When I was growing up, I helped in the garden quite a bit. My most vivid memories are of us harvesting potatoes, green beans and tomatoes. The tomatoes were the worst to harvest, because my dad is allergic to tomato vines and would never weed that area of the garden, so by late July the tomato patch would be overrun with weeds.
When harvesting tomatoes in a weed patch, the only way to do it is to just yank off your shoes and walk into the mire. You try to watch where you step, because you don’t want to step on 3 things: a tomato vine, a healthy tomato or a rotten tomato. It’s like playing Twister with vicious green monsters! When the game is over, your legs are green from the vines and you’re covered in dirt and sweat. But ahhh, the taste of a tomato still warm from the summer sun is heavenly! It’s worth getting filthy for that burst of flavor. (I have been known to take a salt shaker to the garden with me…)
The potatoes weren’t so bad. The year we grew the most of those, we used the tractor to harvest them. Daddy would hook some kind of plow to the back of his tractor and he’d turn up the dirt where the potatoes grew; mom and I would follow behind and pick them up as the earth fell away from them. The worst thing about harvesting a potato is reaching to pick one up to find that it’s rotten on the bottom side. For the past couple of years I’ve been using grow bags from the Gardeners Supply catalog. http://www.gardeners.com/Potato-Bin/VegetableGardening_SpaceIntensive,36-629RS,default,cp.html These are great if you don’t have a lot of space to work with. I’ve grown both white and sweet potatoes in them, and they’ve all done well.
I’ve shared that we grow beans the lazy way…we plant them, wait until they are nicely loaded with beans, then we yank the plant out of the ground and immediately replant new seeds. No bending over bean plants for hours!
I give you my “History of Gardening” because we found our garden plot a few days ago. In row twenty-two, we have 3200 square feet of beautiful brown dirt to play in, and I plan to do it barefoot! There’s nothing like the feel of freshly plowed earth between your toes!
Mickey is my gardening partner and he’s been trying his hand at growing some of our starter plants from seed. So far it’s going well. Since neither of us have experience in starting seeds, we are pretty proud of ourselves…so far. We keep telling each other that worst-case scenario – we’ll just go buy plants from nurseries or the Farmer’s Markets.
We should be able to start working in the dirt in a couple of weeks. I’ll keep you posted!
Row 22, here we come!
Mickey and I; claiming our spot. If we’d had flags with our names on them, we’d have planted them on all four corners. “One small plot for gardening, one giant harvest for the future!”
Tomato seedlings. I hope they live!
Tiger Melon seedlings. I have no idea what these will taste like, but they looked pretty in the catalog!
So. How will our garden turn out? Only time will tell. I’m praying for good weather, good health and the stamina to keep the weeds at bay!