This Week's Podcast: "The future of horticulture is in the 'culture,'" Ben Futa
Click on the small black arrow on the bar to listen, or the MP3 to download the show:My guest today is 23-year-old Ben Futa who is just about the youngest person to appear on Ken Druse – REAL DIRT. Ben is originally from northern Indiana and received his Associates Degree in Interdisciplinary Agriculture at Purdue. Now he is at Indiana University, South Bend, working on his second degree in General Studies with a minor in Sustainability. All the while, he is working full time at Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve.
Fernwood is located on the St. Joseph River in Buchannan Township, Michigan, and contains landscape gardens (eight acres), a woodland nature preserve (50 acres), an arboretum of trees and shrubs from temperate regions around the world (40 acres), restored tall-grass prairie (five acres), as well as a conservatory featuring more than 100 species and varieties of tropical ferns.
Ben sites the Lurie Garden in Chicago (where he was an intern, below. Ben Futa photo, above, by Margaret Demko), the Atlanta Botanical Garden and The High Line in New York City, as places that are looking towards the future to engage the next generation by presenting excellent examples of how people can interact with plants.
“I think the garden that is setting the ultimate standard for pushing the envelope and creating culture is The High Line in NYC [link],” Ben said. “The High Line is delivering fresh, fun, and classic all at once. While part of their allure is the venue, it can't be denied they have a presence, and it's a powerful one.”