Our Own Green Team Videos

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In spring, summer and fall 2020, West Chester Green Team videographer William Claudio shot, edited and posted a series of videos, averaging around 8 minutes each, of West Chester area gardens and gardeners. So tune in and tour at any time here with our moderator and Gardening Programs Coordinator Courtney Bodle! We are featuring several individual gardens and in time, we hope to add themes like composting and foraging for wild food.

Dawn, Courtney, potatoes

“Dawn to Garden” project: Dawn Mazzone‘s dream of being part of the Lawn to Garden movement comes true with help from Courtney and the West Chester Green Team. This project began on Feb. 29, in conjunction with students from Professor Megan Schraedley’s Communications 400 class, way back when we were able to meet in person! See the first still wintry planning session here and then here how the garden took shape by early summer 2020.

Christiane Torres‘s garden; click here to view the video. This large and highly developed veggie garden, worked on with great dedication over the years, features all kinds of vegetables in raised beds, a compost heap, and even egg-laying chickens!

Pugliese raised beds

Click here to view the tour of Chris Pugliese‘s garden, which includes both veggies and flowers, with explanation of how the plantings have evolved over the years. The photo shows Chris describing his recently installed raised beds.

See Jim Hines‘ enthusiastic presentation of his very productive veggie garden with our intrepid moderator Courtney Bodle here. Jim’s high energy and expertise are sure to inspire others to start growing their own food as well! He even shows his solution for a problem that most of us can only dream about having in our own gardens: too much sun!

The Windon Community Garden is an inspiration in showing what a determined group of residents can do to create a shared garden out of what had been a field area. Their labor, raised beds, fertile soil, and excellent  exposure to the sun are a great combination. Some of the produce is generously donated to a local food bank. The Windon community is happy to help those in need while bringing their own community together through their shared love of gardening. View the video here.

Sallie Jones landscaped her own flower and veggie garden in West Chester out of former front lawn and a sloping back yard.  See her garden tour with her interviewer Courtney in the video here.  This is one of the Borough’s more varied and space-economical gardens, with its own 700-gallon underwater tank storing rainwater! In the photo, Sallie points out some of her herbs and succulents.

Susan Frens‘s Marvelous Medicinal Garden (and much more)! Susan has put together a wonderful medicinal garden, full of many different herbs and vegetables. She also has a lush paradise in her backyard with bamboo and many other plants. One keynote is the rooftop garden above her garage, populated with heat- and drought-resistant low-maintenance sedum. She is paving the way for sustainable living and we hope her garden will inspire you to go green as well! View the video here.

In this installment of the Virtual Garden Tour, we explore Vicki Stone‘s home garden and take a look at the myriad of plants she raises. Vicki specializes in horticulture, and you can truly tell she enjoys her work by the many different varieties that inhabit her backyard. We hope Vicki’s garden inspires you to grow in your own way! View here.

Going Net Zero – Jakob’s Solar Panel Installation

Paige Vermeulen introduces Jakob Speksnijder to viewers in front of his newly solar-enabled house

Interview with Jakob Speksnijder about his quest for Net Zero, moderated by Paige Vermeulen, produced by Claudio Productions, posted 2/18/21. Jakob’s advice: commit to the easy steps to reduce home energy use, such as insulation, composting, rain barrels, air dry clothes…. Read up on solar, the best home solution at this time, talk to people who have installed solar, and proceed! Solar, Jakob explains, costs only about half as much now as it did ten years ago. His next step will be to install high-capacity batteries to store the energy his solar array produces, and to take his home entirely off grid, so that his home will not use fossil fuels (and, of course, he will not fear the power outages that will probably become more frequent with increasingly extreme weather conditions). View the video here.

The Gardens of West Chester University

Enjoy another fine video by Claudio Productions, featuring 4 gardens at WCU and informative interviews with those who know the most about each garden. Here, Professor Joan Welch and Garden Intern Tyler Montgomery explain the garden at Tanglewood.

Videos of our Forums

“Don’t Spray Us!: Panel Discussion on Moving Beyond Pesticides” on June 17, 2021, brought together knowledgeable panelists to speak to local issues concerning the use of pesticides and the alternatives that may exist. Panelists included Emma Horst-Martz with PennPIRG, Kara Rubio of Women for a Healthy Environment, and Drew Toher with Beyond Pesticides. The discussion was moderated by Professor Cheryl Wanko of West Chester University. View the full discussion at the WCU Office of Sustainability.

Videos from Other Sources We Recommend

See videos about WCU’s North Campus Organic Garden with Elizabeth Schultz (WCU ’21) here and of South Campus Gardens here.

Doug Tallamy, “Nature’s Best Hope.” Tallamy, a widely acclaimed professor in the Dept. of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, gave this talk at the Virtual Siouxland Garden Show on March 26, 2021.

His overall theme is that Nature is built from millions of specialized interactions, as between insects and plants, and that we destroy those interactions at our peril. He is scheduled to give an in-person talk in West Chester on Sept. 15, 2021. See also a conversation with him on “The Nature of Oaks” here. See more about Tallamy here.

Community Gardening around the Village

A series of videos by the Phoenixville Public LIbrary and others. See them all here. The latest, March 26, 2021, is “Backyard Gardening for the Complete Beginner.”

See WCU’s Gordon Natural Area videos here.