• Jennifer Jewell

BLACK IN THE GARDEN, THE POWERFUL GARDEN VOICE OF COLAH B. TAWKIN





Colah B Tawkin is a mother, gardener and the founder, host, and head creative of podcast and media platform known as Black in the Garden, based in Columbia, South Carolina. Black in the Garden came on line in November of 2019, and has since informed, entertained and grown listeners through more than 30 episodes, which as she states “reside at the intersection of Black Culture and Horticulture in a world where all the garden fairies and most of the gnomes are white.”


As a millennial black plant enthusiast and self-proclaimed plantrepreneur, Colah is a voice which confidently declares that "conversations WILL be had on a range of topics that directly influence and impact black plant keepers as we blackily impact and influence the world.”



"What I noticed about the gardening podcasts that I was listening to was that content was definitely good, but as far as the presentation and flavor, I didn’t feel like they were speaking to me as a millennial black woman. Me being the storyteller and speaker that I am, and raised by an incredible storyteller, I became compelled to put a voice to [millennial black garden experiences and culture]."

Colah B. Tawkin, Black in the Garden 2020



Follow Black in the Garden's podcast and garden journey on her instagram: @blackinthegarden


All photos courtesy of Colah B. Tawkin, Black in the Garden Instagram and logo art created by Paula Champagne @makerchamp, all rights reserved.


Join us again next week when catch up with Urban Bee Keeper turned floral designer/flower farmer/back to the lander and now mother, Meg Paska AKA Farmer Meg. Listen in!


RELATED EPISODES INCLUDE:



- BOTANY, GEOGRAPHY, HISTORY, JAMAICA KINCAID


- GROWING AND BUILDING EMPOWERMENT, FRAILTY MYTHS

- PLANTING YOUR TRUTH, PULBIC HORTICULTURE with ABRA LEE



THINKING OUT LOUD this week..

SO.....


The voices we hear, the images we see, the conversations we hear or even engage in ourselves – they construct the world as we know it in our brains, our hearts, our fears and aspirations. And that quote unquote – world as we know it can either constrain or engender all possibility from there. Representation matters = representations matter – for the represented and the representers, for the listeners and the speakers, for the garden and the gardeners.

Representation matters. As I listen, as I read, as I look, and as I garden – I need to be making sure I’m always asking myself – who is represented here? Whose voice, whose interests, whose benefit – is represented.

We are the gardeners, we of all people know in our bones that the healthiest and most resilient and beautiful gardens are those with the greatest representation of biodiversity – interdependent – playing off of and balancing one another. A composition of community and collaboration that generates energy and life from energy and life.


August is one heck of a long hot dry month in Interior Northern California. Towards the end of our conversation, Colah talks about why she creates her program in seasons in order to build in cyclical breaks – to avoid burnout and loss of perspective.


August is a month in which these selfsame lessons are being communicated and shared with us loudly and clearly from our wildlands and many of our garden plants – late summer is a time to rest, often to set seed, and/or to go dormant.

Summer dormancy, much like winter dormancy, is not to be confused with laziness or boredom or weakness or complacency or silence. Think of it instead as akin to to sleep, or rooting or germinating or growing or gestating along in the restorative though often invisible ways that allow us as Colah suggests to give from a full cup. Save your seeds for best sowing later.

Late summer is just such a needed dip in visible productivity as we transition from the height of summer to preparation for the next. Rest and make ready, friends.


And when you are ready – like gardener like garden - give and grow from a cup of abundance.

As always - together we grow....quieter, louder, greener, more creative and better.

WAYS TO SUPPORT CULTIVATING PLACE

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