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The Mike Nowak Show

Your host Mike Nowak with Peggy Malecki and special contributors Rick DiMaio (weather) and the Green Diva!

MikeNowakNow it it's 21st year, The Mike Nowak Show is all about gardening, the environment and green living on Chicago Radio and Television. For a decade, Mike hosted WGN Radio's "Let's Talk Gardening", leading to a 7-year expansion on WCPT and Que4 Radio. In early 2017, Mike and company made the move to 1590 WCGO with his live show, every Sunday morning from 9:00AM to 11:00AM. Along the way, he's also co-hosted the popular TV gardening and cooking show "Dig In Chicago". Mike also appears on WGN-TV, CBS 2 Chicago and the DIY Network. When he's not in the studios doing his show, Mike is often seen throughout Chicagoland working with various food co-ops, gardening centers, sustainable living programs and teaching our community to live better through responsible farming, gardening and environmental consciousness.

Co-host Peggy Malecki has, for the past eight years, published Natural Awakenings Chicago magazine, an independent monthly publication focused on living a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. Living green is important to Peggy, who strives to incorporate sustainable habits into her everyday life and teach others to do the same.

Although she Peggywithmicgrew up on the northwest side of Chicago, Peggy says she spent countless childhood hours    with her grandparents in then-small-town Antioch, IL, learning how to compost, grow veggies without chemicals and appreciate the outdoors.  She currently lives and gardens in the suburbs, and still spends lots of time in the city.

In prior business incarnations, Peggy specialized in marketing, technical and process documentation, training development and delivery and product and project management. She’s also developed website content, penned newsletters, chaired national sailing regattas and published a sailing magazine. An avid sailor, Peggy was the first (and only) woman commodore and board president of the North Shore Yacht Club, and served as a Lakefront Commissioner with the City of Highland Park. She is also a Highland Park beach captain for the annual Adopt-A-Beach clean-up.

 LIVE Sundays 9:00am - 11:00am...only on 1590 WCGO...Chicago's SmartTalk!

  Visit the Mike Nowak Show website for podcasts, blogs and more!

 

Podcasts

  • Gardening expert and show regular Melinda Myers returns to talk about the arrival of fall and perhaps a little bit about the horticultural industry. It's also the day after the 2019 Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards ceremony and Mike and Peggy welcome two of the winning gardeners to the WCGO studios.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Excellent Gardens, Excellent Garden Advice

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  • Christine Nye, who recently retired as horticulture manager at the Shedd Aquarium, stops by to talk about the gardens she created there. She is joined by Pam Karlson, Annamaria Leon and Ken Williams to promote the upcoming ILCA IMPACT Conference. Pete Czosnyka explains how he faces a $675 fine for growing native plants in his front yard.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Sustainable Landscapes Make an IMPACT

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  • Guy McPherson, professor emeritus at the University of Arizona, returns to the show to talk about his blog Nature Bats Last. He believes we are in the end days as a species, and has paid the price for being so outspoken. Laura Calvert from Advocates for Urban Agriculture and Martha Boyd of Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts report on their opposition to a proposed ordinance that would ban roosters and impose fees and fines on people raising livestock in the city.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Guy McPherson and Near Term Human Extinction

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  • Entomologists Doug Taron and Allen Lawrance from the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum stop by the studio to discuss monarch butterflies, dragonflies, spiders and more. Orin and Manjula Martin talk about the organic approach of their book Fruit Trees for Every Garden.

    The Mike Nowak Show - “An Amazing Year” for Eastern Monarchs?

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  • Tom Shepherd and Jerry Brown from the Lake Calumet Vision Committee return to the show to discuss more harebrained schemes for the area (like casinos--yeesh!) and what really needs to be done. Amy Cox of Pro Time Lawn Seed talks about wonderful solutions for your yard that you never even dreamed of.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Setting Lake Calumet Free

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  • Evan Shorr from Bartlett Tree Experts answers questions about fall tree care. Pastor Scott Onque’ of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago previews the Faith in Place Green Team Summit. Rich and Susan Eyre from Rich's Foxwillow Pines in Woodstock, IL, report on the closing of their conifer nursery after 31 years.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Tree Care Season Starts Now

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  • LaManda Joy and Joan Murray from City Grange talk about fall vegetables and containers. Tony Abruscato of the Get Growing Foundation is bringing Plant Truck to underserved neighborhoods. Jessica Chipkin of Crate Free Illinois and Josh Richards of The Humane League are working to make meat purveyors more responsible for the products they serve.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Green Tomatoes and Plant Trucks

