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Cultivating Place: The Wild Seed Project, with Heather McCargo

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Heather McCargo of the Wild Seed Project, image courtesy of Wild Seed Project, from the Portland Press Herald.

Fall and early winter are the perfect time in much of the Northern Hemisphere to plant bulbs, woody shrubs and trees, herbaceous perennials, and perennial vines in the landscape. It is also a good time to seed many spring-blooming native (and non-native) annuals.

So, I thought it was just the right time of year as well to chat a little with Heather McCargo of the Wild Seed Project in Portland, Maine. Focused on the relationship between seed-grown native plants in cultivated landscapes and reweaving healthy ecosystems across our world, Heather founded The Wild Seed Project and served as its Executive Director from 2014 – 2021. She is currently the seed program manager for the project.

The Wild Seed Project envisions a landscape where people help re-populate the landscape to be abundant with native plants (primarily grown from seed) so that we can support wildlife, biodiversity, and buffer the effects of climate change. They invite gardeners around the country - the world in fact – to take their rewild pledge committing to working towards including a minimum of 70% seed-grown native plants in your garden.

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The show is available as a podcast on SoundCloud, iTunes, Google Podcast, and Stitcher. To read more and for many more photos please visit cultivatingplace.com.

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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.