Cover art for podcast Mothering Earth Podcast

Mothering Earth Podcast

104 EpisodesProduced by Dr. Salwa KhanWebsite

Dr. Salwa Khan is a media producer and educator with a deep and abiding interest in protecting our Mother Earth. The podcast program Mothering Earth featured here is her latest effort to spread the word that we all need to mother Earth by learning to live gently and sustainably.

episodes iconAll Episodes

Mothering Earth -102- Sustainable Diet

January 30th, 2023


Compared to meat-based diets, plant-based diets are significantly less harmful to the environment in terms of greenhouse gases produced, and air, …

Mothering Earth -101- Sustainable Housing

December 31st, 2022


We all need a place to live, but the type of housing we choose has an effect on the environment. Ideally, our housing choices have minimal impact on the environment, on the land, the quality of the air and water and on …

Mothering Earth - 100 - Homegrown National Park

November 30th, 2022


Imagine if everyone who has a garden area, whether vast or tiny, decided to reduce or eliminate their lawn, and planted plants that are native to …

Mothering Earth -99- E-Waste

October 31st, 2022


We count on them to guard our homes, to play our music and television shows, to entertain us with games, to call and chat with friends, relatives and …

Mothering Earth -98- Native Plant Society

September 30th, 2022


Native plants are local plants. They have been growing in a particular region for possibly thousands of years. They grow well without much “care” …

Mothering Earth- 97 - Pesticides Are Poison

August 31st, 2022


When large populations of grasshoppers and crickets appear in western rangelands in the U.S., the government sprays those areas with pesticides to …

Mothering Earth - 96 - Repurposing Plastic

August 1st, 2022


As we all know, there are far too many plastics in our world and unlike most materials, plastics do not readily break down. It is estimated that plastic takes 500 to 1000 years to decompose. Only about nine percent of …

Mothering Earth -95- Habitat-Enhancing Land Management

June 30th, 2022


Land stewardship is about taking care of the soil, of native grasses, trees and shrubs, and of sources of water, such as rivers, lakes, creeks and streams. The aim is to preserve and maintain the biodiversity and health …

Mothering Earth - 94 - Citizens' Climate Lobby

May 31st, 2022


Putting a tax on carbon emissions from fossil fuels isn’t a new idea. Many governments worldwide now implement either direct taxes on fossil fuels, or have set up cap-and-trade programs. This includes Canada, Mexico, …

Mothering Earth -93 - Compassion in World Farming

April 30th, 2022


Most of the animal food products you buy come from what are called factory farms. That includes your beef, chicken, turkey, and pork, as well as eggs and dairy products. The animals in these “farms” live miserable lives …

Mothering Earth - 92 - Food Access

March 31st, 2022


Food is clearly an essential item for all of us, but for some people buying food, especially things like fresh fruits and vegetables, is an impossibility. That's where places like food pantries and organizations like …

Mothering Earth - 91 - Food Forest Champions-Part Two

February 28th, 2022


In part two of our exploration of food forests, our guides Nathan Hunter of the Bronx River Foodway and Umair Khakoo, of the Festival Beach Food Forest in Austin, TX, focus on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and …

Mothering Earth - 90 - Food Forest Champions

January 31st, 2022


A food forest is a public green space where anyone can come, and not only enjoy relaxing among the trees and flowers, but where anyone can pick and eat the fruit from the trees, and harvest herbs, flowers and other …

Mothering Earth- 89 -Water Data

December 31st, 2021


Water is a blessing to all living things. But water also can be dangerous and deadly, in the form of catastrophic flooding. When there is very little …

Mothering Earth - 88 - Herbicide-Free Campus

November 30th, 2021


Herbicide-Free Campus is an organization that provides students with the tools and resources to eliminate synthetic herbicide use on their school or …

Mothering Earth - 87 - Pollinators

November 1st, 2021


Enjoying that salad, or anticipating that yummy apple? Thank a pollinator! Almost all the fruits and vegetables and legumes we eat every day require …

Mothering Earth - 86 - Creating a Bird-Friendly Habitat

October 1st, 2021


Most people enjoy listening to birdsong, or watching birds in an outdoor space, as they go about finding food and water, and making nests where they will raise their babies.

