Mushrooms are versatile food sources that can serve as a meat alternative in your low-calorie diet.  Shitake mushrooms are easier to grow than you may think.  You’ll want to start with a hardwood logs like a chestnut or sugar maple, but their favorite hardwood is oak. 

Green Tailgating

Nov 8, 2017

Nothing brings a community together like sporting events and whether you’re routing for little league or your alma mater, try to think green when tailgating.  First remember to clean up after yourself and bring a trash bag so there’s no litter left behind after the game. 

An outdoor fire pit is a great place to entertain, enjoy a cool night, and make s’mores.  There are some pre-fabricated fire pits on the market that are fairly affordable, but if you have the gumption, you can customize your own as a weekend project

Fall Home Projects

Nov 8, 2017

As we move into fall, it’s a good time to think about a few projects around the house to weather proof and gear up for the season.  This may be a good time to change your windows.  If you still have single pane less efficient windows, gear up for cooler weather by upgrading to double pane energy efficient ones. 


Christina Miles cools chocolate in a mold from her vat of liquid chocolate.  The Columbia chocolatier uses chocolate from Belgium and France to make her own unique candies, and hand-paints them with icing.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Chocolate is one of life's great treats for most folks.  Traditional, mass-produced chocolate candies have been enjoyed for generations, but lately, specialists have been making chocolates in South Carolina.  Columbia chocolatiers Christina Miles and Joseph Vernon have developed their own unique varieties of chocolates. 


Nov 8, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Percussion players can vary the sounds of their instruments by using different kinds of drumsticks, or drumsticks with different kinds of heads. Timpani players, for example, use  sticks that range from very soft to very hard. The heads of “normal,” or “regular” timpani sticks are made of felt—hard felt covered with soft felt—but the softest timpani stick heads are made of sponge, and the hardest are made of solid wood. Just imagine the difference in sound between a drum struck with sponge and a drum struck with wood! 

SC Public Radio

A listener spots a black rat snake in the midst of "recycling" a hummingbird.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Cattle ranching. Cow pens, cattle drives, and open-range herding—typically associated with the American West—were important features of the agricultural landscape of colonial South Carolina. British settlers brought husbandry traditions to the colony. Many enslaved West Africans also had extensive knowledge of cattle raising. Cattle ranching, a lucrative frontier occupation appeared first in the lowcountry, where black bondsmen became America's first cowboys. Periodically, cattle drives occurred, and drovers or "crackers" using whips herded livestock to Charleston.

About 14 years ago, our next guest took her love of interior design and plunged into small business ownership by opening a contemporary Euro-style furniture store.  And she credits the European presence in the Upstate and her own heritage as contributing factors to the store’s success.

Mike Switzer interviews Ivet Ivanova, co-owner of Bogari Furniture in Greenville, SC.

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Already during their lifetimes, Antonin Dvorák and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky were among the most famous composers in the world. Their music is extremely sophisticated, the product of highly skilled composers, and their beautiful melodies have always been especially beloved.

Saddlebag Dragonfly

Nov 7, 2017
A black saddlebags dragonfly.
David Cappaert,

The markings on the base of the hind wings are reminiscent of saddlebags bouncing on a horse in motion.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Benedict College. A historically black college in Columbia, Benedict was founded by Rhode Island native Bathsheba Benedict. Benedict purchased an eighty-acre tract with the goal of educating recently emancipated African-Americans. Originally named Benedict Institute, the school began with ten male students and one faculty member housed in an abandoned residence. The first students followed a curriculum of grammar school subjects, Bible study, and theology. Later courses were added to train students as teachers and ministers.

Peter Pigeon
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

For many years, South Carolina’s retirement system has been projected to be unable to meet the benefit payments promised to its retirees.  In April of this year, Governor Henry McMaster signed a bill designed to fix that issue. Our next guest says that the impact of this will be felt by all South Carolinians.

Mike Switzer interviews Peter Pigeon, a certified financial planner with Hobbs Group Advisors in Columbia, SC.

This week Bobbi Conner talks with Dr. Alec DeCastro about the signs, symptoms and treatment of concussion in children and teens.  Dr. DeCastro is an Assistant Professor and the Chief of Primary Care Sports Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine at MUSC.

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Today is November 6th, and it’s the birthday of two important figures in the history of music, one an American composer and bandleader, and the other a Belgian instrument maker.

