Growing on the High Plains

Airs Thursdays at 10:30 am CT and Saturdays at 8:35 am CT

Years ago Skip Mancini left the rocky coast of Northern California to return to her roots in the heartland. Her San Francisco friends, concerned over her decision to live in a desolate flatland best known for a Hollywood tornado, were afraid she would wither and die on the vine. With pioneer spirit Skip planted a garden, and began to learn about growing not only flowers and vegetables, but hearts and minds. If you agree that the prairie is a special place, we think you'll enjoy her weekly sojourns into Growing on the High Plains. 

Contact Skip Mancini about the program. 

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

German engineering

Cindee Talley

Thank goodness for gadgets because how else would we ever get things done?  Things like cherry pitting for example must have driven Simple Simon's Pie Man to distraction.  But then he probably was never lucky enough to find a dandy little gadget called the

Kernomat der “schnelle” Doppelentkerner.  Ah, the joys of modern living live on in today's Growing on the High Plains.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

The City of Brotherly Love: Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market
Credit foodabletv.com

On a recent trip to Philadelphia Skip explored a treasure trove of local food, fresh produce, and other special items just made for those who love farms and gardens and what they grow.  A historical setting that once served the Eastern U.S. as a huge train station has now become a huge market for all things tasty and tasteful.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

The Great Tomato Race

Credit feastingonpixels.blogspot.com

To participants in the great tomato race, the fourth of July is a big deal.  It’s the finish line for the green thumb trying to win the title of “The First Tomato of the Season.”  

If you missed out on this race, there are more tomato contests to come, like trying to win the distinction of growing “The Biggest Tomato” later this summer.     

Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Lawns, Xeriscape style

Welcome to Ward's Garden Center, step inside for a tour
Cindee Talley

Skip talks with Matt Lutz and Don Lonnberg about lawns.

On this final visit about xeriscaping, we'll look at lawns (or the lack of them) in many dry-weather landscape designs.  Believe it or not, there are grasses that can give you a lawn for less water, and that fit in with the look of a xeriscape garden.

Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Xeriscape's Big Three

Credit Cindee Talley

Skip talks with expert xeric landscapers, Don Lonnberg and Matt Lutz, about the "Big Three."

 Our xeriscape series continues with a look at three blooming perennials that, once established, can bring a variety of colors, shapes, and textures to your low-water landscaping.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Watering xeriscape style

Skip talks with the xeric experts at Ward's Garden Center. Left to right: Don Lonnberg, Matt Lutz, and Skip Mancini.
Credit Cindee Talley

Techniques that make every drop of water count in your xeriscape beds include how much, how often, and how to apply that gardener's liquid gold.  The importance of soil preparation is also discussed this week.  

Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Top five xeriscape shrubs

Skip, (left) talks with xeriscaping experts Don Lonnberg, (center), and Matt Lutz, (right).
Credit Cindee Talley

This week it's Matt Lutz's turn to give a 'favorite five' for a xeric garden.  He decided to highlight shrubs that will thrive in a near-desert climate.   

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Top five plants to use in xeriscaping

Don Lonnberg, right, talks with Skip Mancini.
Credit Cindee Talley

Skip talks with Don Lonnberg at Ward's Garden Center.

Horticulturalist Don Lonnberg gives us five of his favorites that will do well in a low-water, high-heat garden.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Great Beginnings in Xeriscape Gardening

Skip Mancini (L) and Mike Ward (R) talk about the addition of xeriscaping experts and plants at Ward's in Garden City, Kansas
Credit hppr

Skip talks with Mike Ward

Today Skip begins a series on xeriscaping by introducing some people who will be our guides as we travel down the road to survival during the dry times.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:01 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Introduction to Xeriscaping

Credit landscapingnetwork.com

 This week begins a series about xeriscaping.  Sometimes our growing conditions leave us feeling as if we’re living in the desert.  Today, Skip will teach us what kind of landscaping thrives in heat without much water.  

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Tree Planting Pointers

Lone tree stands on the plains near Johnson, Kansas
Credit stevegarufi.com

This week GHP looks at the best way to insure success with shade trees, starting at the very beginning with good ideas on planting.  We've turned to Master Gardener and long-time tree grower Shirley Buller to line up some simple tips and techniques to get your trees started down the right road to a long, healthy, and shady life.

