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  • Jennifer Jewell, Cultivating Place


California newt - a sure sign of spring.

Late Winter - Oak Woodland. Canyon Creek, Butte County, CA

Happy March my friends – in like a lion and out like a lamb – that’s what they say right? Oh my goodness….in the Northern Hemisphere we are so close to our hours of daylight equaling and numbering greater than our hours of darkness – the winter season is in its final stretches. Here – on warmish mornings you can tell the birds feel it, handle your soil gently on a warmish-dryish morning and you can tell the soil is preparing, observe your companion trees and shrubs closely and little buds are swelling along the lively nodes.

Recently on a wet, wet walk - John and I noticed the California Newt below working its way across the gravel road - moving from the swollen creek to higher ground. We figured its watery mating season was complete and the drier duff of the Oak Woodland above was calling. It took us a while after encountering the newt to observe: this newt was our first sighting and it was behind fire lines. S/he had survived the fire the burned through the canyon last November. While there was great loss, and there's a great deal of recovery remaining - there are signs of life everywhere.

I know this – can see them and hear them and yet we’ve just come through days and days of gray and rain – up to 10 inches total. Another round is on its way this week in what's been a very wet winter – which is good for our drought conditions, but I am not going to kid you – it can feel very slow getting to Spring right about now….

I love and honor all of the seasons and the annual variations and nuances, messages and lessons but this year - after this winter and last fall - I am ready for spring.

Are you feeling this? Maybe we can help....

California newt making its spring migration from watery mating sight back to woodland duff - Canyon Creek, Butte County, CA

With the idea of offering out a little boost to help you get to Spring - indeed to help you get through the inevitable lulls that come upon us in every season, every month, Cultivating Place has created some bonus garden audio for our generous donors – a thank you in the form of some additional audio gardenlife love (and wisdom) from Cultivating Place direct to your ears, just when you need it most.

For all of you who have donated $30 or more between January 1, 2019 and the Vernal Equinox on March 20th, you will receive by email a downloadable link to the Cultivating Place theme song, written and performed with beauty and heart by the duo MaMuse.

If you have never heard the whole Cultivating Place song – it will add a definite Spring to your heart and step to be able to play it in its fullness whenever you’d like - in your car, at your desk, in your gardens. I know you’ll love it and SING IT OUT LOUD!

Additionally for all of you who have so generously given $120 or more (as a single donation or as a commitment to a $10 recurring monthly support), between January 1 and March 20th's ushering in of the new and welcome season, you will receive the downloadable link to the CP song, AND for the coming year you will also get a little mid-month pick me up of bonus audio curated by us and sent out to you as an email link to a short - 5 minute or so – monthly/ seasonal reminder of the importance, beauty and meaning of this practice and passion we engage in.

Indeed, it's a practice and passion born of a caring relationship to the place you make home and it makes everything better.

I can’t wait to share these monthly audio garden boosts with you in the coming year - we're having fun creating them especially for you.

Spring wildflowers waiting for some sun. Canyon Creek, Butte County, CA

My friend Mary asked me recently: "Why would I give to Cultivating Place instead of just giving to North State Public Radio? I like supporting public radio." This is a great question! Because I love public radio, too, and I'm proud to be part of North State Public Radio - my home base.

- When you donate to Cultivating Place, you ARE donating to North State Public Radio. When you click the SUPPORT button at the top right hand corner of any page at the Cultivating Place website, you will see the link takes you a mynspr.pledge secure site. Your donation is tax-deductible through North State Public Radio.

- Every donation to Cultivating Place supports both North State Public Radio and the direct production costs of this specific program of North State Public Radio.

- Since the advent of podcasts in particular, many public radio stations have taken to this new model of funding their independently produced programs people who do not live within the station's listening area can directly support just the program they listen to. This also allows station management to see how well supported a particular program is by a listening audience. So your funds in support of Cultivating Place not only support production of the program, but are also clear votes continuing to produce such programming.

I love creating Cultivating Place and your comments to me overwhelmingly remind me of the joy, meaning, and encouragement you find here, too. If you ever have questions or concerns, comments or suggestions - please reach out!

We need your financial support to make this program the best it can be.

For all of you who already donate – thank you, thank you! For all of you who were waiting for the right time, reason, or incentive - this is it!

March on - Spring is going to be here soon -and it's going to be good.



PS: I'm really excited about an upcoming series on the science and best practices for creating meaningful Habitat in our gardens. We'll be hearing from national experts on a variety of habitat issues, from Monarchs to Hummingbirds and Native Bees. The latest reports in species decline are not good. As home gardeners, we are a needed, necessary link to bridge the gap for so many species at risk - and these same signs of life in our garden bring us endless joy and delight at the same time. We can help.



(just click the live link that is the green title of each program to get to the audio file and listen in....)



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Cultivating Place is a listener-supported co-production of North State Public Radio.

To make your tax-deductible listener contribution – please click the donate button below.

Thank you in advance for your help making these valuable conversations grow.

Or, make checks payable to: North State Public Radio - Cultivating Place

with Cultivating Place in the memo line, too

and mail to: California State University, Chico

400 W. First Street

Chico, CA 95929-0999


Late Winter bounty - chard, morels and narcissus. Canyon Creek, Butte County, CA

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