Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden

Thursdays at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The essential connections between nature, our gardens, and our places in both: I’m Jennifer Jewell and this is Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden a weekly public radio program and podcast that explores what we mean when we garden.

Through thoughtful conversations with growers, gardeners, naturalists, scientists, artists and thinkers, Cultivating Place illustrates the many ways in which gardens and gardening are integral to our natural and cultural literacy. It celebrates how these interconnections support the places we cultivate, how they nourish our bodies and feed our spirits. Take a listen.

A co-production of North State Public Radio (KCHO 91.7 FM in Chico, CA and KFPR 88.9 FM in Redding, CA) and Jewellgarden.comCultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden airs Thursdays at 10:00 AM and again Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM PST. The program is created and hosted by Jennifer Jewell; produced and engineered by Sarah Bohannon. Our communications coordinator is Kacey Gardner. Music by Matt Shilts.

Cultivating Place is based on two beliefs: The first, that horticulture (“the art of garden cultivation or management” according to the Oxford English Dictionary) is a foundational element of our cultural literacy — on par with art, music, architecture, history, geography, social studies and literature. The second, that gardens and gardening provide a unique, and uniquely beautiful, bridge connecting us to our larger environments — culturally and botanically.

Weekly interviews explore the many different ways people come to and bring to life what garden and gardening mean. They celebrate how gardening encourages a direct relationship with the dynamic processes of the plants, animals, soils, seasons and climatic factors that come to bear on a garden.

Cultivating Place builds on and deepens the conversations begun in 8 years of creating, writing and hosting the regionally focused In a North State Garden: Celebrating the Art, Craft and Science of Gardening in Northern California, which aired on North State Public Radio from January of 2008 - January of 2016.

The show is available as a podcast on iTunes and Stitcher

Photos courtesy of Floret Flower Farm.

 

Next week – June 28 to July 4 – our country is celebrating American Flowers Week, celebrating American-grown flowers in 50 states. In celebration, Debra Prinzing, the founder of what’s known as the Slow Flowers LLC — who we interviewed last July — has organized a Slow Flowers Summit in Seattle, Washington on Sunday, July 2. There will be speakers and activities – shared food, shared flowers and shared philosophy. It’s been called a TED Talk day for flower lovers. For more information on the summit, please visit Jewellgarden.com for links. 

Photos courtesy of Ryder Ziebarth

In our last Cultivating Place "Dispatches from the Home Garden," we heard from a young gardener experiencing her first garden dislocation/relocation in Sacramento, California. This week – in many ways in honor of Father’s Day — we hear from another home gardener, this time in New Jersey and this time on the same land her grandparents cultivated and which she and her husband, with the steady help and mentorship of her father, became the fourth generation of her family to steward this land after her uncle died and the property went on the market. 

This week on Cultivating Place we hear the story of the first 15 years of the Edible Communities – the umbrella name of the many publishers who bring you the edible communities publications across the US and Canada. Fifteen years ago, two women who cared about food, Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, published a 16-page, one-color newsletter to help connect the farmers in their area to the food-lovers in their area.

Melissa Keyser and copyright sweetbeegarden.com 2017

Gardening is a specifically human endeavor. It is a characterizing feature of our species, fairly well documented throughout our evolution. Which fascinates me. And each of us come to this endeavor for our own reasons and needs – sometimes very practical, sometimes very esthetic, sometimes spiritual. Our gardens are like some larger version of our very fingerprints.

What do we mean when we use the word “wild” and why does it matter? In 2017, the New York City urban landscape commonly known as The High Line celebrates its official 5th birthday. This milestone is being marked by the publication of a new book entitled "Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes" (Timber Press, 2017), coauthored by plantsmen Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke, with graphic design by Lorraine Ferguson.

Melinda Benson-Valavanis is a floral designer and owner of MCreations in Chico, CA. She recently committed her business to participating in a project called re-bloom – in which she accepts the flowers from a wedding or other large event after the event is over and and re-purposes them for distribution to people and communities who might need a bit of floral energy and cheer in their lives.

This week on Cultivating Place, we’re joined by Jan Johnsen – a gardener, landscape designer and author of the books "Heaven is a Garden" and "The Spirit of Stone,” both published by St.

 


Spring is a time of awakening and full sensory immersion in the world around us - even if we aren’t gardeners or nature lovers. It is hard to avoid, ignore or miss Spring’s reckless abundance and generosity. It is the perfect counterpoint to the winter’s restful, healing darkness and dormancy. In appreciation for all of spring’s growing energy, I am pleased to be joined this week by Dr. Raymond Barnett, author of “Earth Wisdom: John Muir, Accidental Taoist, Charts Humanity’s Only Future on a Changing Planet,” which he published in 2016.

photographed by Tessa Traeger, all rights reserved and used by permission of the artist and Quadrille Press.

Close to 21 years ago, a Cordon Bleu trained chef and business woman named Jane Scotter left a busy city life in London and bought a farm. She was joined not long after by another professional chef, Harry Astley. Together the two have taken their 16 idyllic acres in Herefordshire, England and crafted a life fully integrated and interdependent with the land, its plants and animals, their food, their own sense of purpose and the energetic cycles of the moon and the seasons. 

courtesy of Dennis Mudd. All Rights Reserved.

It is California Native Plant Week this week. Officially designated by the California Native Plant Society in 2010, this year the festivities and educational and awareness activities are scheduled all week April 15–23.

In celebration of this and in honor of the many native landscapes I love, and native plants that bring beauty, life and a deep sense of place to my home garden, this week I am pleased to welcome Dennis Mudd to Cultivating Place. Dennis is a retired tech industry CEO and developer of such things as MusicMatch and Slacker Radio. He is also an avid native plant home gardener in Poway – near San Diego. 

Pages