The next Martha? Or Michael?


Talk about your good press!  Friend of Rant Patti Moreno got an amazing profile in the Boston Globe, inPattiplants
which we find these tidbits:

But on camera, Moreno comes off as a blend of the best do-it-yourself
TV has to offer: as enthusiastic as Paige Davis, as resourceful as
Martha Stewart, and as practical as Bob Vila. And she’s just getting
started building what she hopes will become a vast gardening empire.

If all goes as she plans, Moreno, 36, will be a younger,
female made-for-TV Michael Pollan, an entrepreneur and media star whose
innovative, experimental products and advice are aimed at sustainable

And we learn that Patti has "met with the Sundance Channel" about hosting a show for them, has finished up her first season hosting Farmer’s Almanac TV on PBS, and is launching the Garden Girl line of products.

Patti, you rock!


  1. Not that I don’t think what Moreno is doing is great, but…I’m not sure what she does can really be considered sustainable. There are huge outlays of cost for building her raised beds (which are made out of untreated pine and rot after a few years), buying seeds (which are not cheap these days), peat moss (which is not sustainable and which she uses extensively), flo lights, etc…

    I think it’s great to grow things at home for enjoyment, better quality/taste/freshness/organic, but I question the true sustainablity and economics of some of her ideas (which certainly ought to be part of the sustainability equation).

    I just think the average person would not be able to afford to grow food in this way. (I’m not saying that it isn’t a good idea to find a way to grow your own food).

    Don’t get me wrong, she has a lot of great ideas and is really inspiring, but I think a lot of what she does is well out of reach for a low-income urban dweller.

  2. Swampy- did you ever hear of the Home Garden Project Foundation? I can’t find them online so I guess they’re gone, but about ten years ago they were providing raised bed gardens and education to low-income families and seniors. I believe they were based in the PNW- I must’ve run across them in Smithsonian magazine or Nat Geo.

  3. In terms of costs, I think it’s all relative to your income/wealth. Once you factor in tools, nails/screws, the milk paint she recommends you use, plus she doesn’t want you to use city dirt, so you have to buy soil mix, this is not exactly an inexpensive endeavor. I’m not arguing that you shouldn’t do it, I’m just arguing that it shouldn’t necessarily qualify as sustainable.

  4. Swamp gardener.
    You can always recycle old shipping pallets and old shoestrings if you can’t round up a handsaw, a hammer ( I suppose you could use a rock ) and 8 nails.
    If you are resourceful enough you might even be able to recycle the nails from the shipping pallets.

    Raised beds do not need to be expensive.
    You don’t even need to actually use any type of construction materials at all. Simply double dig.
    But that means you still have the overhead of a shovel ( maybe find that at a garage sale ) .

    If using your ‘city dirt’ then grab that 5 gallon empty bucket + get on your bicycle and peddle to the city recycling center and barter for some compost , or peddle out to the local horse stalls.

    $ 1.99 is pretty steep for a pack of seed but maybe you can find someone to trade and or barter with. Or save the seeds from last year’s crop.

    The whole endeavor might cost you less that 5 bucks and its totally sustainable.

  5. Hi Susan
    I’m here in Chicago covering the Independent Garden Center Show where your “ranter in crime” Amy is speaking.

    I hope to meet Amy and Patti in person at the convention.

    I’m sniffing out the latest and greatest in garden products, so I’m off.

  6. Hey folks! Here in Chicago just met Shirley from Garden Police!

    First of all, I rarely use Peat Moss. I do use Cocoa Mulch extensivley. I make my own soil with chicken and rabbit poo, and my raised beds are many years old, and treated with Milk Paint.

    You can make a raised bed with nothing. Just raise and amend the soil. I build mine because of limited space and to fit in my urban landscape. So try it, or plants a mini orchard with some dwarf trees and call it good.

    I have projects of all sizes from window boxes to full mini farms, just wait till you see the stuff I shot this summer in High Definition!

    All the Best Ranters,


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