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Exploring the Past, Present and Future of Black People in Horticulture with Colah B Tawkin, Ep 146



It's been such a joy having fellow podcasters join me in the pod as they never disappoint and have such wonderful insights about plant parenthood and plantrepreneurship. I've met this episode's guest in 2020 and figured it was time to have her back on to catch up and explore a concept she’ll be tackling on the next season of her show: the past, present, and future of black people in horticulture. Colah has created an amazing brand called Black in the Garden that has blown up in the last couple of years, and created a space for so many people to feel seen within the plant community. Tune in as we share an important conversation about historic black plant people and their rich yet less discovered contributions to plant society.


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In this episode we learn:

  • [00:57] Maria’s plant updates
  • [05:30] Who is Colah and why she started her podcast, Black in the Garden
  • [09:16] How has Colah’s plant collection changed through her personal transitions?
  • [15:07] What it’s like to have a plant-sitter
  • [16:52] Reevaluating the lesson of resiliency as a Black woman
  • [19:16] Moving forward and seeking opportunities presented to you
  • [22:04] Letting go of things that don’t bring you joy
  • [23:11] Why Wangari Maathai is Colah’s most inspirational historic Black figure
  • [25:26] Making the diaspora of Black people known and accessible
  • [29:09] Where to get the best seeds for this growing season
  • [30:45] Indoor and outdoor gardening products for people, pets, and the planet
  • [32:30] Jerome the Gnome and Colah’s update on inclusivity in garden products
  • [34:26] Black representation in media and podcasting
  • [38:59] Colah shares recent recognitions for Black people in horticulture
  • [41:51] Horticulturist Abra Lee and her mission to uncover the history of Black garden clubs and societies 
  • [46:08] Ideating and self-publishing the Black in the Garden Coloring Book
  • [49:58] Acknowledging white privilege in horticulture
  • [52:52] Why Colah is exploring the past, present, and future in Black in the Garden podcast
  • [55:41] What’s next for Colah and Black in the Garden in 2022
  • [01:00:50] How to level up your plant parent skills this year!

Mentioned in our conversation:

Thank you to our episode sponsors:

Territorial Seed Company

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Espoma Organic

Espoma Organic is dedicated to making safe indoor and outdoor gardening products for people, pets, and the planet. They have an amazing variety of high-quality, organic potting mixes, garden soil, fertilizers, and pest control products that are organic and eco-friendly. To learn more about their pet safe indoor and outdoor gardening products, visit to find your local Espoma dealer or check my Amazon storefront.


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