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  • Jennifer Jewell


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


As we enter seed sowing and plant planting season in earnest, I think we as gardeners are more aware than ever of the material costs of this passion and pursuit we know of as gardening. As pony and six pack containers, to say nothing of black and green plastic one-gallon pots pile up in our utility areas, our garages, our landfills, this materiality and its persistence in our lives is all too visible. In a few cases there is circularity – the ability to return pots to nurseries to repot and keep in the loop, but all too often due to hygiene and pathogen concerns or capacity concerns of storage and staff, this is a one way street of plastic by products dead ending at us or our landfills.

This smaller footprint, this alternate and more intimate route with our plant relationships is among the many beautiful reasons to start smaller and slower – to garden from seed to shining seed. But here too in the seed sector of this business end of garden and plant love, we perpetuate the plastic petroleum-based world we have grown accustomed to this past 100 years or so.

But there have always been other ways, we just have to look for them, see them, re-invent or innovate them.


That is what this week’s guest – gardener, inventor, designer, and small-business owner Anne Fletcher realized she needed to do if she wanted to re-design her own garden life without the plastic consequences and long-term costs. She literally went to ground, using technologies of the past and the present, to rethink and reimagine the present and future.

Her Orta Kitchen Garden ceramic self-watering seedling trays are the result. In our ongoing exploration of who gardeners are, where gardeners are, and what they are growing in this world – I am so pleased to speak with Anne Fletcher, Orta Seed Pots are her efforts at reimagining our garden world without plastic or toxic side effects.

Anne has very generously offered a discount to Cultivating Place listeners! For more information and to access check it out here:

You can follow Anne and her teams' work online at: Orta Kitchen Gardens; and on Instagram at: @ortagardens

JOIN US again next week, when as the migrating and nesting seasons continue for so many of the animals that live in tandem with our plants and gardens, we revisit a Best Of episode with the Hummingbird Monitoring Network. That’s next week, right here, listen in.


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supporting initiatives that empower women and help preserve the planet through the intersection of environmental advocacy, social justice, and creativity.

Thanks to a generous matching grant from the Catto Shaw Foundation for 2024, all of your donations to Cultivating Place go directly toward helping us meet that match! All contributions help – go to the support button at the top of every page at Cultivating to chip in. Thank you in advance for supporting this program you love to grow with.



Thinking out loud this week....

There is nothing quite like seeding and germination and seedlings growing exponentially on the window sill or in the greenhouse to remind you of the power of a seed, the strength of a plant, and the miracle of life all around us – tender and yet tenacious. It gets me every time. Every single season and every single seed.


Right now, my zinnias seedlings are a daily marvel.

All it takes is one person to start an idea that changes everything. Imagine a world where we were NOT creating more plastic pollution with every garden move we make? I think here of Rebecca Burgess founding Fibershed, to reimagine an environmental and economic world built on circularity - without plastic in our fabrics; and I see that same beauty and elegance and perseverance here in Anne Fletchers idea and in her manifestation of it.


These ideas are – like gardening at its best – long thinking, and they take both time and tenacity - just like seeds. And I want to encourage them and support them and disperse them whenever I see them sprouting.


We can reimagine a world wherein we ask better questions, and grow better answers.

Right from our own gardens.

Great Gardeners are doing it everywhere they grow….





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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1 commento

Clark benson
Clark benson
30 apr

Orta Seed Pots are designed to be biodegradable and eco-friendly, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic pots. Anne Fletcher delves into the benefits of using Orta Seed Pots, including their ability to reduce plastic waste, support soil health, Cody Rhodes' Military White and Red Coat and promote a circular economy in gardening practices.

Mi piace
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