I’ve always believed my love of getting my hands in the dirt was my desire to be rooted to a place. So, when Michael Ableman, (www.fieldsofplenty.com) the keynote speaker at last weekend’s Tennessee Organic Grower’s Conference (www.tnorganics.org), opened his remarks with talking about ‘a love of place’ – his words rang true in my heart.
In this time of great social and political change, he said ‘it’s the confluence of details that make the difference in our lives’ – not the huge radical changes.
He also spoke about what most of us already know – food and agriculture is the keystone of our lives – food has the most profound ripple effect on everyone of us. “The survival of each one of us is tied to the rest of us.”
Ableman’s words spoke true. His description of a farm as not an isolated endeavor, but part of a vast network tying a community together.
Ableman’s description of his own farm, Foxglove Farm, www.foxglovefarmbc.ca, and it’s quiet glimpses into the past, brought to mind the recent arrowhead I had unearthed in my own garden. We are tied to the past and to the future. It may be cliche to say, but we are only the caretakers of our place and it’s important to make your place more fruitful and alive than we found it.
I’d always wanted an old farm house where I could enjoy the plantings of a past resident. Unfortunately, our place had been pasture too long and there where no old gardens. But, after being here for over 7 years, our gardens are filled with color and even the woodland natives are more abundant!