There are things you can provide for birds …

Mothering Earth - 85 - EAT_Lancet Report

September 1st, 2021


Power generation and transportation are huge contributors to climate change, but did you know that what we eat every day is also a big contributor to damaging carbon emissions? Yet this problematic area is seldom talked …

Mothering Earth - 84 - Circular Economy

July 31st, 2021


Imagine a day when your trash contains only a few items. Instead of a large, heavy, bursting bag that you carry out to the curb, your bag is small and lightweight. That’s a goal we can all work toward, because landfills …

Mothering Earth - 83 - Greenbelt

July 1st, 2021


As cities grow, people in them yearn for parkland and green spaces where they can connect with nature. In the city of San Marcos, Texas, citizens got together and formed a group with a mission of creating a belt of …

Mothering Earth- 82 - Permaculture with Rowe Morrow

June 1st, 2021


Permaculture is a way of growing food that works with nature, to minimize waste and to use energy, water and human labor efficiently. It requires …

Mothering Earth - 81 - Hemp

April 30th, 2021


Hemp is a plant that can be grown sustainably, and that has a wide variety of uses from food to clothing, to car parts. and even walls for your house. Despite many positives, hemp's reputation remains clouded by years …

Mothering Earth -80- Forage for Wild Edibles

March 31st, 2021


Don't kill those weeds. Eat them! That's what foragers do. You'll be amazed at the number of plants we call weeds, that are tasty and nutritious. Learn how to start foraging for wild edible plants, maybe in your own …

Mothering Earth - 79- Plastic Free July

February 28th, 2021


Have you thought about how many plastic items you use every day? It is quite a staggering amount, from our toothbrushes, to the plastic bags in which we carry home our groceries, to the water bottles we may buy by the …

Mothering Earth - 78 - Meat vs Vegan

January 31st, 2021


Most environmental policy experts and environmental organizations have largely ignored one of the major contributors to environmental destruction, …

Mothering Earth -77- Vegan

December 30th, 2020


The production of meat pollutes land, water and air. It is a major contributor to climate change, although it remains largely unacknowledged, even by …

Mothering Earth - 76 - Watering Outdoors Tips

November 30th, 2020


Most of the water we use is used outdoors. A lot of it goes to watering lawns. Water conservation outside the house means designing gardens that use less water, and using more efficient ways of watering plants.This …

Mothering Earth - 75 - Water Conservation

October 31st, 2020


Along with the air we breathe, water is another absolute essential for life. As the world's population has grown, so has the demand for water. But …

Mothering Earth - 74 - Food Forest Revisited

October 1st, 2020


Creating and maintaining a food forest in the middle of a city is a major undertaking. In this program, you will meet two people who are doing just that, in Austin, Texas. the Festival Beach Food Forest is now six years …

Mothering Earth - 73 - Fungi

August 31st, 2020


Fungi are fascinating organisms that come in many forms and sizes, from almost invisible to the naked eye, to giant mushrooms. Scientifically speaking, fungi are a kingdom of spore-producing organisms that include …

Mothering Earth - 72 - Garden Ethics

July 31st, 2020


Open your mind and your heart to a new way of thinking about gardens! Garden spaces are not just for humans, but for all the creatures that live there, including animals, insects and birds. In this program, my guest, …

Mothering Earth - 71 - Wildscapes for Birds

July 1st, 2020


Wildscapes are places you can create anywhere there is a bit of space, combined with a desire to be closer to wildlife. Many people like to attract birds, in order to observe them more closely. In this program wildscape …

Mothering Earth -70- Wildscapes

May 31st, 2020


What is something you can create in a backyard, an apartment balcony, or on a patio? A wildscape! A wildscape is an area that you and your family and friends can enjoy, that also provides food, water and shelter for …

