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  • Jennifer Jewell


Valley Oaks in the Canyon.

A charismatic megaseed of my seedshed - the California buckeye. Glossy and bright, well nestled into the oak leaf litter.

It is high seed season here in my place: grasses, summer annual and perennial flowers, shrubs and vines have all moved onto their next stage. I would say their final stage, but then we are into the heart of it, aren't we? Is seed the final stage? Is it the first stage? Is it both - a bridge forming the continuity of the circle, the whole?

The windborne, the bird and mammal borne, the gravity borne, the fire and water borne they are all out just now -including the biggest ones - the charismatic megaseeds of the seedshed, those who refuse to be overlooked or unheard: the acorns, the buckeyes, the pine cones - in windy moments, sometimes even in surprisingly still moments, they pelt down on the roof and deck like percussion instrumentation. (Of course the pine nuts are quite small, but their transport cone has evolved to be gloriously mega.)

I don’t know about you, but my anxiety has been pretty triggered these past weeks, months. And the seeds invite me to think beyond the season we are in - to the seasons we've been brought here by and the seasons we are literally and metaphorically planting for right now - next year, the next, and many beyond that. Seeds have kept me sane this past stretch of convoluted and confusing time.

I think all gardeners are seed-sowers and seed students on some level, who among us has not blown dandelion seeds to the wind, pocketed a smooth round acorn, marveled at the specks you shake (or ease) into the spring or summer or fall soil, and which then transform into beans, lettuce, tomatoes, flowers, and TREES - the lives of which extend ours beyond measure.

But this year my tending toward seed has felt more urgent. In late March/early April I began turning to more seed and many seed keepers, for conversation, for flashes of generative and proactive acts of faith and hope. For intergenerational wisdom, intercultural knowledge and beauty, interspecies collaboration - for some connective tissue between the past and the present and one another.

If last month's focus on Cultivating Place was the power of creative thinking, this month's is on the creative and generative energy over time and space that is SEED in our world.

A SEED is a vote of its own kind. But for the sake of all we hold dear, if you are a US citizen and otherwise eligible - PLEASE VOTE by November 3rd where ever you may be. This too is a powerful seed for the world we want to grow.

Some seeds of the season here: narrow leaved milkweed, bitter melon, anemone, rose hips and scabiosa.

The seed and the seed keepers never fail to expand, to teach, to clarify and distill down to the most essential beings to their most essential aspects.

October 29th, I kicked off the first in a multi-episode series on #cultivatingplace around seed, with a revisit to my 2019 conversation with Clare Foster, of House & Garden UK about growing flowers from seed (link in line up below ✨). A timely reminder to see and save your end-of-season flower seed as you are able.

The month of November the program will be dedicated to sharing some of the conversations I’ve had the honor of engaging in with seed keepers around the globe this past 6 months. I hope you will find the folks, the work, the larger concepts they are working with as important and meaningful an investment of time/curiosity and as transformative a mindset shift/reframe as I have.

Next week: Chris and Owen of @trueloveseeds and @sankofafarms; Others coming up: @kewgardens@vivien.sansour and @californiabotanicgarden

Staghorn sumac in winter dress, photo by Seabrooke Leckie, all rights reserved.

Redbud seed pods snacked on - from within or from without?

Finally, in November I will be presenting live (virtually) on two different occasions that might be of interest to you:

November 6, 2020


Ruth Roberts Women in Horticulture Program

Friday, November 6, 9am - 2pm PDT on Zoom

(other speakers include Abra Lee, Brie Arthur, Susan Dolan, and more)

Co-Hosted by Lord & Schryver Conservancy and Chemeketa Community College’s Horticulture Dept

To find out more or add your name to the Zoom invitation list,

contact Pam at or (971)600-6987

November 12, 2020


5:30 - 6:30 PM PST (virtual)

In Conversation With Clare Copper Marcus, Therapeutic Landscapes

VISIT WEBSITE For Link to Listen

As we cross into the time of Samhain, of harvest, of retrospect back and projection forward, the tending toward the darker/underground part the year (clocks back in US on Saturday night as we move from October to November), I wish you a healthy seed season - savoring, sustaining, saving the most valuable of life's gifts for the future we are actively growing together.


and the Cultivating Place Team


NOVEMBER is my birth month. I am 55 in 2020. WHOOP!

So many people have shared with me that The Earth in Her Hands has been profound "inspiration", and a "map" or "blue-print" in this time and for their own next phases - focusing as it does on the generative work of brilliant plantswoman around the world making a difference that ripples out to us all. In honor and in celebration of that, if you would like signed copy or copies of The Earth in Her Hands for yourself or as gifts for the upcoming season, please send me an email with how many you would like and use the code #2020. I will send you a PayPal invoice with a 20% discount off the cover price of $35. The best kind of happy birthday to me!


We are at 91 donors! SO so so so close. I think we're going to meet our challenge of 100 new donors by December, don't you! ;)

Happy Samhain.....


The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants


And unsigned copies from: IndieBound:; Barnes & Noble:; and Amazon:



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



Playing with Creativity.




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

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PO BX 37

Durham, CA 95938

All contributions go to the production of Cultivating Place and its educational outreach efforts and endeavors. Thank you for the value you find here and your support of it!

Me. Bio photo by Eddie Altrete 2019.



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