Stephanie Rose from Garden Therapy returns to talk with us today about her new book.
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The UNEDITED COMPUTER GENERATED TRANSCRIPT:
Hey, Green Future Growers. Welcome to Season 4! I'm your host, JackieMarie Beyer. If you're new to the show, I hope you'll subscribe on iTunes for free or follow on your favorite podcast app and let's get growing. Hey everyone this is JackieMarie Beyer, your host here to help inspire you on your journey to create, grow, and enjoy a green, organic oasis. So let's get growing!
Thanks Jackie. It's so nice to be back again.
Well, we are so happy to have you, cause like I was telling you in the pre-chat this book is just like the book everybody needs. Like it answers all of our questions. It lays everything out. So simply it talks about the things that everybody's talking about, but it kind of puts it all together in this like easy to read guide book manual. The pictures are just beautiful. And just tell you, go ahead and tell listeners they do not want to hear from me. So I'm going to mute my mic. So welcome back, Stephanie, and thank you for sharing with us today.
Thank you so much. Oh yeah. This book was a lot of fun to write because I have been building a regenerative garden in my home garden for many years and people can't believe it when they come over. They're just, they're like, you never work on your garden. You know, I spend time in my garden, but I don't have to do all the chores. There's not a lot of pruning or weeding or planting or any of this stuff. I do the things that I want to do to sort of continue to build the regeneration of it, but it is a self-sustaining ecosystem. So it's lash and beautiful. And it doesn't look like your traditional garden where, you know, things are in rows and you can see the soil.
I, it looks more like a forest, like a courier. Yeah. It's like a forest or a meadow, you know, came together and joined into a landscape with, you know, my favorite plants. There's lots of wild medicinal plants and herbs and food and vegetables that can be eaten and fruit trees and ornamental plants and wildlife habitat all in my standard city. Side's lot here in Vancouver, BC. So it's, it's popped for sure, but it's also a place of joy and healing and community.
So do you to kind of like walk listeners through kind of quickly, like maybe kind of like your outline that you were talking about that you presented or just like some of the basics, some, you know, we're they might start.
Yes, absolutely. Well, when, you know, when I have the idea for doing this book, I had an idea of doing project-based permaculture projects that were really accessible and attractive so that the home gardener didn't sort of feel intimidated by the idea of permaculture, but had this desire to see these projects, how easy they are to create the value of creating them within your garden and then how, how it improves the amount of time that you spend in the garden for the benefit. So rather than having to do a lot more chores, you have systems that are built that regenerate themselves, and it takes less of your input and allows you to get more.
Either if you're growing food, then more, produce more, more production of fruit, vegetables, herbs, you know, all those things. If you're growing an ornamental garden, something that sustains itself in that way, or if it's a combination of all of them, but I wanted something to just be really accessible and very and very attractive so that it was easy for people to do. So I have this vision of how it all came together at one point. So first it was a list of projects. And then it came as these six concepts of permaculture that the projects kind of fall into them.
Some of them fall into multiple chapters, but in how I laid it out, I thought, well, start with obviously the soil, because that's where we start with. And once we talked about, you know, sort of what's below the surface and how the soil helps to regenerate them, we talk about water. And so there's all these projects that surround water catchment, how to store water, how to efficiently use it, how to redirect it back into your garden. Then there's a section on plants, which it seems like a really broad category. Cause when we think about gardening, of course, the first thing we think about is plans, but along that talks about plants as messengers. So how we can use plants in different ways, how we can read the plant.
So plants that are soil fixers, if a wild plant plants itself in your garden somewhere, then it's giving you a message that, that soil need something. And so that plant is there to regenerate that soil for you. So learning to get those messages from plants and figure out why they're there. Then it gets a little bit out of the standard gardening fair and goes into climate. And we start to talk about how to harness the different parts of climate so that you can make your garden an ecosystem that's protected from climate or harnesses, the energy of the climate so that you can use it like, you know, creating a heat sink where rocks will warm up, say a raised bed or an herb spiral, and be able to, you know, grow plants earlier, ones that like more heat, that sort of thing.
