Programmer Profiles: Bill Taylor, Farm and Garden Show

Aug 20, 2019

I cohost the Farm and Garden Show third Monday edition (occasionally a different week) with Jaye Alison Moscariello, from 11:05 until noon.  We started hosting in November 2012.  When I moved to Mendocino County from Boston in 2003 I worked at Shenoa as head gardener and would revise what I was doing when I’d hear some tips on Sara McCamant and Linda MacElwee’s show.  When two hosts retired in rapid succession I figured it was time to pay it forward.  Jaye agreed to do it with me.  We had just moved to a mountain property where we were setting up a permaculture farm on the two acres we could keep watered, of a total of 190. 

In permaculture we like the idea of “stacking functions”, which the show is for us: we learn things to apply here while sharing with you ideas and methods of some of the leading pioneers in permaculture and regenerative agriculture.  We have been excited to host some of our guests for workshops, as well as interview guests who are doing workshops at other farms in the area.  Sometimes we choose our guest a few weeks before the show; sometimes we line up 3 or 6 shows when attending a farm and garden related conference or gathering.  We always call the week before the show, spend a number of hours watching videos or reading books, depending on what the guest has produced, develop a list of questions and send them to the guest. 

We have a template, and a feature of our show (usually) is to announce farmers’ markets and upcoming events of interest in the farm/garden/landscaping fields.  We used to talk briefly about what is going on in the garden (something I loved about Sara and Linda’s show), and plan to resume doing that.  Lately we get excellent guests and want to have as much time with them as possible. 

My life includes many hours on the farm, practicing the methods we learn from our guests and our own experience.  We sell at one or two markets a week (Ukiah and sometimes Willits), occasionally to the Mendo Lake Food Hub and Patrona Restaurant in Ukiah. 

I am also a pianist and composer; I play with the Soul Purpose Band and as accompanist at Ukiah United Methodist Church.  I enjoy the progressive and inclusive spirituality of that church, and many of the songs we do are secular so it helps me develop a repertoire to play elsewhere (mostly at the Farmers’ Market a few times a year).  I have recorded two albums, both with Paul McCandless and Jaye, and also with George Husaruk, Yanahay Hooper, and Margie Rice on the second one “Nature’s Dream”. The group plays occasional concerts.

A duet with Paul McCandless, “Jamaica Plain Bop”, is the theme song for our week hosting The Farm and Garden Show, one that I wrote (and Paul created an amazing solo). 

Coming to Mendocino County was part plan and part accident.  I rode my bicycle cross country in 1978 and loved the whole coast; I remember wanting to live 3 miles inland north of where it starts to feel suburban.  After years trying to make the city more like the country (I founded EarthWorks Projects which planted urban orchards and I always had veggie gardens), I was thinking of living in Vermont or Western Mass. My partner at the time wanted to move back to California, so I followed that plan and lived in Anderson Valley on Floodgate Creek until 2009. We got a “Comptche Divorce”, and I stayed on the land until a few months after meeting Jaye. We lived in Elk from 2009 to 2012, and in Redwood Valley since then.