A few years ago, I moved back to NJ after living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago for five years. While I was living in Chicagoland, I happened upon a garden show on the radio one Sunday morning on the way to work at my part-time job. A garden show! I felt like a nerd, but I was completely excited by the idea of being able to listen to someone talk about this interest of mine. After all, one of the first things I did to meet people when I moved was to join the local garden club (Four Seasons Garden Club of Barrington) – something I had never been a part of while living in NJ.
I was usually only able to catch about 10 minutes of The Mike Nowak Show on WCPT, but I started to really look forward to it every Sunday. Mike and his co-hosts would talk about sustainability, horticulture, gardening, climate, the environment, and much more. I felt like I was having the conversations I was craving, even though I was only listening. It became my ritual to listen every Sunday, while driving through the Crabtree Forest Preserve, on my short commute to work.
When I moved back to NJ, the access to WCPT on the radio in the car was gone and my ritual ended. At some point shortly afterward, The Mike Nowak Show separated from WCPT and moved over to the Green Divas‘ GDGD Radio Network, but I could never seem to catch it at the right time (update 5/6/18: The Mike Nowak Show with Peggy Malecki is now on WCGO on Sunday mornings, 9-11CST). Then, to my delight, I discovered Mike had started putting podcasts on Stitcher (which I was using frequently). I miss hearing Mike’s sidekicks from WCPT, but I still really enjoy the content in his podcasts and I feel like I am maintaining my connection to Chicago. (I am possibly more informed about sustainability, horticulture, and the environment in the area near Chicago than I am about anywhere else). Through humor, Mike keeps serious topics light and interesting, while giving the listener a ton of information. I often find myself opening websites or jotting down notes related to the people Mike is interviewing or topics he is discussing. His show is that good.
To find out more about Mike Nowak (because, at this point, you know you want to listen to his podcasts), visit his website: http://www.mikenowak.net. In case you would prefer to read, you can also buy his fun book, Attack of the Killer Asparagus, written in the same style as his column in the back of Chicagoland Gardening magazine.