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Gardens For Better Sustainable Community; My Speech at Google

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sustainable ideas

This week was a tremendously exciting one for me – I was invited to speak at Google!! (To clarify – YES – I am jumping up and down with excitement!) Google is a wonderful place to explore the concepts of sustainability and garden-to-table organic and green healthy choices. They have cooks for the Googlers – staff members – that focus on healthy cuisine and positive understanding of sustainable good-for-the-earth choices. With that in mind, you can imagine how honored I was to be invited by Google to speak at their facility.

We created a Google+ Hangout with garden experts from around the country to participate in the conversation with me discussing sustainable ideas like water savings, eco-environmental community concerns, inexpensive culinary ideas, as well as sustainable gardening tips and green ideas for everyday gardeners.

Below is a video of the speech and shared discussion with the garden experts. I hope you will watch it and leave a comment. It was SO EXCITING to be invited to speak and lead this discussion on something I am so very passionate about.

Included in the conversation are the following authors and online garden/growing experts (as they appear on the Google+ Hangout screen) —

Annie Haven –,
Chris McLaughlin –,
Christina Salwitz –,
Laura Matthews –,
Michael Nolan –,
Shirley Bovshow –, and
Steve Asbell –

Special thanks to the amazing gardeners who joined in the conversation and particularly to Google Chicago for hosting this amazing Hangout about sustainable green garden ideas and broadcasting to locations around the world!

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  1. Shauna this was nice, thank you for hosting. This was great seeing everyone I chat with on social media on video.
    I am watching this Sat AM. During the weekdays I am in the field, practicing horticulture therapy, so network with you all in the evening.
    Great points you all mentioned. For us it is a lifestyle that is as normal as brushing our teeth. For others it is like we are from mars. Education is the key to open the door, this was a nice forum.

  2. Great article… Thanks to links for other blogs… You are such a favorite on facebook. Your suggestions to me about my failing Basil crop were tremendous. The plants are healthy & bountiful.

  3. Congratulations on your enlightening talk Shawna!

    I just wanted to know whether this would be just a Google phenomena or would you be delivering talks elsewhere too?

    Sustainable choices should be embraced amongst other bigwigs too and I would be really glad if more of this happens.

    Good luck again!

  4. Thanks Bhavya. I tour and speak all around the world, so this is not a one time phenomena. ::smile::

    I have speaking information on my “work with Shawna” page here on my website –

    Additionally, I’ll be working more with Google+ in the future to bring all sorts of ideas forward, including a series of inexpensive culinary tips and ideas.

    Thanks so very much for your kind words!


  5. Great! I wish people in India would be as receptive to sustenance and by that, I mean of all kinds, especially food and energy.

  6. Great Hangout and especially if you can use the Google channel.
    I have to say that a lot of issues your are dealing with in the USA are less sensational in The Netherlands or even Europe, but it is true that if you can reach out to get connected to more enthusiastic people the change of YOU to WE will be enourmous.
    In The Netherlands (beacause we are a relatively small country below sea levels) we know about retaining water, so we retain water at roofs below urbun vegetable gardens which are build up on the roof to support the community.
    There is still so much untouched space, from urban space (grassfields have also a function in biodiversity and fauna diversity) to vertical space (how many vertical walls and fences we can use…) to roof spaces. It is proven that employees in these big office buildings work more productive when they look out over a green area, a green roof, a vegetable roof.
    Urban gardening is a HOT item in almost major city in Europe. A lot of people want to start their own garden at the balcony so your advice about shady veggies is more than welcome to those who are starting to grow vegetables and herbs vertical in for example the EetbareWand. This product is even equiped with an integrated watering system which you can attach to a rainbarrel, How cool!
    There are always pro’s and contradictions, and some local vegstores are not happy with the development of grow-your-own as they can already see a drop in their figures of sales.
    In the Netherlands our company has started last year a wonderful program to educate children from the age between 2-13 to become more aware of the taste of fresh vegetables and herbs by growing them selves vertically with the HealthySchoolGarden. Children develop between the age of 2-5 their taste-buds and its proven that children who experienced more different tastes are likely to eat better and more healthy AND throw away less food and packaging because they read the directions better. The program will be supported by the Dutch Government in 2013.
    And a last note about cooking: Do you not have 24kitchen, the Foodchannel where topchefs cook the most deliciuos meals for you to use at home? Great stuff :-).
    Well Shawna, as we said before… hope to see you soon back in The Netherlands

    Leon van Rijswijk

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