244: Raymond Jess on Wicking Beds
Watering up in the garden, and using physics to maintain proper soil hydration.
In This Podcast: We hear from Ray Jess, a man who loves to learn, and is enthusiastically helping others get excited about wicking bed gardens. When he first saw a wicking bed at a fellow Master Gardener’s yard, he was intrigued and that started his deep research. From there he tinkered with an idea about how he could build one in his own yard, with a little improvement, of course. Now he has written an article for the Urban Farm and we hear the benefits of capillary action in his own words.
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After retiring from two careers, the Air Force and teaching, he pursued his love of food by graduating from the Phoenix Art Institute with a certificate in Culinary Arts. The highlight of his culinary experience was working as a chef for the 2007 Super Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Natural extensions for this self-proclaimed foodie were the completion of his Master Gardner training and his Certificate in Permaculture Design.
A love of fresh foods and herbs kept him gardening for the last two decades. During a volunteer component of his Master Gardner training, Ray discovered wicking garden beds. A man of curiosity and a seeker of ways to do things more efficiently, he embarked on a research project leading him to the Father of Wicking Beds, Collin Austin. As a result of Ray’s research, his backyard garden has evolved from rows of crops in a plot of ground and raised beds, to grow-buckets and wicking beds. He is currently keeping his eyes open for the next great idea to perfect his garden, so he can keep giving his family, friends, and neighbors fresh produce.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/wickingbed for more information on this podcast and to find our other great guests.