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  • Jennifer Jewell


The CAMPFIRE moving across our region 1 year ago. Photo by me from my home.


Almost one year ago, on November 8th 2018, the CampFire broke out in Butte County California Cited as the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history[8] and the most expensive natural disaster in the world in 2018, it was Named after Camp Creek Road, its place of origin. The fire reached 100 percent containment after seventeen days leaving behind 85 civilian fatalities, 5 firefighter deaths, 153,336 acres (62,053 ha) burned and 18,804 structures destroyed, with most of the damage occurring within the first four hours.

In honor and memory, today I am joined by three people working in the world of landscape fire preparedness – Calli Jane DeAnda, and Ben Hart of the Butte CountyFire safe council, who are both in the studio with me, as well Doug Kent, author of Firescaping – Protecting Your Home with a Fire-Resistant landscaping (Wilderness Press, 2019).

"we need more gardeners in fire country, not less. We need more people invested in the regeneration of their landscape and the health of it. And gardeners are inherently really good at that - reviving something and renewal is part of their backbone and their creed."."

Doug Kent, Author


In the conversation we discuss specific strategies to approaching firescaping from the first five feet out to the edges of your property - as well as how gardeners can be critical emissaries of good care practices – for soil, habitat, community, and catastrophic events like fire, flood, and more. No matter where you live.

"Doug began work on Firescaping in 1992. He lived 25 miles northwest of the Tunnel fire, which had devoured 25 lives and 2,900 homes in the Berkeley/Oakland hills. Frightened and inspired, Kent’s work started as a local gardening guide.

In 2005 Firescaping became a statewide guide and Kent’s true education began. Since then he has toured, worked with, and spoken to fire scared communities throughout California. He has been on the front lines of many fires and has interviewed enough people that have lost their homes to know that nobody should endure such a tragedy.

He has 27 years of soot-filled experience in firescaping, but that is far from his only credentials. He started gardening in 1979 and has written 6 other books, worked on hundreds of landscape projects, helped lead 4 statewide gardening campaigns, has 2 Master degrees, and has taught at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, since 2008. Besides Firescaping, Kent also specializes in resource conservation and urban harvest."

MAKE SURE TO HEAR DOUG KENT IN PERSON speaking on FIRESCAPING on behalf of the Butte FireSafe Council:

Nov 20th at 7pm at the Terry Ashe recreation center in Paradise.

For more information please contact

AND - Join us again next week when we celebrate the beauty, flavor and diversity of herbs and spices with Creative Gardener Sue Goetz – whose book A Taste For Herbs helps us prepare for winter and the holiday cooking ahead in partnership with our gardens.



SO.....a couple of things:

Anyone who has lived through a large natural disaster knows how imprinted it is on your heart, mind, memory – your every sense. 2018’s Camp Fire is one of those imprints in my region going forward. We all have stories from the first day and the subsequent 17 days and onward from there – stories of heart breaking loss, and likewise heroic human helping hands – from the first moment to the last – to now even as rebuilding and recalibrating goes on. Fire is a part of the life cycle – no matter where you live, really – but especially in the drier and western regions of the US it’s an important part of the cycle. An understanding we are learning more about all of the time – especially in relation to historic and indigenous understanding and then in current and future models of how we address it, live with it, design towns and communities more effectively with it in mind.

If you haven’t had a chance to listen in to the extensive new podcast California Burning, I think you’ll find it riveting, moving and informative. A special 5 – part radio series and podcast of North State Public Radio - Produced by Matt Fidler, Sarah Bohannon and Gregg McVicar. It’s available now at or wherever you get your podcasts! I hope you’ll check it out!

AND - Thank you to everyone who reached out to share their enthusiasm and support and congratulations about the announcement in this month’s a view from here about the March 3, 2020 publication of my first book – The Earth in Her Hands, 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants. As I shared in the Viewsletter, I am deeply humbled and grateful to have had the honor of writing the book and I’ll forever regard the year that I spent immersed in the research and writing about the work of these 75 women as one of the most grounding, expanding, and meaningful years of my working life. A year which made me more hopeful than I had been in a long time, and one that fired me up with even greater passion for the importance of plants people and plant/human relationships.

These women leading collaboratively and horizontally and from a sense of community strength are great models who reframe how we see leadership at all and they’ve inspired me to be even more dedicated to making the world a better place. Even in small ways – as some tiny way of living up to their work and all that they bring to the plant world – all that they bring to the world - as an interconnected, interdependent whole.

You can stay up to date on all things about the book publication in celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s day 2020, you can pre-order your signed copies, and stay up to date on when and where I will be speaking around the country about the book at the Books and Events tabs right here

It’s a long long long time dream come true friends and I couldn’t be more thankful for you all being part of my community through it - Thank you all for your support of this passion project and for your belief in the power of plants and plants people. Together we really do make a difference.

Ever Greenly - Garden on!




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