Joel Karsten is a graduate from the University of Minnesota and received a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture.  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 an avid gardener, trying new varieties of any vegetables he can fit into his 24 bale garden on his residential lot in Roseville, Minnesota.  He is a fan of tulips, dahlias, roses, hostas and lilies, and is always on the lookout for new introductions of each. His true love is vegetable gardening which was inspired by his grandma Josephine who taught him the difference between beans and peas when he was just three years old back on the farm.

Teaching Community Education and speaking to groups of gardeners became a passion of Joel’s when people discovered the amazing gardening method he pioneered, where he perfected the art of growing  vegetables, herbs and flowers in decomposing bales of straw.  These speaking opportunities allowed many adventures traveling the world teaching his STRAW BALE GARDENS┬« method to backyard gardeners in places like Cleveland and Denver, but also to people in areas of the world like Cambodia and Philippines where gardening isn’t just a hobby, but growing food is essential to well being.

Joel’s books have become best-sellers world-wide but that’s not enough, he continues to introduce people to the STRAW BALE GARDENS method online and constantly works to insure every Straw Bale Gardener has success.  As Joel attests, “the books are simply tools to learn 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.

BALEBUSTER┬« is Karsten’s recent product introduction that contains an all-in-one formulation he designed specifically to help accelerate the decomposition of bale. It is now a simple as sprinkle the BaleBuster, soak with water, and in ten days the bales are ready to plant. 

The StrawBaleGardenClub.com website is the online garden club Karsten envisioned to help newbies navigate the journey many gardeners will take when they begin to grow their own Straw Bale Garden for the first time. The “club” is a wonderful online sanctuary with hundreds of professionally produced “how-to” videos, and many inspirational interviews, pictures and blog posts that will answer every question someone new to the method could possibly have.  

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 LIVE via Zoom appearances for smaller events, 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 goldendoodle named Tucker.  Joel and Patty love to travel, play golf, cook and watch the Minnesota Gophers and Patty’s University of Texas Longhorns.  He enjoys jazz and country music, red wine, single malt scotch whiskey and cigars. If it is summer, he may be enjoying one or more of these in the garden out back at any time.