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allergy free bookThomas Leo Ogren is the author of ALLERGY-FREE GARDENING, Ten Speed Press, published July 2000. Allergy-Free Gardening is his third published book. His two previous books are used by adult literacy programs throughout the United States, and are published by Sundown Press, and New Readers Press, Syracuse, New York.

Tom’s trademarked Ogren Plant Allergy Scale, OPALSä, the first numerical plant-allergy scale in existence, is being used by the USDA Department of Forestry to develop allergy rankings for all major US urban areas. OPALSä is also being used by the American Lung Association for developing pollen-free landscapes around ALA office buildings.

Tom holds a Master of Science in Agriculture from Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, California, with an emphasis on plant flowering systems and the connections between landscape plant materials and allergy.

For twelve years he taught Landscape-Gardening in a maximum security California Youth Authority prison. At the CYA he used horticulture to teach many boys how to read, write, do math, think, and to develop a deep and long-lasting love of gardening. At the CYA Tom started the Landscape-Gardening program at Paso Robles and eventually wrote the curriculum now in use in all the Landscape/Gardening classes in the entire CYA.

He keeps in close contact with many of his old students from the CYA and continues to freely dispense advice and support, via email, letter and phone.

Tom worked for UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles and helped establish five community gardens in inner city Watts. These gardens were started from scratch, created from vacant lots. All five gardens are still operating today, twenty-five years later. He taught high school Horticulture in South-Central Los Angles for five years and also taught Landscape/Gardening for a year at North Valley Occupational Center in the San Fernando Valley.

In Grand Rapids, Minnesota he was the host of the popular Public Radio call-in show, Tom Ogren’s Wild World of Plants.

He was co-owner of Ogren Brothers Nursery, Aitkin, Minnesota, a wholesale-retail nursery and landscaping business. While in Minnesota Tom also worked part-time for the Minnesota Cooperative Extension, teaching classes on plant propagation, orchard production, and truck farming.

Tom’s all time favorite compliment: “A farmer who lived down the road from our farm and nursery in Minnesota wastalking to some people about what a green thumb I had, and told them, ‘Tom can make anything grow. The guy could grow roots on a broomstick.’

Tom writes for California Landscaping, the journal of the California Landscape Contractors Association, and also for Pacific Coast Nurseryman Magazine, the number one professional horticulture journal on the West Coast. He has been on the BBC several times in England, on National CBC TV in Canada, and has been published in, among others, Awareness, American Rose, Alternative Medicine, Conscious Choice, Environmental Builders News, the Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Times, and the largest circulation science magazine in the world, the New Scientist.

He can be reached at: Allergy-Free Gardening, can be ordered now from all area bookstores, or directly from Ten Speed Press, 1-800-841-BOOK. Tom’s web site is:

Praise for Allergy-Free Gardening:

I cannot make my recommendation concerning this book strong enough. It absolutely belongs in every allergy sufferer’s home, in every doctor’s office, at every greenhouse or garden center, and on every landscaper’s desk. If even one person in your family suffers from pollen allergies, please visit Ten Speed Press and purchase this book today. You’ll be glad you did after you finish reading it. It may well become one of the most dog-eared books in your library. I’m willing to predict that it will be considered one of the most important horticulture books published this year.

Diane Pederson, Editor, Suite101, Member Garden Writers of America

What a grand contribution to fields of pollen allergy, horticulture, and the garden. Congratulations to you both: Tom for conceiving and writing Allergy-Free Gardening, and Ten Speed Press for picking it up for publication.

Walter H. Lewis, PhD, Senior Botanist, Missouri Botanical Gardens– Author of the best seller, Medical Botany, also author of Allergenic and Airborne Pollen of North America, John Hopkins University Press

Allergy-Free Gardening should be on the shelf of every serious gardener. All allergy specialists would be wise to own a copy, and certainly the book should be in the library of every nursery and municipal park department. Perhaps most importantly of all, this text should be required reading for every college student of landscape design or horticulture.

David A. Stadtner, M.D. Allergist, Stockton, California

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Email:Thomas L. Ogren

allergy free bookThomas Leo Ogren, is the author of Allergy-Free Gardening, July 2000, Ten Speed Press. He has an MS inAgriculture/Horticulture, taught Landscape-Gardening for 20 years, and hostedthe popular “Tom Ogren’s Wild World of Plants” on Minnesota Public Radio. Allergy-Free Gardening is his third published book.

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