I could start this post off by asking the question “What is going on?!?” However, being in the business of making it my business to know about trends in gardening and horticulture, I think I know. This weekend I checked in on some of my favorite heroes of the gardening blogosphere and saw a new post from Ketzel Levine from her Talking Plants Blog. Her latest post was titled “Talking Unemployment”. I assumed she was touching on a common topic these days; the fate of the nursery industry feeling the pinch of this economy, or something to that effect. But I had no idea the words I was about to read were in reference to her own personal situation.
As a senior correspondent, Levine’s history with NPR dates back nearly 30 years with assignments covering everything from sports to interviews with high-profile celebrities. Yet the only Ketzel I knew was the one who in more recent years covered stories that brought critical attention to horticulture and climate change in a highly entertaining and insightful way. Not surprising when you learn that in 1990 she turned in her NPR staff ID (temporarily) to study horticulture and landscape design.
It was just last year that she added her own NPR blog, “Talking Plants” giving us all, one more opportunity to enjoy her one-of-a-kind style. Even a visit to her NPR bio describes her blog as a place “where her trademark wit and irreverence – and her passion for plants – have free reign”. Unfortunately, as of January 12, 2009, that won’t happen at NPR. She’s been laid off. It’s very sad to know that media considers gardening and horticulture such a dispensable topic. In its wake, we are losing yet another very talented and public voice on behalf of the subjects we consider so important. I guess not everyone sees it the same way. Such a shame!
p.s. Ketzel Levine will certainly land on both feet and hit the ground running, and we all have that to look forward to. And Ketzel, if you happen to read this, I’d love to post a follow up on where we can find you. In the mean time, thank you for all you’ve done on behalf of your listeners and readers everywhere. We’ll be waiting.