While still a Horticulture Science undergrad at the University of Minnesota Joel started a small business, planting flowers for his professors and their neighbors. That little business evolved into a full-scale design and build landscape contracting company serving all areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul. 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 and ten years ago 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." Now an award-winning author of four best-sellers on Cool Springs Press for Quarto Publishing, Karsten is working on future book projects and speaking regularly around the world. His recent TEDx talk, “Let’s end world hunger with the STRAW BALE GARDENS® method,” has shattered records for downloads and received praise from many of the world’s leaders in the fight to end hunger.
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. His presentations are always fun, very educational, and will inspire the audience to go home, grab a shovel, and change their backyard, making it the envy of the neighborhood!
Classes taught: Karsten speaks at over 100 events every year, with over 1,300 presentations under his belt. He travels across the US and internationally to present to audiences large and small, carrying with him a message of innovation and hopefulness for gardening, specifically for vegetable crop production. He feels, “A garden can bring a person or a community back from the brink of starvation, with nourishment not only for their bodies, but with nourishment for their souls!”
Strawbale Gardens, Landscape lighting, Composting a rotten topic you’ll love, Building an Outdoor Room - fireplaces, water features, floors, ceilings & walls: The How and the Why!, Container Gardening for year round Wow!, Deer, rabbit, squirrel & gopher vs. gardener “a battle plan that will win the war!”, Inspiring innovation is the rocket fuel in every business!