The Mike Nowak Show

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Mike Nowak has been the Chicago radio voice of gardening and the environment for
more than thirteen years. First at WGN Radio and now at Chicago's Progressive Talk, he has informed and entertained his listeners about everything from bugs to battery recycling,
from energy audits to echinacea.
Check out the website, but more important,
check out "The Mike Nowak Show."

Sunday from 9 to 11am
WCPT 820AM and 92.5FM, 92.7FM, and 99.9FM

"One of the five shows we're listening to"
Garden Design magazine"

Listen Here!
Click here for live streaming!
Sunday morning, 9-11 CST
Or listen to these special segments from past shows.

Solving Civic Problems One App at a Time

Derek Eder is co-founder of Open City, a collective that makes civic apps with open data. He talks about using data to tackle social issues such as mass transportation, urban flooding, transparency in government and more.

Listen Here.

Connecting Veterans to the Land at Blue Yonder Organic Farm

Sara Creech established Blue Yonder Organic Farm in Indiana, and Alicia Moore soon joined her as a partner in the enterprise. Both are military veterans who want to help other veterans find work and a sense of peace. They are the first Indiana farm that is part of the rapidly growing Homegrown By Heroes initiative, and they talk about their efforts with Mike.
Listen Here.

Improving the Soils in Our Cities

Distinguished soil scientists Sally Brown, Research Associate Professor at the University of Washington, Rufus Chaney , Research Agronomist for the USDA, and Ganga Hettiarachchi , Associate Professor at Kansas State University, talk about contaminants in our urban soils and the potential for remediating them, including with biosolids.
Listen Here.

What's REALLY Happening
to Our Bees

Some of the most knowledgeable people in the country explain what's causing the disappearance of our bees. And it's not just neonicotinoids. This is the best discussion of the problem that you've ever heard or read. Listen Here.

What's the Big Deal about Native Plants?

Charlotte Adelman, co-author of The Midwestern Native Garden, goes beyond and cliches and oversimplifications and explains just why native plants make for a better, more life-filled garden.
Listen Here.

Making a case for life

Doug Tallamy talks about his book, Bringing Nature Home, How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens. A caller to the program conveniently illustrates the difficulty home owners have in identifying native plants, and Tallamy describes his project to identify which birds consume which insects. Listen here.


Click here for Mike's "Three Minutes to Save the Planet" list

Check here to learn about book events.
Read all about Attack of the Killer Asparagus,
and order your own copy,
at Around the Block Press.

Next Event . . .

Photo courtesy of Chicagoland Gardening Magazine

September 27 - 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
The Growing Place in Naperville
It's the Fall Planting Celebration Weekend at The Growing Place in Naperville and Aurora on Saturday and Sunday, September 27 & 28. Enjoy refreshments, informative talks, landscape advice, a silent auction and, of course, Mike, who will do a short talk at the Naperville location, then sign books.

CRC Recycling Survey

About 600,000 blue carts have been rolled out in Chicago. And yet, the City's recycling numbers can best be described as a work in progress.

Are you happy with recycling in Chicago? Help the Chicago Recycling Coalition understand your views on how the city is doing with recycling and yard waste pick-ups by participating in their Recycling Survey .

Please take 3-4 minutes to complete the Recycling Survey . Your answers will help the Chicago Recycling Coalition and Chicago's recycling community push for new and better recycling policies throughout Chicago.

Mike at Lurvey Landscape Supply and Garden Center, signing a book
for loyal listeners Matt and Mary.

Photo courtesy of Steve Stout, The Times, Utica, Illinois
Mike with a group of LaSalle county homeowners and farmers
who are trying to save their land from open-pit sand mines.
Listen to the show today to hear about it.

Green Metropolis Fair, Fall 2014

Mike at the Green Metropolis Fair last Sunday, interviewing
Timmy the tortoise and, incidentally, Erin Yanz of Nature's Creatures.
For more pictures from the fair, click Timmy.

How Do We Save the Iconic Monarch Butterfly?

Recently Mike interviewed Chip Taylor, the founder and director of Monarch Watch .They talk about the recent decline of the monarch butterfly due mainly to habitat loss, pesticide use and government policies that encourage ethanol production, and how there will need to be a massive
effort to plant monarch plant (milkweed) if we hope to save this iconic species. Click above to listen to the podcast.

And here are some little ones doing their bit for the monarchs
by releasing monarch plant (milkweed) seeds at the Green
Metropolis Fair.
Participate in the show:
      or email
Mike talks to Melany Vorass Herrera, who has written a book called The Front Yard Forager: Identifying, Collecting, and Cooking the 30 Most Common Urban Weeds. 'Nuff said. Team member Lisa Albrecht is in New York City and reports on the Peoples Climate March. Greg "The Pond Guy" and Carla Wittstock come to the studio to talk about the Nat Geo WILD TV show "Pond Stars." Mike just spent a couple of days in LaSalle County, Illinois, where he interviewed the people who are in the midst of the "frac sand rush." Two of them, Diane Gassman and Ashley Williams, are on the program this morning.

Click here for links to our sponsors.
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Rick DiMaio Weather
"The Mike Nowak Show" features a regular weekly weather segment with Chicago meterologist Rick DiMaio. Click the pic for Rick's website.

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Check out Mike and other great garden speakers

This week's featured talk
Thriving in Hard Soil

Mike tells the story of his community garden, Green on McLean, located in the Logan Square Neighborhood of Chicago. Just three short years ago, it was a overgrown and litter-filled backdrop to gang activity and drug deals. Then, the people in the neighborhood said "Enough!" and decided that they would take matters into their own hands. They cleaned up the trash in the vacant double lot on the corner, capped the lead-laden soil and planted their first garden. Three years later, the gangs are gone, and the lot is a place where organic produce is grown by people of all ages and backgrounds, where people sit in the shade on hot summer evenings, and where the community comes together to have pot luck gatherings on the weekends. It's an inspiring story but just one of many that are repeated throughout Chicago and suburbs--and across the country--every day.

Check out all of Mike's talks on the
Talks and Presentations

A review of the show in the prestigious
arden Design magazine .
. .

Chicago Green Events Calendars!
If you want to know what's going on in Chicago's green community, from local food to fighting the man on coal-fueled power plants, these sites will give you the skinny, the scoop, the . . . whatever.

Top Green Talk Show Hosts

"Let's take a look at our top 5 green male talk show  hosts on radio. Of course, there are others worth noting, but these ones will surely get you hooked on listening to green tips, news, and other ecological concerns. These talk show hosts are not only wildly entertaining, but they are also intellectuals who know theirgreen stuff. . . .

Mike Nowak's one of the best environmental hosts that you will find."