713: Kathy Jentz on National Seed Swap Day


Our Guest:

Kathy Jentz is editor and publisher of the award-winning Washington Gardener Magazine, based in Washington, DC.  She is also the editor of three plant society journals: the Water Garden Journal, The Azalean, and Fanfare, and she hosts the popular GardenDC Podcast, which was recently named Best DC Podcast. 

Kathy is co-author of The Urban Garden: 101 Ways to Grow Food and Beauty in the City and has a new book, Groundcover Revolution coming out soon, which is available for pre-order now on Amazon.   Her mission is to turn black thumbs green. A life-long gardener, Kathy believes that growing plants should be stress-free and enjoyable. Her philosophy is inspiration over perspiration.

Listen in and learn about:

    • How a trained journalist rediscovered the gardening roots she had taken for granted
    • The ultimate reward for her patience – a thriving community garden right across the street!
    • Her interesting internships with local associations
    • Putting journalism and gardening together to create Washington Gardener Magazine for the DC area     Washingtongardener.blogspot.com
    • How winter was the inspiration for Seed Swap Day
    • Making Seed Swap Day, the last Saturday of January, an official holiday
    • Putting the emphasis on in-person seed swapping
    • Kathy’s goal of at least one in every country and every state
    • What Kathy’s Seed Swap Day looks like – speakers, seeds, and sharing stories
    • Education is a very big part of the day
    • Expiration dates – it matters for lettuce
    • Learn how to attend or host a seed exchange on seedswapday.com
    • More than just seeds – The other things you might find at a seed swap
    • Aha! moment – Learning that pawpaw seeds break all the seed saving rules
    • Find space to grow where you think there is none in her book, The Urban Garden: 101 Ways to Grow Food and Beauty in the City
    • Her newest book, Groundcover Revolution, provides alternatives to turf grass and includes a very helpful chart
    • The importance of having and choosing the right ground cover
    • GardenDC Podcast – For zones 6, 7, 8.  Each hour episode includes: a 45 minute interview with an expert on a single topic, a plant profile, and the last word – a segment inviting any gardener anywhere to give a last word on any garden related topic.

As well as:

Her failure – Communicating with those who are very anti-plants in the front yard instead of grass

Her success – The magazine, because it led to everything else

Her drive – Self-diagnosed ADHD and FOMO (fear of missing out)

Her advice – “Take it easy on yourself, not trying to do everything at once.”

Books written by Kathy:

The Urban Garden: 101 Ways to Grow Food and Beauty in the City

Groundcover Revolution  coming in February 2023, available for pre-order now

Kathy’s Book recommendations: 

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

How to reach Kathy:           

Website: seedswapday.com or  seedswapday.blogspot.com

Twitter: @wdcgardener

Instagram: @wdcgardener



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