We Are More Connected with the Earth than We Know

This short passage from GARDENING AT THE DRAGON’S GATE by Wendy Johnson blows me away.  It suggests something that feels deeply true, that we are connected to the earth through our ancestors and the places they inhabited.–April Moore

     “Chester Aaron, a writer and garlic grower gardening about 50 miles north of  Green Gulch in Sonoma County, grows garlic because he cannot live without it.  A Sonoma gardening friend told me that early in his garlic career Chester was given a variety of heritage garlic cloves by Seed Savers Exchange.  He grew them all, but to the delight of his gardening mentors he kept selecting the same garlic variety, time after time, as the absolute best.

     “The Seed Savers keyed out the garlic and found it was from the Republic of Georgia.  “It’s from Tochli–a–Tochlia–”  “Not Tochliavari?” interrupted Chester, suddenly full of life.  “Yeah, that’s it–Tochliavari,” they answered, surprised at Chester’s animation.  It turned out that although Chester was born and raised in New York City, all of his people, from his father to his grandfather and great-grandfather before him, hailed from the small, remote region of Tochliavari in the Republic of Georgia.

     “Red garlic from Tochliavari woke up Chester Aaron.  For each of us it will be a different taste or sound, distinct and particular to our own bloodlines.  Much depends on staying in one place long enough for the voice of the watershed where you live to claim you in its own tongue.”

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