There Is A New Book Coming Out, And Your Friendly Neighborhood Garden Troubadour Will Be Featured in One of the Chapters!

I’m happy to announce that a new book will soon be released, and I will be featured in one of the chapters. The book is entitled Mature Preneurs Talk – How To Have A Productive, Energized, Creative Life After 50. In this book, author Diana Todd-Banks interviewed a select group of people from all around the world who have created “a life after 50” where they are feeling younger, more vibrant and active, healthier, more mentally alert, and happier. They are also helping and showing others how to achieve the same, and your friendly neighborhood Garden Troubadour will be featured in a chapter of the book.

For anyone who has ever reached a point in their lives where they feel they need to make a change, this book is definitely for you! It will be released at in early October, and be available online, plus in the US, UK, Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Australia to name just a few areas in the world.

Here is the press release.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             CONTACT: Mark Lyons

DATE: September 21, 2019


Over 50 Mature Preneurs Show How To Have A
Productive, Energised Creative Life
Over 50’s Positively Changing The Face of Ageing


Palatine, Illinois, USA, September 20, 2019
The over 50’s are the largest demographic in marketing history, millions of baby boomers live in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Retirement is looming, yet for many they think their future looks gloomy but there is an emerging bright side to discover.

Often referred to by the younger generations and themselves as “the Over 50s,” this group of people, are facing challenges of a type, and on a scale, not experienced by their parents and grandparents.

Living longer than ever has them thinking “What do I do next?” “I’m not ready to retire!” “How can I make sure our finances will last?” and “How do I stay positive and healthy?”

To help these Baby Boomers and over 60’s plus, answer these questions, Mark Lyons, a.k.a. “The Garden Troubadour, Palatine, Illinois, USA was asked to join a select group of Over 50s by Diana Todd-Banks, an Entrepreneur & Int’l Best Selling Author, to provide insights and answers.

Each member of the group has created “a life after 50” where they are feeling younger, more vibrant and active, healthier, more mentally alert, and happier. They are also helping and showing others how to achieve the same.

Ms Todd-Banks invited Mature Preneurs from around the world to participate in the book ‘Mature Preneurs TalkHow To Have A Productive, Energized, Creative Life After 50.’  These contributors come from a diverse range of backgrounds. Many now live a life very different from what they envisaged before they turned 50.

But what have they done to achieve this?

How they reached this point of life energy makes fascinating reading, as does listening to their interviews on the podcast by the same name. All have been guests on Mature Preneurs Talk podcast to talk about their story and message.

Professor of Entrepreneurship Roxanne Zolin, who has written the Foreword for the book recognises their achievements, and says, “You may be asking, what does positive ageing have to do with entrepreneurship in general and Mature Preneurs in particular?”

Professor Zolin answers, “For some this may seem a natural connection, but I hope to interest you in the very deep and meaningful connection between starting a new enterprise after the age of about 50 and reaping the benefits of positive ageing.”

Importantly the contributors in this book write about topics important to them and significant for the mid life group, and at the end of each chapter are contact details for readers to connect and learn more.

For many over 50’s who feel at a loss in life, or who have lost jobs, pets or partners, this book Mature Preneurs Talk will reignite your enthusiasm for life and encourage you to take the path which these creative entrepreneurs have travelled.

Mark Lyons worked in the corporate world for many years in a wide variety of careers in a cornucopia of industries. But it took a career crisis to finally convince him to forever turn his back on full time corporate employment and strike out on his own. Combining his love of gardening, cheese making, and mushroom growing along with his skills as an entertainer, Mark founded Green Thumb at Your Service, a business whose mission is to inspire people to become independently healthy by coaching them on how to grow their own food. Through one-on-one consulting, hands-on classes, and group presentations, Mark teaches people how to grow their own vegetables, make their own cheese, and grow their own mushrooms. Mark is also a musical entertainer who performs at folk festivals, children’s parties, assisted living centers, and farmers markets. It is this combination of music and gardening which led Mark to brand himself as “The Garden Troubadour.”

Mature Preneurs TalkHow To Have A Productive, Energized, Creative Life After 50,’ will be released at in early October, and be available online, plus in the US, UK, Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Australia to name just a few areas in the world.

To listen to Mature Preneurs Talk podcast go to and select any podcast platform.

One final quote by Diana Todd-Banks from Mature Preneurs Talk Book:

“We all have the opportunity to create our own key to longevity and more and more research is showing this is happening today opening new ways of thinking and with that comes new potential ventures ones that perhaps haven’t existed before. That’s the exciting part! This is why it’s time to let your subconscious take subtle action.”

