Like a miniature gong, the sound of hickory nuts falling atop the tin roof, disrupt my thoughts; as we enter the shell of what was once my grandfather's childhood home.
As my cousin and I slowly creep through this house full of webs, mold, and pop's nostalgia, the anticipation of what we will find is unbearable. This entire day has been full of this feeling, and ever since I decided to trace our lineage Anticipation has become a dear friend. This all started with some research I was doing on the African diaspora, and it's contribution to food. This endless clicking from link to link finally brought me to an article on Mrs. Cornelia Bailey, of Sapelo Island. This Island is right off the coast of Georgia and is one of the few places you can go to witness a community that has preserved the traditions of their west African / Gullah heritage. Mrs. Bailey caught my attention, due to her direct connection to her ancestors through the food she grows. In her garden things like okra, collards, and famously red peas. All a direct link to her roots in West Africa. It was like a cartoon bulb went off over my head; my grandfather grows a lot of the same things...I wonder if our roots can be traced to the same part of West Africa..and then this journey began.
This garden not only feeds my family, it feeds our community.
ITS A MEETING GROUNDS, A CLASSROOM, AND A DINING ROOM. IT'S WHERE WE GATHER AROUND THE STORIES THAT BUILT THIS COMMUNITY. THE QUESTION BECOMES: HOW DO I PRESERVE SOMETHING SO SPECIAL?