Sarah Bohannon

Reporter, Morning Edition Host

Sarah is the early bird of the NSPR team, hosting Morning Edition every weekday. She grew up in the North State – in the small town of Biggs – before heading off to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Santa Cruz. After finishing her general education at Cabrillo College, Sarah came back to Butte County to attend Chico State. There she earned a degree in journalism and a minor in nutrition. During her time at the University, Sarah wrote for the college’s award-winning newspaper, the Orion. She also worked as both a news intern and the associate producer of the series “Reflections” at North State Public Radio. Sarah’s previous experience also includes two years working in multimedia at a local nonprofit, where she created educational materials about farming and nutrition. Along with currently being NSPR’s weekday morning host, Sarah works as the station’s agriculture and health reporter too.   

Leslie Bennett is a garden designer of both English and Jamaican descent working out of Oakland, CA. With a Jamaican-born husband, a two year old son, and knowledgeable, passionate views about the importance of cultural heritage, on cultivating Place this week, Leslie shares her journey navigating the marriage of beauty, function, cultural property and the radical activism of gardening. Join us!

Photo used with the permission of California State University, Chico, Meriam Library Special Collections

We head up the road this week to summer with John and Annie Ellicott Kennedy Bidwell. As anyone who has survived a Chico summer without air conditioning can attest, it’s just plain crazy to stay put when there are big, cool mountains so close by. Native people certainly had more sense. In summer they would migrate into the foothills and mountains, following wildlife—also very sensible—and enjoying berries, tubers, and other summer edibles as they ripened. Come fall, when the days cooled, they’d head back toward the valley—just in time for the annual acorn gathering, with ample time before winter to gather and store acorns, a dietary staple.

Photo used with the permission of California State University, Chico, Meriam Library Special Collections

We head up the road this week to continue exploring the legacies of John and Annie Bidwell, Chico’s founders and immensely generous benefactors, fascinating, far-sighted people who were fortunate to have found each other. Their immediate community often opposed them and their principles. John Bidwell brought in soldiers from San Francisco to stay on his ranch for more than a year to protect the Mechoopda from vigilante attacks, for example, and later Annie was denounced by the Presbyterian minister, in the church she’d built and financed, for her support of women’s right to vote. (John Bidwell was so incensed he made a point of cutting off all financial support to the church.) But they had each other, and a wide if far-flung circle of like-minded friends and supporters.

It’s that time of year when students head back to school. Tonight we interview Chico State President Gayle E. Hutchinson and Butte College President Samia Yaqub about what they're excited about for the new academic year, the challenges facing their institutions, and the state of higher education in our region, statewide, and nationally.

Wayne Hsieh

We head up the road today and in coming weeks to revisit the legacies of John and Annie E.K. Bidwell, official founders of Chico, though of course the place they most loved, with its rich, marshy bottomlands and tangled riparian forests, had been here practically forever. Just ask Mechoopda people. The tribe’s website offers some thoughtful history and cross-cultural perspective.

In my experience, no home and garden are just perfect. And yet, they are just right if we bring the right perspective. Author and gardener Marianne Willburn shares this belief and she joins Cultivating Place this week to share more about her own gardening journey, and lessons learned from her book Big Dreams, Small Gardens. In this life, we might be tempted to wait to plant our garden until we think we are in just the right space, Marianne urges us to reconsider this and to just get out there and do it. Now. Plant your garden now, no matter where you are. Join us for this lively conversation about the human impulse to garden. 

This week on Cultivating Place we hear the next in our series of Dispatches from the Home Garden, this time from a north Seattle neighborhood where artist, gardener and aspiring vermicompost farmer Emily Wilkins tends to composting worms, awkward old maidens of shrubs. She starts and ends her days in the garden with in the company of family and some of her favorite friends – the plants, the worms and all manner of winged insects. Among them, she finds relief, satisfaction, joy and that at at the end of the day having your hands in the dirt is the very best part. Join us!

Today we head up the road to Lake Tahoe in the Roaring Twenties, when the rich were very rich and no one else counted for much. Sound familiar?

This week on Cultivating Place we’re joined by Uk based garden designer Jinny Blom, whose new book is entitled “The Thoughtful Gardener: an intelligent approach to garden design”. After 17 years and more than 250 gardens designed around the globe, Jinny shares with us her thoughtful, creative, musical and heartfelt perspective and process. Join us!

Tom Hilton

Today we head up the road to Manzanar National Historic Landmark, a US government “relocation camp” on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, some six miles south of Independence. At first the sparse landscape says little about the devastation experienced by Japanese Americans held under armed guard here during World War II. But stay awhile. There are many, many stories. The longer you stay, the more this sad landscape speaks.  

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