Matt Fidler


Matt Fidler is an audio producer working in podcasting and public radio. A lifelong musician and music lover, he received his BA in Music/Recording Arts from Chico State in 1997. Dabbling in the music, film, and TV industries for a couple years after graduation, he found his calling in public radio right as podcasting came into being regularly working on the shows UnderCurrents, Making Contact and A World of Possibilities. Matt has since worked as an audio engineer/sound designer, producer and host on numerous National public radio shows including: Freakomomics Radio, The New Yorker Radio Hour, Selected Shorts, The Takeaway, Latino USA, On The Media, Studio 360 and more. In 2016, Matt started Very Bad Words - the critically acclaimed podcast about taboo language. With help from North State Public Radio, Matt created the 5 part podcast and radio series California Burning, exploring California’s problem with wildfires which has aired on more than 35 radio stations around the Country.

Now Matt produces NSPR’s four local programs and what-ever else the station will let him get his hands on! Matt enjoys creating music, hanging out with his wife and dog, and wandering the beautiful Northern California landscapes by car, bike, or foot...

It’s the first week of March and true spring let alone summer is still a ways off for many of us. This week on Cultivating Place, we lean into the last aspects of the winter season and head North - to learn more about the enthusiastic and intrepid deep winter and season extending gardening of the inimitable Niki Jabbour. Her abundant year-round gardening on the 45th parallel will inspire anyone. Join us!


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J.R Henson is a fourth generation Paradise resident and survivor of the Camp Fire. He chats with Nancy about his third book, The Camp Fire: Dreams, Nightmares, Hopes.

His stories and poems take the reader through the reality and the notional idea of both the day of the 11-08-2018 Camp Fire, and the complexity of the weeks after by trying to find balance again in both states of mind. 

Dave investigates two very different but interrelated topics: the deep freeze that sent the power grid in Texas into near collapse and how our cities are disproportionately hot in summer due to the urban heat island effect.

Both stories involve how the most vulnerable populations tend to take the brunt of climate change extremes. In Texas, dozens died trying to stay warm while in our western cities, black and LatinX suffer in summer when their neighborhoods are measurably hotter than more affluent neighborhoods.

This week on Cultivating Place, we’re back stateside to visit with a longtime gardener and garden writer also engaged in a new level of relationship with her new plot of land.

Page Dickey joins us to talk about the leaving and grieving of one garden, and the getting to know and love a new garden and its nature – all of which grows her. Her new book “Uprooted" is out now. Listen in!

Ruth Hartnup / Flickr Creative Commons

Montecito, just south of Santa Barbara, boasts surreal Lotusland, 37 acres of exotic gardens created by Madame Ganna Walska, thwarted opera singer and compulsive marrier of millionaires. 


Here, explore the world’s finest private collection of cycads—pine-tree relatives that look like palms—also cacti, succulents, luxuriant ferns, weeping euphorbias, an aloe-and-abalone-shell “forest,” lily and lotus ponds, bromeliads, orchids, and roses. A bit pricey, and you’ll need a reservation.

Kurt Koontz

From Kurt Koontz


Author Kurt Koontz freely admits that he is not wholly guided by his spirit when he first begins to dabble in yoga. An outdoor adventurer, he enjoys the challenging physicality of the exercise, which leads him to try several different types of yoga, seeking both fitness and female company.

Dave visits with fellow science communicator Amy Quinton. Amy and co-host Kat Kerlin are the creators of Unfold a science podcast featuring research from the University of California at Davis. 

The podcasts are thematic series on topics like food scarcity and climate change. Amy talks about her path from being a broadcast journalist to a science specialist who truly loves taking listeners along on journeys of scientific discovery.

As Lunar New Year celebrations continue, we travel to Hokkaido, a northern Island of Japan to celebrate an amazing intertwining of the wild and cultivated, the sustainable and the regenerative (for land and people)  at The Tokachi Millenium Forest in Hokkaido, Japan.

Dan Pearson is a landscape and garden designer for whom an understanding of plant ecology along with an appreciation for natural landscapes inspires his acclaimed designs around the world – including that at the Tokachi Millenium Forest.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

We’re trying out the idea of urban travel again, after long social isolation. Almost a year, now. Just thinking about groups of people—at crowded restaurants, concerts, ball games, you name it—is strange. Which is why we’ve set out, first, in our imaginations, and started with a small city, Santa Barbara.


The lonely Channel Islands just offshore, though, are constant companions—inviting us to come away, to leave all that hubbub behind. Reminding us that very special solitudes are right here, too.

Cathy B. Parker | Amazon


Cathy Parker wears many different hats: mother, author, wife and football benefactor.


She penned 2019’s “Northern Lights: One Woman, Two Teams, and the Football Field That Changed Their Lives” to remind us about the importance of community during impossibe odds. 


Northern Lights is the true story of a football mom in Florida whose call to help a high school team in Alaska changed the lives and hearts in both her own community and one far away above the Arctic Circle.