Debra Prinzing

Get the Email Newsletter!

Episode 628: Jennifer Jewell’s love letter to seeds and her new book, “What We Sow”

Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Today’s conversation is both timely and inspiring; compelling and important. I want to welcome Jennifer Jewell back to the Slow Flowers Show. You are in for a very special hour with this gifted human.

Jennifer Jewell (c) Caitlin Atkinson
Jennifer Jewell (c) Caitlin Atkinson

Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. Since 2016, she has written and hosted the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place. She is particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture.

Jennifer is also a gifted author and her third book was released yesterday on September 19th. I titled this episode “Jennifer Jewell’s love letter to seeds,” and I’m delighted to share the story of her magnificent opus: WHAT WE SOW: On the Personal, Ecological, and Cultural Significance of Seeds.

A deeply insightful and thoroughly engaging storyteller, Jennifer explores the natural history of seeds, the loopholes in the seed supply chain for growing “organic” plants, how agribusiness has patented genomes of staple foods like corn and soy, and the efforts of activists working to regain legal access to heirloom seeds that were stolen from Indigenous peoples and people of color.

As Jennifer marvels at the beautiful, wild seeds she encounters on her daily walks, she shares with the reader how, “to know and care for seeds ourselves [is] one of the most proactive steps we can take to rebuilding our human food systems, our social systems, and the global ecosystems of biodiversity on which we all depend.”

Jennifer's Seed Grown Zinnias
Jennifer’s seed-grown zinnias and veggies
Cosmos Seed
Cosmos seed
What We Sow

Order your own copy of What We Sow here

See below: Calendar of Jennifer’s upcoming author appearances, lectures, and book-signings – perhaps there’s an event close to you! Be sure to tell Jennifer you heard her here on the Slow Flowers Show!

Event Calendar

Thank you to our Sponsors!

This show is brought to you by, the free, online directory to more than 850 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

Thank you to our lead sponsor, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at

Thank you to Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at

Thank you to Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at

Thank you to Rooted Farmers. Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Next week, we’ll resume our 10-year anniversary celebration of the award-winning Slow Flowers Podcast, featuring an inspiring past guest who originally appeared in year seven. I can’t wait to share that episode with you! I love all this floral goodness and I am so happy you joined me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at

Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.  Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!

Music credits:

Drone Pine; Lady Marie; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field