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#177: Mike talks Fertilizers, Soil Amendments and School Gardens with Cindy Rajhel
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Cindy RajhelIn this week's episode, Mike talks fertilizers, soil amendments and school gardens with Cindy Rajhel, author of the book 50 HOMEMADE FERTILIZERS AND SOIL AMENDMENTS: The Ultimate Collection of EASY, ORGANIC Recipes for Edible Gardens using FREE and Recycled Materials.

Cindy joined the army at age 26, tackled officer candidate school, made 5 jumps through the army's airborne school and served on active duty in Panama, before returning home and joining corporate America.

Cindy is the founder of Home Grown Fun, an initiative that inspires folks to enjoy nature with new twists on gardening, DIY projects and outdoor adventures. She's an avid gardener and volunteers hundreds of hours at her elementary school where she runs a popular garden club and programs for more than 500 students!

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Amending your Soil
  • School Gardens
  • Homemade Fertilizers
  • Repurposing items to garden in
  • Worms and your Garden
  • Spent Beer Grains in your Compost
  • Evaluating and Connecting your Soil
  • The Five "Its"
  • The material of a good compost pile
  • Organic Matter

Items mentioned in this episode include:

About this week's Guest, Cindy Rajhel:

I must have felt overwhelmed a lot when my kids were little because they LOVE homegrown veggies and fruit. The youngest still eats green peppers like apples and my oldest thinks a nice tender clump of Swiss chard is a treat. Candy? Of course they like sugary treats but the kids don’t ask for soda because we never offered it to them when they were young.

I’m a native of the Western Mountains of Maine. I grew up riding snowmobiles, ice skating and fishing. I set out for art school in Brooklyn, New York with a desire to experience the big city! I worked in film production and even had an internship at the McNeil Lehrer News Hour. In a turn of events, I moved back to my hometown just a few days before my awesome Dad lost a long battle with Leukemia. I tried moving home earlier but he wouldn’t have it! Then after a year at home helping my Mom with her business, I walked into a mall and signed up with the Army. I needed to shock my system and get a new perspective on life.

When I met my husband in Southern California, I decided to resign my commission as an Army officer to plan a family. I went to graduate school and started a long career in software requirements management.

There are so many benefits to puttering around in the garden and I want to help you catch that bug, entertain, and offer up information in a format that makes it fun and easy to grow.

For a little over 6 months, I ran a booth at the farmers market in Vista, California offering inventive seed-based garden gifts and kits. For example, I packaged up a kit with three kinds of potatoes and a recycled coffee sack so folks could grow their own taters above ground!

Photos (click to enlarge)

photos: compliments of Cindy Rajhel photos: compliments of Cindy Rajhel photos: compliments of Cindy Rajhel photos: compliments of Cindy Rajhel photos: compliments of Cindy Rajhel photos: compliments of Cindy Rajhel photos: compliments of Cindy Rajhel

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