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  • Jennifer Jewell


Valley Oaks in the Canyon.

The very interesting alchemy that has been 2020 is in its final month.

One of the most inspirational things I have done in my 55 years has been to research and write my first book - published in 2020, a fact for which I will eternally be a better human. The Earth in Her Hands continues to gratify me every day. In no small part due to all of your notes to me about how it has resonated with you.

The work of the women in the book is all about connection, collaboration, community, and growing the world into a better, braver, more honest and fiercely loving place through each of our own green and heartfelt cultivation.

Scenes of the season.

Another profoundly inspiring and growing endeavor has been to create and host the Cultivating Place radio program and podcast. With your help, the program has met its challenge for 100 new donors in the second half of 2020.

Your contributions make these paradigm-shifting, civil gardening conversations possible - engaging, encouraging, expanding and empowering gardeners around the world who are making differences for the positive in their own places. Thank you for finding value here - and for growing a better world where you are.

It might sound like nothing more than a platitude but it’s reached platitude status for a reason: sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest impact.

At this time of year when the capitalistic, consumeristic, resource intense and narcissistic and frenzied modern US version of Christmas takes over the collective consciousness - apparently helping the economy but not much else - this is a platitude to repeat to yourself like a mantra. Like Meg Murray repeating her love for her brother and Mrs. Which over and over to escape the evil mental clutches of IT in Madeline L’Engle’s classic A Wrinkle Time.

It really is the little things that matter – setting the family table with seasonal items of great joy, handpicking a few blooms into a gifted posy, handcrafting a small wreath of greens, taking a walk to find acorns and pinecones in the winter sunshine.

Remembering to take the time and attention to say good morning, thank you, I love you, you are so beautiful, and goodnight - to your garden, your house plants, your favorite tree on the street...

and anyone else you love.

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

Think handmade, think little, think local, and think investing in and supportive of the kind of world you want when considering gifts.

With that in mind, if you are looking for some inspirational models, or you are looking for inspiration to offer somebody in your life who might need it, The Earth in Her Hands with the 75 vibrant and winding pathways portrayed might be just a thing.

In honor of December, in honor of this year and its hopes for the future, I'm happy to offer out this: a 10% discount for all signed copies of The Earth In Her Hands ordered through me in December, with an additional 10% of all proceeds divided to go to the support of the work two profoundly earth changing women: Rowen White, of Sierra Seeds, and her work Cultivating a Regional Indigenous Seed Growers Cooperative with the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance (she is this world’s poet laureate of the power of seeds), and Leslie Bennett of Pine House Edible Gardens, and her radically beautiful, restful, and restorative work with Black Sanctuary Gardens.

If you would like to order a copy or 5, please DM me or email me: We’ll get you set up.

May this last lunar cycle of this calendar year find you planning, sowing and tending all the winter green things you need to support you in your community and place in the next 12 cycles.

For all of you that listen to and support the work of Cultivating Place here: thank you. I am grateful, humbled, and very very proud to be here with you.



and the Cultivating Place Team


Do you love yourself some winter holiday garden crafting? Like say, WREATHS? If you do, AND if you live in California, did you know I am a CELEBRITY judge for a convivial competition being hosted by the California Native Plant Society this season called WREATH MASTERS. Wreath Masters is a friendly competition between botanic gardens, nurseries, CNPS and other partners to create wreaths made with California native plants this winter. With six potential categories and competitors across the state, Wreath Masters is a celebration of the California native plant community and the seasonal beauty of native flora in our daily lives. All entries from our competing partners will be posted on the CNPS website.


Register for the live competition that will be hosted on Friday, December 18 from 6 pm – 7 pm where celebrity judges will determine the winners and much merriment and frivolity will be had!


51%+ Wreaths must be composed of at least 51% California native plants. This is evaluated by the visible material (armatures and other internal structuring, such as wire, do not count).

Ethically sourced Any native plant included in the wreath must come from a cultivated source and not be foraged from the wild. A major message within this campaign is to deter foraging and encourage growing native plants.

How do I submit my wreath? Wreaths can be submitted here. On the submission form, you’ll be asked to note which organization or CNPS chapter you’re representing..

Who can participate? Wreath Masters is a competition between organizations and CNPS chapters. To participate, contact the orgs listed on this page or your local CNPS chapter.


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....)


Wreath Master-Ish




SHARE the podcast with friends: If you enjoy these conversations about these things we love and which connect us, please share them forward with others. Thank you in advance!

RATE the podcast on ITunes or wherever you get your podcast feed: Please submit a ranking and a review of the program on Itunes! To do so follow this link: iTunes Review and Rate(once there, click View In Itunes and go to Ratings and Reviews)

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

To make your listener contribution – please click the button below.

Thank you in advance for your help making these valuable conversations grow.

Or, make checks payable to: JewellGarden

with Cultivating Place in the memo line

and mail to: Jennifer Jewell, Cultivating Place

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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