At Thelonius Cook’s farm, roots aren’t just connected to crops and orchards. They’re also connected to history.
Cook uses certain plants to attract pests and keep them away from his crops. He also avoids tilling the soil and sows “cover crops” in the fall to reinvigorate fields — all techniques drawn from his African ancestors.
In such ways, Cook said he is honoring his heritage while protecting the environment.
“Everything I do, I try to encourage a natural ecosystem, a closed loop,” said Cook, founder of the Mighty Thundercloud Edible Forest on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.