Nature Blog#7

Welcome to Doreyl's
Backwoods Nature Blogging

Making Connections by Doreyl Ammons Cain

     Grandma Retter plowed her garden in early spring, planted her vegetables in mid-spring and started harvesting foods from her garden by early summer. I remember how delicious the foods were: potatoes fresh from the earth, green beans picked and cooked the same day, honey robbed from Grandpa Tom's bee hives, milk still warm from Old Betsy and churned butter kept creamy fresh in the spring lying deep within the cool banks under gnarled roots.

     An unstated respect for the earth and the food that came from it represented everyday life in Grandma's time. This clear understanding of our reciprocal connection to the cycles of nature rarely exists in today's modern world. With life-styles tied to technology and a fast pace, our nature connections wither and finally decay. Many children forget, or never learn about where their food actually comes from- some would believe "Ronald McDonald," "Colonel Saunders" or local food markets are the source.

     The truth is we are relentlessly tied to the earth's cycles and knowledge of this is essential to a healthy life-style. Many people understand the need and feel the desire to live close to nature. Some people pay large sums of money to acquire a spot of land that gives them back their earth connection.

     From the beginning my husband Jerry and I have taken on stewardship of our land at Nature's Home Preserve near Bear Lake in Little Canada. Working with Permaculture principles and recycling, we are doing our best as a couple. Yet all of this is not quite what Grandma and Grandpa Tom would do. They worked long hours tilling the soil and growing all the food they needed. The Appalachian Heritage of this region has a creative spirit that can be honored but never reproduced. We can only keep it alive with our stories, memories and building our own style of connections to the cycles of life on this earth.

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