Ruth Laredo
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records

One of the premier classical pianists of her generation, Ruth Laredo (1937 – 2005) was known as America's First Lady of the Piano. In partnership with McPartland and Dick Hyman, Laredo produced wildly popular Three Piano Crossover Concerts, exploring the boundaries between classical music and jazz. In this 2004 Piano Jazz session, Laredo and McPartland continue their genre-bending excursions, juxtaposing Chopin with Jobim, and Scriabin with "Stella by Starlight."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Nov 11, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Nov 13, 7 pm

Tig Girdler Beetles

Nov 6, 2017
A twig girdler beetle.
Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series,

You may not often see twig girdler beetles in South Carolina, but, you will see their handy work.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"A" is for Ashley River Road. The Ashley River Road--one of the oldest roads in South Carolina--began as a Native American trading path, paralleling the Ashley River, and later served the colonists of the original Charles Town settlement. The Lords Proprietors authorized the road in 1690. The modern road consists of an approximately fifteen-mile portion of S.C. Highway 61. During the colonial era, numerous plantations lined the route. In 1721 a law was passed to protect the shade trees along its route—a forerunner of modern ordinances that protect trees and require buffers.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder of the Swampfox Facebook page, based in Greenville, S.C.

D.W. Griffith, director (1923)
Library of Congress

How did the American South contribute to the development of cinema? And how did film shape the modern South? In Fade In, Crossroads: A History of the Southern Cinema (2017, Oxford University Press), Robert Jackson tells the story of the relationships between southerners and motion pictures from the silent era through the golden age of Hollywood. Jackson talks with Walter Edgar about the profound consequences of the coincidence of the rise and fall of the American film industry with the rise and fall of the Jim Crow era.

This week Bobbi Conner talks with Dr. John Wrangle about medical testing that helps identify which cancer patients are likely to benefit from current immunotherapy treatments. Dr. Wrangle is an Oncologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at MUSC.  

What Will Last?

Nov 3, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Perhaps you’ve thought about this: Bach and Mozart died over two hundred years ago – – Is there anybody alive today whose music will be played two hundred years from now? It’s a tricky question. 

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"G" is for Gregg, Maxcy (1814-1862). Soldier. After graduating as co-valedictorian of his class at South Carolina College, Gregg read law and was admitted to the bar. He was a member of the Southern Rights Convention in 1852. As a Richland County delegate to the 1860 Secession Convention, he assisted in the writing of the Ordinance of Secession. Shortly after the convention he became commander of the First Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers.

Acorn Weevils

Nov 3, 2017
An acorn weevil.
Bruce Marlin [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

The acorn weevil is common in South Carolina.

Sean Edwards
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

More and more colleges these days are devoting significant resources to encourage student entrepreneurs.   Our next guest and his partner, for example are senior business majors scheduled to graduate in 2018, who plan to devote their careers full time to expanding their fish oil sales and distribution company, that they started while students participating in a college initiative with the country of Iceland.

Mike Switzer interviews Sean Edwards, co-owner and CEO of LYSI, US based in Conway, SC. 

Children and families in South Carolina will have a chance to exchange Halloween candy for toys and send deployed U.S. troops a "sweet" reminder of home this holiday season
Kool Smiles

Children and families in South Carolina will have a chance to exchange Halloween candy for toys and send deployed U.S. troops a "sweet" reminder of home this holiday season during Operation Troop Treats, an annual candy exchange hosted by the local Kool Smiles dental offices in partnership with Operation Gratitude.

Dr. Diane Earle is Managing Dental Director for Kool Smiles, she said Operation Troop Treat was created six years ago to promote healthy dental habits during Halloween.

Bel Canto - Rossini

Nov 2, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

I wonder what today’s voice teachers would think of the composer Gioacchino Rossini’s ideas for a vocal training curriculum. According to Rossini, learning the art of bel canto, or “beautiful singing,” should begin with many months of soundless exercises, starting no later than the age of twelve. 

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Barringer Building [in Columbia]. Located on Main Street, the Barringer Building was Columbia's first skyscraper; Built in 1903, the skyscraper was initially home to the National Loan and Exchange Bank. However, the property derives its name from the Barringer Corporation that operated there from 1953 to 1974. Architecturally, the Barringer Building draws its inspiration from the Chicago School of Design. Basically, the building is a column. The first two floors constitute a rusticated base.

Black Tupelo

Nov 2, 2017
Black tupelo tree leaves turn brilliant red-orange in the fall.
Jean-Pol Grandmot [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Black tupelo, or black gum trees, are common in South Carolina and are among the first to change color in the fall.

When we interviewed our next guest three years ago, he had just launched an electric car ride-sharing service targeting college students.  Since then, his company has grown from four employees to over 35 and has added an office in Los Angeles.  Now he is expanding into bicycle-sharing.

Mike Switzer interviews Sean Flood, founder of the Gotcha Group and his newest venture is Gotcha Bike which recently launched Holy Spokes in Charleston, SC.