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

Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 9 a.m.

Gardens are more than collections of plants. Gardens and Gardeners are intersectional spaces and agents for positive change in our world. Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden is a weekly public radio program & podcast exploring 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 are integral to our natural and cultural literacy. These conversations celebrate how these interconnections support the places we cultivate, how they nourish our bodies, and feed our spirits. They change the world, for the better. Take a listen.

Original Theme Music by Ma Muse, Engineer and Producer Matt Fidler, Executive Producer Sarah Bohannon.

This week on Cultivating Place we speak with British gardener and psychiatrist/psychotherapist Sue Stuart-Smith, whose book, "The Well-Gardened Mind: The Restorative Power of Nature", and very explicitly of gardening, explores her many years of research and findings on the physiology of the brain and the creativity and connections cultivated in the brain when gardening. 

 

In this work “of science, insight, and anecdote,” Sue demonstrates that “our understanding of nature and its restorative powers is just beginning to flower.” Listen in!

The Homeless Garden Project


As we continue our exploration into creativity born of the garden –I share with you today a story and model for creativity coupled with kindness. On Cultivating Place, I talk a lot about gardens, gardeners, and gardens as intersectional agents and spaces of powerful potential & positive change in our world.  While I see this as true in most of my interviews, this episode with the regenerative humans of the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz brings this truth to life more poignantly and tangibly than most. 

 


 

This week we kick off October with a dive into creativity – the way gardeners harness it, riff off it, and share its results forward with the larger world – and I am so pleased that our first creative in this exploration is the potter Frances Palmer, a previous guest on the program, one of the 75 women featured in my book The Earth in Her Hands, and a fantastic inspiration for any gardener maker out there.

 

In a world that needs a great deal from us right now, we can almost never go wrong by igniting our creativity.


Camilla Jorvad is a photographer, a gardener, a mental health and rewilding habitat gardening advocate based on the Danish Island of Aero. Her home-farm shared with her husband and children is known as Sigridsminde – meaning in memory of Sigrid – the gardener who first established a garden on this coastal bluff before her father and mother-in-law took on its care, prior to Camilla and her family partnering with the land soon after the birth of their eldest child. 


Most gardens, gardeners, and gardening seasons are deeply informed first and foremost by a deep love of PLANTS. Of space, and design, and color, and food, and refuge and beauty, YES, but for many of us it all starts with a love of plants. This week on Cultivating Place, we’re joined by an international gardener, designer, and horticulturist Wambui Ippolito - tracing the history of our own plant love, and the legacies and deeply human histories of the plants we all love. Join us!

 

Cultivating Place now has a donate button! We thank you so much for listening over the years and we hope you'll support Cultivating Place.

  

Dustin Gimbel is a landscape designer and large scale outdoor ceramic artist inspired by the botanical world and based in Southern California. In a new episode in our ongoing series about the art of the garden and art in the garden, I am pleased to welcome Dustin this week to share more about his journey working his way through school and some notable internships to this summer installing his first public exhibitions at the Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona Del Mar and the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek. Art mirrors nature is some interesting and unexpected ways!

 


 

In this very unusual back-to-school season here in the US, we’re joined this week by Julie Cerny a gardener, an outdoor enthusiast, and educator. Her new book, The Little Gardener: Helping Children Connect with the Natural World (out now from Princeton Architectural Press) provides some unusual and inspirational guidance for parents, grandparents, caregivers, and educators who want to help children explore the natural world through gardening. 

Meredith Neirman

 


 

This week on Cultivating Place we’re focused on growing food and community when we’re joined by Patricia Spence, President and CEO of the Urban Farming Institute of Boston, working to grow more food, train more farmers, and build healthier communities everywhere. Listen in!


Toni Gattone is a businesswoman, a master gardener, and a lifelong gardener of Italian descent. After struggling herself with a bad back, and the limitations this put on her as an active human and gardener, she began to research the idea of adaptive gardening. 

 

Based on all that she discovered and her own experiments and adaptations in her small Bay area garden that she shares with her husband, she wrote: “The Lifelong Gardener – Garden With Ease and Joy at Any Age” (Timber Press, 2019). 


Farmer Meg is an urban beekeeper turned flower and market grower turned farmer. Meg has been farming in NJ and NY city and state for almost a decade. Just over two years ago, she and her partner Neil migrated to upper Schoharie County NY to being to establish Meg’s dream homestead on a former dairy farm.

 

Biscuitwood Farm grows cut flowers, raises egg-layers on pasture, breeds Red Wattle pigs, and has small-scale soap enterprise wit their dairy goats. She is instrumental to a regionally based collaborative known the 607 CSA, and she believes firmly in abundance, the generosity of the garden, and that collaborative growing is the future. Listen in!

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