In general, a tradition is a belief or behavior that has symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past, and is passed down within a group or society especially by word of mouth or by practice. The word "tradition" itself derives from the Latin tradere literally meaning "to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping." Traditions occur in all realms of life, and can be both practical and sacred.
Not surprisingly, there are many traditions linked to man's relationship with the earth. Whether cutting peat in the Scottish Highlands, tending an Azorean garden that was created almost a quarter of a millennia ago, or practicing the ancient art of beekeeping in the Slovenian hinterlands, terrestrial traditions pay homage to our human connection to the planet. Read on for personal accounts of cultural connections to the land, and the myriad ways in which people relate to their landscape.
In this podcast interview, meet George Patterson, Founder & Director of Tofino Botanical Gardens on the west coast of Vancouver Island, part of Canada's province of British Columbia. George founded Tofino Botanical Gardens in 1997 and its twelve acres of gardens, old growth forest, and shoreline explore the relationship between culture and nature. I know you’ll find enjoyable and inspiring George’s take on the relationship between culture, nature and science; the ‘War in the Woods’ that occurred in the Tofino area in the 1990s between the logging industry and activists; themes of moderation and believing in your vision; and the role of a garden as place to set the heart free.
Discover the beautiful Thomas Jefferson Garden and Monticello home, where he enjoyed a scenic and peaceful retreat on his estate in Charlottesville, Virginia. The stately plantation features an extensive vegetable garden carved into the hillside extending out from the house. In this article Peggy Cornett, curator of plants at Monticello tells us all about the rich history of Jefferson’s garden and her personal connection to botany.
Vancouver Island Nature is particularly rich in Tofino and Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island’s west coast, where we found plenty of lessons in the inter-connectivity of life and the hishuk ish ts’ awalk philosophy of the Nuu-chah-nulth people, who have called the area home since Time Immemorial.
Scotland's Inner Hebrides Isles of Mull & Iona are places of pilgrimage for both history and nature lovers for good reason. Reached by ferry from Oban, these sister islands offer a microcosm of Scotland's story, from Bronze Age cairns to the ruins of ancient Iona Abbey to Duart Castle, fought over by two clans.
When most Americans when sit down for their traditional Thanksgiving dinner on the fourth Thursday of November, a dish of cranberry sauce is sure to be on the table. I went to experience a cranberry harvest, Massachusetts to learn more about this staple of the Thanksgiving table.
Explore Muhu, Estonia, one of the country’s islands with local Katrin Turr. Take a ferry ride across the Suur Strait & be transported to thatched roofs, Neo-Gothic manors and experience of the legacy of Russian influence.
Slovenian beekeeping is a unique form of art in Slovenia. The honeybee is revered in Slovenia and and beautifully painted Slovenian bee hive panels are used to house the bees - sharing a cultural tradition, preserving Slovenian folk tales & local spiritual beliefs.
Slovenian bee hives are an art form in Slovenia, and Slovenian beekeeping is a culturally important tradition. After three years of lobbying by Slovenia, in 2017 the U.N. declared the 20th of May as World Bee Day. Slovenians are champions of honeybees and their essential contribution to our ecosystems. Meet Blaz Ambrozic, the Honey King of Selo Village and one of Slovenia’s youngest beekeepers
The remote village of Balnkakiel, Scotland is called home by both local crofters & artists, who all have a potent connection with the area’s spectacular beauty. See Balnakiel’s fast-changing light show and green misty valleys through the eyes of Nicola Poole.
Are there certain smells that conjures up “home” for you? Peat might just be one of them as we learn about Peat heating in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, and the story behind the beloved scent of a good peat fire.
Cenotes in Yucatan, Mexico, are one of the countries best loved attractions, and its 3,000 cenotes offer a magical way to cool off and access Mayan mystery. Take the plunge into the turquoise pools like Cenotes Yaax Ek, Zaci and Ik Kil, and immerse yourself in local culture and history!
The Portuguese island of Madeira has been referred to as one giant garden. Flowers in Madeira are a key part of its landscape and culture, Its vast biodiversity qualified it as a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. With over 3,000 types of flowering plants and 780 native Madeira plants, it's no wonder the island is know as a 'floating flower pot.'
Inis Mor, Aran Islands is one of three Aran Islands known for its strong winds and mysterious limestone landscape. Meet Celtic priest Dara Molloy who offers an illuminating look at Inis Mor’s rich spiritual history & folklore, and learn how the landscape has shaped the lives and beliefs of locals here.
With this mesmerizing video, visit Pico, part of the Azorean archipelago of ancient volcanic islands located in the Atlantic ocean. On Pico, you feel the rich, fertile, potent power of the black earth. But the awe-inspiring forces that made all that black lava rock are unpredictable, and so on Pico, most people seek a connection with a comforting, protective divinity...and with each other.
Explore the Terra Nostra, Azores with BCD and Carina Costa who is a second-generation steward of Terra Nostra Gardens, a cultural landmark in Furnas village on Sao Miguel Island in the Azores. Soak up the history of this 200-year old garden set in volcanic crater & amidst therapeutic springs.
Step onto Inishmaan Island, the least populated of the Aran Islands, Ireland to discover the ruins of Dún Chonchúir, a fort built on island of Inis Meáin over 2,000 years ago for the mythical king Aonghus mac Úmhór, stone walls a plenty and a glimpse into Irish traditional culture.