Mothering Earth - 69 - Bird Population Decline

April 30th, 2020


Scientists are reporting staggering losses in the populations of birds in North America. The bird population decline is seen in virtually all …

Mothering Earth- 68 - Milkweed & Nectar for Monarchs

March 31st, 2020


Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed plants in the spring, but need different plants, those that provide nectar, during their winter migration south. Cathy Downs, a Master Naturalist, and Monarch Watch …

Mothering Earth - 67 - Monarch Butterfly

February 28th, 2020


Butterflies are magical creatures that bring joy to most people. But have you ever wondered about their lives, and about what those amazing colored …

Mothering Earth - 66 - Floods & Land Management

January 30th, 2020


Flooding is an all too common disaster, but there are ways to mitigate the effects of flooding, and increase the resiliency of the land. Whether you …

Mothering Earth - 65 - One-Water House

December 31st, 2019


All water is a precious resource, including the water we use every day to flush our toilets. Low-flow toilets are designed to minimize water use, but there is also a way to design home wastewater treatment systems, that …

Mothering Earth - 64 - Rare Plants

November 29th, 2019


We often hear about animal species that are on the road to extinction, or species that are becoming more rare. Plants, too, can suffer the same fate. There are many plants all over the world that are classified as rare …

Mothering Earth -63- Invertebrates

October 30th, 2019


Some of them we love, for example butterflies and bees. Some we hate, such as cockroaches and lice. Some are crustaceans that live in the oceans, such as crabs, lobsters and shrimp. There are many more invertebrate …

Mothering Earth - 62 - OneWater

October 1st, 2019


Fresh water is essential to all life and it is a finite resource. Most of us don't think much about letting the water run when we wash dishes, bathe or brush our teeth. Yet, those are all examples of wasting water. In …

Mothering Earth - 61 - Protecting Bees

September 1st, 2019


Protecting bees is vital as a large percentage of crops that we rely on for food are pollinated by bees. In this program, meet Walter Schumacher, the …

Mothering Earth - 60 -Organic Farming

August 1st, 2019


Organic farmer John Stanley works long days to grow vegetables that are delicious and packed with nutrition. He does that by using methods that enrich the soil and at the same time, reduce the amount of carbon dioxide …

Mothering Earth - 59 - Wind Power

July 1st, 2019


The answer to our need for renewable energy sources may, in fact, be blowing in the wind. Wind turbines are popping up in more places as the cost of …

Mothering Earth - 58 - Controlling Invasive Species

May 29th, 2019


Invasive species are those that are not native to an area. They generally spread easily, thereby damaging the natural environment, and in some cases, causing harm to humans and the economy. Invasives may be plants or …

Mothering Earth -57- Using Herbs

April 30th, 2019


Growing herbs is quite easy, as most are unfussy plants that do well in most soils and climates. But what can you do with your herbs? That's the question Judy Barrett, a well-known author and organic gardening expert, …

Mothering Earth -56- When Good Gardens Go Bad

April 5th, 2019


Weeds, insect pests, and plant diseases are problems that all gardeners face, at one time or another. My guest Judy Barrett is a well-known author and organic gardening expert, who has a different approach than most to …

Mothering Earth - 55 - Drought-Proof Your Land

February 27th, 2019


Creating soil that holds water should be the goal of all humans who take care of any land. Why? When soil holds water, rain soaks in rather than …

Mothering Earth - 54- Phytonutrients

January 31st, 2019


You have heard about phytonutrients, but may wonder what they are? Phytonutrients are substances found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and spices that have valuable antioxidant properties. What exactly will they do …

Mothering Earth - 53 - Moringa

December 26th, 2018


Moringa oleifera is a plant that has a long history of being used to treat a multitude of ailments, including joint pain, asthma, cancer, ulcers, …

Mothering Earth - 52 -Meat Production & Environment-Part2

November 29th, 2018


In this program, I continue my conversation with author Pamela Rice on the links between environmental damage and the production of meat. Here we focus on government supports for the production of meat, which keeps meat …

