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 Episode
8:01 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

High Plains Holiday

As she reflects over Christmas past, Skip Mancini recalls how "Christmas" and "white" rarely happen at the same time. 

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
11:44 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Oh By Gosh By Golly

It's time for mistletoe and holly, but here on the High Plains, the only place you are likely to see this traditional holiday plant is on cards and wrapping paper.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Fall Color

In an area of the country that is often thought to be lacking in autumn color, we can provide splashes of bright contrasts if we put some thought into landscaping plans.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Thankful List

Our annual look back at the past gardening year brings some disappointments directly linked to a hard weather year. 

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Who'll Save the Rain?

No doubt about it -- wise water use is a critical issue for the planet, and especially for those of us who live in the plains states of the U.S. 

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

High Plains Food Bank Practices Water Conservation

Justin hard at work. See the green rain collectors against the building?

Today we'll make our final visit to Amarillo and the High Plains Food Bank, where we'll be investigating the task of watering the large plot that provides food for so many in the Texas Panhandle. 

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HPPR
8:01 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Volunteers at High Plains Food Bank Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Cara and Justin Young, Skip Mancini, stand with one of the weed control workers in the garden.
Credit Vincent Mancini

We'll continue our visit at the High Plains Food Bank in Amarillo by doing a walk-through of the garden with Cara Young. 

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Skip Visits High Plains Food Bank in Amarillo

Volunteer Day at the Food Bank

This week Growing on the High Plains will begin a series about a great garden place in Amarillo that produces food for those who need it.  We'll meet Cara and Justin Young, two energetic young people who are helping to bring community efforts, nutrition know-how, and garden harvests to hundreds of adults and children in the Texas Panhandle.

Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Money Plant

Money Plant

During the continuation of our fall fund drive, we'll talk about an old fashioned plant from the cutting garden that produces coins of the gardening realm. Lunaria flowers with thin, silvery circles that look like shiny nickel.

Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Little Blue Flower Seed Remembrance

Last June Skip presented a special Growing on the High Plains visit about her father and his gift of larkspur seed that has become a reliable reminder of him and his love of gardening.  During our fall fund drive week we'll repeat that show, and Skip will offer her own special gift to HPPR listeners.  Call 1-800-678-7444 for more details.

Growing on the High Plains Episode
9:48 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Perennial Division is a Gardening Budget Bonus

If your gardening budget is drooping, you can give it a transfusion by digging into your perennial bed.  This week's Growing on the High Plains gives all the basics for dividing many spring blooming plants that may have overgrown their space or become old and tired.  If you don't have an excess of perennials, perhaps you can offer to clear out and replant a neighbor's garden in exchange for some 'take home' cartons.  Fall is a great time to reorganize garden spaces and find that 'everything old is new again'.

Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Sandhill Plums are a Jelly Favorite

This wonderful native shrub has a deeply history, as it provided a rare and welcome fruit for North American Indian tribes as well as early day settlers.  The roots of this manna of the plains literally run deep, searching out subsoil moisture and giving the little shrubs an ability to survive our infamous prairie winds.  Today the scarlet fruits are still a favorite for jelly, and are the basis for providing a product for many small-scale  local businesses on the High Plains.

Growing on the High Plains Episode
6:30 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Gooseberries. You hate 'em or you love 'em

These little green orbs are kissin' cousins to the currant, and like their relatives they can be welcomed or reviled in the U.S.  They make great pies, jellies, jams, and sauces for the table, but they can also transport a destructive fungus called 'white pine blister rust'.  If your locale doesn't feature white pines then gooseberry bushes might make a good berry bramble for you, especially if you like your sweets a little on the tart side. 

Growing on the High Plains Episode
6:30 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Jenny Lind Melon Celebrates Long History

A heritage melon with a history of over one hundred and fifty years is our GHP subject for this week.  Named for a famous Swedish musical celebrity that toured the U.S. in 1850 via P.T. Barnum's Greatest Show on Earth, the Jenny Lind melon became wildly popular.  This melon displays many of the qualities of its namesake, including sweetness and a small dainty size, and thus was perfect for growing in a backyard garden.  Today this heritage fruit is still popular, and easy to grow and serve.

Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Peaches on the High Plains?

