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Wild Plant Culture
83 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
Episode 016 - Restoring Streams with Drew Altland
Drew Altland is a Senior Manager of Water Resources at RK&K. I saw him talk a few years ago on stream restoration and was fascinated by his historical perspective on streams and wetlands in Eastern North America. We talk about stream conditions prior to European arrival, about the impacts of the colonial area, about reading streams in the present day, and various restoration methods. I never thought about streams the same way after hearing Drew talk and I hope this podcast is just as revelatory for you.
76 minutes | Feb 19, 2021
Episode 015 - Talking Shop with Spadefoot Nursery
Welcome to Season Three of the podcast! This episode brings us to sunny Tucson Arizona to speak with Katy Gierlach and Jared R. McKinley of Spadefoot Nursery. We talk native plant nursery shop - about being ecologists not horticulturists, getting people to buy ugly plants and weeds, accepting failure, why tomatoes are patriotic if you're Italian, and dumping chicken manure on people's heads. You'll want to tune in. And yes, that's a picture of them. Hey, if you're digging this podcast, find me on Instagram at @wildplantculture, it's the totality of my social life right now as NJ is snowed in and locked down.
70 minutes | Dec 3, 2020
Episode 014 - Shane LaBrake on Stewarding our Tools
My guest today is Shane LaBrake, talking about our relationship with the tools we use and how that relates to sustainability and earth care. With the winter dormant season coming on, many of us have time to sharpen shovels, fix roofs, change fluids and do other maintenance and repair tasks that we felt too busy for in the summer. So in this episode we're playing hooky from plants and talking about tractors, small engines, and the philosophy of maintenance and loving care. You can reach Shane at firstname.lastname@example.org. He's got some great videos on Tractor Maintenance on YouTube, produced by ATTRA. Here's a link to the first one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhVIewAsqi8 Music this episode is by Horse Graveyard. Check us out on Bandcamp. This episode is brought to you by Wild Ridge Plants.
55 minutes | Oct 30, 2020
Episode 013 - Dr. Jay Kelly - Restoring Rare Plants
Today we have a dispatch from the front lines of habitat destruction and deer overpopulation -- New Jersey. But don't despair! We're talking with Dr. Jay Kelly about some remarkable rare plant recoveries and prospects for restoration. This podcast is brought to you by Wild Ridge Plants, growers and stewards of native plants. The music at the beginning and end is "The Ship" by my once (and maybe future) band Horse Graveyard. If you like raw, dark, heavy music with a bit of blazing sunshine peering out from the dark clouds... check us out. Thanks for listening!
67 minutes | Sep 25, 2020
Episode 012 - Dr. Liz Koziol, Notes from Underground Fungi
We explore the underworld with Liz Koziol of MycoBloom! Join me as we delve into the soil to uncover relationships between mycorrhizal fungi and native plants. Liz is a researcher and entrepreneur supporting ecological restoration by making available native prairie fungi, which dramatically aid specialist plant species growth, increasingly floristic quality and diversity.
68 minutes | Aug 7, 2020
Episode 011 - Dr. Susan Leopold on Rare Medicinal Plants
My conversation is with Dr. Susan Leopold, Ethnobotanist and Executive Director of United Plant Savers. Here are some of the topics we discuss: • Medicinal parasitic plants • Sandalwood • United Plant Savers • Protections for rare plants, lack of in US • Not aligning with other parts of the conservation movement • Underworld smuggling • Trade in white sage • Migrant labor and herb harvests • Gypsy co-ops and ramps • Forest Grown Program • Supporting herbal companies doing right by plants and people • Harvesting ramps in Europe • Federal management of medicinal plant harvest -- in Europe, lacking in United States • Osha and disturbance • Anti-viral herbs and coronavirus. Shutdown in trade of medicinals • Forest service management and medicinal herb conservation. Overgrazing • FairWild plant trade issues due to coronavirus • Growing hemp in Virginia • Spagyric extraction of cannabis • Cannabinoids and Ginsenosides as diffusive herbs • United Plant Savers Goldenseal Sanctuary Find Susan’s herbal products at ParisApothecaryVA.com This podcast is brought to you by Wild Ridge Plants, offering medicinal and edible native plants from locally propagated seed. Shop our mail order native plants.
73 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
Episode 010 - Dr. Gerould Wilhelm, Botanist and Steward
This episode is with Dr. Gerould Wilhelm. Few people can provide such a deep long-term perspective on wild plants, ecological restoration, and human culture. Jerry created the Floristic Quality Assessment method back in the 1970s. He’s written several floras of the Chicago area including the Flora of the Chicago Region: A Floristic and Ecological Synthesis.
72 minutes | Mar 23, 2020
Episode 009 - David Hughes, Native Plant Craftsman
This episode of the Wild Plant Culture Podcast features woodworker and landscape architect David Hughes. We talk about his use of wild plant materials in crafting rustic furniture, as well as his experience designing functional native plant landscapes.
