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The Mike Nowak Show
133 minutes | Jun 11, 2022
What a Long, Strange Garden Trip It’s Been
On our final show (for awhile), we talk about the Depave Movement across the world. Katya Reyna from Depave Portland and Mary Pat McGuire of Depave Chicago report on their respective programs. Judy Pollock and Bob Fisher from the Bird Conservation Network comment on the results of a 22-year study of breeding bird trends in the Chicago region. We'll also play some music from Birdsongs, Volume 1-Sounds of the Mississippi Flyway by Micky Torpedo.
120 minutes | Jun 4, 2022
Tomatomania V: Off to the Races
Tomato experts Craig LeHoullier ("Epic Tomatoes") and Keith Mueller ("KC Tomato") return yet again to impart their wisdom about America's favorite fruit in Tomatomania V. They talk growing strategies and favorite varieties...including some they have developed themselves.
127 minutes | May 28, 2022
Monarch Butterflies: Yet Another Species on the Brink
The monarch numbers from Mexico were just released and they're...okay. Which means that the iconic species is still threatened. Horticulturist Dolly Foster returns to the show to talk about choosing plants--including milkweed--to attract monarchs and other pollinators to your yard. Bob Benenson of Local Food Forum reports on the start of summer farmers market season and some developments for small farms and growers.
123 minutes | May 21, 2022
How to Discover a Wild Area in the 21st Century
What's it like to "discover" a high-quality natural area in the Midwest? We talk to naturalist Steve Sass, who helped identify Indiana's Lydick Bog in 2014. He is joined by fellow naturalist Amanda Smith. The two are responsible for the educational website Indiana Nature and for the very popular Facebook page IN Nature. We talk about the variety of plants and animals in northwest Indiana and their efforts to teach the public how to be good stewards of the land.
126 minutes | May 15, 2022
The Sky’s the Limit for Women in Arboriculture
ISA certified arborist Megan Kacenski from Bartlett Tree Experts stops by to talk about how she became an arborist representative and what kind of opportunities exist for women in the tree care industry. She is joined by show regular Skeet from Bartlett. Diveheart, which helps disabled children, adults and veterans gain confidence and independence through scuba diving, is coming out with a documentary. Executive Director Tinamarie Hernandez previews the world premiere showing on May 18.
122 minutes | May 7, 2022
The Hidden Dangers of Artificial Turf
Thousands of artificial turf fields have popped up across the country in the past few decades. The argument is that they're cheaper, easy to maintain and perfectly safe. Really? We talk to a group of concerned Lake Forest, IL citizens from Go Real Go Grass, who reveal the dark side of artificial turf. Meanwhile, Ryan Anderson explains how you can grow real turf without using pesticides. He also announces a new certification program for healthy turf. Bob Dolgan from This Week in Birding talks about the latest chapter in the Monty and Rose saga and reports on World Migratory Bird Day.
121 minutes | Apr 30, 2022
The Regeneration Miracle That Is Compost
The Mike Nowak Show with Peggy Malecki helps the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition kick off International Compost Awareness Week. Merleanne Rampale from SWALCO, James Kim from Vernon HIlls Park District, and Vytas Papedinskas of Save Our Soil LLC report on a pilot program that is helping communities utilize the regeneration properties of compost. John Bates from Field Museum Birds helps clear up some confusion regarding use of backyard bird feeders during the current avian influenza outbreak in the U.S.
122 minutes | Apr 23, 2022
The Marvelous Melinda Myers Makes It Better
The Marvelous Melinda Myers returns to talk spring gardening. We learn about the changes in the latest version of her "Midwest Gardener's Handbook," As always, we'll answer as many gardening questions as time allows. Mike and Peggy dip into the latest environmental stories during their "Green Dispatch" segment. And meteorologist Rick DiMaio returns to talk about inconsistent spring weather (what else is new?)
118 minutes | Apr 10, 2022
Doug Tallamy on Fighting to Save Trees and Natural Areas
Author and educator Doug Tallamy returns to the show to talk about the importance of protecting and creating spaces to promote biodiversity. Jeannette Hoyt from Save Jackson Park and David J. Nowak from the USDA Forest Service in Syracuse, New York, discuss the damage done to local ecosystems--and urban neighborhoods--by removing large swaths of trees, which is happening with the construction of the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago's south side.
