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Cultivating Place: Saging the World, preparing for California Native Plant Week 2022 with Rose Ramirez and Deborah Small

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Photos courtesy of Rose Ramirez.

Rose Ramirez is a California native plant gardener, basketweaver, photographer, and educator of Chumash descent; Deborah Small is an artist, photographer, and professor at the School of the Arts at California State University, San Marcos. 

In preparation for California Native Plant Week 2022 (April 16 - 23), celebrating the botanical biodiversity of the California Floristic Region, Rose and Deborah join Cultivating Place to share more about their new educational and advocacy initiative, Saging the World, on behalf of California’s iconic native white sage, Saliva apiana, sacred to the Indigenous cultures of what is now Southern California and Baja California, Mexico.

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As part of Saging the World, Rose and Deborah, along with David Bryant of the California Native Plant Society, have coproduced a documentary of the same name, which premieres in LA county on Earth Day, and to which all are invited (tickets required): Saging the World Premiere, Earth Day, Friday, April 22 7 pm - 9 pm, Warner Grande Theatre, 78 W 6th St, San Pedro, CA 90731 

The film, created to foster awareness and inspire action for white sage, spotlights the ecological and cultural issues intertwined with white sage, centering the voices of Native advocates who have long protected and cherished this plant.

“Saging” has become common in movies, TV shows, social media, and cleansing rituals –people burning sage bundles in the hope of purifying space and clearing bad energy. Instead of healing, the appropriated use of saging in popular culture is having a harmful effect. Indigenous communities have tended a relationship with white sage for thousands of generations. White sage (Salvia apiana) only occurs in southern California and northern Baja California, Mexico. Today, poachers are stealing metric tons of this plant from the wild to supply international demand. The screening will include a panel discussion with Native advocates from the film, as well as a white sage plant giveaway.

This Earth Day, go from smudging to seeding as we come together to see plants not just as “resources,” but as “relationships.”

The event is sponsored by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy.

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We can't thank you enough for making it possible for this young program to grow even more of these types of conversations.

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.