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Show #34/4508. Healthy Eating Can Start At Home

Summary of Show

Dr. Roizen's Tips For Healthy Eating
One of his focuses is HEALTHY EATING. Dr. Roizen feels healthy eating is tremendously important because there are 4 things that drive 75% of chronic disease. Those are tobacco, food choices and portion size, physical inactivity and stress. And, of the 4 food is probably the most important. There are many different things we can eat in a given day, Dr. Roizen has some practical advice for eating healthier. The easiest is to go to the local market and buy what is in season.

Click here for more info

Elle Working With Plants And People
Eric next meets Elle and welcomes her to the show. Elle has been heavily involved in community gardening in Cleveland for years. Elle tells Eric what sparked her interest in gardening. When she first bought her house she was watching all the gardening shows and thought - I am going to do this. She would see Master Gardeners on TV and didn't have a clue what that was but was determined to become a Master Gardener. And Elle did become a Master Gardener and has had a love of gardening ever since. She had previously been working with seniors as a programmer at the senior center and she knew she could work with people. Combining that experience with WORKING WITH PLANTS AND PEOPLE in her neighborhood made a great match. People in the neighborhood would come by her house and say, "we love your garden, it makes it so nice to walk by." That was amazing to Elle. So she started working with community gardens and it has become near and dear to her heart, a real passion. And Elle has become instrumental in working with community gardening programs to bring communities together, to teach them about food and how to grow food.

Click here for more info

Blaine Avenue Community Garden
Elle's most recent project is the BLAINE AVENUE COMMUNITY GARDEN. This project had some real challenges. Originally they had 6 foot high weeds, trash underneath, sometimes dead dogs so it was a challenge. But they took it on and the team absolutely transformed this lot and it shows in the neighborhood because people are now taking an interest where sometimes before they didn't.

Click here for more info

Test The Soil
Elle and Eric look at a new plot that has recently been purchased. Before striking ground Elle first must think about SOIL TESTING. You need to know what you're working with. They often have challenging soils - heavy metals, it could be anything. You want to know what you're putting your hands in, you want to know what you're growing in, you must know what's going in your food.

Click here for more info

Lasagna Gardening
Elle mentioned earlier LASAGNA GARDENING. It is unusual but represents a quick way to get started when the surrounding soil is challenging. And in most urban gardens one does need to be concerned with lead and things like that in the soil.

Click here for more info

Three Sisters Planting
Elle and her group are utilizing a very specific, very unique type of planting. It's called THREE SISTERS PLANTING. They take 3 different types of plants that actually compliment each other when growing. This is the ultimate in companion planting. The 3 plants are corn, beans and squash.

Click here for more info

Typical Plants In A Community Garden
Elle talks about some of the PLANTS SHE TYPICALLY SEES IN A COMMUNITY GARDEN. Tomatoes and peppers are commonplace, collards, swiss chard, mustard and kale, garlic, eggplant and onions are popular and, peas are always a hit.

Click here for more info

A Brick Oven
Eric notices they take a very holistic approach to education. They're in the process of BUILDING A BRICK OVEN so people can pick this fresh food and cook it on site. They have a pizza oven workshop that emphasizes taking the food grown and cooking with it.

Click here for more info

Eric Meets Mark
ERIC NEXT MEETS MARK. Eric can tell by Mark's garden that he takes gardening very seriously and wants to know what initially sparked Mark's interest in gardening. Mark started to enjoy gardening at a young age, his paternal grandmother was a survivor of the great depression and she had a large backyard garden. She canned her own tomato sauce and they ate a lot of great food from that garden.

Click here for more info

Mark's Neighborhood-Eco Village
Mark tells a little about HIS NEIGHBORHOOD and why they decided to put down roots here. This neighborhood is called Detroit Shoreway. It's urban and racially and economically diverse.

Click here for more info

Front Yard
And speaking of revitalization, Eric notices his FRONT YARD has undergone some tremendous changes. It is obvious to Eric that Mark is not a fan of the fescue lawn, of which there are many lining this street. Mark instead wanted to create a native perennial garden. He wanted that because it is more environmentally sustainable and as well it attracts wildlife, birds, insects and butterflies. He has 3 tiers of plants. Ground covers which includes phlox, Creeping Jenny and some Creeping Thyme.

