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

Thursdays at 10 a.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 CultivatingPlace.comCultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden airs Thursdays at 10:00 AM. 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, Google Play and Stitcher

Photo courtesy of Melody Overstreet

Art in the garden, art from the Garden – these are concepts familiar to most gardeners and yet for many of us also perhaps still largely unplumbed. This week, we visit with Iranian-American artist and plant person, Melody Overstreet to speak more about the culture of plant and land based art and the crafting of pigments, inks, dyes and watercolors.  Melody shares her cultural, artistic and plant based journey with grace and in a way that interweaves her art with her world view and ethics.

They are in your garden by the billions, they are in your food, in your house, and all over your skin. They partner us in all we do and they make all that we do well possible to start with. Listen in to this week's Cultivating Place, when we’re joined by science and food writer Eugenia Bone to talk more about her own foray into better understanding the world of the amazing and powerful world of Microbia. It’s a focus that is expanding for us all. 

 

The second best time to become a gardener and nature lover is right now.  The first best time, is as a child. This week on Cultivating Place, we’re joined by Nora McDonald and Katherine Somerville of the American Horticultural Society and by Fiona Doherty of Cornell University’s Horticulture Department and Garden Education. They talk with us about the history, impact of hopes of the American Horticultural Society’s Children & Youth Garden Symposium. This year’s symposium is being held in July at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Join us! 

 

Photo used courtesy of Vincent Bellino

Happy California Native Plant Week! The California Floristic Province is home to on the order of 6,500 native plant species and there are those among us who love and want to ensure the long life of the genetics and habitats of every single one. Today, in celebration of California Native Plant Week, we’re hearing from a selection of those voices, including Native Plant Home Gardener Vincent Bellino. Join us!

Photo used courtesy of Monticello

On April 13th, Statesman and third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, would be 275 years old. He was also an avid and curious and acquisitive gardener and plant lover. His historic home and garden, Monticello, is an UNESCO Heritage sight, and Jefferson began designing and building Monticello at just 26 years old. With Virginia’s Historic Garden week just around the corner on April 21st - 28th, we’re joined this week on Cultivating Place by two members of Monticello’s horticultural staff, Peggy Cornett, curator of plants and Eleanor Gould, curator of gardens. We’ll explore the legacy of the gardens in all their complexity, depth and scope. Join us!

Photo used courtesy of author

Grow what you love, it’s advice we’re given early in our gardening adventures as to how to choose what to plant, to tend and to pray over. Grow the food you love to eat, grow the flowers you love to look at or smell, grow the tree whose canopy you’d like to rest beneath. "Grow what you love" is also the title of Emily Murphy’s new book. A Northern Californian gardener, mother, educator and optimist – Emily’s my guest on Cultivating Place this week. Join us. 

Photo courtesy of Pascal Baudar

 

Have you ever thought: that is just what the mountains taste like? That is just what the forest or the ocean must taste like? For wildcrafter Pascal Baudar, author of The New Wildcrafted Cuisine and The Wildcrafting Brewer, from Chelsea Green Publishing, what his place tastes like in a specific season is at the heart of his food and garden. Baudar works as a wild-food researcher, wild brewer, and instructor in traditional food preservation techniques. 

Photo courtesy of Blanca Diaz

Nurturing – that’s what comes to mind when I think of the work of Blanca Diaz also known as Mama Maiz. Blanca is a practicing doula and herbalist whose work takes her around the country teaching and practicing plant based healing. She nurtures new mothers as they prepare to bring new life into our world, and she nurtures plants for their wisdom, healing and beauty. She nurtures community from the ground up sharing, as she says: “what she has been called and given permission to share.”

Photo used courtesy of Maria Failla

Maria Failla is the host of Bloom & Grow Radio – a unique podcast from New York City designed specifically for indoor plant people, urban jungle dwellers, houseplant enthusiasts and succulent killers alike. This week on Cultivating Place Maria shares her journey of learning more about the care and keeping of her plants and herself. Join us! 

Photo used courtesy of Benjamin Vogt

Benjamin Vogt is a next generation student of the beloved conservationist and writer Aldo Leopold and a passionate nature and garden advocate himself. In his book “A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion For An Uncertain Future” he takes the essence of Leopold’s "A Land Ethic" and brings it home to our gardens in some surprising and sometimes challenging ways. 

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