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Roots, a part of nature, a part of us.

Roots anchor a plant into the earth in the best way possible for that plant. We looked at the many examples of root structures. Each one is designed to provide support, nourishment, water and creates a foundational beginning and under the right circumstances provides an environment that sustains growth not just for itself but for others. From these seemingly simple structures we have food, clothing, shelter and the list of products alone from trees is amazing. The Idaho Forest Products Commission has an interesting list of products made from our trees, titled “Wood You Believe”.

Roots anchor and our families, our roots, do the same thing. We are born into a specific family group and under the right circumstances we thrive. Some of us had to be scrappy, develop resilience much like the  weeds that grow in sidewalk cracks. Some of us were tended and even pampered like the rose. Most of us fall somewhere in between needing our families to get started for nourishment and growth and then when the time is right blossom.

Genealogy helps us uncover our roots, shows us the depths of our family in all its color and flavors. As we seem to travel all over the globe and become uprooted from our family and friends we begin again much like the plants the early colonists brought here  that provided new medicines and foods. With care and attention we root ourselves anew in new locations, even new countries were climates may be different and we have to learn to adapt. For me I had to know something of my Native American ancestry. It became a quest to find something about this culture who lives in my DNA.

Root cellars were important for early settlers to protect and prolong storage time so families could make it through the East Coast North American winters. Now we are seeing a resurgence of interest in root cellars for a few important reasons: they can help reduce expenses and provide storage for food during these turbulent economic times and our recent damages due to unusual storms. It is believed that root cellars began over 40,000 years ago with the Australians. Other cultures like the Chinese used pickling, salting and spices. Egyptians were experts in drying. There is a knack for storing fruits and vegetables because of their particular properties. There are many books written on the subject for those of you interested in planning a root cellar for your family. The site highlighted above is a good place to start.

Roots whether plant or human we have a lot in common. Do you have a root cellar? any stories? Do you have a family member who is deeply rooted into your life, your DNA? I would love to hear your stories about roots and what it invokes for you.

Thanks and enjoy your day. Judith

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