Good Gardening

Living Less Unsustainably: Human Composting

Jun 21, 2021
John Fischer

Master Recycler John Fischer here with KLCC's Living Less Unsustainably- or today Dying More Sustainably.
I have long been disturbed by the use of fuel to cremate people after they die. Apparently I was not alone. Starting next July, human remains can be composted in Oregon, and then returned to the earth as fertilizer. Cremating a person uses as much energy as driving a car from Eugene to Chicago, and leaves behind just ash, and CO2.
Composting provides a valuable product - fertilizer - without the damaging by-products.

Good Gardening: Watering

Jun 7, 2021
John Fischer / KLCC

Hi All, Lane County Extension Master Gardener John Fischer here with KLCC's Good Gardening.

Living Less Unsustainably: Methane

May 17, 2021
John Fischer / KLCC

Hi all, Climate Master John Fischer here with KLCC's Living Less Unsustainably.

Carbon Dioxide is not the only climate changing gas increasing in our atmosphere. Methane accounts for 20% of the warming, and with levels  increasing even faster than CO2, that contribution is increasing.

Good Gardening: Information

May 3, 2021

Hi all, Lane County Extension Master Gardener John Fischer here with KLCC's Good Gardening.

I really appreciate the opportunity to be a source of garden information for all of you each month. But having the most productive vegetable patch means digging deep for ideas.  

public domain

   While doing research on green tags, or carbon offsets last month, I was surprised to see how variable miles flown per person is.  Some people fly often, and have large travel footprints while others take a trip every year or two. 


Good Gardening: Tree Flowers

Apr 5, 2021
John Fischer / KLCC

You are probably aware of my penchant for all things edible. The lack of spring rain this year has left the blooms on my fruit trees longer than in many years, and they are beautiful.

Living Less Unsustainably: Green Tags

Mar 15, 2021
Denisse Leon / Unsplash

Hi all, Climate Master John Fischer here with KLCC's Living Less Unsustainably.

During the pandemic year, air travel and its climate gas emissions have fallen by two thirds. If you are planning a trip in the future, consider buying carbon credits- or "GreenTags" now to offset the emissions of your future flight.

Carbon offsets are paid for by the consumer. Ten to twenty dollars per ton of CO2 emitted. The money is used to fund wind and solar energy, capture methane at dairies or landfills, fund reforestation, and other environmentally helpful projects.

Good Gardening: New Crops

Mar 1, 2021
John Fischer / KLCC


Most of us long time gardeners have a list of vegetables we grow each year. In other words we are stuck in a rut.

Living Less Unsustainably: Small Garbage Cans

Feb 15, 2021
John Fischer

The stuff we buy, wear out, and throw away is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the pacific northwest. Manufacturing, transporting, and disposing of consumer goods- shoes, bedding, toasters, televisions and the like- generates 40 to 50 percent of our emissions.

Good Gardening: Fruit Tree Pruning

Feb 1, 2021
John Fischer / KLCC

Few things provide more fresh tasty produce than a fruit tree.  And few things confuse new fruit growers more than pruning.

Good Gardening: Flown Flowers

Jan 4, 2021
John Fischer / KLCC

Hi All, Master Gardener John Fischer here with KLCC's Good Gardening. I'll be joined in a minute by climate master John Fischer who wants to talk about the environmental problems with flowers flown in from far away, but first let me give you some ideas on how you can decorate the table or give flowers to loved ones next month by finding beauty outside here and now.


Good Gardening: Figs

Dec 7, 2020
Public Domain

These cold foggy days are a good time to dream about the sweet warm days of summer, and the bounty they bring. And the sweetest thing you can grow here is a fig.

Good Gardening: Advice. Before or After?

Nov 2, 2020
John Fischer

I'm never sure if I should make garden suggestions after you've had a problem because it's fresh in your mind, or give you a pre-warning even though you might be saying- "huh-that's never happened to me." So today I'll do both.

Good Gardening: Fruit Tree Leaf Color

Oct 5, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

The beautiful red yellow and orange fruit my home orchard produces each year is sweet, tart, and juicy. The second harvest that is just starting has all the same colors and is feast for the eyes instead of the palate.

