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The Promise of Lake Calumet (full show, 57:04 min.)
Lake Calumet has long been a neglected and even abused part of the City of Chicago. Yet, it remains the largest body of water within the city limits and an area that hold promise for restoration from its days as a dumping ground for industry. The Southeast Environmental Task Force invited folks to come to the shores of this lake on Earth Day 2015 to look for birds and other wildlife and reflect on what has been and what might be for this once natural but now quite unnatural area.
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Seed Keeping, Soil and the Gardending Season (full show, 57:30 min.)
Carol Niec and Kerrie Rosenthal are the founders and proprietors of The Seed Keeper Company , which was created to help gardeners organize, plant and store their seeds. Mike chats and jokes with them about the starting 2015 gardening season. Nancy Klehm explains how The Ground Rules will change urban soils and the way people think about them, as she promotes the Indiegogo campaign to get the concept up and running.
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Nance Klehm and the Ground Rules (28:52 min.}

Nance Klehm calls herself a steward of the earth and has been described as a "renegade researcher." Regardless of labels, she is a person looking for solutions to the problems created by the degredation of our soils. That's why she has created a program called The Ground Rules , which is also the subject of an Indiegogo Campaign . Among other things, it helps people find new connections with the land on which they live by re-examining the food waste they create.
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Stinkin' Lincoln, Pollinators and Native Plants (full show, 58:21)
Mike's partner and webmaster Kathleen Thompson talks about recent changes on the website for The Mike Nowak Show. Karen Hudson, an Illinois farmer and co-founder of Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water, warns that the historic site of Abraham Lincoln's New Salem home could be despoiled by a nearby hog factory farm. Writer and native plant specialist Benjamin Vogt describes The Ultimate Pollinator & Native Plant Gardening Guide, which he posted on his blog, The Deep Middle.
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Stinkin' Up Lincoln's New Salem Home (17:39 min.)
Karen Hudson is is an Illinois farmer and co-founder of Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water , She reports that that a hog factory farm has been proposed for Menard county, near the historic site of Abraham Lincoln's New Salem home. And she notes that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) seems to be having a difficult time doing an inventory of CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) in the state.
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Benjamin Vogt and The Ultimate Pollinator & Native Plant Gardening Guide (21:04 min.)
Benjamin Vogt is a writer, speaker and native plant advocate who lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. Recently, in his blog The Deep Middle , he posted an entry called The Ultimate Pollinator & Native Plant Gardening Guide , which lists websites and books that can help ordinary folks do extraordinary things to help protect and increase the populations of these important flora and fauna.
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Rob, Songbirds, and Potato Boxes (full show, 57:33 min) Rob Kartholl stops by to talk about his work at KAM Isaiah Israel on Chicago's south side and opportunities at Fischer Farm History Museum in Bensenville. Su Rynard is the director of a documentary film called The Messenger , which looks at the decline of songbirds worldwide and what that means for ecosystems and human beings as well. Breanne Heath from The Peterson Garden Project and The Pie Patch Farm shows Mike how a simple potato box can increase yields of this vegetable in small spaces.
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xSending Out an SOS for Songbirds (27:53 min.)Canadian filmmaker Su Rynard has teamed with scientists, ecologists, bird enthusiasts and a superb film team to create a documentary called The Messenger. In it, they travel the globe to look at the causes of songbird decline, whether it's possible to reverse that disturbing trend, and what it means for all of us.
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Bees, Bills, and Ricky D (full show, 58:52 min.)
University of Illinois entomologist Dr. May Berenbaum discusses the latest concerning the health of pollinators, including proposed bans on the class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. Jen Walling , executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Council , reports on a number of environmental bills making theiri way throught the Illinois General Assembly in the spring session. Rick DiMaio chats with Mike about another cold spring for the Midwest, which follows the warmest global winter on record.
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Dr. May Berenbaum Updates Bee Health ( 10:52 min.)
Mike runs into University of Illinois entomologist Dr. May Berenbaum at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show and takes the opportunity to ask her about the status of bees as we enter the 2015 growing season. She comments on bee populations (they're up slightly in the United States and won in France), bee health, and whether a ban on pesticides like neonicotinioids would be effective in solving our bee problems..
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Hedgerows and Grassfed Meat (full show, 59 min.)
Dave Coulter appeared on the program in 2014 to extoll the virtues of what he calls the post modern hedgerow ahead of a confererence of the Midwest-Great Lakes Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration , where this issue will be discussed. Raya Carr is part of the family-run Mint Creek Farm , which is produces humane, sustainable meat products, and which will be participating in The Good Food Festival and Conference this weekend at the UIC Forum.
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Dave Coulter on the Creation of the Post-Modern Hedgerow (23:10 min.)
Arborist Dave Coulter is an advocate for what he calls the post-modern hedgerow--a linear assemblage of plants in landscapes and fields that could increase biodiversity and protect pollinators, endangered species and more.. The Midwest-Great Lakes Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration will include a discussion of hedgerows in their 2015 chapter meeting,Cultivating Ecological Restoration within Human Dominated Landscapes, at the Chicago Botanic Garden March 27-29.
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Mint Creek Farm and the Ethics of Sustainable Meat (23:34 min.)
Raya Carr is sales manager for Mint Creek Farm, a family-run business that raises premium, grassfed meats for the Chicago area on Certified Organic central Illinois pasture. They are also part of the FamilyFarmed Good Food Business Accelerator and are participating in the Good Food Festival & Conference this week at the UIC Forum. She talks about having grown up on the farm and what separates it from so-called conventional meat operations.
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More Podcasts

There's another whole page of fascinating podcasts. Just click above to see . . .

  • Cook County Steps Up to Keep Demolition Debris Out of Landfills
  • Angel Azul...or Can Art on the Bottom of the Sea Save our Coral Reefs?
  • Busting Gardening Myths with C.L. Fornari, Author of Coffee for Roses

. . . and more!

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Green Tip

The majestic monarch butterfly needs one thing above all others. This plant.

Wildlife Promise gives you all the information you need about twelve native milkweeds (monarch plants) that you could plant to help the monarch.