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  • Ryan Anderson from Midwest Grows Green returns to the program to talk about a more responsible way of having a lawn. He is joined by Brandon Losey of Ringer's Landscaping. Rebecca Boehm from the Union of Concerned Scientists explains why researchers and their work at the USDA are under threat from the current administration.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Fall is Midwest Lawn Care Season

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  • Like it or not, jumping worms are moving into Illinois and the Midwest. Illinois Extension Forestry and Research Specialist Chris Evans has more on the latest headline-grabbing invasive species. Tom Nowak talks responsible--which means sustainable--investing. Julie Nowak (yes, related to Tom but not to Mike), reports the work of Citizens' Climate Lobby and their push to get a climate change bill through Congress.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Jumping Worms Derangement Syndrome

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  • Mike and Peggy welcome back Dan Gibbs, The Backyard Farmer, and Holly and Joey Baird, The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener, to talk about mid-summer problems in the vegetable garden. Alan Shannon and Jen Nelson from Seven Generations Ahead explain how the Oak Park Micro Brew Review achieves its goal of zero waste.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Summer Vegetables Report 2019

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  • Mike and Peggy are on the Calumet area of Chicago this morning, hoping to track down a plant that hasn't been seen in more than 100 years! It's the Thismia Hunt! A Calumet Celebration Day! It's family friendly and we will be talking to scientists, restoration ecologists, birders, activists and volunteers who are hoping to make science history. Join us!

    The Mike Nowak Show - Thismia, Thismia, Wherefore Art Thou, Thismia?

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  • Skeet from Bartlett Tree Experts returns to the show with his traveling critter carnival. He talks to Mike and Peggy about summer tree issues. Dan Kosta from Vern Goers Greenhouse previews the Prairie State Bonsai Society annual show at the Morton Arboretum.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Skeet’s Traveling Critter Carnival

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  • World-renowned perennial plant experts Roy Diblik and Piet Oudolf join Mike and Peggy to talk about plant communities and good design. On the heels of the discovery in the Midwest of P. ramorum, a pathogen that has the potential to kill oak trees, Tom Buechel returns to the show to explain how the Plant Sentry program can protect states from diseases, pests and invasive plants. Martie Sanders and the actors at Green Team Chicago are back with a report on this summer's production, "...not for all the tea in China!" (Hint: it's about the history of tea.)

    The Mike Nowak Show - Roy and Piet: The Perennial Whisperers

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  • Patrick Williams from Openlands discusses their new "Get Outside Map" for the Chicago area, as well as the demise of the Route 53 extension and flooding forums in Lake County. Danielle Perry, new executive director at Growing Home, talks about their mission to grow organic produce and help Chicagoans find jobs. Another report on the threatened MAMBY concert on Montrose Beach, this time from neighborhood leader Marianne Lalonde. Bill Stengel from Summit Responsible Solutions tell you why Mosquito Dunks are the best way to deal with that insect pest.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Get Outside Already! Yeah, You!

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  • Chicago area architects Tom Bassett-Dilley and Nate Kipnis join Mike and Peggy in studio to talk about the potential for net zero--and possibly net positive-energy design projects. Show regular Melinda Myers returns to talk native plants and getting a late start on veggie planting in the Midwest.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Net Zero Energy Design…and Beyond!

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  • Mike and Peggy follow up on last week's conversation about the return of the piping plover to Chicago's Montrose Beach, and how its progress is being threatened by the scheduled MAMBY concert event. Paul Fehrenbacher from the Montrose Lakefront Coalition (MLC) and Douglas Stotz, senior conservation ecologist in the Keller Science Action Center at the Field Museum are working to save an endangered species. Kathleen Thompson reports from the "Recall Desk." You won't want to miss it.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Protecting Piping Plovers in Chicago

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  • Scott Stringer from Bartlett Tree Experts answers your tree care questions. Christine Esposito of Terracom and Dr. Liam Heneghan from DePaul University explain how Third Coast Disrupted: Artists + Scientists on Climate can make people more aware of the threat to our planet posed by the climate crisis. Montrose Beach Dunes steward Leslie Borns and Carl Giomettil from the Chicago Ornithological Society have the latest on the battle to preserve a fragile ecosystem on Chicago's lakefront from a proposed rock concert.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Science, Art and Climate Change