Mothering Earth - 51 -Meat Production & Environment

October 29th, 2018


The production of meat, whether from cows, pigs, chickens or other animals results in serious damage to our air, water and soil. Factory-farming …

Mothering Earth - 50 - Achieving Carbon Neutrality@American University

October 1st, 2018


American University is the first large educational institution in the United States to become carbon neutral. It is an impressive achievement! I spoke to Megan Litke, Director of Sustainability Programs, who oversaw the …

Mothering Earth - 49 - BioIntegrity

September 1st, 2018


What is biological integrity? It is a way of evaluating the health of an eco-system. In this program, Chris Searles, founder of a nonprofit …

Mothering Earth -48- Soil Science, Part 2

July 31st, 2018


In part two of Soil Science, we continue our deep dive into garden soil and hear about what to add to help our plants grow, flower, fruit and prosper in every way.

Mothering Earth - 47 - Soil Science

July 2nd, 2018


You may call it dirt, earth, or soil. Regardless of what term you use, it is a substance that is vital to our existence. Soil is where we plant our food crops, but we may rarely think about what it is. In this program, …

Mothering Earth -46- Herbs as Medicine Part Two

May 29th, 2018


In part two of my conversation with Jenny Perez of the American Botanical Council, we delve into Hibiscus Sabdariffa, turmeric and the elegant goji berry.

Mothering Earth - 45 - Herbs as Medicine

April 30th, 2018


Do herbs really have medicinal powers? You bet! In this program, you will hear from an expert on growing herbs and on using herbs as medicine, namely Jenny Perez, education coordinator for the American Botanical Council …

Mothering Earth - 44- Raising Chickens Part Two

April 2nd, 2018


Discouraging egg-eating behavior by your chickens is just one of many chicken-keeping mysteries explained in part two of my conversation with avian expert Jesse Huth. Jesse also talks about how to identify other birds …

MotheringEarth - 43 - Raising Chickens

February 28th, 2018


Chickens are kept by humans all over the world, as a source of fresh eggs, and by carnivores, as a source of meat. Perhaps you keep chickens, or know someone who does? Or you may be thinking about starting your own …

MotheringEarth -42- The Amazing Bat

January 29th, 2018


Bats are found on every continent in the world, except Antarctica. These flying mammals are often misunderstood and persecuted, yet they perform several valuable services for us humans. In this program, Mylea Bayless of …

Mothering Earth -41 -Challenges of Rapid Growth Part Two

December 31st, 2017


In part two of our conversation with Katherine Romans of the Hill Country Alliance, we'll hear about what you can do to conserve water, to keep our night skies dark and starry, and to preserve the character of small …

Mothering Earth -40- Challenges of Rapid Growth

November 29th, 2017


What happens when an area known for its natural beauty and resources experiences rapid population growth? The Texas hill country is such an area, and …

Mothering Earth -39 - Material Recovery Facility MRF

October 30th, 2017


What is a MRF? It is a Material Recovery Facility, and it is where your recyclable trash goes to be sorted, and eventually reused. Workers and machines at theTexas Disposal Systems MRF sort through the millions of …

Mothering Earth - 38 - Herbs & Bees

September 27th, 2017


In this program we continue our exploration of herbs with Robyn Clark, especially those plants that are used in therapeutic ways. We also re-visit Tara Chapman, chief beekeeper at Two Hives Honey to talk about how to …

Mothering Earth - 37 - Herbs

August 26th, 2017


Herbs are those marvelous plants we use to make our food taste better. Herbs also have a long history of being used as medicines, and if that's not enough, they are used to provide pleasant fragrance in soaps and body …

Mothering Earth - 36 - Food Forest

July 31st, 2017


Most people who plant fruit and nut trees and herbs look forward to harvesting and using their bounty by themselves, or perhaps sharing some with friends and neighbors. So imagine an urban park, planted with fruit and …

