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Mike the Gardener

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Chris McLaughlinIn this week's episode, Mike talks with Chris McLaughlin author of the book Vertical Vegetable Gardening and A Garden to Dye For.

In the first segment Mike & Chris talk about how you can save money, time and space using vertical gardening techniques. In the second segment Chris gives an in depth discussion on growing plants in your own yard that you can use as natural dyes for your spinning projects, Easter eggs and much more.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Growing vertically
  • Simple gardening techniques to save on Space
  • Choosing the right veggies
  • Why herbs?
  • What are natural dyes?
  • Which plants can you grow at home for the best dyes?
  • Is natural home dying safe?
  • How you can get started with natural dyes

Items mentioned in this episode include:

About this week's Guest, Chris McLaughlin:

[pic1] The short story is that I'm a plant-freaky garden writer, blogger, and author. I live and breathe my work.

The long story is that:

I Was Taken From My Real Family and Raised by Wolves

I was an Old MacDonald child born into an IBM family. My brothers and I grew up being chauffeured around in one of those station wagons that had a third seat facing backwards. Looking out that big window, along with breathing in a little exhaust, I was able to take in expanses of land and watch it slowly disappear from view.

Along the stretches of highway, I would see property with fenced land and think how wonderful it would be to have a pumpkin patch right out here where everyone would see it and want to stop by. It could come complete with crisp cornstalks flanking the entry to straw bale mazes.

Looking back, I'm certain that my parents were masochists as they kept moving us to the suburbs that rested just on the shoulders of farmland. They carefully chose housing developments that seemed to always bring me within feet of my true love. I spent my weekends walking to nearby farms, pretending they were mine for a while.

When I shuffled back to my side of the fence, I was determined to create my own little farm. As I dug into the hard pan soil of our backyard, the difference in the freshly cultivated earth of the neighboring land was clear. Would it have really been a stretch for my parents to move one street away? But, I digress.

When I was ten, I snagged some Dixie cups from the upstairs bathroom and filled them with some potting soil out of a bag my mother had bought to top off the planters in our yard. Using a hand shovel, I carefully scooped up some small seedlings (I would later learn that they are called "volunteers") in our yard and transplanted them.

Being raised by entrepreneurs, my instincts told me there was a profit to be made. I lined probably fifty of those little paper cups into my younger brother's red wagon and rolled down the street selling them door to door for ten cents each. Looking back, I realize I made a 100% profit since I had zero start-up cost and no overhead (considering my mom's "donations" and the fact that being underage, legally, I was assured overhead until I was eighteen).

With over three decades of plants and soil behind me, I am very sure of just who it is I am.

Previous Podcast Episodes


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About Mike the Gardener
I am the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts.
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