The Appalachian Forest
yesterday we all (except for aaron who was flying away to california) went over to our friend mary bartlett's house (that she shares with her daughter lily). she's gentle, wise, and so much fun. she's been gardening and growing her own food for about 30 years. we're all very excited about coming to know her better.
so we showed up at her house to help out in the garden. yesterday was on the biodynamic calendar a root day so we were planting beets, turnips, onions, carrots, potatoes... i think that's all.
what an awesome day we had! there was much camaraderie and love shared on the little hillside garden behind her house.
we're planning to participate in the garden tending regularly this season to help us grow our connection and relationships with mary (and hopefully with lily), learn from her experience, and participate in growing a good portion of our own food. woo-hoo!
she loaned me a few books before we left, one of which is The Appalachian Forest, A Search for Roots and Renewal by Chris Bolgiano.
the inside flap of the cover says:
"In the coves of southern Appalachia are fifteen hundred species of flowering plants, including more kinds of trees than in all of northern Europe. here are bewildering nuances of biodiversity, with mosses, fungi, spiders, salamanders, mussels, fish, birds, and people like none other on earth. Searching for home, we moved into one of the grand old mansions of the planet....
"The Appalachian Forest describes a place once rich with old-growth woodlands – American chestnuts ten feet in diameter, tulip poplars more than two hundred feet tall, warblers and wild turkey abundant beyond imagining – whose landscape has been systematically devastated by cutting and mining. Comparing the past and present land and people of this region once known as The Great Forest, Chris Bolgiano finds the promise of ecological recovery.
"More than a biological overview, the book explores mountain life and its many contrasts, such as generations of human poverty amid a wealth of natural resources. The mountain farmers, Cherokee, foresters, biologists, bear hunters, and grassroots activists that Bolgiano comes to know all define a part of the diversity of her Appalachian home.
"Meticulously researched, yet lyrically personal, The Appalachian Forest reveals a powerful message: the need to preserve mature, connected forests for the benefit of all living things in this great wilderness – including people."
oh wow. i think this is the book i've been looking for. perhaps it's been looking for me as well. thanks to mary b for bringing up together. i'm so excited to let this book help to introduce me to the history of this place i'm learning to love to call home. i'm excited to let this book help me proudly call myself one of the inhabitants of this land.
i'm drooling in anticipation.