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Want to meet Mike McGrath? May 22, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, wit and wisdom.
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Thank God for Mike McGrath. Some days, even our friend Ben, Silence Dogood and Richard Saunders run out of post ideas. This was starting to look like one of those days: Silence and OFB were jubilant about planting, potting up, and placing the very last of our transplants and container plants, but figured nobody really wanted to read about that.

Our friend and fellow blog contributor Richard Saunders had read an interesting piece in today’s Wall Street Journal about how little we really know about the evolution of dogs, but beyond noting that dogs—our first domesticated animals—had been on the scene at least 15,000 years, but the oldest known dog breeds were barely 1500 years old, there didn’t seem a lot to say about it short of quoting the article in its entirety. (We have a serious feeling that this is illegal.)

Silence was thrilled and astonished to learn from a reader comment that someone had made one of her chili recipes and won a chili cookoff!!! (Type “Weird, wonderful chili” in our search bar at upper right for the recipe.) But even this didn’t strike us as post-worthy.

Abandoning the tabula rasa of our computer screen, Silence and I headed off to the nearby village of Kutztown, PA to run some errands. This included a stop at our bank to see how Shiloh and our other pets were doing raising funds for pet cancer research; we were thrilled to see that Shiloh’s cash box was almost full, and our cats Linus and Athena weren’t far behind. Then we stopped at The Companion Plant, a store specializing in organics and hydroponics, to fill our gallon jug with the free high-tech compost tea they’re giving away every day in May.

As we were happily departing with our compost tea, already engaged in a, shall we say, lively debate about which plants needed it most, The Companion Plant’s owner appeared waving a brochure. “Mike McGrath is coming to speak here! Do you think you could put this somewhere where gardeners could see it?”

Why, yes, as a matter of fact. Finally, something to write about that might interest others besides us! Thank you, Mike McGrath.

As I hope all of you who’re organic gardeners know, McGrath was the feisty, funny, and passionately committed editor-in-chief of Organic Gardening magazine during the years when our friend Ben was working in garden books at Rodale, the publisher of OG. Mike and I worked together on several projects, including his book You Bet Your Tomatoes!, and I always found his wholehearted commitment to organics and to helping gardeners, a commitment I share, extremely refreshing. After his stint at the helm of OG, he founded and hosts a gardening radio talk show called “You Bet Your Garden,” which airs on WHYY.  

Mike’s presentation, held at The Companion Plant on June 9th starting at 6 p.m. (363 E. Main Street, Kutztown, PA 19530, 610-683-9676), will be about, in the words of the brochure, “summer plant care, weed control, attracting beneficial creatures, and other timely topics that can make or break your season!” The event is free and also features music by The Wallace Brothers Band. (The concept of music and McGrath in the same space at the same time is, admittedly, a bit mind-boggling to our friend Ben. But I digress.)

If you live in the scenic Lehigh Valley or in Berks County, PA, and are interested in organic gardening, put MapQuest or your GPS or smartphone to work and find out how to get to Kutztown and The Companion Plant. (On your way in off Route 222, you might stop at the tiny Fleetwood Bank and stuff a dollar or two into Shiloh’s or another pet’s donation box for pet cancer research. We would all thank you.) Kutztown’s a delightful little village with historic architecture, interesting shops, and some fun restaurants, so why not make an afternoon of it?

Even if you live farther afield, but are a McG fan, scope it out and come on in! It’s bound to be a beautiful drive. Just don’t forget to bring your gallon milk or water jug (one per person, so consider carpooling) so you can get some wonderful free compost tea while you’re there!

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Comments»

1. narf77 - June 3, 2012

I LOVE it when I find a new source of free information and you just handed me a doozie. Cheers for that. Mike McGrath is tucked in next to Milkwood Farm (a great Aussie permaculture blog with HEAPS of info about permaculture and sustainable living…I just swapped with you ;) ) in my rss feed.

Fantastic, narf, and many thanks! We’ll check out Milkwood Farm ASAP. I’m not surprised that it has tons of good permaculture info, since permaculture originated in Australia. You all get the kudos for that!!!


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