And then it goes into the idea of ethics. And I think this is a lot of looking at our waste and how much we waste energy wise, how much we waste in products, how we can utilize that waste better. So how we can compost different composting systems, different ways to give back and build those systems that are regenerative rather than just sustainable. It goes beyond sustainable. And then the final chapter, I was going to call something like wildlife, but it seemed to really spend a lot more for me when I sat down with that chapter. And I started thinking about who are all the beings that use our garden space.
So of course we do the people who live in, you know, around the garden, your family yourself. Then again, we're very commonly in now inviting wildlife into our gardens, or we might not even invite them. They might just show up. So how do we then create these gardens that help us work with the wildlife? So help to deter pests, to encourage beneficials. And, but then also the people who share our space with us, not just those that are in our, that come into our garden, but the pastors by people who are in our, our neighbors, how all these people who are within our community and all these animals, the wild plants, the insects all come together.
And I think community is kind of my favorite chapter because it takes this idea of all these projects and brings it to this place of how do we build a garden that not just feeds us, but supports the community that we exist within. And so, yeah, there's lots of great projects in there that we were talking about a little bit earlier. Things like seed libraries. So instead of a little free library where people have books outside of their home, you can have a seed library and there's some ideas in there about not just how to build the seed library, but also how to run a seed library, how to add the seeds so that you're providing education out there into the community.
So you're not just sending out seeds, but you're sending out the opportunity for people to learn how to garden as well, and continue to beautify the neighborhood and provide their own food. So seed libraries are wonderful for that. There's also things like urban, an urban flower stand where you can be an urban flower farmer and create a little stand right outside the front of your house. You can make beautiful arrangements and allow them to go out into the public and share with your neighbors. If you grow a lot of food, how you can do a little mini farm stand. Again, a lot of this comes from the perspective of small scale, because if you have a large property, you have a larger landscape, you might have the ability to do this more easily than a small scale.
So when I talk about the urban flower stand and community sharing with seed libraries and farm stands and things like that, they're common outside of the city. As we get into the city, maybe a little less common, and it's an opportunity to take these little ideas and think about how you can apply them in whatever it is your landscape is, whether it's a balcony, whether it's a, you know, standard city sized, lot like mine, whether it's a, a larger acreage or a suburb, a house in the suburbs. So yeah, it's
Part about it. And I think it's like it in it will enable people. Cause one of the big questions I get all the time is what do I do about my neighbors? How do I deal with my neighbors? And so, as you were talking about the education piece, like all of a sudden, maybe this is a way for you to engage your neighbors and encourage them and give them it. Cause that's what I always say. I'm like, I imagine like when I talk about my mom in New York and her trouble, like I just always think they probably just really don't know. They have no idea. They've never encountered, you know, ones that don't have chemicals, but like they just think that's the only thing when they go to the store, they just automatically go to that aisle where all the chemicals are and think this is what I have to do because they don't have that education piece.
And so I think that I just love all of this, that you're talking about community, you're explaining how people can engage their community on a small scale. And like people may be, think, oh, a farm card's only going to be for, you know, somebody who has a big farm, but that you could share. And like for somebody like me who likes to grow flowers, like, you know, that might be a way for me to share my flowers.
Yes, absolutely. You know, in each one of, so another thing that I brought into the book was the idea of good, better and best. And that follows there's a more modern permaculture ethic called the transition ethic. And that means it's, it's about working towards the goal of being regenerative rather than feeling overwhelmed by the steps that it takes to get there and then sort of going well, I it's too much, so I'm not going to do it. So the idea of good, better, best as in every project throughout the book and every chapter I write, one honeycomb is good to honeycomb and I write an idea of what that could be.
So one honey comes good. Two honeycombs is better and 300 foams is best, but in one part of the book, I actually scratch that out and wrote even better because it's really not about reaching a goal. It's about every step that we can make to sort of go in that direction. So when you were talking about the neighbors, you know, I know that, you know, like there's a, we want to sort of help educate people about nature and you know, not using these chemicals and, and you know, please don't go on by Roundup, even though you can still buy it because it's, you know, we're, we're causing so much damage to our whole community by using these things just on our properties. So one of the projects in the community is in the community.
