Joel Karsten is a graduate from the University of Minnesota and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture Science.  He worked in the “Green” industry after graduation, running his own landscape design and Installation company in the Minneapolis/St.Paul metro area.  He is still an avid vegetable gardener, trying new varieties of anything he can fit into his 24 bale garden on his small residential lot in Roseville, Minnesota.  He is also a fan of tulips, dahlias, roses, hostas and lilies, and is always on the lookout for new introductions.

Teaching Community Education became an interest of Joel’s when people began to inquire about how he grew vegetables in bales of straw.  These classes began his adventures in traveling the world teaching the Straw Bale Gardening Method that he pioneered so many years ago.  Joel has a busy speaking schedule throughout the year, and his books have become the best-selling books in the gardening category world-wide since their publication.  As Joel attests, “the books are simply tools essential to learning the techniques and protocols that took me over 20 years to perfect.”  Readers agree, the books are filled with information that a new Straw Bale Gardener really can’t do without. Autographed copies of any of his books can be purchased HERE on this website.

Karsten is available as a Keynote speaker for events around the country. He often speaks at Home and Garden Shows, Healthy Living, Corporate Wellness, Gardening Expos, or other events where “Gardeners” are prominently in attendance.  Karsten also provides private LIVE Webinar Style appearances for smaller events for garden clubs or educational classes, without a travel budget for speakers. Contact Joel directly with any inquiry you might have, and if he can’t help you, he can probably refer you to one of his many Certified Straw Bale Gardening Instructors around the world.

Joel is married to Patty, and they live in Roseville, Minnesota, where they have a dog named Aspen.  Joel and Patty are avid golfers and Joel follows the Minnesota Twins baseball team closely.  He also follows the Vikings and is a fan of both the University of Texas and Minnesota football teams.  He enjoys jazz and country music, red wine, single malt scotch whiskey and cigars, usually while relaxing in his backyard in front of the 16′ tall granite fireplace he built as his summer of 07 project.