Award-Winning Garden Radio Show Now Available as Podcast

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Independent radio producer in Kodiak, Alaska turns award-winning UpBeet Gardener radio show into podcasts.

Eager to broadcast the message that plants are more than “green statues sitting in your living room,” Marion Owen of Kodiak, Alaska is turning her award-winning UpBeet Gardener radio shows into globally accessible podcasts.

Podcasts are audio files placed on the Web for access by anyone with an Internet connection. Popularized by iPods and MP3 players, podcasts range from National Public Radio programs and talk show hosts, to archived university lectures and Elvis Presley’s passion for peas, as in the case of the UpBeet Gardener.

The UpBeet Gardener radio show, aired in six states, won two Bronze Awards of Achievement in 2005 from the Garden Writers Association, an international organization of professional garden writers and communicators. Produced by master gardener and best-selling author Owen, the UpBeet Gardener was recognized for best radio scripting and audio production. GWA has more than 1,800 members worldwide who cover the $70-billion-a-year lawn and garden industry.

GWA's Bronze Award recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications. "This is the benchmark for excellence in horticultural communications," says Cathy Wilkinson Barash, president of GWA. "These recipients are the cream of the crop. When they write or talk about gardening, people listen."

Owen, an independent radio producer in Kodiak, created the two-minute UpBeet Gardener to encourage people “to be more aware of the important roles that plants play in our lives,” she says, adding, “Imagine a world without bananas, blue jeans, coffee and yes, even toilet paper!”

The UpBeet Gardener airs in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The audio slices of garden life reflect on everything from scientific advancements such as the use of aspirin in houseplant care and the tree house President Jimmy Carter built for daughter Amy, to horticulture programs in prisons and the “Purple Haze” carrot, named after Jimi Hendrix’s hit song. An expanded version of The UpBeet Gardener is also available as a monthly e-newsletter, with subscribers in over 70 countries.

Radio stations can download the radio shows for free from http://www.upbeetcommunications.com (a Web site, developed and maintained by Owen, that received a Best Media Web Site award from the Alaska Press Club), while podcasts of the shows are available through services such as iTunes or by visiting Owen’s blog at http://garden.blogware.com.

Owen also created PlanTea organic fertilizer, co-authored the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul, teaches gardening and photography, and is a public speaker on topics ranging from seed-planting to marketing for small businesses.

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Marion Owen

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