Good Gardening: Smoke and Ash

Sep 22, 2020
John Fischer

Hi, Master Gardener John Fischer here with some good news about your backyard, and commercial food crops growing in our smoky ashy region.

Living Less Unsustainably: Heating

Sep 21, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

As the heating season approaches it's a good time to review the second law of thermodynamics, and possibly contradict your mother. We'll start with the hard one- telling mom she is wrong.

It is more efficient to let your house cool down at night, or when you are gone, and reheat it when you want a warm house than it is to keep it warm all the time.  

Good Gardening: Self-Seeding

Sep 14, 2020
John Fischer

If you have trouble getting seeds to sprout in the spring, this might be a good time to let nature help plant next year's garden.

Good Gardening: Free Favas!

Aug 31, 2020
John Fischer

A lot of people are having their first ever garden this year and I'd like to repeat a few time tested ideas for you. Those of you who already know everything, go outside and weed for two minutes, but you will miss details on a free seed give away.

Good Gardening: Thornless Berries

Aug 3, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

You have to love the way blackberries grow in Oregon. Ouch. The taste, ouch, the abundance, ouch, and all the ways you can eat them. Ouch.

Living Less Unsustainably: Used Materials

Jul 20, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

Many of us have been home more over the last few months. Enjoying the space, considering some changes, and maybe noticing a few things that need repairing or replacing.

Good Gardening: Pruning

Jul 6, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

You won't hear me talk about ornamental plants much. I put my energy into things I can eat. But there are places near the house where edibles won't do well, so something pretty is better than nothing.

If you don't prune shrubs and bushes near the house, eventually you can't see out the window or get near the structure for maintenance. But to keep the form of the plant while controlling its height and spread requires pruning out full branches, not just cutting back the tops of existing growth.

Good Gardening: Fabulous Favas

Jun 1, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

Here's a fabulous garden opportunity that you can't act on right now may be an exercise in bad timing, but if you don't see the results now, you won't be convinced to act when the time comes this fall.

Living Less Unsustainably: Rethinking Recycling

May 18, 2020
Love Cross / KLCC

We are participating in ordinary activities in different ways now, and have adapted to new circumstances.

Good Gardening: Weeds

May 4, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

So you've planted seeds for the first time this spring- or the 50th, and sprouts are coming up- some of what you planted, and a lot of weeds. 

John FIscher / KLCC

If you've never had a garden before, you might be thinking about it now.  Here are some simple things you can grow in a small space, that will provide you and your family with fresh nutritious produce- and a fun outdoors activity.

Living Less Unsustainably: Wear Out Those Clothes!

Mar 16, 2020
John Fischer

Isn't it great when doing something nice for yourself doesn't hurt the planet, and helps other people too?Unfortunately, buying clothes and giving them to the thrift store doesn't fit that dream.

Good Gardening: Compost

Mar 2, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

Your garden can produce a lot- of food, and of waste. Getting rid of the produce is easy- have seconds. And getting rid of the garden waste along with all your kitchen scraps is easy too because somebody else will do the work.

Residents of Eugene, Portland, Salem, Albany and Corvallis can put all their food scraps including meat and dairy into their green waste cans.  That is not true for any other areas in Lane County- ask your city counsellor if you want the policy to change where you live.

Living Less Unsustainably: Paper Plates and Potlucks

Jan 20, 2020
Love Cross / KLCC

When I go to a potluck, the first thing people ask me is a garden question. Well, actually the first thing they ask is "Did Laurie (my wife) bring a pie?"

Then it's then garden question, and then something on recycling. As a Master Recycler, Master Composter, and Climate Master, I have a good base of knowledge on Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling.

John Fischer / KLCC

In a weird way, you have to admire a good scam. We've been tricked into buying bottled water from Los Angeles instead of drinking our own MacKenzie River water.

Good Gardening: Pears

Dec 2, 2019
John Fischer / KLCC

When I was a kid I remember hearing about people getting a box of pears for Christmas. I had two thoughts.  Pears for Christmas- that's worse than socks. And how can you have fresh pears in the middle of winter.