Joel Karsten

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1313 Willow Circle Saint Paul, Minnesota 55113

Author and speaker...gardening is in his blood! His best selling book "Straw Bale Gardens" shook up the traditional gardening world with the introduction of his revolutionary methods, but now thousands of converts around the world agree, it works!

w: http://www.StrawBaleGardens.com

w: http://www.facebook.com/LearnToGrowAStrawBaleGarden

w: http://www.StrawBaleGardenClub.com

e: view email joel@strawbalegardens.com

Additional Information

Straw Bale Gardening can be beautiful and bountiful


Joel's Bio:

While still a Horticulture Science undergrad at the University of Minnesota he started a small business, planting flowers for his professors and their neighbors.  Born and raised on a tree nursery and crop farm in Southwestern MN, Joel has a foundation in horticulture and an entrepreneurial spirit.  He earned a bachelor’s degree, later became a garden book author and winner of the P.J.Redoute award for practical horticulture in 2014 for his best selling book "Straw Bale Gardens" which has been translated into a number of foreign languages around the world.  His presentations are always fun, very educational, and will inspire the audience to go home, grab a shovel, and make their backyard into the envy of the neighborhood!  

In the 1990's Joel began experimenting with production of vegetables in decomposing bales of straw.  After a few years of experimentation and trial and error, he figured out what works best and wrote it all down.  He eventually transitioned completely from a traditional soil based vegetable garden to producing all but a couple of vegetable crops in straw bales.  The maintenance of his garden went to nearly nothing, and left him time to write his first book "Straw Bale Gardening" in an effort to help others skip the learning curve on using his methods.  His thousands of Straw Bale Gardening converts will attest to anyone who will listen, that "growing in bales has changed their life, and they'll never go back to their old methods."

Now an award winning author with Cool Springs Press, Karsten is working on future projects and speaking regularly around the world.  Audience feedback from his appearances attests that whether they are avid gardeners or novices they are impressed with his revolutionary new ideas, humor, inspiring stories and general knowledge of horticulture. 

If you are looking for a keynote speaker, Joel would be happy to work with your organization to customize a presentation specifically for you.  Most of his seminars are PowerPoint based with live visual aides and props.  Karsten is a professional speaker, and travels regularly, however he prefers to communicate directly with clients to coordinate dates and execute contracts without an agent.  He is very accessible via his website or his Facebook page, so please submit any inquiries that way and be assured that he will always reply quickly.


STRAW BALE GARDENS® – Breaking New Ground! - If you thought the only place to grow healthy crops was in black soil, you must attend this seminar.  Learn how to grow a bountiful garden in decomposing bales of straw without using herbicides, insecticides, or fungicides, and without weeding.  Plant a wide variety of vegetables, root crops, vining crops, fruits, and even beautiful flower gardens, directly into your “conditioned" straw bales.  Never again do the heavy-lifting or bending, required with traditional soil-based gardens.  Learn this revolutionary and easy gardening method to create a beautiful and productive garden, without lifting a shovel and without using soil.  If you are thinking of growing a vegetable garden for the first time, or if you are concerned that your days of doing the hard work in the garden may be short, then start using straw bales! The STRAW BALE GARDENS® method makes gardening so much easier, and so much more fun.

Karsten speaks at events and programs all over the United States and around the world.  Helping to change the standard agricultural paradigm in many parts of Asia, Karsten presented recently in Cambodia, and held a workshop to educate the population about this unique method of gardening that can help them sustain year around production in their climate.  Ireland, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, France and the Czeck Republic are all places Karsten has traveled to spread the word about his amazing STRAW BALE GARDENS® method. 

Karsten's book "Straw Bale Gardens" was applauded by the New York Times writer Michael Tortorello as "a transformative garden technology - for under $100!"  Generating over 600 media appearances and launching Karsten's book to the Best Seller List, it has made a big impact on the gardening world over the past few years.  Now printed in many foreign languages the book has launched a speaking career that has taken Karsten around the world speaking to frustrated gardeners looking for alternatives to difficult sites, and solutions to so many other problems that traditional gardening methods can't address.

While Karsten has three best-selling books on the Straw Bale Gardening method he pioneered, he also speaks about other topics.  He has presented on a number of different topics and is open to additional suggestions that organizers would be interested in having for their audiences. 


Other topics include:

"Building an Outdoor Room" - an overview of the trend of creating outdoor spaces that expand the living area of a home to the outdoors.  This involves planning, building, hardscapes, softscapes, fireplaces, water features and lighting.  Many things to think about and Karsten provides a road map that anyone can easily navigate.


"Composting" - a humorous and informative look at composting.  A compost bin's vital necessity in a garden, and the practical implementation of a plan to compost for a household.  Simple techniques and effective designs for composting facilities are offered.


"Outdoor Lighting" - a revolution in outdoor lighting has taken place right under out noses in the past five years, making lighting easier, cheaper, more practical and fun.  Everyone can improve the curb appeal, safety, and functionality of their property with a solid understanding of outdoor lighting techniques.  The audience will leave with a new understanding of a little understood aspect of a well-crafted landscape.


"Container Gardening" - understanding the basics of selecting containers for a specific application, and proper planting media, techniques for planting, watering and practical uses for containers in a landscape are all covered in Karsten's presentation.  Everyone loves flower pots, but this presentation will inspire them to take their next plantings to a whole new level of beautiful.






























Roseville, Minnesota 55113

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Audience Reviews

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Kathleen from Moose Lake, MN - 05/26/2015 02:32:13

We really enjoyed Joel's presentation, learned a lot, and are excited to begin planting our first straw bale garden!

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Great presentation

Carmen Griggs from Grand Rapids, MN - 05/22/2015 15:08:33

I heard Joel speak at our local library and found his presentation extremely informative. I loved the way he explained the science behind his method in a way that was easy to understand. I am excited to try my first straw bale garden!

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very good speaker/teacher

judy clarke from Fulda - 05/06/2015 01:34:15

Very interesting/informative. Expanded on various techniques printed in book.

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