Book reviews are one of my favorite things to do, other than gardening. Especially when they are about gardens, gardening or garden travel. I recently had the opportunity to review a book published by Timber Press. I want to say Thank You to Timber Press for seeing a need and finding the right person to share the message.
The Earth In Her Hands – The Book
The Earth In Her Hands – 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants, beautifully written by Jennifer Jewell. Creator of a popular podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell’s perspective on approaching this topic was truly on point. Choosing the women for this topic had to be quite the ordeal. Who do you leave out? How do you know you have chosen wisely? Jennifers keen instinct on making this a worthwhile book was unique and well-executed.
The conversation throughout the book embraced women in many different fields of work, all pertaining to horticulture. A diverse collection of women who connect with this earth whether in their communities or in the public space.
In this book, Jennnifer shares not just their story but who inspires them. This is a big question that should actually lead to another book on this topic. Women are often overlooked or minimized in many fields, even horticulture.
Familiar faces are all through this book from Erin Benzakein (Floret), Peggy Cornett (Monticello) to Renee Shepherd (Renee’s Seeds). There are also some women we need to know like Yolanda Burrell (Pollinate Farm and Garden), Leslie Bennett (Pine House Edible Gardens) and Robin Wall Kimmerer (Center for Native Peoples and The Environment).
Finding joy in making bouquets would inspire a carer for Christin Geall. Such a simple act of self-expression has created a life long way of enjoying what she does.
Filling A Need
The need to inspire young women of all ages to just get outside, garden with a passion and see where that passion leads is important. As I read this book the first time, there was something very obvious. Most of the women in this book had been introduced to the garden at a young age. The impact of connecting to the earth always amazes me. One story and quote sticks in my mind. Marta McDowell (NY Botanical Garden) shared after visiting the Emily Dickenson house. “…A door opened that day, and I stepped through it.”
This quote really spoke to me as a Gardener and a Garden Communicator.
I am on the fourth reading of its book as I investigate the Other Inspiring Women recommended by the interviewees. With Mother’s Day gifting in mind, this is a book worth gifting.by