Matt Bacon2022/01/14

My Favorite Podcast

Midmorning sun with a halo on a background of wispy clouds

One of my primary reasons for having the website is to provide information about topics that I feel are important. So what, you may ask, is important to me? I think agriculture, nature, exercise, safety, health, education, inclusivity, and diversity will all be important topics as I begin to develop the website. AND, it’s no coincidence that agriculture is the first item on that list. It’s also not because it is first alphabetically, that part IS a coincidence. 

I went back to school for Ag after leaving the Army and about the same time a guy from PBS was testing the waters of alternative media. Joe Lamp’l had, and still has, a television show called Growing a Greener World and was using his skills to bring ecologically sound gardening principles to the realm of podcasting. The Joe Gardener Show is nearing 250 episodes of high quality programming on my most favorite topics in the horticultural arena. Plus there are new episodes almost every week, once you catch up.

There’s a distinct possibility that Joe could talk about hot dogs or jazz and his siren’s song would still lure me in every week to hear what he’s going to say or who he will interview. If you have experience listening to podcasts, then this should be on your list of go-to shows. You can really tell that Joe enjoys the topics of discussion and is passionate about caring for our planet. The planning, thought, and effort put into every show is apparent in the finer details, like well-prepared facts, figures, and questions .

Regardless of topic, there will be extensive show notes that include links and suggestions, as well as advice from the guest(s) from that week. Certain topics recur often, such as mulching or composting, while others are one-offs, like the Japanese maple or squash bug episodes. I’m beginning to look forward to returning guests, like Craig LeHoullier, Niki Jabbour, or Doug Tallamy. I’m still uncertain if Joe strikes up such a great rapport with everyone he meets or if his interviewees are just as prepared as he is. Either way, it’s magic. I’ve listened to every one, except yesterday’s discussion with Margaret Roach. She’s another great podcaster who deserves a write-up like this in the future. 

I’m not sure if I have a favorite episode, but the discussions which incorporate wildlife with the garden I find most enjoyable. I can, without a doubt, tell you which episode had me in tears while landscaping at a client's house one beautiful afternoon. Episode 181 was a follow-up interview with Stephen Ritz from his appearance on Growing a Greener World. Watch this GGWTV episode and try not to cry, then listen to the podcast episode. Both these guys are my heroes and I hope to impact as many lives as they have in the time I have left in this world. I am getting a little choked up even thinking about it now. 

I won’t tell anyone that they NEED to garden, but like these guys, I will be here for ANYONE who wants to learn how. It’s winter here in PA, so set aside some time to listen to Joe Gardener on whatever service you use for podcasts or check them out online. I’ll continue to create my own content, but I also encourage you to give this show a listen and let me know what you think. Stay warm, stay safe, and exercise restraint when perusing seed catalogs.

P.S. Joe Lamp’l is the person and face behind the amazing team of Joe Gardener, in case there was any confusion.

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