a finite resource. Most of us don't think much about letting the water run when we wash dishes, bathe or brush our teeth. Yet, those are all examples of wasting water. In Wimberley, Texas, a new school is being built that will utilize a "one water" design. The one water concept recognizes the importanc…
 
Protecting bees is vital as a large percentage of crops that we rely on for food are pollinated by bees. In this program, meet Walter Schumacher, the Bee Czar, who saves so-called “nuisance” hives from extinction, by relocating them to bee-friendly places. That’s just part of the mission for the organization he formed, the American Honey Bee Protec…
 
Organic farmer John Stanley works long days to grow vegetables that are delicious and packed with nutrition. He does that by using methods that enrich the soil and at the same time, reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, thereby helping the environment. Meet Stanley in this program, and hear him tell how he does that, and why that is so im…
 
The answer to our need for renewable energy sources may, in fact, be blowing in the wind. Wind turbines are popping up in more places as the cost of wind, and of solar energy drops. That price drop has resulted in predictions that by 2050, half the world's electricity will come from renewables. In this program, we get a picture of what the future w…
 
Creating soil that holds water should be the goal of all humans who take care of any land. Why? When soil holds water, rain soaks in rather than rushing off and causing floods. This kind of soil is also better in times of drought, when soil can turn to dust and be blown away. My guest Pete Van Dyck is a restoration ecologist, and in this program ta…
 
Moringa oleifera is a plant that has a long history of being used to treat a multitude of ailments, including joint pain, asthma, cancer, ulcers, headache, heart problems, and high blood pressure. The entire plant is edible, except for the roots. Moringa, also called the miracle tree is native to India, but also grown in Asia, Africa and South Amer…
 
The production of meat, whether from cows, pigs, chickens or other animals results in serious damage to our air, water and soil. Factory-farming traps millions of animals in what critics describe as a cruel and inhumane system. In this program, we take a look at some of the effects of a meat-based diet in a conversation with author and activist Pam…
 
What is biological integrity? It is a way of evaluating the health of an eco-system. In this program, Chris Searles, founder of a nonprofit organization called BioIntegrity, explains why it is important to preserve the biological integrity of rainforests, and the ways in which these areas of the world can contribute to holding back the damaging eff…
 
You may call it dirt, earth, or soil. Regardless of what term you use, it is a substance that is vital to our existence. Soil is where we plant our food crops, but we may rarely think about what it is. In this program, we talk to George Altgelt, an expert in soil biology, about what makes up soil, why it is important, and what we should feed it. It…
 
Do herbs really have medicinal powers? You bet! In this program, you will hear from an expert on growing herbs and on using herbs as medicine, namely Jenny Perez, education coordinator for the American Botanical Council in Austin, TX. After you listen, you’ll be inspired to plant some herbs in your little patch of earth, or just in a nice big plant…
 
Chickens are kept by humans all over the world, as a source of fresh eggs, and by carnivores, as a source of meat. Perhaps you keep chickens, or know someone who does? Or you may be thinking about starting your own little flock. In this program, chicken expert Jesse Huth shares his extensive experience on keeping chickens healthy, happy and laying!…
 
Bats are found on every continent in the world, except Antarctica. These flying mammals are often misunderstood and persecuted, yet they perform several valuable services for us humans. In this program, Mylea Bayless of Bat Conservation International will inform and delight you with her knowledge of the amazing creatures we call bats.…
 
What happens when an area known for its natural beauty and resources experiences rapid population growth? The Texas hill country is such an area, and the swift influx of people is resulting in a severe strain on resources. The Hill Country Alliance (HCA) is a group of local citizens who organized to take on the challenges to the environment. I spok…
 
What is a MRF? It is a Material Recovery Facility, and it is where your recyclable trash goes to be sorted, and eventually reused. Workers and machines at theTexas Disposal Systems MRF sort through the millions of pieces of paper, cardboard, glass, metals and more that arrive daily. It is a staggering task and in this program, we’ll find out how th…
 
Herbs are those marvelous plants we use to make our food taste better. Herbs also have a long history of being used as medicines, and if that's not enough, they are used to provide pleasant fragrance in soaps and body products, and to scent the air. On Mothering Earth, we talk to herbalist and botanist Robyn Clark to learn more about these amazing …
 
Most people who plant fruit and nut trees and herbs look forward to harvesting and using their bounty by themselves, or perhaps sharing some with friends and neighbors. So imagine an urban park, planted with fruit and nut trees and other edible plants, that is completely open to the public. This is the concept of an urban food forest, where anyone …
 
There are thousands of unique bird species on our Earth, which makes them an important part of the world’s environment. They contribute to the diversity of nature, but also delight us with their pretty feathers, chirps and songs. In this program, we’ll meet wildlife biologist Rufus Stephens to talk about birds and the things they do.…
 
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