122 minutes | Apr 3, 2022
The Possibilities of Amazing Native Plants
The subject is native plants and the instructors are brothers Kelsay and Tristan Shaw, who, between them, have put in about 50 years' work at Possibility Place Nursery in Monee, Illinois. On this show we talk about why natives are important and get some cold, hard truth from a couple of guys who aren't afraid to call 'em as they see 'em.
117 minutes | Mar 27, 2022
How to Go Beyond Organic Growing
If it's spring, it's time to talk once again to Bob Benenson from Local Food Forum. He reports on as many issues as he can get to in about 20 minutes, They include the reasoning behind Chicago's Green City Market's decision to open a month earlier. Author Emily Murphy returns to the show to talk about her new book, GROW NOW. In it, she shares the gospel of regenerative gardening, no-till, and what it means to go beyond organic.
118 minutes | Mar 20, 2022
Green School Farms on the Front Line of Sustainability
Farmer Gary Fehr returns to the show to give Mike and Peggy a tour of his small farm near Lincoln, Nebraska. He is a commuter farmer who believes in working to connect kids and adults with local, healthy food.
120 minutes | Mar 13, 2022
Phenology Is a Key Component of Life on Earth
If you're not familiar with the concept of phenology, we hope to give you an introduction on today's show. Alyssa Rosemartin from the USA National Phenology Network and citizen scientist Jean Linsner, who has worked on The 606 in Chicago, talk about the importance of keeping track of nature's calendar. Petra Page-Mann from Fruition Seeds returns to explain why her company focuses on organic heirloom seeds.
115 minutes | Mar 6, 2022
Expect Great Growing in 2022
With the start of the 2022 gardening season upon us, we look at the business end and the personal side of great growing. Chris Beytes from Ball Hort's publication GrowerTalks reports on the state of the industry. LaManda Joy previews the Great Grow Along with presenter Nicole Burke of Gardenary and Rooted Garden.
120 minutes | Feb 27, 2022
Start the Best Fruits and Vegetables
Lisa Hilgenberg is horticulturist for the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden. There, she is responsible for some 50,000 plants, including 400 types of edibles. Today she has advice on when and how to get your seedlings started for the Midwest growing season. We also talk about The Orchid Show: Untamed at the Garden.
124 minutes | Feb 20, 2022
Sacrificing Birds for a Marketing Gimmick
Mike and Peggy welcome back MWRD Commissioner Kim Neely du Buclet to talk about recent green infrastructure water projects and even ways to trace coronavirus in our water supply. Raj Patel, director of The Ants & the Grasshopper explains the food and social justice components of his film about climate change. Annette Prince from Chicago Bird Collision Monitors and Skokie resident Kim Polka report on their efforts to stop a potentially bird-killing Carvana Tower in that Chicago suburb.
119 minutes | Feb 13, 2022
Protect Creatures Great and Small
We talk animal welfare on today's show. Ryan Anderson from Midwest Grows Green previews "Hounds & Grounds," an event that will feature agility training for dogs and advice about natural lawn care for their owners that will keep their pooches healthy. Jodie Wiederkehr of Chicago Alliance for Animals is fighting to stop animal sales in the Chicago area. She explains the new state law to stop so-called "puppy mill" sales that is a step in that direction.
121 minutes | Feb 5, 2022
Can Backyard Composting Change the World?
We don't know if backyard composting can change the world, but it's a heck of a good start. Composting experts Amy Bartucci and Kate Caldwell walk you through how to set up your pile, bin or tumbler and explain why composting is such a good idea for everyone.
125 minutes | Jan 30, 2022
Forest Preserves Unlock the Mysteries of Nature
Yes, it cold and there's snow. But if you live in the Chicago region, those are two excellent reasons to get out to a nearby forest preserve. Nina Baki from the Cook County and Rebekah Snyder from Lake County talk about the activities they have to offer and why a visit to nature--even in winter--can be so rewarding.
126 minutes | Jan 23, 2022
Doug Tallamy on Saving Nature and Ourselves
Entomologist, ecologist and author Doug Tallamy returns to the show. He discusses his latest book, The Nature of Oaks and his work to create Homegrown National Park. But he will also talk with Kerry Leigh, executive director of the Natural Land Institute about the continuing threat to Bell Bowl Prairie in Rockford. On the good news front, we'll chat with Debra Behrens from The Prairie Enthusiasts about a grant they just received to expand Mounds View Grasslands Preserve near Madison, Wisconsin.
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