August 23, 2015 - A Stinky Flower and a Dead Ginkgo (full show, 56.29 min.)
Tim Pollak is an outdoor floriculturist for the Chicago Botanic Garden . He is also the caretaker for nine Titan Arums, one of which, named Spike , is about to bloom for this first time in its twelve year old existence. Mike talks to Pollak and to CBG public relations director Gloria Ciaccio about the science and the spectacle currently surrounding this plant, which produces a foul odor to attract pollinators. Then, Mike and Kathleen Thompson attempt to figure out why the Ginkgo biloba in their backyard suddenly died this year. Listen NowRead More
Dr. Harry Klee and the (Nearly) Perfect Tomato (full show, 57.30 min.)
Dr. Harry J. Klee is a professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida. For about twenty years, he has been trying to hybridize a tomato that will survive the rigors of mass marketing and still have enough flavor to rise above the horrible, barely edible fruits that are now sold and that are considered the best we can grow.
Gardening and Biodiversity Matter (full show, 56:22 min)
Entomologist and author Doug Tallamy wrote the book on how our gardening habits can destroy or rebuild local wildlife and our relationship with nature. The book in question, Bringing Nature Home, is a landmark in environmental studies, and Tallamy is on the roll of great names that includes Rachel Carson and Michael Pollan. Mike interviewed him recently at the Living Landscape Conference in River Forest and intercuts that conversation with Talamy's presentation about his book. Listen Now. Read More
Melinda and Mike Geek Out on Gardens (full show, 56:53 min)
If you've been listening to The Mike Nowak Show for a while, you know
Melinda Myers. She's a horticulturist, author, radio & TV personality, educator and much more, from the garden state just to the north of Illinois. When she and Mike get goind, it's garden geekery all the way. They exchange information and opinions about gardening topics all over the map, including growing tomatoes, straw bale gardening, and natural lawn care. Listen Now. Read More
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. Listen Now. Read More.
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. Listen Now. Read More.
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. Listen Now.Read More.