A tale of two gardens
Jun 05, 2021 10:06 pm
Does my mom's story ring true for you, ?
Do you have a garden? A garden box? A plot in a community garden, maybe?
I grew up in the country, in a house that had a small back yard. A third of the yard was fenced for our dogs—a black lab and golden retriever. The other two thirds was split into two good-sized garden plots. Our family planted in one and a neighbor, who didn't have a yard with sun, planted the other side.
The garden was my mom's domain. As was her kitchen. I did not prepare one meal in that house before I moved away at age seventeen. Mom did it all—and I always thought, happily.
A few summers ago, I went back to my home province to spend time with Mom. We visited one of her friends and had afternoon coffee and cake in a lovely back yard. The yard had a big vegetable garden, as well as lots of ornamental plants and flowers. I mentioned how great it was to grow up with fresh, garden vegetables and that Mr. Bloom loved to garden as much as Mom did.
My mom gave me a look like she had no idea who I was.
"What? What's wrong?" I asked.
"What are you talking about? You didn't love the vegetables from my garden. None of you kids did."
"Of course I did," I said, suddenly not so sure that was true, since Mom has a much better memory of my childhood than I do. "I mean, I became a vegetarian when I left home. I must have loved the vegetables... didn't I?"
And then she told a story I'd never heard.
"Every spring for years, I'd go out to that garden and spend days turning the soil to get it ready for planting. I'd go to the store and buy seeds. I'd plant the seeds. I'd water the seeds, tend the plants and pull weeds all summer.
"Then, I'd pick the vegetables. Some I'd freeze. Some I'd can. I'd spend days and weeks preparing that harvest for future dinners. Which, I'd then make.
"I'd cook the meals, put the food on your plates, watch you kids push it around and complain that you didn't like broccoli or chard or whatever I'd thawed that day. I'd clear the plates and throw the vegetables I'd spent all summer growing into the trash.
"Then on Tuesday morning, I'd drag the trash can to the curb for the garbage man to pick up. And one day, it occurred to me—I could save myself hundreds of hours of time if I just bought the seeds and handed them directly to the garbage man. So that's what I did."
I laughed. I thought she was joking. Her Mom-glare told me otherwise. I apologized for being a picky kid. She harumphed.
And now Mr. Bloom does all of that work that my mom used to do... literally. The difference is that I eat every meal put in front of me with gratitude. Except beef... that's never allowed near my food.
Do you have a story like my mom's? Ungrateful kids who fed their beans to the dog? Or were you that kid yourself? Tell me!
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All right, friend! The rain has stopped and Mr. Bloom would like me to join him in the yard. He plowed under a flower garden last weekend to make more room for more vegetables. He wants my opinion on whether to build boxes or plant right in the ground.
I'm leaning toward raised boxes since our yard is not fenced and the huge dog population in my village loves to leave pee-mail at our place... if we can keep that message board away from my carrots and peas, I'll eat happier.
Stay safe. Wash your vegetables! And tell me your favorite garden story. I'll share it with my mom!
love & greenstuff,