Download An American Provence by Thomas P. Huber PDF

By Thomas P. Huber

I've got noted luscious wines and succulent fruit and delightful dinners. yet there is not more evocative adventure of the 2 valleys than the odor of new-mown hay within the fields at nightfall. If someone have been to shut their eyes, they can now not inform in the event that they have been in Provence or the North Fork Valley. That candy, earthy smell is a part of the great thing about those locations.

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Successful work on the land also comes from an understanding of the things that make the land an ally and those that could make it an antagonist. Leopold’s “cultural harvest” of caring for the land derives, at least in part, from a knowledge of where that piece of ground sits in relation to everything else that affects it from the natural world. The locals I met knew their spot on the earth like a longtime lover. Their knowledge of the climate, the bedrock geology and geomorphology, the soil, the native flora and fauna oozes from their pores—maybe not in explicit facts, phrases, and scientific nomenclature but in how they work the soil.

Many of the currently occupied buildings in the town and the chateau were built at the same time, in the tenth century. The fields that now surround the hill of Lacoste have been tended for centuries. There is little in evidence here that shows that the Romans or Greeks were in the area, but only a few miles east sit the wonders of Roman architecture in Orange and Avignon. The Golden Triangle of Hotchkiss, Paonia, and Crawford in the North Fork Valley has its own long history of human occupation and use, but that history has been less intense and its settlement much more sparse, so it differs from the intense nature of Coulon’s human occupation.

Luckily for both regions, the gorgeous weather in any season far outweighs the brutal. Winter days are often spectacular; fall weather, with its rich colors, is the best; spring is welcomed with great expectation and enthusiasm; and summer’s heat and sun ripen the grapes and make the melons sweet. Each of us carries our own ideas, prejudices, and understanding of a place—particularly the place we call home. When we go somewhere new, we experience that new place through the tinted glasses of our past experience.

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