Growing Passion (Create)

Hosted by Nan Sterman, A Growing Passion explores backyard food production, major horticultural growers, low-water landscapes and sustainable practices around the home and in the garden.

A Growing Passion is produced by KPBS, and airs as part of Hometown Create, which features locally produced content from Create's member stations.

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Episode #101

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Episode #105

Episode #106

From Fruit to Nuts

Episode #107 · Who doesn't love a delicious peach, a juicy pluot, or a tangy apricot - especially when picked right off the tree. New varieties appear in the nursery every year, each more delicious than the last. In this episode of A Growing Passion, we taste our way through the experimental orchard of internationally renowned Zaiger Genetics, Modesto, California fruit tree breeders who revolutionized the world of stone fruits, apples, Asian pears, and almonds.

Intoxicating Plumeria

Episode #108 · In the 1950s and 1960s, the Aloha Spirit captivated Southern Californians. While the Beach Boys sang about surfing, homeowners planted Plumeria in their gardens. These big, tropical-looking plants produce fragrant, colorful flowers that are a staple of Hawaiian leis, despite their arid Mexican origins. Over the years, Plumeria popularity waned, but has recently made a comeback.

The Art of a Garden

Episode #109 · There's no question that gardening is an art. In fact, some of the most interesting and inspiring gardens belong to artists. San Diego has no shortage of wonderful gardens made by artists, five of which we visit in this show. We hear about how they use space, how they use color, how they select plants, and how they incorporate objects, sculpture, and other art pieces into their gardens.

From Farm to Fork

Episode #110 · If you enjoy dining out, no doubt you've heard of farm-to-table and farm-to-fork, the movement that connects farmers with chefs and restaurants. The term refers to fruits, herbs, vegetables, fish, meats and other products that are locally grown and produced and served in local restaurants. It sounds romantic, but how does farm-to-fork really happen? Who are the people making it happen? How do farmers and the restauranteurs find each other, and how do you know that your dish really did start its life on a local farm?

Growing A Greener Golf Course

Episode #111 · Golf courses are legendary for their perfectly manicured greens surrounded by lovely landscapes that are generously fertilized, treated, irrigated, and frequently mowed. But there is a new wave in the world of golf courses. Golf course designers, golf course landscape architects, and golf course superintendents are changing the landscape, driven by concerns for the environment and the need to control the bottom line.

Plants: The Endangered Species

Episode #112 · California has the largest number of rare plants and animals of any state in the nation. In California, San Diego is a hotspot of biodiversity. There are more species of plants here than almost anywhere else in the world. Or at least there were more species of plants than almost anywhere else in the world. As the region has developed, shopping malls, schools, roadways, office buildings, and homes cover what was once vernal pools, and other rare habitat areas. As a result, San Diego County is also on the hotlist for endangered species.

Homegrown Hops - Local Flavor for Local Brews

Episode #113 · Brewing is THE RAGE in San Diego County. At last count, there were 110 craft breweries and more in the planning stages. Many of these new microbreweries evolved from thousands of home brewers who make beer in their garages or on back patios. In this episode, we explore the process of planting, growing, trellising, harvesting, preserving and using local hops. Along the way, we visit a local home brewer and science teacher who grows his own hops in Escondido. Another stop is the area's largest and oldest hops farm, to see mechanized hops processing, then follow the harvest to a local commercial brewery where the brewer uses it in a wet hop beer. At a local brewing supply store, we discuss the history, purpose, and origins of hops in beer - as well as all the gadgets and doo-hickeys home brewers like to use. We end, in host Nan Sterman's garage-turned-brewery, where her husband demonstrates how he makes his own "special brew."

Distant Roots And Tasty Shoots - Plants At The Zoo

Episode #114 · San Diego Zoological Society has an international plant collection that is nearly unrivaled. In this episode, we explore Aloes and Cycads, two of the society's special botanical collections. We tour the orchid house where we ooh and aah over their fabulous and diverse flowers. We also learn about the browse program - plants grown strictly to feed the animals. In the world of zoos, San Diego Zoological Society is renowned for its browse program. An entire crew is assigned the task of growing and gathering plants to feed and entertain animals. It is no small task. The pandas eat 15 tons of browse each year. It takes 20 tons of acacia to feed giraffes, elands, bonobos, gorillas and other animals. We stroll through the zoo with some of the browse staff who point out plants they harvest on-site, then take us to the offsite farm where they grow and harvest more browse. What there isn't room to grow on-site gets collected along highways and in neighborhoods around San Diego County. We visit reserved koalas whose strict eucalyptus diet is prepared in a special kitchen, tortoises who enjoy a range of fresh greens, and more.