87 minutes | Mar 6, 2020
Episode 008 - Dr. Kelly Kindscher, Prairie Ethnobotanist
Thanks for tuning in to the Wild Plant Culture Podcast! This episode features a conversation with ethnobotanist Kelly Kindscher. Kelly is an unusual combination, a skilled field ecologist deeply interested in the cultural uses of plants, historically and in contemporary application, spanning ethnobotany to chemical analysis. Kelly is a professor at University of Kansas, and Plant Ecologist for the Kansas Biological survey. He's a passionate advocate for native plants and wild places, and the author of several books, including Echinacea: Herbal Medicine with a Wild History, Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie: An Ethnobotanical Guide, and Edible Wild Plants of the Prairie: An Ethnobotanical Guide. We talk about Kansas prairies, long-lived forbs and grasses, Floristic Quality Assessment and remediation of damaged sites, the reciprocal relationship native peoples had with Tipsin (prairie turnip),as well as plants such as American plum, wild bergamot, and groundnut, about early ethnobotanist Melvin Gilmore, and lots about echinacea.
112 minutes | Jan 20, 2020
Episode 007 - Karl Anderson, NJ Botanist and World Traveller
Hi Everyone, thanks for joining me for another episode of the Wild Plant Culture podcast. This conversation is with Karl Anderson. Karl's an elder in the best sense -- someone who's lived a full life, delved deep, and come up smiling (and sometimes cursing, too). He's always been generous about sharing his wide interests and experience in natural history. Here, I ask Karl about his life story from a city kid to a draftsman to the director of a nature center. We talk about changes in botany and in the plant world, about sharing vs. secrecy when it comes to rare plants, about being an educator, and about some of his many travels to interesting natural places around North America and beyond. This podcast is brought to you by Wild Ridge Plants. We started Wild Ridge to offer a toolkit for the restoration of native plant communities, including a native plant nursery, botanical surveys and stewardship planning, as well as classes, hikes, presentations and publications. Check us out online at wildridgeplants.com Thanks everyone who has sent feedback or joined the Wild Plant Culture Facebook page. I'm looking forward to hearing from more of you sometime soon, so don't be shy! You can reach me at email@example.com. This conversation is with Karl Anderson. Karl's an elder in the best sense -- someone who's lived a full life, delved deep, and come up smiling (and sometimes cursing, too). He's always been generous about sharing his wide interests and experience in natural history. Here, I ask Karl about his life story from a city kid to a draftsman to the director of a nature center. We talk about changes in botany and in the plant world, about sharing vs. secrecy when it comes to rare plants, about being an educator, and about some of his many travels to interesting natural places around North America and beyond.
72 minutes | Dec 18, 2019
Episode 006 - Dale Hendricks on Rewilding the Landscape
This conversation is with Dale Hendricks of Green Light Plants in southeastern Pennsylvania. We delve deep into Dale's experience with rewilding the landscape, discussing permaculture approaches, biochar and soil carbon, the connection between health and food systems, and a bit about the legendary Hershey Nursery growing tree crops. We also discuss pawpaws, persimmons, honey locust, ramps and other native permaculture food crops. Dale's a character, a very generous human being, and very sharp. I think you'll enjoy listening to our chat. This podcast is brought to you by Wild Ridge Plants. We started Wild Ridge to offer a toolkit for the restoration of native plant communities, including a native plant nursery, botanical surveys and stewardship planning, as well as classes, hikes, presentations and publications. Check us out online at wildridgeplants.com Here's a link some of Dale's writing on "Permaculture and Horticulture". The music is from my lo-fi music workshop. I'm having trouble keeping up with new pieces for each podcast! I'm hoping to do some serious recording some time soon. For now, here's a snippet on slide guitar that I hope reflects Dale's folksy, energetic, friendly approach.
67 minutes | Nov 24, 2019
Episode 005 - Julie Martin on Connecting with Primitive Skills
Today's conversation is with Julie Martin, primitive skills practitioner. Julie teaches ancestral skills ranging from fire-starting to herbal medicine at Practical Primitive, a school in Great Meadows, NJ run by Julie and her husband Eddie Starnater. It's a fantastic place to go for workshops in a vast array of different skills. I hope you enjoy today's conversation immersing in the forgotten fundamentals of human survival. Julie and I start the conversation by talking about processing acorns for food. We also discuss fire and its elemental place in human life, communicating with plants, building community and nature connection through primitive skills, and a whole lot more. This podcast is brought to you by Wild Ridge Plants. We started Wild Ridge to offer a toolkit for the restoration of native plant communities, including a native plant nursery, botanical surveys and stewardship planning, as well as classes, hikes, presentations and publications. Check us out online at wildridgeplants.com Julie and Eddie have a number of great books and DVDs, including Acorn: Recipes for the Forgotten Food, mentioned in the podcast. Check out PracticalPrimitive.com for books, DVDs, and their workshop offerings. If you're looking for a holiday gift for a kid, take a look at my book The Puddle Garden. It's an illustrated children's story about native plants and wildlife, an early start on the idea of habitat restoration featuring an adorable young bear as well as cardinal flower, hummingbird, and many others. You can find it online at wildridgeplants.com or on thepuddlegarden.com. Thanks for all the feedback, questions, and comments, and for the iTunes ratings too. Please keep it coming, and give me a holler at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, suggestions for upcoming guests, and just to chat. Today's theme music was a first sketch of a piece called Fish Hawk. I'll probably take the bones of it and make it into a real song someday, meanwhile it was fun to pull together a few instruments and make a quick recording.
