251. Happy Composting in PA | Internet Vs. Wallet | Conner Flynn

I’m happy to be here to talk about gardening and some other things.

I’m in Pennsylvania

Tell us a little about yourself.

I enjoy gardening with my wife and I am a free lance writer so I spend most of my time behind the computer.

When I’m not behind the computer I’m out there doing yardwork like crazy and I’m taking care of weeds!

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

It’s hard to nail down what the first was, just seems like in some capacity I have been doing it my whole life. 

One of the earlier memories is just a neighbor with a great garden!

He had flowers everywhere, I just got to know my neighbor I must have got the bug from him. Helped him out there, listening to music.

I like that because when I very first started my podcast I wanted to ask the questions what do you listen to but my first few guests were all like, I usually listen to the birds and nature etc. I don’t listen to music so I took it out. So what kind of music do you listen to?

Well, at the time that was like 1980s we were gardening outside so we had Pink Floyd the Wall blasting much of the time, kind of hard to explain but did seem like the perfect sound track. 

I could see that some of those songs that could seem more relevant today then back then even.

How did you learn how to garden organically?

that neighbor I learned to garden

the organic part of it didn’t hit me to my wife several years ago. 

  • grow your own medicines
  • she really introduced me to the organic garden

A lot of other people I grew up with, this might be controversial with your audience, they would use Miracle grow

that stuff is not really good for your garden really bad stuff in it, so stopped doing that

Started making the soil very rich and healthy

miracle grow thing is kind of like you can use that to grow plants to grow plants really fast and really big or the other option is to 

  • take your time
  • amend your soil
  • make it really healthy
  • then you won’t need that it will grow on it’s own

That’s the perfect thing to say on my show, what are you doing to amend your soil? Are you composting?

Composting is a passion of mine

big thing for a couple of years now

we have a half acre

this past season I created a compost pen sort of thing with wood pallets stuck together into stalls

Anytime I mow the grass

clippings go in there

  • rake the leaves
  • table scraps
  • fruit and vegetable left overs

It can sit in a great big pile for several weeks then you turn it and get that smell that great smell! 

everything’s breaking down

love the whole composting process

main way we get our dirt doing great

We had sunflowers that grew about 10 feet tall! Which surprised us!

I love to make compost too! I’m so curious people have been telling me, compost is so messy, we get bugs and animals. So I’m curious what do you collect it in the house.

We have the same problem that everybody else has, I don’t think there is any really good solution.

We have 2 buckets on the door part of our freezer, anytime there is a banana peel we put it the bucket in the freezer.

I’m having a really hard time now that there’s no recycling of plastic in Montana, I used to feel like we’d reuse it a few times and then we’d recycle it, but now I’m thinking about quitting coffee ~ My mom has this ceramic one with a charcoal filter, she puts it in a plastic bag and then she puts it in the freezer.

You’re the first one who said that on the show, so already dropping golden seeds. We have a bucket for chicken scraps on the counter and then coffee grounds and egg shells go on the porch, we have skunk who gets in that every once in a while, but that’s no big deal. We have several bins with pallets.


it works really good you

I’m passionate like you are, I think even if you are not gardening you should create compost. I used to think like you it would help in the landfill but then I found out it actually creates like a noxious gas so we don’t want it in the landfill anyway.

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

this year seemed to be the year for squash

we had squash, tomatoes


not food related

morning glories

took off like crazy

we had a very wet summer but it was also hot and humid when it wasn’t raining

constant moisture

squash and morning glories really took off because of that

Did you ever eat squash blossoms? My mom used to make these delicious squash flower fritters with just blossoms in a basic flour batter with just salt and pepper

my wife might have had those

I haven’t had those

Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?

there’s always new stuff to try


I heard about it after I first started my podcast. 

I would like to try that

building those mounds with all the sticks

large compost piles really, you can grow things directly on them and plant directly in them. We’ve got 

  • tons of sticks
  • tons of wood

Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.

well, I mean, there were a few things, 

groundhog problem

pet groundhog

  • stealing our tomatoes
  • bean sprouts
  • things like that

that’s what didn’t work out well.

What do you do about him? He’s a pet?!

not a pet

He comes in under the fence

We like to let small things like rabbits, so we don’t want to close the holes under the fence completely.

main strategy

he’s got some and we get some

You don’t worry about the rabbits taking your food too?

rabbits don’t seem to bother the things we’re growing, they seem more interested in the grasses around here.

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Now Let’s Get to the Root of Things!


Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden?

yeah, probably like a lot of people

that would be weeding

that no matter what I do is take care

What is your favorite activity to do in the garden?

making compost

What is the best gardening advice you have  ever received?

yeah, that’s a tough one!

I’ve gotten so much of it, that’s really hard, it kind of goes along with good advice

grow your own medicine

Is there anything in particular?

just in general

what ever you need you can find in your garden in your grass

anything specific

when you need something

I just posted a great episode with Matthew Zoeller about edible plants

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be?

there are probably

be a hard one

a metal rake

there’s this one rake that I have

3-4 prongs for every thing

so much you can do with it

rake the leaves

weed, really weedy patches of garden

aerate the soil

metal rake

A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?

yeah, there are several recipes

she likes to make fresh salsa with tomatoes

squash soup

my wife handles that stuff, I don’t really have the recipes

yellow squash soup

A favorite internet resource?

yeah, we generally like any of the Pinterest gardening stuff

permaculture related sites

probably the Pinterest organic gardening

A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can recommend?

I’m usually too busy working online

we feature gardening things


shopping site that has unique things

random internet website

curated by me

sharable things

you can choose either a random internet website

really funny videos 


It’s kind of like a product review, it’s kind of like a game. I found this really cool lock box for when you have packages delivered. And you can choose to buy it or the other links are to fun games. A lot of the things you can find are things that you wouldn’t find anywhere. There was that giant cabbage blanket. It’s kind of like novelty stuff. There were those vegetable towels gardeners might like that have like Kale Yeah!

If you have a business to you have any advice for our listeners about how to sell extra produce or get started in the industry?

electric lawn-mower

its basically goes back to my love of compost

I was going to talk about how you can use the lawn mower with


I’ve got so many leaves

there just seems more and more

if you go and buy a leaf mulcher

I just figured at one point I’m just gonna start mulching with the lawn mower

you don’t necessarily have to buy the expensive

one of those things

they have a bag on the bottom

essentially it’s a fan blade

cuts them interrupt

just compost

compost for a healthy garden

I like that cause I was kind of shocked this summer because both my mom and then I talked to this business coach, she was like why are you starting with compost? And I don’t know it’s so easy to me, and I’m as passionate about it as you are and then I’m always into clean garden tasks and I consider it one of them, so IDK what they are all talking about? I feel like I’ve found all these people this summer who are resistant to it and I think composting is so important that needs to be done whether you have a garden or not.

I think people think it is a lot harder then it really is. The ingredients are just 

  • greens
  • browns
  • your scraps

And I think air! To me the big thing was when we had lots of air. The one thing I did notice definitely if you are just composting fruit, that’s what the kids had a lot of in the classroom, pears, watermelon, etc where as I’m  such a vegetable eater, I always have  lot of greens to go with it, so I think that’s where we had a lot of flies or if we put a lid on it

Final question-

if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

I mean, I think I always lean towards a couple of different things with this sort of topic

I would love to see people stop mowing their lawns. Stop with the well trimmed and manicured lawns. 

maybe it looks good to you

you’re hurting the environment, it’s not good for anyone.

let your lawns grow a little more

spray on these lawns

the other thing would be

we’re losing a lot of wildlife and land because the human population is exploding

as we are running out of room I would like to see more of the city space dedicated to develop to farming and agriculture

even if you have to take some skye scrapers and turn them into farms, there are ways to do it and we have the technology

eat up more and more of the

I was just looking at all these magazines somewhere, and Oprah had this magazine about un-stressing your life and how getting in nature more, just sitting in a garden or park, getting some trees and nature etc.

When you think about it it is amazing there are people who live their entire lives who never.

I met someone like that when I lived in NY right out of college in Brooklyn, but only one. I get amazed when I live in Montana and go teach in a city or a different school, we’re always surrounded by deer at my house, or if we go on a field trip and the kids are excited to see a deer, I always think how strange why would you live in Montana and not have deer in your yard?

Do you have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

I mean I would just say our health in a lot of ways is directly tied to nature

If you want a healthier body and mind it’s good to make dirt part of your life

there are micro organisms that are good for you! There are many many many reasons why it’s great for humans.

I think you should design some t-shirts that have that logo on them!

How do we connect with you?


It’s just that easy to find all kinds of cool stuff and have fun!

Thanks for dealing with my schedule etc, especially I was late today! Thanks!

Enjoy the fall!

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About the author, Jackie Marie

I'm an artist and educator. I live at the "Organic Oasis" with my husband Mike where we practice earth friendly techniques in our garden nestled in the mountains of Montana.

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