Chapter is a butterfly pathway and the good, better, best of that one is good would be for you to take some plants and plant them that are butter, like research, what are the native butterflies that might be migrating, whether it's monarchs or whatever it is that you have migrating through your area and plant some of the plants that they like they're they need as host plants or as food plants in a butterfly pathway garden, somewhere on your property, a better would be doing it somewhere visible. So on the Boulevard somewhere where people can see it and putting up some. So then you're now sharing with people that this beautiful butterfly pathway is there to encourage butterflies stops along the way and help them understand that there's, you know, like the more we cultivate, oh, we take out all the plants and we grow lines.
We're taking away the food sources for these wonderful, wonderful insects that, that you need to have these stops along the way. So the third would be even better is that you could encourage neighbors to also like, you know, maybe somebody down on the next block to plant one as well, develop a little community system where everybody now is participating in either an organized butterfly pathway or you're creating your own within a neighborhood. And we're sharing that information. So it's like every step of the way, it's not just about the projects because you know, building a butterfly pathway is a great project to do, and there's definitely value in doing it.
It'll be beautiful. It'll be fun. It's a worthwhile project, but it can reach even farther and help to build strength and education in the communities if we want to take it there. So that's kind of what each project of the 80 projects in the book shares is this idea of how you can start and where you can take it. If it feels like the right thing for you.
I think that's another reason why probably your publishers are like, you're totally right. This is the right time for that. Because, you know, we've just been through this big, giant thing in our country of trying to divide everybody and separate everybody. And this is a great place for people to come together because, and to create community and share ideas and educate neighbors and, and to have conversations with your neighbors that are, you know, pretty harmless, you know, like it's a good way to like, without getting into like some big political, you know, just to dispute, you know, when you're talking about how flowers grow or how to, you know, have butterflies in your neighborhoods.
And I think that's one of the things that's made my podcast successful is that people, so many people have come on and all of my guests like amazing guests, like you sharing ideas that help each other. Cause that, you know, like I feel like that's one of the things I've really strived in my podcast to not just be about how to grow vegetables or how to grow fruit or whatever, but how to, you know, improve the whole ecosystem, how to, you know, change our world and change our environment. And I think that you've given us just like this little manual with these easy projects that are doable, you've got the easy step-by-step way to do them.
You've got that. Like maybe this year, you're just going to try for the, you know, step one. How did you know good. And then maybe, you know, after you kind of master that and you feel comfortable with it, then you can work towards the better and then eventually get to the best and just not being overwhelmed. Like I was saying like that is so me, like when I, I didn't even, I had never even heard the term permaculture when I started my podcast six years, seven years ago now, and now I'm a little more comfortable with it and, and the whole idea, but I still, like, I didn't get overwhelmed sometimes. Just trying to think about like, what am I going to put the dirt in to start the seeds? Like come February. I'm always like, all right, I'm going to start some seeds. And then I get so overwhelmed, you know, like getting overwhelmed is really, I think something, a lot of people feel.
And then the other thing that I was looking at your book, like there's the Hugel culture method, because so many people you've got like good, cool diagrams, and you talk about that. And so many people, like, I feel like another thing I've seen a lot of, especially in Facebook groups the summer is where do I get dirt? What do I do? And what do I fill my beds with? And that Hooga culture method is such a great one. And you, and you've got that project in there. And then I'm also looking at the one with the terracotta flower pots. And last year I interviewed this woman using love joy, and she had, she had the cheer. So this was like a double thing you can do with them because you're using them for water catchment. But her thing was like, I always have a hard time with I'm dragging my hoses around and I'm getting stuck on rocks.
And so she does the same thing to kind of help you not get your history. You're like solving two problems at once with this same project here.
Well, that's a great idea. Yeah. The thing I like about something like the Google culture is that it's not, again, it shows you how the steps to build a Hugel culture and it shows you not the traditional liberal culture where you have a large piece of land and you can have to put it out in the back 40 and, and like, you know, regenerate soil that way and plant some wild plants in it. It shows you how I incorporated it in my small garden, planted a fig tree in the middle, some beautiful like ornamental plants. There's some squash growing like a whole bunch of different things were supported in this. But yeah, I'm, I'm building soil. I'm holding onto water because the base of the Hugel culture is running wood.