These sweet treats can be grown throughout the HPPR broadcast area, although the further north they bloom the more likely they will encounter some late freezes that will nip the year's crop in the bud.  But the smell and taste of home grown peaches makes it worth the gamble, and the trees will actually live a longer and more 'fruitful' life if they have occasional barren years for resting and restoring.  The trail of the peach begins in China thousands of years ago.  The flavorful fruit was introduced to our shores by the Spanish explorers.

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Growing on the High Plains episode
6:30 am
Thu August 30, 2012

B-List Bees

The hum, whine and buzz of flying insects is something most gardeners learn to identify as a good thing in the garden.  With a couple of exceptions, most of those sounds signify a pollinator who will help provide more bounty from your garden.  Today we'll talk about the b-list bees that don't produce honey, but do help produce your squash, tomatoes, strawberries,and good things to eat.  We'll also look into ways to keep these essential assistants happy and healthy as they work for you.

Growing on the High Plains episode
6:30 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Pole Beans

Many of the old timers in the gardening world swear that pole beans have a better taste than their bush grown cousins.  This season I decided to test the claim by growing both kinds.  The differences between the two bean types are many in terms of space requirements and visual elements.  As far as the taste, the jury is still out because at my deadline for writing this piece the pole beans were still covered with blooms, but nary a bean had been produced.  I think the infernal inferno of hot dry days may have something to do with it.

Growing on the High Plains episode
6:30 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Rain Barrels

One of the hottest items in lots of gardening catalogues is the rain barrel, proving that 'everything old is new again'.  Throughout history we have found ways to save up rainy day water and then used it during dry times.  Today's offerings can make a fashion statement in your lawn or garden, but there are also some old-fashioned ways of conserving moisture that can provide a drink for thirsty plants.

Growing on the High Plains episode
6:30 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Mowing

Though summer is the major growing season for most gardeners, it's also the major mowing season for many.  Today we'll  take a look at lawnmowers and the men who made them, beginning with four-legged 'natural clippers'.  These were followed by horse-drawn reels and walk-behinds that were eventually developed into the gas guzzling producers of one of the more controversial sounds of summer.

Growing on the High Plains episode
3:08 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Milkweed II

The more than 140 species of milkweed  have a long and varied history.  Named Asclepius for the Greek god of healing, its medicinal uses are many.  However, several species are toxic, so if the plant is used as a health remedy, the user should be well-informed in advance.  The physical properties of milkweed have resulted in various uses for the stems and fluff-filled seed pods, including a wartime effort by World War II's greatest generation.

Growing on the High Plains episode
8:01 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Milkweed

Some consider this wildflower a weed, but to Monarch butterflies and those who love them, this perennial is precious and should be a part of every garden.   It is also perfectly suited to the high plains climate.

Growing on the High Plains episode
8:00 pm
Sun July 15, 2012

Solomon Seal

Solomon Seal is not a native plant.  Named for a scarred rhizome that has the appearance of King Solomon's seal, which is known by many as the Star of David.   It is also know for its medicinal use, and is perfect for shaded flower beds on the High Plains.

Growing on the High Plains episode
8:02 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks thrive in this arid climate we call home.  It does not flower the
first year, but sends up a tall stalk the next that will bloom most of the
summer.  The best time to plant your seeds is late summer, giving it time to
sprout and get established before winter sets in.  The most common disease
is rust, which can be managed by actively removing affected areas or with
chemicals. 

HPPR
8:00 pm
Sun July 1, 2012

Early Birds

Most plants in Skip's garden got a jump on spring, producing foliage, buds, flowers, and fruits earlier than usual, and thus allowing an amazing harvest of ripe tomatoes in mid-June.

Growing on the High Plains episode
6:30 am
Thu June 28, 2012

Jerusalem Artichokes

 A look at a vegetable that is an artichoke in name only.

Growing on the High Plains episode
6:30 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Artichokes

 Impulse buying results in a trip down memory lane and a new challenge for Skip's gardening skills.

Growing on the High Plains episode
6:30 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Larkspur

A father's gift is regenerated each year, leaving a legacy of 'little blue flowers' to brighten the garden  and the heart.

Growing on the High Plains episode
6:30 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Spirea

A look at a flowering shrub that has maintained its popularity on the high plains from early-day homesteads to modern-day domiciles.

Growing on the High Plains episode
6:30 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Water Gardens Part III

Stocking your garden pond with critters can be lots of fun, but watch out for the uninvited guests!

Growing on the High Plains episode
6:30 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Water Gardens Part II

A look at some plants that thrive under, in, and around the water.

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