Jennifer Jewell, “The Earth in her Hands – Cultivating Connections through Gardening”

February 18, 2021


Thursday, February 18: Jennifer Jewell (gardener, garden writer, gardening educator and advocate)

About Jennifer:

I’m Jennifer – the creator, writer and host of Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden, airing on North State Public Radio (KCHO/KFPR, every Thursday at 10 am. The podcast goes live at the same time each week and is distributed nationally by PRX, Public Radio Exchange.

I learned to how and why to garden, and the spiritual philosophy of compost from my mother, Sheila Balding Jewell – who died in 1997. I learned to love the great outdoors and the diversity and interconnectedness of all life from my wildlife biologist father, Samuel Rea Jewell. I learned to marry these two critical elements of my formative years through my life thus far – traveling the world, reading, gardening and hiking wherever I was, and reaching out to and being inspired by the generous, smart, plant and garden people in every place I’ve called home. I learned some good stuff in college, too (I received my bachelor of liberal arts degree from Harvard University). After college, I went to work as an arts and literature editor and writer in Seattle, WA for Microsoft’s Encarta encyclopedia; I tried unsuccessfully to convince them to add in depth articles for every major garden around the world. So, I turned my focus to writing, speaking and advocating for the importance of gardens/gardening/gardeners in our world.

My writing and photography have been featured in publications including Gardens Illustrated, House & Garden, and Pacific Horticulture. From 2008 – 2016 I created, wrote and hosted the weekly, regionally-focused In a North State Garden on North State Public Radio. From 2010 -2017 I worked as the curatorial assistant to the director and the curator of the native plant garden at Gateway Science Museum on the campus of CSU, Chico in Chico, CA, which was a delight.

I believe in the power of mission-driven, non-profits, and I happily serve on the board of the Pacific Horticulture Society and am a long-time member of other national and regional gardening organizations, in the California Native Plant Society and Garden Communicators International.

I enjoy the dry summers, cool (with luck) damp winters and enormous diversity of native plants in interior Northern California – where my dog, my cat and my two smart, funny, lovely and lively daughters. remind me that it’s time to come in from the garden for dinner and bed. They’ve been cutting flowers, helping with compost and tending to creatures in gardens since before they could walk and they still seem to love the power of mother nature, the garden and me. So that’s good.

I consider myself supremely lucky to do what I do, in the company of the plants and plants people with whom I do it.