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The Ground Shots Podcast

Jan 9, 2020

Episode #31 of the Ground Shots Podcast is a conversation with Nikki Hill and Gabe Crawford, recorded on a sunny day in Paonia, Colorado on the wild edges of Small Potatoes Farm this past November.


Gabe Crawford was raised on a small homestead outside of Durango, Colorado and started learning about plants from an early age. He got launched on his plant journey by studying with Katrina Blair at the Turtle Lake Refuge in Durango. He moved to Sandpoint, Idaho where he worked with Twin Eagles Wilderness School and Kaniksu Land Trust mentoring kids. Through this, he started naturalist training which opened him up to the world of wild tending, Traditional Ecological Knowledge and the ancient and intricate relationships between humans and ecology. Gabe spent time with Finisia Medrano learning about the ancient wild gardens of the west that were and still are tended by indigenous peoples and was taught how to tend these first foods and plant back for future abundance. He collects the seeds of native foods plants, fruit trees, berries and other exotics to plant feral orchards and wild gardens.


Nikki Hill can be found chasing wildflowers throughout the western US. She is not sure when her adoration of plants began, but they share a kindred spirit. Nikki earned a bachelors degree in environmental science and botany which led her to the field of habitat restoration nearly 16 years ago. Disillusioned by methodology that focused on eradication, she struck off on her own. She spent six years growing food and medicine, first as an urban farmer and then as a nomadic rural farmer, and co-founded Daggawalla, a seed and herb company. Since 2014, she has been exploring her feral roots as a wildtender, planting gardens outside agricultural boundaries. Her hope is to foster habitat resilience by sowing a living seed bank for the future, in a spirit of collaboration with the non-human world. Her website can be found at


In this conversation with Nikki and Gabe, we talk about:


exploring the concepts of 'wild' and 'wild-tending'

what it means to participate in a cultured landscape

seeing the fabric of the landscape as a mosaic of gardens

how wild-tending practices can challenge and/or reinforce certain accepted mainstream narratives around sustainable wild-crafting

re-looking at what 'wild-crafting' even means in the context of prioritizing planting back

the connection between mental health and wild-tending

a brief introduction to some specific wild-tending techniques like seed collection and replanting, root division, burying branches and more.

'poop' talk – the importance of poop in wild-tending and planting back

how anyone can wild-tend anywhere





‘Tending the Wild’ by Kat Anderson

Tending the Wild Broadcast special on YouTube

Finisia Medrano on Youtube

Gabe's instagram @plumsforbums

Gabe's facebook page, where he occasionally share wild-tending info

Nikki's facebook page, where she occasionally shares wild-tending info

Nikki’s website:

‘The Failures of Farming & the Necessity of Wildtending’ by Kollibri terre Sonnenblume

‘The Troubles of ‘Invasive’ Plants’ by Nikki Hill & Kollibri terre Sonnenblume, free zine download, or buy a hard copy in the store on Kollobri’s website

Support Gabe via Paypal for his wild-tending efforts:

Support Nikki via Paypal for her wild-tending efforts:



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 Our website with backlog of episodes, plant profiles, travelogue and more: 


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Theme music: 'Sweat and Splinters' by Mother Marrow

Interstitial Music: ‘Furnace Creek’ by Marisa Anderson

Extra banjo tunes by Gabe Crawford

Produced by: Opia Creative