Do you dig a hole? And then you take like tree branches or something. That's wood that's rotting. When you go into the forest and you see this rotting wood, and I'm not saying take it from the forest because you'll probably have lots around that you can access. But when you go into the forest, did you see it? And it's just crumbling apart. And because I live in a rainforest, it's quite damp that wood is like a sponge it's full of awesome fungal matter and bacteria that helps to support the soil breaking down. And, you know, the, you can smell the health of it when you're in the forest and you see this wood, that's just sort of crumbling apart because it's decomposing, but the way it holds onto water also reduces so much of so much of the additional water supplementation that you need for this type of garden.
So you can take that concept once you, and there's just a, like a little tiny sidebar on there, and it shows a piece of rotten wood with a mushroom on it. And the idea of like put some in your pots, you know, with your container gardener puts them in your wicking beds and your key, whole garden, like the keyhole garden had sheet mulching. It had who go culture type layers in it as well. Anything that you're doing, you can use these concepts to just sort of add a little extra, rather than having to follow the project step by step by step, which you can, but also it gives you this benefit. So yeah, I've got one in everything because it's holding onto moisture, it's adding a whole bunch of beneficial properties, you know, and then spot composting and really just looking to how does the forest do it?
How can I then take that concept and put it into my home garden?
Just out of curiosity, have you tried that in like a container? Because I was going to try that in some containers last summer, and then we never actually got to the project, but I was, that's what I was thinking. We could do something like that.
Absolutely. Yes, yes, yes. I mean, it's not the same volume of wood because you still want to have soil. And it really depends what you have in the container and the size of the container.
It's like really large white horse trout things, you know, that was part of the problem was like we were having such a hard time sourcing soil to put in there. And I thought, I wonder if I could try like a hula culture thing. Like if we put a bunch of sticks on the bottom and the dirt, so we didn't have to have so much soil.
Absolutely. Well, you see people who do that and they put like MTV, the four liter, I don't know what you call them gallon or something and in Canada, but the big plastic milk containers. And so they take it to take up space. But if you actually put wood in there, you're, you're creating that those air pockets using materials that are free, but will decompose and add to the soil. So I know that having a spare two from epic gardening, he sells birdies raised beds and he does the same thing. He, he fills them with branches and sticks and, and wood to create that base
Is. And, and so you do want air. I haven't seen anything with those plastic containers, but you, do you want the air flow in between with it? Cause I was worried like if we had the sticks on top of each other, we were going to have to like pack the dirt in between, but we want that.
Yeah. But yeah, the air is great. I mean, it will come like as you build your layers, so you're filling in the spaces. So you have your branches and your sticks sort of at the bottom, I'll put a little bit of soil at the bottom. If you're doing one of stock tank gardens or large ones, a little bit of soil at the bottom, and then some, you know, rotting, if you can find a wood, that's already rotting the better, but if it's, you
Know, we live in the woods, so there's tons of that.
So then take, you know, mix that first layer and it shows it in the diagram, you're gonna mix that layer with sort of the larger logs and some sticks. So you've got a variety of different materials and then you can put other things in there that are hard to decompose in like a composting system, like fruit pits. You can put in, you know, things that are easier. Some other carbon materials, like a paper straw. I, you know, the dried leaves from whatever and start filling in some of the spaces with things.
No I'm like corn stocks or the sunflower stocks that compose. Oh cool. Because we have seven compost bins. Cause like three of them are just dedicated to the stuff that takes years to decompose, but maybe that would help us, you know, use that and it goes back.
Absolutely. I mean, that stuff is gold, right? I mean, this is why there's a whole chapter dedicated to this idea of like looking at everything that you have as an opportunity to use in a different way. So there's, you know, another permaculture concept is that how many F I forget exactly what it's called, but it's, it's something like the last efficient use or something to that effect. And the idea is that you have, for example, you have a tree, you cut it down, then you use the wood to make a, a tear or a fence offense say, and the fence starts to need to be replaced.
