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Cultivating Place: To The Forest, With Midori Shintani And Dan Pearson

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.



Midori Shintani is the head gardener at the Tokachi Millennium Forest. Having trained as a gardener and horticulturist in Japan and Europe, she joined the Tokachi Millennium Forest team in 2008. Under her care, the Millennium Forest and its gardens merge a “new Japanese horticulture“ with the surrounding wild nature. Midori was featured in my first book The Earth in Her Hands, 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants (Timber Press, 2020).


Dan and Midori's inspiring and collaborative work at the Tokachi Millennium Forest really speaks to gardeners around the globe who want to reconnect with the ecological life of the land, plants and animals on that land. The Tokachi Millennium Forest and its many gardens exemplifies a new naturalistic gardening which integrates culture, aesthetics, and horticultural traditions of both east and west.


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Jennifer Jewell is the creator and host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. Particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture, she is the daughter of garden and floral designing mother and a wildlife biologist father.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.