Mothering Earth - 35 - Bees

June 30th, 2017


Did you know that honey bees visit two million flowers to make one pound of honey? That’s a lot of work for that sweet treat that you spread on your toast! In this program, we visit Tara Chapman, chief beekeeper at Two …

Mothering Earth - 34 - Birds & Our Environment

May 19th, 2017


There are thousands of unique bird species on our Earth, which makes them an important part of the world’s environment. They contribute to the diversity of nature, but also delight us with their pretty feathers, chirps …

Mothering Earth -33 - Benefits of Bicycling

May 1st, 2017


Bicycling is a fun activity for both children and adults. It has a positive effect on the environment because unlike automobiles, bikes don’t emit …

Mothering Earth - 32- Permaculture

April 2nd, 2017


The term permaculture is a combination of the words “permanent” and “agriculture” and describes a way of thinking about food production that is both …

Mothering Earth - 31 - Urban Horticulture

March 1st, 2017


We may live in urban and suburban places, but we still crave a connection to nature, to green-spaces and to the birds and the bees. Urban …

Mothering Earth -30- Wheatsville Food Co-op

January 31st, 2017


Food Co-ops are communities of people who care about food and the environment. In this program, Mothering Earth goes to the only food co-op in Texas--the Wheatsville Food Co-op, which is located in Austin, TX.

Mothering Earth- 29- Food Waste

January 16th, 2017


A staggering amount of food is wasted each year in the United States. Good edible food goes in the trash and then in the landfill, while others go hungry. On Mothering Earth, we explore this issue with Russell Cavin of …

Mothering Earth - 28- Dark Night Skies

December 1st, 2016


Dark night skies allow us to view the stars and the Milky Way, but keeping the night dark also has health benefits and affects your wallet. In this program Cindy Luongo Cassidy explains why dark night skies are so …

Mothering Earth - 27 - Austin Creative Reuse

November 17th, 2016


Artists, creatives and educators alike can find repurposed materials at very low cost for projects of all kinds. Founder and Board President Rebecca Stuch takes us on a tour of this amazing resource center that helps …

Mothering Earth - 26 - Rainwater 2016

October 5th, 2016


Rain is free water falling from the sky that you can capture and use for watering your garden, and for cooking, bathing and drinking. That’s called rainwater harvesting and in this conversation with Kathi Thomas, …

Mothering Earth - 25 -Trees and Water

August 31st, 2016


What do trees do all day long, besides stand there and look pretty? In this conversation with Dr. Susan Schwinning, at Texas State University, we go under the bark, and find out.

Mothering Earth - 24 - Caring for the San Marcos River

August 31st, 2016


Keeping the San Marcos river clean, clear and flowing is no easy task, as Dianne Wassenich can tell you. Dianne has been an essential part of the San Marcos River Foundation for more than 30 years and in this program, …

Mothering Earth - 23 - Living Sustainably

August 31st, 2016


San Marcos, Texas residents Betsy Robertson and her husband Todd Derkacz have found fun and effective ways to lower their carbon footprint. In the process, they enjoy a healthier lifestyle that is better for the …

Mothering Earth - 22 - Industrial Scale Composting

May 31st, 2016


Making compost is good for our earth in many ways. It removes items that would otherwise fester in landfills, from the waste stream, and turns that …

Mothering Earth - 21 - Thoughtful Land Management

May 31st, 2016


There are things we can do, on the land we live on, to alleviate the severe effects of a lot of rain in a short period of time. In this conversation …

Mothering Earth - 19- Our Clothes & the Environment

May 31st, 2016


The clothes we wear have an impact on our environment in many ways. There’s the environmental impact when the materials used for the fabric is grown, or harvested, or manufactured, the impact at the clothing factory, …

Mothering Earth - 20 - Riparian Recovery After Floods

May 31st, 2016


Central Texas and many other areas around the country experience periods of drought followed by flooding. There are best practices we can all follow …

Mothering Earth - 18 Getting to Zero Waste (Part 2)