Click here for more info

Closed Ecology Garden
Mark has been very creative in the backyard and it is teaming with activities. He is striving for a "CLOSED ECOLOGY" garden environment. Mark explains. He has chickens and the chickens provide them with eggs, their manure goes into the compost pile and after the compost breaks down it goes into the raised beds and the containers and the salad table.

Click here for more info

Great Utilization Of Space
This is a great garden to see what one can do IF YOU DON'T HAVE A HUGE SPACE. Mark has maintained some lawn for entertaining, yet maintained space for growing food and for growing flowers and for his chickens.

Click here for more info

Beehive
A part of Mark's urban agriculture is his BEEHIVE. Last year was the 1st year he had bees and ended up with 50 pounds of honey. He does a lot of this for conservation particularly with the colony collapse disorder effecting bee population.

Click here for more info

Salad Table
Then he also has what he calls A SALAD TABLE. It's basically a raised bed on stilts. There is only about 5 inches of soil in this table but that's all one needs to grow lettuce, mustard, greens and kale as well as spinach, red leaf lettuce and green lettuce. He likes the fact this type of gardening is practical and it's a very mobile kind of planting. One can get tremendous yields without a lot of soil.

Click here for more info

Brambles
Eric also notices Mark's brambles - BLACK BERRIES, RASPBERRIES. There are many different kinds one can grow, they're not the most aesthetically beautiful plant but in most parts of the country they are very, very easy to grow. And, they're a very productive plant. Throughout the better part of the spring and summer Mark has tasty berries

Click here for more info

LINKS:

Garden Walk Cleveland
GardenWalk Cleveland

Intercontinental Suites Hotel
http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/en/gb/locations/cleveland

Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Roizen
Michael Roizen, M.D. - Preventive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic

Plant List

Show #34/4508. Healthy Eating Can Start At Home

Transcript of Show

Garden Walk Cleveland is a self-guided tour of over 100 gardens in 4 Cleveland inner city neighborhoods. Community gardens, homeowners yards and gardens, orchards, vineyards and urban farms are all represented. Many are hidden gems where homeowners and neighborhood activists have taken on some challenging sites to create a gardening paradise. In this Episode GardenSMART visits 2 of these sites, each with gardeners that are truly inspiring. Join us as we GardenSMART from Cleveland.

Doctor Michael Roizen is the Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic is not your typical hospital and Dr. Roizen tells us what makes it so special. Here there is a focus on the outcome. Patients first, then the outcome, that has caused this hospital to be number one in wellness care. For example, Cleveland Clinic has been number one in heart and vascular care for 20 years running. But they believe that if they want to continue to lead in health and wellness care they must emphasize the 4th pillar, patient care. All academic centers address research and education but wellness as the 4th pillar is very different. We don't often hear the term Chief Wellness Officer. Eric wonders what that entails. Dr. Roizen works with the employees and teaches them how to live healthier lives. This in turn drives down the hospital's costs and the concept then spreads into the surrounding communities in northeast Ohio. That makes the area more competitive for jobs. So his job is to help the Cleveland Clinic employees choose healthy lifestyles, find out what it takes to make those changes, then spread it to the employers in this area, then the United States. That will help the country become more competitive.

One of his focuses is HEALTHY EATING. Dr. Roizen feels healthy eating is tremendously important because there are 4 things that drive 75% of chronic disease. Those are tobacco, food choices and portion size, physical inactivity and stress. And, of the 4 food is probably the most important. There are many different things we can eat in a given day, Dr. Roizen has some practical advice for eating healthier. The easiest is to go to the local market and buy what is in season. It is typically less expensive, it supports local farmers and local communities and the local economy. And, importantly it is more nutritious because it hasn't travelled long distances and lost its nutrients during the travel process. Plus locally grown food doesn't create pollution caused by travel across the country, even across countries.