For media interviews, and to learn more about Mark Lyons go to:


 To contact Diana Todd-Banks, the Producer of Mature Preneurs TalkHow To Have A Productive, Energized, Creative Life,’ go to or – 3X Int’l Best Selling Author & Author of 7 other books.


They Are Our Friends — Welcome Them

Spiders and Snakes

I do like spiders and snakes
They are just what it takes
To stop insect pests
You fooly-fool!

— with apologies to Jim Stafford

When I talk to my students about pest control in their gardens, I always mention that one of the best ways to get rid of the insect and animal garden marauders is to encourage their predators. Yet when I mention helpful pest control animals such as spiders, snakes, bats, frogs, and toads, these same students (especially the women) look at me as though I’m one cucumber short of a cornucopia. People have an unnecessary fear of these creatures, thanks to literature and cinema. So before I go any further, let’s get a few things straight.

  1. Bats will NOT get caught in your hair! Their natural radar or echolocation lets them know of an object in their way before they get near it, enabling them to veer off from any object they might collide with or become entangled.
  2. Bats will not bite you, suck your blood, and stamp your membership card in the undead club. On the other hand, none of them are going to save your life with their utility belts either.
  3. Although bats can be infected with rabies, this is a rare occurrence. The vast majority of them are fine.
  4. Snakes are not evil, loathsome, slimy creatures. Nor do you have to worry about one tempting you to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. That ship sailed a long time ago.
  5. There are only four species of poisonous snakes in the United States – the rattlesnake, the copperhead, the cottonmouth or water moccasin, and the coral snake. Unless you live where these species are prominent, you probably will never encounter them. Furthermore, you will not be squeezed to death by a snake. The only two snakes capable of doing that – the python and the boa constrictor – are not native to the United States. Although the reticulated python is an invasive species in the Florida Everglades, unless you live there, you are unlikely to encounter one.
  6. Spiders may be scary looking, but I seriously doubt that any of them have a personal vendetta against you. There are only three species of spider – the black widow, the brown recluse, and the hobo spider — that are venomous enough to do serious damage to a human being. Yet once again, unless you live in an area where these species are prominent, you are unlikely to encounter them.
  7. Frogs and toads will NOT, I repeat, NOT give you warts!

Now, everyone repeat after me. Spiders are our friends. Snakes are our friends. Bats are our friends. Frogs are our friends. Toads are our friends. These are not just feel-good, new-age mantras. These are the facts. Spiders entangle many an insect pest in their webs. Snakes eat mice, voles, moles, and other rodents that might otherwise feast on your fruits and vegetables. Bats are voracious eaters of moths and mosquitoes.  And unlike bats, mosquitoes really do suck your blood, and can also carry disease. Frogs and toads will eat just about any kind of insect pest they happen to encounter in your garden. These predators should be welcomed into your garden, not driven away. And for God’s sake, stop screaming when you encounter one of them! Save your screaming for something worthwhile – like seeing that Japanese beetles have destroyed your grapevines, or discovering that squirrels have eaten all your corn. I know I want to scream when I see that.

Let Them See You Sweat


A popular commercial for a brand of underarm deodorant implores the user to “never let them see you sweat.” Meanwhile, in a gag from an old Three Stooges short, Moe does a mock commercial for Gritto, the soap that gives your hands that dishpan look. “How,” he asks, “will the old man know you’ve been working if your hands don’t have that dishpan look?”

So what does all of this have to do with gardening? Both of the above can be viewed as two different philosophies. If you don’t want people to see you sweat, then it probably means that you don’t do very much labor in your garden. Because if you were, then believe me, you’d be sweating! Gardening is not easy. It requires liberal amounts of muscle power to dig, plant, cultivate and harvest. And all of this activity is just naturally going to bring on sweat. So if you can’t stand the idea of people seeing you sweat and get dirty, yet you wonder why your garden isn’t yielding very much, guess what? If you want a garden that yields a bumper crop of sweet, crunchy, nutritious fruits and vegetables, then you’re going to have to sweat to make that happen, and occasionally people are going to see you sweat.

On the other hand, if you are willing to sink your hands in the soil and it doesn’t bother you that your hands occasionally have that dishpan (or should we say garden trowel?) look, then more often than not, your labors will bear fruit and vegetables, and lots of them.

So if you’re a brand new gardener and you’re worried about getting dirty and sweaty, then you may as well stop before you start. If you garden, then you will sweat and your hands will, on occasion, become rough and dirty. But if occasionally getting sweaty and dirty is no problem for you, then your dream of fresh nutritious produce is very much within your grasp.