Travelling and going from one place to an other, has always been a need for the human race in order to find food and shelter. Since the beginning of agriculture, more than 10 000 years ago, it seems that this tendency shifted. In other words with agriculture, in a simplistic description, two distinct currents appeared: the nomadic and the sedentary way of leading one own’s
life. With these two currents, we saw those people who travelled a fair amount of time in a year in order to feel good and secure, and those who needed to remain always at the same place in order to feel good and secure. Usually, one category can’t understand the other and how it is possible not to adopt the opposite tendency.
This tendency remains the same today at the beginning of the 21st century. We find those one who always remain in the same area all their life and those one who feel the need for new horizon and culture. It is almost vital for them to remain in one or the other current all their life. The nomadic mood applies
to me better these days. Though I always have the longing for my farm in the Loire Valley which requires much more of a sedentary mind set. How to mix travelling and farming together? I wonder. It will be the challenge to meet in the future. Though, I am sure to find a solution as farming is not as it used to be and farmers who wish to do so can leave their farms for weeks and have their work done if properly organised . Organisation and management are the key.
I couldn’t update Holy Terroir blog as much as I wanted to while on the west coast. I had the choice between visiting the maximum of people in a day or staying quieter and spending more time in front of the screen to update Holy Terroir blog. I’ve chosen the first option as you have noticed. My time on the west coast was limited whereas my time in front of the computer is flexible and less restrictive. At the beginning of the journey in USA, I tried to write something about each and every visit I was doing. That means in practice that to do something reasonable, I used to visit one or maximum two places in a single day in order to then write about it later on that same day.
A single visit should be no less than two hours. It always takes time to get a glimpse of the place we are visiting. Ideally, the perfect rhythm when moving around and writing at the same time, would be to visit one place in the morning and then to write about it in the blog the afternoon on the same day. Well… In theory, this would be the perfect balance between travelling, investigating and reporting. In practice, this is obviously an other story.
Why? This is very simple. Farmers, winemakers, and everyone you included, have their own schedule. Most of visits were planned in advance but sometimes it was easier for instance to do 3 visits during the day because the people we wanted to meet were not available during an other time or day. This is why at some point it became almost impossible to report each and every story inspired by the places and the people I was encountering. From one visit a day, we moved sometimes to 5 vineyards in one day. At this pace, it is impossible to keep track with the blog and report each visit. Nevermind.
By saying so, I want to apologize to those one who gave me their time and knowledge on the west coast in order to share with me a tiny bit of their
story. They will know who I want to talk about. I would have loved to introduce them to you in Holy Terroir blog, but unfortunately, it would have taken a whole book lenght to fit these stories in the blog. So what to do in order to honour them? Talking about them? Mentioning their names in the blog? Going back there to spend more time beside them? Working with them in the future in one way or an other?, etc…Possibilities are endless. In fact, the most realistic way to fulfil my objectives, will certainly be to mention their names at some point in Holy Terroir blog, in this post, or in a later one.
And least but not last, there is certainly one person towards which I want to express my gratitude through Holy Terroir blog. Without him, I couldn’t have done one third of what I have accomplished while on the west coast and
in the whole United States. Philippe Armenier, bio-dynamic consultant based in Santa Rosa, has been with his family, of a precious help and support. I am taking the opportunity here to thank all of them for letting me stay with them in order to go deeper in understanding bio-dynamics . Even if I am far away from them , I can affirm today that I have moved a considerable step further on the long path of bio-dynamics.
So, more than words, pictures speak for themselves and give you an overview of my time on the west coast. In the French version of Holy Terroir, you have been able to see already some pictures taken in California. I hope you enjoyed them, and if you didn’t watch them all, go and click on the link “HOLY TERROIR en français” in the right column.