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  • Jennifer Jewell


FOODSCAPING - with Brie Arthur. Photo courtesy of Brie Arthur, all rights reserved.



In our ongoing exploration of who gardeners are, where gardeners are, what they are growing in this world, and why that matters to all of us, we use this midwinter moment for mid-winter retreat. We head south to the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center, and their remarkable Cherokee Garden Library – named for the historic Cherokee rose, prevalent (and yes, invasive, but also culturally iconic) across the south. 

Staci Catron has been the Library’s Director since 2000, and Jennie Oldfield is the collection’s Senior Technical Librarian/Supervisory Archivist, the two join Cultivating Place this week to share so much more about the fertile ground of their work – enriching all of our garden lives.

The three of us discuss the importance of horticultural and garden library collections for preserving the past, and enlivening our present and future. As a result of their work in archiving, research, and exhibitions, this conversation continues our celebrations of Black History Month through their newest on line digital collection/exhibition: Gardens & Cultural Landscapes of Black America, under the leadership of Dr. D. L. Henderson.

As a winter treat, this conversation will pair nicely with a warm cup of something on a cold afternoon.

Listen in!

Images courtesy of the Cherokee Garden Library, bio photos of Staci and Jennie taken by Jena Jones. All rights reserved.

You can follow the Cherokee Garden Library online: and on Instagram: @atlantahistorycenter

HERE IS THIS WEEK'S TRANSCRIPT by Doulos Transcription Service: 

02-08-24 CP - LS is (garden) life science - Staci Catron and Jennie Oldfield - final
Download PDF • 159KB

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JOIN US again next week, when we continue our celebration of Black History Month in conversation with Brent Leggs, senior vice president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Executive Director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund working to tell the full American story through the preservation of places of cultural significance to black and brown communities across the country That’s next week, right here, listen in.


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Thinking out loud this week....

We definitely seem to be in a seedy zeitgeist on our world – one of the best zeitgeists I can think of. As you listen to this week’s episode, I have taken part in three fabulous community seed swaps this past few weeks – one in Chicago, one in Nevada City, CA and one in Chico, Ca and I have been the keynote speaker for and immersed in two days of talks from native seed keepers and growers for the National Native Seed Conference which had over 788 registrants this year.


I will be at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show giving two talks – one on Cultivating Place and a Garden Culture of Care, and the other on What We Sow and the power of seed in our world as well as moderating two panels: one on what’s next for houseplants and the other on The Future of Gardening.


In all of this I read and hear and see this: We as gardeners and growers are ENERGIZED for the challenges ahead, we are showing up and ready to be growing parts of solutions to so many of the issues hobbling our world right now – from community cohesion, to politics, to what to grow for dinner. Gardeners are everywhere, and we contribute in endless ways.

Who doesn’t love a good book – especially a good garden book – in winter? I am currently reading The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson – it’s tough, but also important – offering visions for our future, the hardest of these visions being those I believe our gardens and gardening can help to forestall. Can help to change the probability of…


In easier but still substantive some fiction reading, The Heaven And Earth Grocery Store, alternating with David Whyte’s essay collection Consolations. I think we need choices for our different reading hours – some challenging, some soothing, some entertaining – but hopefully all growing us in some way.


What are you reading – any good growing recommendations?

Keep growing – it’s mid-winter now, but we know spring is out there waiting for us too.




Cultivating Place is a co-production of North State Public Radio, a service of Cap Radio, licensed to Chico State Enterprises. Cultivating place is made possible in part listeners just like you through the support button at the top right-hand corner of every page at Cultivating

The CP team includes producer and engineer Matt Fidler, with weekly tech and web support from Angel Huracha, and this summer we're joined by communications intern Sheila Stern. We’re based on the traditional and present homelands of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of the Chico Rancheria. Original theme music is by Ma Muse, accompanied by Joe Craven and Sam Bevan.

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