While Ed, and I were growing into mature adults, an era was beginning to end. It was the era of being “self-reliant”. Our parents grew up learning how to grow and can their own food. They also knew what it was like to raise farm animals for food, and they routinely went hunting or fishing for food for the dinner table. Our parents passed some of these skills on to us, but times were changing…
We were quickly moving toward the era of “fast foods” and convenience stores. Hamburger helper and frozen pizzas. Sound familiar?
Although Ed and I routinely helped our parents gather and preserve vegetables from their gardens, we never helped much with the actual planting or tending. Ed never cared much for hunting, and neither of us is much of a fisherman, despite repeated efforts over the years! Ed planted his own garden, on two separate occasions, but failed to have much success, despite his best efforts.
As our parents gradually became too old to garden, I began slowly phasing out canning our own garden-fresh vegetables. I went from picking and shelling, all day–to buying a few vegetables already picked and shelled at the market or the grocery store. I’d simply blanch them in small batches, and be done! Gone were the long days of toiling away in a garden–temporarily.
Times are changing–again! This year, Ed and our son-in-law, Clint, have decided to embark upon a new adventure together– planting a garden! They’ve decided to learn how to be a little more self-reliant–and to enjoy eating the fruits of their labor, once again.
Last year, Clint was able to grow small amounts of squash, cucumbers, mustard and collard greens, in a tiny spot of land, tended only with a rake and a hoe. