Our Journey to the Forest Garden

Our journey so far has been amazing! I’ve finally found internet access in a tiny library in a little town near the little town we are staying in.

On the last leg of our road trip, my little one and I found out about an amazing blues festival happening about 100 miles away and planned to go. However, as we approached the crossroads between the blues festival and our friend’s farm, we felt road weary and ready to reach our destination.

After the flat green terrain of Mississippi I was unprepared for the hilly forested cove in Alabama that my friends garden/farm is nestled in. It’s beautiful! Her home and garden is in a little secluded neighborhood of a handful of homes. Across the road from her garden, she’s planted bamboo that now stands over 100 feet tall in a towering bamboo forest.

The trailer we are staying in is a bit run down, but I was prepared to camp so it doesn’t bother me at all. Our housemates include my good friend Yawah, her wonderful 26 year old daughter (who already feels like an old friend), and a lovely rasta couple who are expecting a baby in just a few months.

On our first morning here my little one, Yawah, Yawah’s daughter, and I hiked into the woods to pick wild berries. We picked wild huckleberries and dew berries, which look just like blackberries, but they grow much closer to the ground. The garden needs a lot of weeding and watering so we do that most days.

On the day of our arrival, as the sun went down, I went out with Yawah to plant tomatoes by moonlight. Planting seedlings at night gives them time to get use to new ground and strengthen themselves before enduring the hot sun. In the midst of flowering zucchini and pungent basil, Yawah told me, “Some people think they want to be farmers, but they romanticize what it means to be a farmer. It’s a lot of work”. In that moment with the moon shining over evergreen trees and nighttime forest sounds rising around us I could understand the tendency to romanticize the life of the farmer.

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