Why is John Coykendall’s work important? In the last century, more than 94% of the food crops we once grew have become extinct. Not only are we endangering ourselves as we lose biodiversity, we are also at risk of losing our collective, cultural knowledge of traditional farming methods.
John Coykendall is a renowned heirloom seed saver, a classically trained artist, and Master gardener at Blackberry Farm, one of Americas top resorts in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. For four decades, Coykendall has worked to preserve the heritage – in volumes of journals – of a small farm community in Louisiana, one that represents a dying way of life in most of America. These journals are a love letter to a time when we were all more closely connected to our food and to each other. This work reminds us that the food we eat represents our own living history – an unbroken chain of genetic diversity nourished, cultivated and handed down to us by our ancestors.
Deeply Rooted serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving that legacy and demonstrating ways to do it.