Eric mentions to the Dr. that today we're visiting 2 gardens that are particularly good examples of this. We'll keep his thoughts in mind in these 2 gardens. Thanks Dr. Roizen. You've added a very unique perspective.
Top 

Eric next meets Elle and welcomes her to the show. Elle has been heavily involved in community gardening in Cleveland for years. Elle tells Eric what sparked her interest in gardening. When she first bought her house she was watching all the gardening shows and thought - I am going to do this. She would see Master Gardeners on TV and didn't have a clue what that was but was determined to become a Master Gardener. And Elle did become a Master Gardener and has had a love of gardening ever since. She had previously been working with seniors as a programmer at the senior center and she knew she could work with people. Combining that experience with WORKING WITH PLANTS AND PEOPLE in her neighborhood made a great match. People in the neighborhood would come by her house and say, "we love your garden, it makes it so nice to walk by." That was amazing to Elle. So she started working with community gardens and it has become near and dear to her heart, a real passion. And Elle has become instrumental in working with community gardening programs to bring communities together, to teach them about food and how to grow food. She managed the City of Cleveland's Community Garden Program from 2006 to 2008. Her activities spread from the city to the county because she handled suburban gardens as well. Elle found herself helping people develop new gardens and watching gardens that were already established move to the next level. She found that exciting. Even though community gardening and the cities program has been around for 35 years, helping to expand that and make sure more people have access to fresh food is important to her. Many neighborhoods like this are food deserts, meaning they don't have stores with fresh food. Often when people go to the corner store, at best, they're buying canned vegetables. But fresh food is where it's at. She feels there isn't anything she could do that would provide a greater impact.

Elle talks about City Rising Farm. City Rising Farm is located in the heart of Cleveland. Their mission is to help people in under-served communities learn to grow fresh local food and build healthy, long lasting relationships with each other so they can use those skills and relationships to create opportunities in their own neighborhoods.
Through this program they have been able to give people the opportunity to grow local, fresh food for themselves.
Top

Elle's most recent project is the BLAINE AVENUE COMMUNITY GARDEN. This project had some real challenges. Originally they had 6 foot high weeds, trash underneath, sometimes dead dogs so it was a challenge. But they took it on and the team absolutely transformed this lot and it shows in the neighborhood because people are now taking an interest where sometimes before they didn't. People will come by and say they love this place, it has become a source of pride in the neighborhood. That is one of the great things about community gardens, they become a beacon of light in the community. And, they bring people together, people that might not have come together before. They then tend to work things out and that makes the neighborhood stronger. They've done a lot of hard work here Eric is anxious to look around the Blaine Avenue Community Garden.
Top

Elle and Eric look at a new plot that has recently been purchased. Before striking ground Elle first must think about SOIL TESTING. You need to know what you're working with. They often have challenging soils - heavy metals, it could be anything. You want to know what you're putting your hands in, you want to know what you're growing in, you must know what's going in your food. Many of these sites, even though they have lush vegetation are not actually safe to grow in. There are different ways to address these problems. Raised beds are an option. On this site they will mulch it about 2 feet high with wood chips then come in and lasagna garden over the top (more on that later). That will build a new soil and create a barrier that should keep the lead or whatever elements they don't want away from the food. Nature is effective at cleansing soil. And they use some remediation plants on some sites. They use sunflowers and Indian Mustard and they love the results. But it takes longer. No matter where one lives it's important to remember that what's in the soil is what ends up in our food. We need to test it to find out. The soil in every garden should be tested. Your local county extension agent is a great place to start.
Top

Elle mentioned earlier LASAGNA GARDENING. It is unusual but represents a quick way to get started when the surrounding soil is challenging. And in most urban gardens one does need to be concerned with lead and things like that in the soil. What they do is lay down cardboard, then on top of it put grass clippings and dry leaves, then top it off with straw. Let it sit and it will compost in place. This is a method that goes back many years but still has relevance today.
Top

Elle and her group are utilizing a very specific, very unique type of planting. It's called THREE SISTERS PLANTING. They take 3 different types of plants that actually compliment each other when growing. This is the ultimate in companion planting. The 3 plants are corn, beans and squash. The corn acts as a support for the climbing bean vines, the beans fix nitrogen in the soil for the high feeding requirements of the corn and squash and the squash provides mulch and root protection for the corn and beans. They are very symbiotic plants that help each other. And, it's a great combination, particularly for a community garden.

