Author Georgann Eubanks shares why plants are our heritage and identity | Carolina Country Club

It is raining right now as I write this. The sky is gray, and it’s a perfect day to stay inside. Before the rain came down, though, I had the chance to walk the dogs on our road. It’s that time of year when the new growth on trees is a stunning and vibrant green. It is bold and unapologetic in its brightness.

Gravel Road bordered by Green Trees near Barbara Bell Photography's studio near Chapel Hill

Walking in these woods is so very zen. One dog (Whitby) runs up and down the hills, while the other (Clem) trots along at her own pace. I stop to see where the light is, marveling at new growth in the woods as the seasons change. The beech trees are showing new leaves, as well.

Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to author and speaker Georgann Eubanks when I photographed her presentation to the Sir Walter Cabinet at the Carolina Country Club in Raleigh. What a passionate and dynamic speaker!  She’s written several books and spoke about two in particular on this occasion: Saving the Wild South: The Fight for Native Plants on the Brink of Extinction and The Month of their Ripening: North Carolina Heritage Foods Through the Year.

Editor Donna Campbell and writer Georgann Eubanks with two of her books.

Editor Donna Campbell and writer Georgann Eubanks with two of her books.

Saving the Wild South is written for the non-scientist and for everyone who cares about plant life. Georgann traveled from Alabama to North Carolina to seek out native plants that were endangered. She shows how local development and global climate change are threatening many plants, some of which are now listed on the federal list of endangered species.  Hearing her speak, though, was learning about  the people, places, and plants that define an identity.

Hearing Georgann Eubanks speak was learning about heritage and identity in the South.

Georgann spoke about the heroes in the field she met. They were botanists and chefs, advocates and conversationists, people of all ages and backgrounds who were on a quest to save the plants we have today for future generations. Their purpose defined their passion, and Georgann’s book shares all of that.

The Month of their Ripening belongs on every shelf of every North Carolina home. It tells the story of twelve North Carolina heritage foods, each matched to of its peak readiness for eating. This book serves as a witness to all that grows and lives around us: on trees, in rivers, as well as what falls from the sky: snow!

Thank you to The Sir Walter Cabinet for inviting me to capture this wildly passionate author who is on a mission to preserve the plants that define Southern heritage.

Images of an event captured by Barbara Bell Photography near Chapel Hill, NC.

For every plant lover, gardener, as well as the cooks who use ingredients that are fresh and local, these books will bring you on a journey back to yourself. Plants are indeed our heritage.


Barbara Bell Photography creates heirloom photographs to inspire families to share their memories near Chapel Hill, NC.

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