The only thing better than this life-size tombstone in the shape of a grand piano in Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery would be a real piano. Wouldn’t that be the best? As it is, it’s pretty cool to be walking the dogs aimlessly and come across this monument to a family that’s had a music store in Savannah for years. At 100 acres, Bonaventure, which sits on a bluff above the Wilmington River, covers lots of territory. Hardly any two tombstones are alike. As my mother used to say in her dotage when I would walk her in the cemetery across from her assistant living facilities, “This park is so beautiful. I wonder why more people aren’t here.” I didn’t tell her they were: it’s just that we couldn’t see them.
This is what I learned yesterday at author and activist Janisee Ray’s all-day conference on “growing local” in Reidsville, Georgia: in this part of the country you plant tomatoes on Valentine’s Day, cover crops like cereal grain before Halloween, potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day, fava beans in November, and tumeric in March. Also, there’s a difference between farmers and gardeners (I’m a gardener), lettuce can grow in the shade of the woods, compost piles love fish and chips and weeds are not evil (they fix the soil).
Most important to me? We can grow tumeric. Plant them deep, I’m told, feed them heavily and dig them out in January. I’m on it.
One of the best thing about conferences like this? The food. Organic farmers can flat-out cook.