At the Blaine Avenue Community Garden most of the beds are wood side beds. Even early in the season there is a lot going on. They can grow a wide variety of vegetables in a 4 by 8 raised bed, enough to feed a family of 4 to 6 people depending on what one is growing. Elle tells us about Mrs. Miller. She started with just 1 bed last year, now the whole Miller family has come down and they have expanded to 3 beds and are growing an amazing amount of food. Particularly in these challenging times, when the economy isn't that great, being able to grow your own food is a huge resource.
Top

Elle talks about some of the PLANTS SHE TYPICALLY SEES IN A COMMUNITY GARDEN. Tomatoes and peppers are commonplace, collards, swiss chard, mustard and kale, garlic, eggplant and onions are popular and, peas are always a hit. Beans are always in demand but since beans have a tendency to shade out other plants they have decided to devote one bed to beans and some vining squash.

Eric knows part of Elle's job is teaching people how to fish. Absolutely, they may feed folks for a few days but they teach them how to feed themselves for a lifetime. And in the process they found it was an educational process for Elle and the other volunteers because when they came in they assumed everyone knew more about food and growing food than they do. For example, they quickly realized that there were adults that didn't know what cherry tomatoes were. That was shocking. But Elle and others educated those folks and found people coming to the gardens to get cherry tomatoes, and other tomatoes. Although they didn't know before what they were, their eyes have been opened and now share that information. So the education process goes on and on and that's what they're here to do.
Top

Eric notices they take a very holistic approach to education. They're in the process of BUILDING A BRICK OVEN so people can pick this fresh food and cook it on site. They have a pizza oven workshop that emphasizes taking the food grown and cooking with it. But as well they have nutrition classes to educate about healthy eating. To Eric that seems unique but very positive. Elle believes that the education process is critically important.

Eric realizes that our time has come to an end, he has another garden to visit. But he thanks Elle. We've enjoyed spending time with Elle in this garden. There is so much heart and soul that she's put into the community. We know she's really appreciated. We were impressed. Thanks Elle.
Top

ERIC NEXT MEETS MARK. Eric can tell by Mark's garden that he takes gardening very seriously and wants to know what initially sparked Mark's interest in gardening. Mark started to enjoy gardening at a young age, his paternal grandmother was a survivor of the great depression and she had a large backyard garden. She canned her own tomato sauce and they ate a lot of great food from that garden. He helped her a lot as a youngster and at the age of 16 had his own backyard garden. His interest has just continued to grow. A lot of that interest can be attributed to the fact that eating things out of your backyard garden is delicious, particularly compared to food you buy at the store. Another rewarding part of gardening and growing your own food is seeing how things grow and then enjoying fresh vegetables.

Mark has a background in science and teaches science. He realizes that as he was teaching he was learning a lot about the environment and issues facing the country and society. And he realized that teaching out of a book was part of the solution but an even greater part of the solution is getting your hands dirty and trying to be kind to the environment. Do what you can at home to lighten the load on the environment and that's what he's trying to do.
Top

Mark tells a little about HIS NEIGHBORHOOD and why they decided to put down roots here. This neighborhood is called Detroit Shoreway. It's urban and racially and economically diverse. In fact this is the only certified eco village in the entire state of Ohio. Those were things he was looking for when buying a house. There have been a lot of changes in the area, it's truly being revitalized.
Top

