If there are two materials Keating understands with intuitive clarity, they would be molten metal and fertile soil. Keating is a person who operates a foundry as well as he tends a garden; a person who teaches others how to work in a foundry and whose garden feeds his neighbors; a person who rescues saplings he finds covered in plastic, and a person whose home is the sum of what he’s built. 

When Keating talks about the fires of his furnace as he handles the delicate new buds on a tree that is more than two centuries old, you hear the kind of passion that only comes from a heady mixture of deep knowledge and limitless curiosity—a combination that rejuvenates itself endlessly.