Ossa Featured Podcaster: Colah B Tawkin, Host of Black In the Garden
Ossa podcaster Colah B Tawkin is the host of the Black In The Garden podcast and creator/co-host of The Plant Kiki podcast. Her shows focus on highlighting the intersection between horticulture and black culture, bringing more black voices and insights into this space that is typically dominated by white perspectives. As a self-proclaimed “plantpreneur,” Colah’s passion for gardening has allowed her to create a safe space for black voices in the gardening world through her podcast.
Read more from Colah B Tawkin below and Black In The Garden (leave a review while you’re there, too!).
Colah B Tawkin
Tell us what your podcast is about in 3 sentences or less!
Black In The Garden (and The Plant Kiki) exists at the intersection of Black culture and horticulture in a world where all the garden fairies are white and people of color are consistently absent from the pages of gardening content/conversations.
You’ll hear compelling and witty stories of Black plant professionals (plantrepreneurs) and plant enthusiasts that other gardening podcasts aren’t telling. You should listen if you are a Black person who’s excited or curious about horticulture related topics or otherwise willing to learn more about the first hand experience of Black plant people.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso
One thing on your bucket list:
Visit botanical points of interest on every continent!
King “The Greatest”
Last text message you sent:
“Don’t let the green thumb fool ya.”
What was your first job?
Making lemonade at Chic-Fil-A
Any unusual hobbies?
Biggest Pet Peeve?
What inspired you to start your podcast?
I recognized that there was a void in the garden podcast genre that only I had the sauce to fill. Representation of Black people in horticulture is minimal.
Tell us more about your work/life outside of your podcast.
I’m a stay at home, newly single mom and now full time podcaster. I’m a professional driver as a former cross country trucker turned gardening enthusiast/advocate and ‘plantrepreneur’. Building a successful show along with marketing/branding and monetizing it has helped me evolve rapidly into an entrepreneur.
What is your show’s USP?
Conversations between “Soil Cousins” are full of warmth, humor, introspective moments and lessons from the Black experience with plants and so much more (houseplants, veggie gardening, food equity, farming, botany, land ownership etc)…at the intersection of Black culture and horticulture.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced with your podcast?
So far my biggest win has been solely creating, producing and promoting over 30 episodes my first year with almost no budget and low-tech equipment shortly after confronting some of the most intense personal trials and loss before AND during the pandemic.
What was one of your favorite episodes you’ve ever done? Why does it stand out?
One of my favorite episodes I ever did was with a female farmer from South Africa who helped me and my audience to understand the parallels of similarities of Black people experiencing racism via apartheid vs Jim Crow laws. Different continents, same oppression.
What is one thing you have accomplished with your podcast thus far that you are most proud of?
Curating and booking a diverse and well respected guest list; the likes have been featured in the New York Times, HGTV, LA Times, Vogue and CNN+ definitely helped get my podcast to peak in the Top 10 Home and Garden on Apple Podcasts (where I’m featured in the Black History Month Apple podcast collection 2021).
What is one major milestone that you would like to accomplish through your podcast in the next year?
I would like to break into voice acting!
What is a trend or development in the podcast industry that you foresee happening in the next few years?
More stories will be told by more marginalized people which will increase public awareness of issues that weren’t brought to the forefront in the past.
What is one of the best pieces of podcast-related advice you’ve ever received & why?
Sustaining a podcast is a marathon and not a sprint. Consistent content creation is key. This is advice that helps me keep up the momentum to continue podcasting.
What is one of the worst pieces of podcast-related advice you have ever received & why?
Put out more episodes than what’s within reason for me.
What are some of your favorite women-hosted podcasts?
Can you tell us about a time when you took a huge risk/did something you were scared to do, and it totally paid off?
I decided not to go for another trucking job and ultimately forfeited my CDL with the intention of giving up employment for full time entrepreneurship.
Are there any great podcast-related resources you love that you would like to share?
Auntie Google! WOC Podcast Network. Conversations with fellow podcasters on things that work and don’t work for podcasting.
Is there a charity or cause you care about that you would like to share?
How do you feel you’re making a positive impact and generating change through your podcast?
Black In The Garden makes conversations featuring Black voices about gardening and plant tending relevant and relatable to my community to foster a deeper connection with nature that will positively affect our mental health, encourage food sovereignty via growing our own food and help heal environmental trauma issues…for starters!