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Age 81, Bob is a retired retail nurseryman. Up until 1998 he owned and operated Tanem’s Garden Centers in Belvedere and San Rafael. He sold the Belvedere operation that same year and closed the San Rafael operation in 1998, the year of his retirement. With his wife of over 58 years they have three children Bill, Kathy, and Edie. Bill and Abby are the parents of two of their grandchildren Nick and Will. Brian and Kathy are the parents of Robert Patrick. Edie has one child, Miguel born in August of 2003.
Both Bob and Bev are active in Scouting. Bob is on the Boy Scouts Advisory Board. He at one time was the District Commissioner for the Miwok District and received one of Scouting’s highest honors for service, the Silver Beaver in 1986. He has served on the Marin County Commission governing the county fair, parks, and open space. He was also a member of the county’s Integrated Pest Management control.
Since retirement Bob has volunteered to supervise an organic vegetable garden at New Beginnings in Novato. This is a program to feed and house the homeless while training them for employment. Homeward Bound is the parent organization. The production of the garden has exceeded the needs of the organization with the excess being turned over to the Marin County Food Bank. This is the homeless feeding the homeless, a very exciting idea. It won the Mantis award for public gardens in 2001. Over 400 pounds of food each year has been donated to the local food bank. This garden won outstanding achievement award from the County Board of Supervisors in August 2005. The garden supports Plant a Row for the Hungry in this way.
He is an active member of the Garden Writers of America and was the chair for the symposium in 1993 in San Francisco. His radio show, `Bob Tanem in the Garden’ is beginning its seventheeth year and he has appeared on television and other radio shows in the past. His garden show has won the Garden Writers Association award of excellence nation wide for `on air talent’. He has been honored with this award two times in the past several years. His radio show is one of the most listened to Sunday programs on KSFO. The program is aired every Sunday morning from 7am to 10am. KSFO is 560 on the AM dial. He was elected Fellow by the Garden Writers this past year (2011)
Over the last seventeen years he had over eight hundred garden interviews with various persons of interest in the garden world, garden book authors, and botanical garden workers. Many of the interviews were GWA members. He and his wife Bev have attended all but four Symposiums of the Garden Writers Association. He has made three presentations at these Symposiums all of which were well accepted. He and Bev have served as first-time mentors for new attendees to these Symposiums. At last count most of these first-timers are still members in good standing.
To hear Bob Tanem's podcast, click here.