• Bees, Goats & Chickens at NWFGS

    January 09, 2015

    This week I’ve been preparing for my bee seminar at the 2015 NWFGS – that’s the Northwest Flower & Garden Show for those of you unfamiliar with the acronym. I often speak on gardening for and with bees, but this seminar is going to be particularly fun because I’m teaming up with two fantastic ladies — Jessi Bloom and Lacia Lynne Bailey — who will be following my discussion on gardening for and with bees of all kinds.

    NWFGS Speakers & Baby Goat

    NWFGS Gardening 101 Country Animals + City Gardens Speakers: Robin Haglund, Jessi Bloom & Lacia Lynne Bailey – Plus a baby Goat!

    Lacia, who is a champion breeder of milking goats, will be sharing her knowledge about keeping goats in small settings in urban and suburban gardens. Following Lacia, Free Range Chicken Gardens author Jessi will hone in on keeping chicken (and other poultry) in city gardens.

    Lacia, Jessi and I have all lived with each of these small animals at one time or other in our lives. We’ve worked with them on larger farms as well as smaller plots of land. So, join us at NWFGS and learn more fast about balancing nature by adding these domesticated fauna to the flora of your garden.

    Get tickets to NWFGS here. Once you’re in the show, there’s no extra charge for all of the fantastic seminars like ours!

    Learn about my other NWFGS seminar “Grow, Cook & Eat to Diminish Diabetes“.

  • Seattle Food Waste Composting

    January 04, 2015

    There’s been a lot of buzz lately about food waste composting in Seattle. Composting food waste and many paper products isn’t really a new thing in Seattle. In fact, most of Seattle has had the opportunity to put all food waste into curbside yardwaste pick up bins since as early as 2005, and as of 2009 composting became a city-wide requirement. And, prior to the official program, a number of selected communities were pioneering the program even earlier, enabling the local industrial processors to be sure they had the ability to safely turn greasy pizza boxes as well as their cheesy, meaty contents into finished compost.

    food waste composting bin contents

    Seattle food waste composting bin contents

    So, to be clear, what’s happening as of January 1, 2015 is enforcement of a long-standing part of the greater zero-waste initiatives in Seattle, which are discussed in detail here. In the beginning, there were no fines for being too lazy to sort plastic trash from compostable paper, rotten apple cores and gnawed chicken bones. Now, if Seattlites don’t put food waste into a yard waste bin destined for the local industrial compost processing facility, they might just get a fine.

    Food Waste Compost Fodder in Blanco Solon Compost Pail

    Blanco Solon Stainless Compost Pail Filled with Food Waste Compost Material

    So, is it safe? Will things stink? Will food-filled yard waste bins attract nasty wildlife? And, what if I’m already recycling my food and waste at home? Where does the stuff go & what happens to it in the end?

    Is curb side food waste safe & sanitary at home?  Years ago when we first started putting animal product food waste into the giant plastic bin sitting on our driveway, I had horrible visions of rats, maggots and flies coming our way. But, so far it hasn’t been too bad. In the heat of summer, the bin can get a bit stinky, but we store ours outside, far from the house. And, it rarely stinks for long. Usually, in addition to food waste, we’re filling our bin with sticks and other yard detritus that we don’t add to our home compost. This dilutes the food waste nastiness quite a bit. Plus, the bin is emptied of its contents every week, so it doesn’t have to do much rotting on site or produce maggots and big fruit fly populations. During the dry, hot days of summer, we often leave the emptied bin open for several hours to help “cook off” any residual yuck.

    Will it attract wildlife foragers? For many years it seemed that rats, for which Seattle is famously populated, wouldn’t try to get into our food and yard waste bin. Nor, did raccoons attempt them. At least this was the case until the spring of 2014 when we noticed the top of the bin had been gnawed through — or had it been damaged by being poorly attached to the waste truck?

    Damaged yard & food composting bin

    Yard & Food Composting Bin – Chewed by Rats or ?


  • NW Flower and Garden Show & Garden Mentors

    January 01, 2015

    The NW Flower and Garden Show has invited Garden Mentors founder Robin to return as a featured seminar speaker.

    And, yes, we’re thrilled to be invited back to the very royal court of elite horties!

    Robin Haglund of Garden Mentors at NW Flower and Garden Show

    Robin Haglund of Garden Mentors speaking at the NW Flower and Garden Show

    Robin will be speaking on two topics very close to her heart:

    NW Flower and Garden Show Speaker BadgeGrow, Cook and Eat to Diminish Diabetes
    Wednesday, Feb 11 at 5:45 pm / Rainier Room


    Bring Beneficial Bees into Your Backyard
    Saturday, Feb 14 at 1:00 pm / Rainier Room

    Remember: there’s no additional charge to attend the NWFGS seminars. So, get your tickets asap. You’ll save a few bucks if you purchase before the show opens.

    Get the full description of Robin’s talks and buy your tickets here.

  • Back to My Garden Podcast Guest

    December 29, 2014

    David LeDoux tapped Robin to be his guest on his Back to My Garden Podcast earlier this fall. David queried Robin on all sorts of gardening topics and even surprised Robin with his 5 Questions game that was briefly interrupted by a squirrel at the window.

    Raspberry discussed on Garden Podcast

    Listen in & learn how to prune your raspberries via Robin on Back to My Garden Podcast

    Tune in to hear what Robin has to say about pruning raspberries, what she loves most of all about the annual Northwest Flower & Garden Show, gardening F-words, her better blood sugar garden to table plants and recipes, her favorite people and nurseries for rare and unusual plants, being involved in Growing a Greener World on PBS, a few of her favorite garden blogs, and so much more.

    Dig in now for a great garden podcast experience:

    Tune in for the Podcast via iTunes here.


    Via the Back to My Garden Podcast page here.

  • Thank You for Growing with Us

    December 20, 2014

    Thank you for growing with us — in your garden, on television, online, via this blog, at a seminar or in any number of other ways.

    To celebrate the many who have supported us, we offer a 2 minute retrospective featuring (likely) you. This look back features so many of the wonderful people with whom we have worked — as garden coach, designer, consultant and as student and cohort. As well, it illustrates the many events from coast-to-coast that have invited us to attend as contributors and speakers. (Psst: Try it full screen!)

    Truly everyone, thank you for growing with us and helping us grow as well!

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