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Growing on the High Plains
2:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Plant some shady savings

Credit blog.cartwrighttree.com

  

If you're looking for ways to cut energy costs in your home or business, don't just look inside.  Turn your gaze outside and consider planting some shade trees to help cool your abode in summer and keep it protected and filled with the warmth of natural sunlight in winter.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Great Horned Owl facts and fallacy

Fledgling peeking out of the nesting platform.
Credit Skip Mancini

 Last week Skip told you about the efforts to attract great horned owls to her home, and the enjoyment watching these wonderful birds gives her.  This week, she shares owl facts, separating fact from fallacy.  

If you'd like to learn how to build a nesting platform for these magnificent birds, or if you'd like to see the family residence at Skip's, simply drop her an email using this link.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Great Horned Owls: A tale of survival in southwestern Kansas

Nesting platform
Credit Skip Mancini

 Years ago the resident architect joined up with the family environmental engineer to create a very special abode.  They spent the weekend fashioning a nesting platform for great horned owls, in hopes of providing the perfect honeymoon cottage for the pair that spent the previous year in the shelterbelt.  Ollie and Big Owlberta moved in and set up house.  Their struggle to survive in this sometimes brutal land has taken the architect and the engineer on a rollercoaster ride of joy, grief, and worry.  

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Kale: Everything old is new again

Ornamental kale
Credit wikipedia.org

 There’s an old song, “Everything old is new again.”  This year a portion of Skip’s vegetable garden will be on the cutting edge of the latest culinary style.  In addition to featuring some heritage tomatoes and watermelons from the 1800s, she’s decided to add some kale seeds to the patch of greens that traditionally provide the makings of her summer salads.  If you haven’t been to the produce section recently, here’s an update on what’s hot and what’s not.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Full Circle Farming: Leaving a better place in the world

The pigs at Beaver Creek Ranch
Barb Blevins

Skip talks with Alice Hill

Our final visit to Beaver Creek Ranch and Full Circle Aquaponics takes us on a tour of the site, with a look at the animal residents and a discussion with Alice Hill about future hopes, plans, and goals.  

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

A Garden for All Seasons

High tunnel greenhouse
Barb Blevins

Skip continues the conversation with Alice Hill about gardening for all seasons.

This week we'll look at another aspect of the full circle farming concept utilized at Beaver Creek Farms and Full Circle Aquaponics, as host Alice Hill takes me through her year-round greenhouse structures.   The high tunnel and the hoop house both provide protected areas that, with proper planting and mulching methods help provide fresh vegetables throughout much of the winter.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Full Circle Farming: Fins and Flora

Alice shows Skip the lettuce plugs
Barb Blevins High Plains Public Radio

We'll continue our visit to Beaver Creek Ranch with a look at Full Circle Aquaponics, a re-circulating system combining aquaculture (fish) and hydroponics (plants).  We'll start our tour in a  low-energy footprint greenhouse designed by Alice Hill and take a look at how tilapia fish and a variety of greens and lettuces support each other.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Full Circle Farming Comes to Northwest Kansas

Skip talks to Alice Hill outside her home
Barb Blevins High Plains Public Radio

Skip talks with Alice Hill about Full Circle Aquaponics.

This week we begin a four-part series about the importance of expanding local food production and teaching people to learn to feed themselves whenever possible.  We'll start by visiting Beaver Creek Ranch in Rawlins County, Kansas.  This agritourism business operated by Jeff and Alice Hill includes a hunting lodge, a full-service family farm complete with fruit and vegetable gardens, poultry, beef and pork production, organic hard red winter wheat production, and a demonstration site for a system called Full Circle Aquaponics.  The day I arrived the place was really humming, thanks to the bee hives that provide pollination and honey.  Join us as we visit a fascinating place.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Winter Watering

Credit masterofhort.com

A trip to the county extension office for a botanical diagnosis of a sickly tree branch paid off with reassurance that all was well.  While I was there I was also served up a refresher course in wise watering practices for our consistently dry and thirsty area.  We reviewed some things I knew about, but am sometimes lax in following.  And I learned a thing or two about making every precious drop of moisture count, even when rainfall is skimpy.   

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Valentine month concludes with the loveweed

Credit undertexasskies.blogspot.com

After a month of love in the form of hearts and roses, we'll take a final look at a plant that is actually a noxious weed. But it's long been a part of my botanical background, having been introduced to me by my hill-country grandmother, a woman who planted by the signs and believed there was power in both the light and the dark of the moon.  Today we'll look at loveweed, an ages old method of finding true love long before internet dating sites.     

Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

The perfect no-maintenance rose

Credit edmondhistory.org

What better way to celebrate the month of love than to turn our attention to a rose that never needs watering, weeding or feeding.  We'll look at the scientific makeup of a geological rose from Oklahoma, and then visit the heart-breaking Cherokee legend that gave the botanical name to these unusual rose rock formations.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Celebrate February with Dicentra

dicentra
Credit wikipedia.org

When planting season arrives this year, give yourself a belated valentine by adding dicentra spectabilis to your perennial bed.  The common name of 'bleeding heart' makes it a perfect love note, with the tiny pink or white hearts hanging from the stems, like a heart-shaped necklace.  Today our GHP story starts with an answer to the Shakespearean question, 'What's in a name?' as we look at the history of this valentine plant, and then we'll turn our attention to growing these beauties in a shady nook, something not easily found on our sunny High Plains.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Love in a Mist

Credit edenbrothers.com

We'll start out our valentine month with a look at an annual flower with an old-fashioned look and the great common name of Love-In-A-Mist.  I think the name fits nicely, as from a distance a mass planting of these blue, white, pink or purple flowers can look like they're floating above the ground.  The fern-like foliage adds to its buoyancy, and the whole image goes well in containers or hanging baskets.  

Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Good Scents: Discover the citrus benefit

Credit howstuffworks.com

Our final look at plants that are a part of aromatherapy involves a discussion of several scented herbs and a deciduous shrub that grows successfully in the HPPR broadcast area.  All of these plants provide the aroma of citrus fruits and are being used in treatments for several ailments, especially those involving depression, anxiety or the mental confusion of Alzheimer's disease.  Lemon balm, lemon verbena or lemon scented thyme and basil can be grown in an herb garden.  The white blossoms of mock orange shrubs can provide the scent of oranges and can serve as an accent plant or a privacy screen in landscaping plans.     

Growing on the High Plains Episode
5:12 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Rosemary: It makes good scents

Credit grangegardeners.wordpress.com

 Rosemary is one of the most versatile herbs as it plays roles in the kitchen, bath, or medicine chest.  The tangy scent and fresh green needles give the smell and appearance of evergreens. It has proven itself to have antibacterial properties and has been used to fight diseases from medieval times to the present day.  It has a colorful history, being a part of both ancient Greek mythology and the background of Christianity.  This tender perennial can grow on the High Plains, but it needs protection from winter weather.

Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Good Scents of Lavender

Credit whatscookingamerica.net

Lavender is perhaps the most popular aromatic herb, and has a long history of being used as a part of soaps and bathwater, even as far back as the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.  Amid the numerous types of this sweet-smelling herb, some of the most popular have taken geographic names.  English lavender is the most common, followed by Spanish and French lavenders.  Though a tender perennial, this fragrant herb can be very successful in High Plains gardens if some care is given to protect it from winter freezes. 

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Making Scents Makes Sense

Credit redbubble.com

  Today we'll look at the therapeutic properties of scent and the results of recent studies in the treatment of some major diseases.  Practiced since ancient times, aromatherapy is currently being used with patients suffering from stress, headaches, inflammation, sleep disorders, indigestion, heart conditions and Alzheimer's disease!  Our Good Scents series will look at some specific plants that can work  to help create a 'healing garden' , a windowbox, or patio pot. 

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
6:07 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Black-Eyed Peas: New Year's Good Luck

Credit kathdedon.wordpress.com

We'll kick off the new year with a look at a tradition that grew from the traffic of slave ships to the farmlands of the American South.  Whatever you call them -- black-eyes, crowders, cream peas or purple hulls, these legumes have long been a basic element of survival.  Thought to be a symbol of good luck in the future, they could definitely bring you the wealth of good health, as they are nutritious and delicious dished up on a New Year's Day.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
6:07 am
Thu December 26, 2013

How to Care for the Amaryllis

Credit thegardenhelper.com

A giant bulb can bring blooms to brighten the holiday and with a bit of attention they'll usually stay around long enough to banish the "after holiday blues".  Today we'll also cover the minimal care and feeding of your amaryllis throughout the rest of the year, so that you can have a repeat success for many Christmas seasons to come.

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