Archaeology in the Garden

I’ve found arrowheads in our gardens, but most of the time when I find discarded human artifacts they’re of much more recent origin.  It’s common for me to find plowpoints, muleshoes, bits of broken glass or pottery, old rusty nails, lumps of coal, and other such stuff. Some of it is stuff that one might expect to sometimes find in a long-used field.  Other times the stuff is evidence that the land wasn’t always used as a field.

Today while hoeing the broccoli here’s what I found.


That’s fairly normal in that garden.

I don’t know if my family left behind more debris than the typical farmers over the last couple hundred years.  I’ve wondered about that.  My working assumption has been that, yeah, they probably did.

This past weekend we attended a Food, Farming and Faith conference at the Duke Divinity School.  It was great to spend a couple of days in the company of some of the folks who inspire us in what we do.  I’ll have more to say about that on another day.

One of the highlights of the conference was our visit to Anatoth Community Garden. It is a beautiful place, with an inspiring history and mission.  I was like a kid in a candy store, of course, checking out their crops and techniques, and paying particularly close attention to their soil.

Near the end of our visit, I was bending over one of their beds, which was being prepped for planting.  And there, in that special garden, something caught my attention that made me smile.  What I noticed would have been missed by most folks, but White Flint has trained my eyes.

There, in the newly prepped soil at Anatoth, I saw a piece of an old brick and a rusty nail.

It reminded me of home.