January 31st, 2016


In the second part of our interview with Andrew Dobbs, we talk about convincing companies to use minimal packaging and about what happens with electronic waste from computers, cell phones and the like. Learn how you …

Mothering Earth - 18 Getting to Zero Waste

January 31st, 2016


Getting to “zero waste” may seem like an impossible goal, but Andrew Dobbs of the Texas Campaign for the Environment says each of us can play a role …

Mothering Earth - 17 - GrowLocal

December 8th, 2015


Salwa Khan (Mothering Earth) interviews Sari Albornoz, program director of the Grow Local program of the Sustainable Food Center in Austin TX.

Mothering Earth - 16 - The Happy Kitchen

December 8th, 2015


Interview with Joy Casnovsky, program director of the Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre in Austin, TX about preparing fresh healthy meals.

Mothering Earth - 15 - Farm Direct

October 7th, 2015


Andrew Smiley of the Farm Direct program at Sustainable Food Center in Austin Texas discusses how the Farm Direct program works in connecting people to the sources of fresh healthy local food.

Mothering Earth -14 - Restoring Earth Part 2

September 3rd, 2015


In Part 2 of an interview with Bill Neiman of Native American Seed in Junction, Texas, Neiman provides more reasons and practical ways of preserving our land.

Mothering Earth - 14 - Restoring Earth Part 1

September 3rd, 2015


Bill Neiman of Native American Seed in Junction, Texas talks about how and why we should care about the land we live on, and what we can do to make …

Mothering Earth - 13- NPRI & Edible Plants

September 3rd, 2015


Interview by Salwa Khan with Adam Salcedo and Phillip Balke of the Native Plant Research Institute (NPRI) about edible natives and about expanding our food choices.

Mothering Earth 12 - Solar

July 1st, 2015


An interview with solar/renewable energy expert Steven Wiese from Austin Texas on the use of solar power by individuals and large organizations.

Mothering Earth 11- Plant Care

May 26th, 2015


Interview with Andrea Delong Amaya, director of horticulture at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center. We talk about native plants, designing a …

Mothering Earth- 10 Ecological Landscapes Part 2

May 4th, 2015


Part two of an interview with Michelle Bright and Jonathan Garner from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center centering on projects where water was a major concern and about the benefits of green roofs.

Mothering Earth - 9 EcologicalLandscapes

April 10th, 2015


The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX is an outstanding source of information about plants. It has another vital mission, which is to research and implement real-world projects that are practical …

Mothering Earth-8 ClimateBuddies

February 27th, 2015


Climate Buddies is a growing organization in Austin, Texas, with a mission to educate us about how to reduce our carbon footprint. Their Carbon Diet and FEAT programs are racking up successes because their approach is …

MotheringEarth - 7 KeepTexasBeautiful

January 16th, 2015


Salwa Khan's interview with Christine Chute Canul, Senior Program Director at Keep Texas Beautiful on three prongs of their mission - litter …

MotheringEarth-6 TreeFolks

November 23rd, 2014


Interview with Rebecca Johnson of TreeFolks, Austin Texas about their programs to plant trees as part of their urban forestry program.

MotheringEarth- 5 Water In The Hill Country

October 28th, 2014


Interview with Dr. Andrew Sansom of the Meadows Center on the state of water in the Hill Country of Texas and what the average person can do to help.

Mothering Earth-4 KeyholeGardens

October 5th, 2014


Interview with Dr. Deb Tolman about the whys and hows of keyhole gardens.

MotheringEarth-3 Rainwater Collection

September 9th, 2014


Interview with Karen Ford on issue of rainwater collection, drought, rainwater revival event in October 2014

Mothering Earth-2 Farmers Markets

August 3rd, 2014


Mothering Earth program for August 2014--on farmer's markets

Mothering Earth-1 Native Plants

July 4th, 2014


Program # 1 of Mothering Earth radio program July 4, 2014
Salwa Khan interviews Tim Thompson of King Feed about native plants.

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