It starts to come down. So you've reclaimed the wood and use it to make a stool or a bench for outside. And then that bench starts to fall apart. So you then reclaim that wood and turn, whatever's usable into some utensils that you can use for whatever and take the remaining wood and you know, anything that's rotting and then start putting that into Hugo cultures or in the base of your raised beds or in a keyhole bed or something like that. So the idea is to look at everything for how it could possibly be used, and it reduces your overall effort because you're not then sourcing new materials and having to remove waste. You're just continuing to recycle throughout your property.
I love that. I love everything about this book. It's just so comprehensive. But then also, like you said, it's, it's not overwhelming and just, there's so many great things in here. I just actually found the second half. Like I was only like I had to reduce my screen size. So all of a sudden there's twice as many pages when I first opened it up. And I just, is there anything else you want to talk about that we have it because I do have that other interview starting in just a few minutes and I just want to make sure that we tell everybody, like, where do they get?
JackieMarie Beyerause it doesn't come out till:
Yeah. When are you going to air this?
Probably hopefully in January.
Stephanie RoseIt's coming out in spring of:
He wants Stephanie's book to make it to the New York times bestseller list. And the Amazon seller lists than pre-orders help. That
Wouldn't that, wouldn't that be amazing? Wouldn't it be amazing that we put, you know, that there was enough popularity about the ideas of organic gardening, regeneration, permaculture love for the earth that it actually lists that tell us what's popular. I mean, we can use some good news that it would mean it would mean the world to me, that I had any part in helping any one person find the connection to plants that I was able to find. And that's what I do all this. And that's why I try to make it. So I'm not, I'm not writing the book for me, I'm writing the book so that somebody else can be able to replicate the things that have supported me so that they get that same support.
And, you know, there was one thing that you had mentioned earlier, you know, you're talking about like what we've been going through lately and how important it is for us to sort of come together as communities. One of the things I talk about in here is in the climate chapter was climate grief and part of why I write the things that I do in the way that I do and showcase beautiful images and easy projects that, you know, have a lot of value is because it's a way of, for us to do something. This is a DIY project book. It means you can do it. You can take on those. What feels like monstrous jobs of repairing how our society is working together and how are our earth is upset and angry and hurting.
And it may not be that we, you know, the, the things that we're doing, like building Hugo cultures and catching water and all the building butterfly pathways is saving the planet or our communities. But if everybody starts to take these little steps in a positive way with love and intention, then I mean, we can't help, but come together as an earth and as a community. But you know, it's so for me, yes, if it, if people are purchasing the book, it means a lot because it means we're we're coming together in the way that I hope so deeply in my heart that we are able to come together.
Oh my gosh, I feel like I should just be quiet and not say anything else. Cause I was so beautiful and so eloquent and just, it's so true. And I think, you know, like it gives people an action step to take, and these are action steps that are really gonna have an impact. And they're gonna make a difference on our planet. And it may seem small, like you said, but if we all do it, we put it together and we take these steps together. I mean, that really is the only way it's going to change. And it's by people doing things like this and the more people doing it, the more we share and the more we educate our neighbors and the more, you know, we just like the seed library, like those little book libraries, like nobody ever saw those little books, borrowing libraries a few years ago and look at them now.
And so imagine if we, I've never seen one of these seed libraries, like what if we, you know, imagine where they could go and just all these ideas are just, and they're just, I love the way that they're doable and they don't look. Cause like you said, it does seem overwhelming and intimidating and, and you've broken this down into just really simple, basic steps that we can all try. So thank you so much for sharing with us today, Stephanie, and just, I really appreciate your time to come on on the Saturday morning and enjoy your Saturday morning that you're just waking up to and, and, and getting going. And anything else tell listeners how to connect with you.
So is it is a garden therapy.com or
Stephanie Rose. The blog there probably has:
So when people are having, you know, that little bit of a struggle in their day, it's a great place to help reset as well. But lots of ideas, lots of action, and you know, lots of, sort of feel good garden therapy can be found over on garden therapy.ca well, thank you so much for sharing with us today and listeners I'll see you over there. So you have a wonderful morning. Thanks so much, Jackie. It was so great to talk to you again and see you.