Ep10: Houseplant Confidential with Jane Perrone

On this episode, we’re taking an intimate look at the the most domesticated plants of all: houseplants. My guest, Jane Perrone, is a London-based journalist and the host-producer of the indoor gardening podcast On The Ledge. We’ll discuss Jane’s background, some myths and misconceptions of container gardening, and the human tendency to anthropomorphize our houseplants. At the top of the show, I’ll dive into the revealing history of the Aspidistra elatior, a houseplant once so iconic it was the subject of a popular song, the codename for a “black propaganda” operation in WWII, and the central metaphor in a George Orwell novel. Today, the Aspidistra is barely considered a houseplant at all.

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Ep9: Gone to Seed with Colleen Dieter

Colleen Dieter, co-founder of the the Central Texas Seed Library, talks about how saving, swapping, and sharing seeds can help us build community, reclaim lost agricultural knowledge, and preserve crucial genetic diversity in our global food supply.

Thanks to Colleen and a group of other volunteers and librarians, a seed library is coming soon to Austin’s fabulous new downtown Central Library. Here, anybody can browse and take home free, open-pollinated seeds to grow in the garden.

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Ep8: Nothing Natural About Capitalism (Part 2 of 2) with Ryan Rosshirt

In Part 2 of the series “Nothing Natural About Capitalism,” Leah talks to Austin-based activist Ryan Rosshirt about permaculture design and the challenge of building a society that supports meaningful work. We’ll discuss ecosystem repair, the joy of chickens, and how the Austin chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is fighting business interests big and small to improve quality of life for workers.

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Ep7: Nothing Natural About Capitalism (Part 1 of 2)

Capitalism: Can't live with it, can't live without it! Or can we? And what is the connection between capitalism and what we eat, how we work, and who bears the impacts of climate change? What, if any, are the alternatives? In this two-part series, "Nothing Natural About Capitalism," the Starship Hothouse will boldly go where no gardening podcast has gone before, as Leah attempts to articulate some nascent ideas about how the design principles of permaculture, combined with the populist vision of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), might offer a ray of hope in these dispiriting times…

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Ep6: Conservation & Identity with LaJuan Tucker

On this episode, we'll examine the relationship between natural history and social history. Park ranger LaJuan Tucker has a passion for wildlife preservation and a personal mission to encourage more young people of color to pursue careers in environmental conservation. What does a park ranger do all day? How should our parklands be used, and who gets to decide? And how do we, in the 21st century, reconcile the romance of the iconic Texas landscape with the racist realities of our past?

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Ep5: Amaranth to Zinnias with Gretchen O'Neil

Farmer-florist Gretchen O'Neil stops in to dish the dirt on growing cut flowers. Gretchen is the founder of Petals, Ink, a floral design studio, mobile flower truck, and women-run farm in Manor, Texas. She'll tell us about the highs and lows of the farming life, how working the land has helped this New England native find a sense of seasonality in Central Texas, and she’ll recommend a whole bunch of varieties you can plant from seed right now to get start your own cutting garden -- no greenhouse required! 

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Ep4: Fungal Vision with Daniel Reyes

On this episode, we venture into the strange and mysterious kingdom of fungi with mycologist Daniel Reyes. Daniel is the founder of MycoAlliance, a science and education company that offers classes in mushroom propagation and conducts research at an off-the-grid laboratory in a nature preserve in east Austin. In addition to growing culinary and medicinal mushrooms, MycoAlliance specializes in Mycoremediation, the practice of using fungi to clean up toxic pollution. 

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Ep3: Myths and Misconceptions with Linda Lehmusvirta

Meet Linda Lehmusvirta, the producer of KLRU’s Central Texas Gardener! Linda takes us behind the scenes of this long-running, award-winning public television show. Over the years, Linda has filmed hundreds of gardens, interviewed countless locals, and embarked on a personal garden education of trial and error. Hear about the history of CTG and the many myths and misconceptions Linda’s encountered along the way.

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