I garden because when my skin feels the soil, from the sun-warmed surface down deep into the cool damp origins of birth, and those scents, with all the glorified sweet rotting, last year’s thyme, and new mints, when they hit my nose or I wipe my dirty face with the smell on my hands and get up and walk away and wear this wonderful perfume on me.. it is a connection to life, a bonding that passes from generation to generation. Both my parents were raised on farms in the Catskill Mountains. One mountain family of nine children, worked a healthy-sized dairy farm. My Grandpa who had lost an arm to palsy, built stone walls, milked 40 head of Holsteins, and grafted apple trees. The other mountain family of two sons, raised Brussels Sprouts in Arkville. I remember the sap bush, haying season, berrying for hours under the summer sun in those long flannel sleeves. My parents , although not "farmers", always had large vegetable gardens and we ate very well all year. I dislike green bush beans now as that was my "assignment" as a girl in the garden…and it was overwhelming… but l found a new love in Swiss Charde!