WYPR Programs

Larry Weaner Landscape Associates

If you’ve ever planted a flower garden, you know what’s required: planting, watering, maybe adding fertilizer and compost. And then there’s that never-ending task, weeding. But what if there were an easier way to create a beautiful, rewarding garden? There is, according to landscape designer Larry Weaner, author of "Garden Revolution: How our landscapes can be a source of environmental change." He argues that many traditional gardening practices are not just time-consuming: they’re counterproductive and harmful to the environment. When we plant species that aren’t suited to our local landscape, we set ourselves up for struggle, he says. Instead, the natural processes of native plant communities should guide us. Stop pulling weeds, retire the rototiller, and start a revolution . . . in your garden. 

July 26,2016 - Radio Kitchen - The Seven Spices of Lebanon

A couple weeks ago we talked about the delicious cuisine of Morocco, so we thought we would sail to the other end of the Mediterranean and visit Lebanon.  While we here in Maryland are awash in fresh produce, it might pay to look at a culture that venerates vegetables and knows what to do with them.

Many key U.S. industries are becoming more concentrated, meaning that leading companies are increasing their market share and acquiring greater market power. 

Taking care of and educating children is hard work, and that’s true irrespective of a child’s age.  As indicated by writer Melanie Trottman, some people are far better compensated for their work overseeing children than others.  In many states, the average worker who cares for three year olds earn half what a worker earns teaching a five year old. 

Two states, Maine and Florida, will probably end twenty sixteen with more elderly residents than children.  That’s unprecedented in U.S history, but which will soon be replicated in a number of other U.S. states.  As reported by the Wall Street Journal, newly released Census Bureau estimates that pertain to July twenty fifteen indicate that a year ago, Maine was home to just two percent more children under the age of eighteen than adults aged sixty five or older. 

The conventional wisdom is that many of world’s most advanced economies are stuck in a rut.  This includes many European economies that are barely expanding, Japan’s near recession economy, and America’s two percent expansion.  But as pointed out by writer Adam Creighton, one could embrace a different view of the data – one that suggests that by some measures, the job market in wealthy nations is faring better than at any time since the nineteen seventies. 

For a few days, Americans were captivated by Britain’s vote in a referendum to leave the European Union.  While the economic impacts of Brexit on England and on the European continent remain unclear, there is a consensus emerging that Britain’s departure from the European Union will have only negligible impact on America. 

Bird Boxes

Jul 26, 2016
Rick Leche/Flickr Creative Commons

Each day when I arrive at Irvine, birds busily flit between the many nest boxes that line the long driveway. These small wooden boxes provide essential nesting locations for many cavity-dwelling birds like eastern bluebirds and chickadees. And this year, Irvine inserted a camera into one of the boxes to get an up-close look at what’s going inside. I’m excited to have Irvine’s Director of Education, Robert Mardiney, with me in the studio today. Rob is a master naturalist and has monitored the box-visiting birds this season. 

Y'amal / Flickr via Creative Commons

McDonald’s. Walmart. Nestle. Just a few of the multinational corporations that have vowed to stop selling eggs from caged chickens. Major brands have also promised to boycott pork from pigs kept in narrow cages known as gestation crates. And this spring, Perdue announced it will provide natural light and more space to the 700 million chickens it raises for meat every year, among other reforms. These companies are responding, they say, to consumer demand. Can the marketplace change the face of industrial farming? How much are Americans willing to pay for better treatment of animals? Do people agree on what is most humane?


The Republican National Convention has come to a close and now it's the Democrats' turn. The Democratic National Convention begins today in Philadelphia and will continue until Thursday. 

After much speculation, Hillary Clinton on Friday evening officially announced that her vice-presidential running mate will be Virginia Senator and former Virginia governor Tim Kaine.

Sheri Parks is an associate professor in the Department of American Studies and Associate Dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming at the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland College Park. Michael Higginbotham is a professor of law at University of Baltimore School of Law. They both join Tom in the studio to discuss what issues -- and controversies -- we can expect to play out at this year's convention.