Why “The Underground Garden”?

       It came to me that a local marvel and highway-side attraction, Forestiere’s Underground Gardens was a perfect metaphor for  local music.

       Forestiere Gardens is an underground home dug single-handedly in what is now the north-western edge of Fresno, California,  by Baldassare Forestiere during the first part of the 20th century. Many fascinating rooms, courtyards, and passageways still exist from the original 10 acre site. Three levels create different temperature and light conditions allowing various fruit trees and vines that are planted below ground to take advantage of the different conditions and light available from tunnels cut to the sunlight above. These underground gardens are a marvel of architecture and art integrated into a living space that works wonderfully well in the dry and hot conditions of the land around Central California.

       In spite of its fantastic nature and its listing on the state historical register, most locals don’t know of its existence. From the outside, it looks like a vacated lot—-like a house was moved for a freeway project and just the dirt and a few trees were left behind.

       The magic happens underground.

       Due to its under-exposed and under-explored nature, I thought it an apt metaphor for the rich but hidden music scene in Fresno and the surrounding San Joaquin Valley.