And speaking of revitalization, Eric notices his FRONT YARD has undergone some tremendous changes. It is obvious to Eric that Mark is not a fan of the fescue lawn, of which there are many lining this street. Mark instead wanted to create a native perennial garden. He wanted that because it is more environmentally sustainable and as well it attracts wildlife, birds, insects and butterflies. He has 3 tiers of plants. Ground covers which includes phlox, Creeping Jenny and some Creeping Thyme. Then the middle level plants which include Geraniums, which are doing well and he has sedums. And then he has some tall flowers that bring a lot of vibrant color to the yard. These consist of cone flowers, corepsis and False Indigo which he planted to create a focal point in the yard. Mark likes the fact that this is the entrance to his home and as a visitor it's wonderful to walk up on a gardeners home and see an amazing array of plants. Mark has done a great job of blending in many, many different colors and textures. One notices the blooming Geraniums, the day lilies will bloom but additionally Mark has kept in mind the color of the foliage because there are different Hostas and Coral Bells. All provide a wonderful array of colors. This is a native garden and for the most part these are going to be plants that will be heat and drought tolerant. So Eric imagines that if we were to come back in the intensity of the summer this would still be a thriving garden. Mark confirms that. Eric wants to see the backyard, so they're off.
Top

Mark has been very creative in the backyard and it is teaming with activities. He is striving for a "CLOSED ECOLOGY" garden environment. Mark explains. He has chickens and the chickens provide them with eggs, their manure goes into the compost pile and after the compost breaks down it goes into the raised beds and the containers and the salad table. He has a herb spiral for culinary activity and he catches rainwater with rain barrels. He also has a beehive for pollination. Closed ecology.
Top

This is a great garden to see what one can do IF YOU DON'T HAVE A HUGE SPACE. Mark has maintained some lawn for entertaining, yet maintained space for growing food and for growing flowers and for his chickens. Mark thinks they strike a good balance, they get the best of both worlds.
Top

A part of Mark's urban agriculture is his BEEHIVE. Last year was the 1st year he had bees and ended up with 50 pounds of honey. He does a lot of this for conservation particularly with the colony collapse disorder effecting bee population. Plus he wanted to do his part to help pollenate neighborhood urban gardens.
Top

Chickens are the ultimate composters, but Mark does quite a bit of conventional composting as well. Compost is great for your soil. During fall he has a lot of leaves, during spring he has a lot of weeds. If one gets to the weeds before they turn to seed it's just green material. He adds the leaves and green material together. The green and brown break down. He puts them in a crate, turns them and after about 6 months he ends up with some really good soil that he adds to the perennial garden in the front and the vegetables in the back.

Mark believes that taking an active role in growing things we eat is one of the most satisfying aspects of gardening. He started with vegetables mostly because of taste. As he learned more he realized that dark leafy vegetables are very important for one's health. So he tries in his backyard to grow a variety of vegetables that don't need a lot of space or that provide high nutritional value. In a traditional bed he has swiss chard, beets, lettuce, spinach, sugar peas, as well as some broccoli. Behind the raised bed he has broccoli growing in containers and snap peas growing up trellises. Then he also has what he calls A SALAD TABLE. It's basically a raised bed on stilts. There is only about 5 inches of soil in this table but that's all one needs to grow lettuce, mustard, greens and kale as well as spinach, red leaf lettuce and green lettuce. He likes the fact this type of gardening is practical and it's a very mobile kind of planting. One can get tremendous yields without a lot of soil. Even if one didn't have a lot of space, a small patio for example, or if one lived in a small apartment, this would work very well. It's a practical way of growing vegetables without having to till. It goes to show you can grow your food in any size or space.
Top

Eric also notices Mark's brambles - BLACK BERRIES, RASPBERRIES. There are many different kinds one can grow, they're not the most aesthetically beautiful plant but in most parts of the country they are very, very easy to grow. And, they're a very productive plant. Throughout the better part of the spring and summer Mark has tasty berries. And berries have a high nutritional value, they're also high in antioxidants. Mark eats the raspberries and black berries picked fresh from the vine. He often has raspberries for breakfast and last year he frequently had black berry ice cream, which the neighbors loved.

Well our time has come to a close. Eric had fun spending the afternoon with Mark. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and garden. It's been a great experience. We visited 2 urban gardens and while there witnessed the commitment of their gardeners to the joy of gardening and the simple pleasures of fresh grown food. A great day in the garden. Thanks Elle and Mark.
Top

LINKS:

Garden Walk Cleveland
GardenWalk Cleveland

Intercontinental Suites Hotel
http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/en/gb/locations/cleveland

Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Roizen
Michael Roizen, M.D. - Preventive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic

Plant List

 

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