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.

Rob Woolmington

  

In honor of the Fourth of July, Cultivating Place is joined this week by the acclaimed writer and gardener Jamaica Kincaid, whose work "My Garden (Book)" published in the late 1990s, explores how the length and depth of human history - beautiful and terrible - is a narrative fully legible in our gardens and horticulture of today. As a citizen gardener, she sees potential redemption for humanity in kindness and in striving to honor one another the best we can - in our places, with our plants. Listen in!

Victor Schrager


Amy Goldman is a gardener, author-artist, and longtime advocate for seed saving, plant breeding, and heirloom fruits and vegetables. Her mission has for many years been to celebrate and catalog the magnificent diversity of standard, open-pollinated, heirloom varieties, and their conservation.

 

Her books include The Compleat Squash – A Passionate Growers Guide to Pumpkins, Squashes, and Gourds, and most recently The Melon, which will entice and educate, whether you are a passionate gardener, a locavore, or simply delight in the inherent beauty and evanescence of the fruits of the vine.

Nadia Ruffin

Nadia Ruffin is an entomologist, gardener, and educator. She is the founder of Agricademy Inc and Urban Farm Sista based in Cincinnati, Ohio. A lover of bugs and all insects and life forms since she was very young, Nadia loves sharing this admiration and curiosity, with youth especially.

 

In 2018 the Cincinnati City Council honored Nadia’s farming and agriculture initiatives, the primary focus of which is to share her knowledge and passion for the biological world and all that it offers to us in the way of endless and healthy wonder, food, beauty, and learning. It's National Pollinator Week and this week we revisit our 2019 conversation with Nadia to explore this wonder and this work. As a bonus - we talk about the importance of meeting and managing our own irrational fears. Enjoy!

Philippa Craddock

June is traditionally a month in which many, many weddings are celebrated with family, food, and FLOWERS.

With many of these weddings on hold this year due to Covid-19, we catch up with floral creative Philippa Craddock to talk about the business of floristry, the sustainability of it on several levels, and to reminisce about the lovely florals - from epic arches to the most romantic of bouquets which Philippa designed for the Lovely Meghan Markle and her Prince Harry, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Natasha Komoda

Ross Gay is a gardener - he is also an award-winning poet and a professor. A founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a food justice and joy project, Ross joins Cultivating Place to share more about his garden life journey, the structure of care it represents, and the unabashed gratitude and delight it brings him daily. Join us!

Melanie Falick

Melanie Falick is a maker of many things by hand, and in her work from knitting to gardening, welding to baking, she explores the connection between what we do with our hands in our own lives and our quality of life and sense of wellbeing. 

In 2015, Melanie left her 15-year corporate career in the publishing world without a completely clear sense of what she would - or wanted to do-  next. Her intuition told her that whatever it was, it would involve engagement with the handwork – knitting, sewing, time in the garden – that she loved, but that she had moved away from personal direct contact within her career. 


Johanna Silver is a gardener, writer and editor, formerly the garden editor at Sunset Magazine and regular contributor to Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes & Gardens, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is the author of The Bold Dry Garden, on the garden and legacy of famed California famed plantswoman Ruth Bancroft. 

 

This week she joins us to talk about her newest book: Growing Weed in the Garden, a No-Fuss, Seed-to-Stash Guide to Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation out now from Abrams Press.

Elan Klein

Fallon Shea is a self-described rose devotee and roseologist currently making her life with roses in Southern California as a grower, designer, artist, and writer.

She says that roses found her when she was lost at the age of 19, “tricked her into gardening” then, and have kept her happily under their spell as their devoted student ever since from pruning 10,000 roses in the field, to savoring their tart hips, to incorporating all stages of them into her floral designs and all parts of them into her artwork.

David Austin Roses

Cultivating Place kicks off the month of May - with two-episodes focused on ROSES – we start off this week before Mother’s Day here in the U.S., with a visit to David Austin Roses in conversation with Michael Marriott, senior rosarian and at David Austin for more than 35 years.

He considers the rose among the most beloved of garden plants and as such a very conduit for an awareness and care of gardens, plants and our world more generally. Listen in!

Uli Lorimer


Uli Lorimer is the director of Horticulture for the Native Plant Trust in Massachusetts. His work as a native plant and biodiversity advocate is informed by years of work in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Native Flora Garden, in the woodland garden at Wave Hill in the Bronx and even earlier at the US Botanic Garden. 

 

Uli and I met just after we recorded this conversation during the annual conference of the Ecological Landscape Alliance in Amherst Mass where I was the keynote speaker, and now these long weeks later Uli reports that the pandemic has not only brought people to gardening, but to an increased interest in native plants, the climate, and an understanding that among what we deem essential at this time – biodiversity and a wholistic resilience are key. 

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