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  • WCGO Radio is broadcasting live from Evanston's Custer Fair. Mike and Peggy welcome Louise Rosenberg from Cultivate Urban Rainforest and Gallery, and congratulate the Chicago Botanic Garden's Kayri Havens, Ph.D. on her lifetime achievement award from the American Horticultural Society.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Custer Fair in a Year of Rain

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  • Arnold Randall, General Superintendent of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, explains how they are preparing to adapt to and to attempt to mitigate climate change. Thad King, Crystal Clair and Karen Hudson follow up on the threat posed by a CAFO to a downstate organic farm. Rick DiMaio reports on the continuing wet, cool weather.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Forest Preserves In the Age of Climate Crisis

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  • Tomato experts Craig LeHoullier, author of Epic Tomatoes, and tomato breeder KC Tomato (not his real name), join Mike and Peggy to talk about getting the tomato season started. Fred Braun, Director of Public Works for the Village of Niles, talks about how their snow and ice removal system just won an award from the American Public Works Association (APWA).

    The Mike Nowak Show - TOMATOMANIA with KC and NC

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  • David J. Zaber is your instructor for Garden Chemicals 101, a look at the pesticides and fertilizers that we put in our yards and the consequences of using them. Rick Moskovitz from A Plus Pest Control returns to talk about how to deal safely with indoor pests. He might sing a song, too. Be prepared.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Garden Chemicals 101 on the Radio

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  • Mary Phillips from the National Wildlife Federation reports on how the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is creating wildlife habitat in backyards. Ryan Anderson promotes Chicago Grows Green Week, presented by Midwest Grows Green. Madison Hopkins returns to the show to talk about her most recent article for the Better Government Association about Chicago's failing recycling system.

    The Mike Nowak Show - A Million Healthy Gardens

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  • Skeet from Bartlett Tree Experts returns to talk about tree issues for a colder and wetter than normal spring. Dick Peach from the Evanston Environmental Association previews Nature's Night Out. Grant Kessler and Sofia Jouravel explain why you should join the Chicago Market co-op. David and Laura Mitchell from Lumican.com want to change the world, one LED street light at a time.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Solutions for a Cold, Wet Spring

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  • Margaret Frisbie from Friends of the Chicago River talks about next week's Chicago River Day, while Chicago folk musician Mark Dvorak explains how Pete Seeger helped to save the Hudson River. Lorraine Ballato has great hydrangea care info in her new book, "Success with Hydrangeas." Carol and Steve Wenzel from Blazing Star Nursery explain how farmers and backyard gardeners can create healthy soil.

    The Mike Nowak Show - How To Save Your Favorite River

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  • Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers has advice about spring snow storms and plants. Paul Botts of The Wetlands Initiative and Teri Valenzuela from Audubon Great Lakes talk about the restoration work being done at Indian Ridge Marsh on Chicago's southeast side.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Wild Ginger Slushies in April

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  • The Mike Nowak Show spends this holiday Sunday broadcasting from the brand spanking new City Grange on Chicago's northwest side. Founder LaManda Joy joins us, along with staff members, who talk about the mission of this not-so-usual retail establishment. America's Seed Artist Shilin Hora also stops by to talk about a seed quilt that she has created with students from Emerson Elementary School in Berwyn.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Live From City Grange!

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  • Lydia Scott from the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) and Colleen Murphy-Dunning of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies preview an event this Wednesday at The Morton Arboretum about trees and climate change, where Mike will be moderator.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Trees As Climate Superheroes

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  • Dan Protess, writer and producer for Urban Nature, talks about the second season of the WTTW online show, featuring an episode about forager Dave Odd, who is also in studio. Nicole Virgil reports on how she is fighting to rewrite Illinois law if the City of Elmhurst won't allow her to site a hoop house on her property. Laura Calvert from Advocates for Urban Agriculture joins the conversation by phone.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Eating Your Neighborhood

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  • We head to Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery on Chicago's south side for a honey tasting "mead n' feed" event, featuring Chef Carrie Schloss. Phil Fitch and Nick Arensmann from Bartlett Tree Experts answer urban tree care questions. Nina Baki from Forest Preserve District of Cook County and Val Kehoe from Illinois Extension talk about how you can be part of the Conservation@Home program.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Mead n’ Feed on the South Side

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  • The Mike Nowak Show with Peggy Malecki heads to Navy Pier for the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Mike and Peggy welcome a roster of guests that includes designers, educators and even a 6th grade chef who has already been on national television.

    The Mike Nowak Show - Sunday at the Flower Show

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