Who Would You Like to Hear on the Podcast?

Image: Library of Congress

If I had to assign a letter grade for my ability to email, schedule and book guests for the podcast I’d have give myself a big “F.” Which is why, dear readers and listeners, you have not had a Root Simple podcast in a few months. I’m hoping to have some more time to address this problem which is why I’m asking for your input. Who would you like me to have on the podcast? What subjects would you like me to tackle? Would you like to be on the podcast? Leave a comment or send us an email at [email protected]!

The image shows the onerous process of  “uploading” a podcast to Apple’s vast podcast warehouse.

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  1. I would like to hear more about some of the topics previously featured in the blog. Here are some:

    Bean Friday
    Rocket Stoves

    Also reviews of portable solar power devices (from radios/phone chargers to larger models)

    Thanks for all that you do!

  2. I’d be really interested in topics related to intentional communities, co-housing and related topics.

  3. How about simple and ‘green’ upgrades to our homes? Is the real cost of weatherstripping, for instance, more or less than the energy saved? Does that use of plastic offset the wind or solar power electricity lost to inefficient windows? If we paint a room, is there a way to do it that is better for the environment?
    Also what’s the best thing to do with broken appliances/items. How do you recycle(?) a garage door opener with a mysterious malaise?
    One more–my body isn’t keeping up with my spirit. What is the best way to keep it “tuned up” like I would a car or a stand-mixer?

  4. How do you figure out how to store enough food in case of international crop failures due to climate change? For people who don’t own land, what’s the best way to supplement fresh food?

    • I asked myself the same question some years back. I’ve gradually figured out how to have a one year supply of food on hand – and I live in a one bedroom apartment. Start with knowing what you like to eat (not what you think you “should” eat.) Then reverse engineer the ingredients, find shelf stable versions, gradually stock up, and use the oldest first and put the newest in the back of the rotation. It’s not that hard. See this example. https://granolashotgun.com/2017/11/04/chicken-pot-pie/

    • Thanks Johnny. You’re right – there’s no one size fits all. I’d better do my homework.

  5. 1) Please interview David Holmgren about Retrosuburbia. Or interview his wife Su Dennett who I’ve never heard interviewed.

    2) We’re due for another cyclical downturn. How to future proof your life ahead of income loss and/or rising prices?

    3) The benefits of belonging to a larger community for support: extended family, religious affiliation, volunteer organizations, ethnic support systems, just knowing your neighbors…

    4) How to cultivate productive activity at home without pissing off your neighbors or attracting the attention of the authorities.

    • Hi
      I have met David Holmgren and heard him speak quite a few times. He is very eloquent and rarely uses notes. Su stays in the background as far as I am aware and doesn’t speak at public events but is a major speaker when there are open days at Melliodora, the Permaculture property that David and Su own.
      The Retrosuburbia book addresses many of the issues on how to live without a large income and in a much more environmentally friendly way and would be helpful for those who are fearful of cyclical downturns. Its a hefty book, not for bed time reading as it stimulates the mind too much.
      The Milkwood people are now also resident at Melliodora. They have recently just published tbeir first book called Milkwood. I haven’t read it yet.
      Claire in Melbourne Australia

  6. I second Johnny’s suggestions and, by the way, anytime you interview Johnny, I’ll listen in and carefully.

    A few more suggestions:

    Cal Newport, who has a new book coming out next month entitled DIGITAL MINIMALISM. I have not seen it but based on what I’ve read of his work so far, this promises to be a break-through read.

    Julie Hall “The Estate Lady.” I am a great admirer of her book, THE BOOMER BURDEN, and also in her blog in which she offers some very wise advice about how to deal with things, thing, things, and other people’s things, oh God, all the things.

    Is there anyone out here who can talk about antique European ceramic ovens? (Must we in America always have such plug-ugly heating contraptions?)

    Richard Polt, Typosphere revolutionary. His blog is https://writingball.blogspot.com

    Thanks for asking.

  7. how about bicycle maintenance? the history of bicycle culture in LA? what’s on the agenda in 2019 for improving bicycling in LA?

  8. All these suggestions sound great! My reading list has expanded already.

    Travel would be an interesting topic. The greenhouse gas toll, the cultural one-upmanship and the junk food approach vs. All the Good Stuff about travelling. It’s a topic I’m regularly torn about.

    Anything in the “home as an engine of production” and community activism (esp in the grow and make your own) realms is well appreciated. Love those topics. Your work has inspired me on these fronts.

    Oh. And…

    Social enterprise with people with disabilities and/or economic disadvantage is close to my heart (much to the dismay of my deaf daughter who is the reincarnation of Alex P. Keaton despite my best efforts). peppergreenfarm.com.au is a good example of what I’m on about.

    Annie Raser-Rowland and Matt and Lentil Purbrick are interesting folks. Sorry this is heavy on the Aussies. I’m a displaced Chicagoan Down Under so it’s what I know these days.

    Occasional apocalypse and other such topics also enjoyed.

    Thanks for your work! All the best.

  9. I much prefer reading to listening to podcasts. I always wish people would post transcripts of their podcasts.

    • I’m far more likely to read the transcript than spend time listening to a conversation on a podcast. As nice as they are, I’m usually too pressed for time. Reading the transcript is many times faster.

    • Speaking as someone who has two podcasts, there’s an immense amount of work that goes into this. I think there are transcribing services online that would do this but then you run into the cost issue. My podcasts are a hobby for which I pay for myself, not to mention the time involved in each episode, which ranges anywhere from 6-8 hours from prep to publishing. Transcribing would easily add on many more hours. Transcriptions are more often available on public radio based shows where there is funding and other production assistants involved.

      I get where you are coming from but it isn’t usually feasible for us solo podcasters.

    • I meant as much that I would just read normal posts, not necessarily transcripts. The concerns of cost and labor make sense.

  10. I’m far more likely to read the transcript than spend time listening to a conversation on a podcast. As nice as they are, I’m usually too pressed for time. Reading the transcript is many times faster.

  11. * The Sioux Chef – bringing back indigenous food with native ingredients
    * Lee Reich – home gardening tips with a scientific bent
    * NativeSeeds.org – preserving ancient varieties of seeds
    * Earthship Biotecture – green, offgrid living
    * Graham Saul – environmentalism is failing because it has a message problem
    * A sourdough baker (maybe Josey Baker)
    * An expert on making green choices – I’ve found environmental choices to be more grey than they first appear. Are paper bags still better than plastic even after you factor in the manufacturing costs of each? is it better for the environment to throw out “good” incandescent bulbs to replace with led lights or does it take so much to manufacture a bulb that it’s better to use any bulb you have before buying a new one? etc.

  12. 1. Lloyd Kahn
    2. Kirsten Dirksen
    3. Erik and Kelly talking about any subject is my idea of a good podcast.

  13. Me too for intentional communities! I think there were some folks in Davis, CA who managed to share yardspace. Also, more from Terry Oxford. And more on art as a response to our current predicament (like the John Hartley one you did). And maybe some tiny house folks? Love your work – looking back at the old podcasts, I missed some so I think I’ll check those out!

  14. I always enjoy your podcasts with authors of any kind and often purchase their books. It almost does not matter the nature of the material – you are a great interviewer and my interest is always piqued.

  15. I like all the ideas mentioned. Ideas about reducing home energy use on a budget. Things you and Kelly are doing. I love the info about bread making.

    We have a small off grid solar array at our house (we live in a non solar friendly state) and have reduced our power bill-this topic is interesting too.

  16. Home mushroom cultivation. Tradd cotter, Paul stamets… Anyone who knows how to do it!

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