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

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. 

“Useful, with a pleasant degree of humor” — that is the tag line for the Old Farmer’s Almanac, an annual handbook for American growers, farmers and gardeners — celebrating its 225th year in publication this year. Every year for the past 225 years, farmers, gardeners, landholders and growers of all kinds have been consulting the Old Farmer’s Almanac for weather predictions, growing suggestions and important dates based on — among other things — astronomy.

Laura Wilson

If you’re like me, you love getting out into your own garden, but visiting someone else’s garden is almost as good — there’s just less weeding required. The end of March/beginning of April is also the unofficial kick off of garden-visiting season, with garden tours and open garden days on local, regional and national levels, and of all shapes and sizes, getting started now and running right through to November in some parts of the country.

Gardenways and "The Chinese Kitchen Garden" - a conversation with gardener and author, Wendy Kiang-Spray

I am fairly accustomed to hearing the phrases “folk ways” and “food ways” and even ‘music ways” to describe the history, traditions, and myths associated with these subject areas in distinct locations or cultures. Only recently have I come to think of the history and traditions one brings to the garden or gardening as our “garden ways” – and the garden ways of other people are endlessly fascinating to me as one lens by which we see the world/one lens by which others can learn something of importance about us and who we are.

Stefani Bittner, Homestead Design Collective

Sometimes when you use the word garden – people immediately conjure up images of the ornamental perennial border, other people however conjure up colorful visions of the summer vegetable garden. In July of 2016, we were joined by Stefani Bittner of Homestead Design Collective discussing her work as ornamental edible landscape designer. Early in 2017, her most recent and beautiful book, Harvest, was published by  10 Speed Press. Stefani co-wrote Harvest – Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary garden Plants with Alethea Harampolis.

Richard Johnston

It is the eve of St. Patrick’s Day and it does seem that even if you’re not Irish per se, St. Patrick’s Day brings out a little bit of Irish in us all. And while I have no interest in green beer, I do have an interest in the green of the garden. To celebrate this – today we’re pleased to be joined by Fionnuala Fallon, a horticulturist, garden writer, garden designer and organic flower farmer, and gardening correspondent for 'The Irish Times' since 2011.

Pages