88 minutes | Oct 16, 2019
Episode 004 - Dr. Daniela Shebitz on Traditional Land Management and Nature Connection
This episode is with Dr. Daniela Shebitz, an awesomely engaged and inspiring young professor at Kean University in New Jersey. Daniela is a plant ecologist who researches the effects of land management on culturally significant plant species and ecosystems. She is inspired by traditions that have lasted for millennia based on traditional management through anthropogenic fire and selective harvesting. I love the way Daniela braids together ethnobotany, ecology, anthropology, and restoration. In this conversation, we talk about Daniela's research with Robin Kimmerer on Sweetgrass, about "traditional land management" and "traditional ecological knowledge" in the Northeast and in Costa Rica, about monocrop agriculture and alternatives found in traditional cultures, and about urban people finding nature connection.
99 minutes | Sep 18, 2019
Episode 003 - Roger Latham, PhD, on Ancient Eastern Grasslands and Geology
A fun and inspiring conversation with ecologist Roger Latham, PhD. We talk about the geological and cultural factors that sustained Eastern grasslands and barrens historically, and techniques for their restoration today. Our conversation ranges widely, from Pleistocene megafauna to fire to Native American plant dispersal to serpentine rock and other unique geologies. I first ran across Roger Latham on a tour of grassland restorations he led about ten years ago. Towards the end of the field trip we stopped at a massive diabase boulder field, cloaked in lichens and rock cap fern, and I still remember being spellbound as Roger broke down the chemical composition of the local geology and soils and correlated them to the plant communities found on this rock type. Roger has a broad experience of ecology but remains locally rooted and interested in the intersection of geology and botany, publishing work on serpentine barrens, Pocono till barrens, Eastern grasslands and other exceptional habitats. Roger is a strong proponent of ecological restoration and brings both scientific rigor and a great deal of inspiring energy to the restoration of plant communities. His work on grassland, savannah, and shrubland communities in Pennsylvania, entitled Keystone Grasslands, is probably the article I've cited most in the reports, blog entries, and white papers that I've written, as it speaks to the historic extent, composition, and conditions of open, sunny plant habitats that I am drawn to as well. You can find many of Roger's publications at his website at http://www.continentalconservation.us
65 minutes | Aug 18, 2019
Episode 002 - Kerry Hardy on Native American Ecologies in Maine
In the interview, we discuss Native American foodways, burning regimens, and land management, including dispersal of species like bur oak and American plum. Kerry talks about many Native words, describing words as "among the most durable fossils there are". Kerry gives a fresh read on European economy compared to Native economy, including a moving insight into seventh generational thinking and "non-thinking". Kerry gives us a preview of his present project exploring the lost history of the Hudson River estuary, speaking evocatively of the missing voices of native peoples, African slaves, women, and the ecosystem itself in colonial history.
92 minutes | Aug 7, 2019
Episode 001 - Leslie Sauer on Ecological Restoration
My guest today is Leslie Sauer. Her book The Once and Future Forest inspired me to become an ecological restoration practitioner and continues to inform so much of my work propagating native plants, monitoring natural communities, and repairing degraded habitats. I'm so happy to welcome her as the very first guest on the Wild Plant Culture podcast. Leslie Sauer, a founder emeritus of Andropogon Associates, is a pioneer in the field of restoring and managing native landscapes. Through innovative strategies and techniques, she has directed the reestablishment of natural systems in a wide range of sensitive, degraded, and developed environments. Leslie was a key player in watershed management projects including the Flood Protection Plan for the Passaic River in New Jersey and the Management Plan for the Rockaway River Watershed. Her park projects range from Central Park and Prospect Park in New York City to National Parks. Leslie was on the board of the Society for Ecological Restoration as well as an adjunct associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the landscape architecture Masters program. Her book, The Once and Future Forest (Island Press) is a guidebook for restoring and managing forest systems. In our conversation, Leslie talks about the early days of ecological restoration, forming Andropogon Associates on a shoestring, how doing model projects didn't always have the intended effect, and about compliance vs. performance, engineers, pipelines and much more. She's a true elder in the best sense of the word and has a fiery intellect and spirit. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Leslie Sauer.
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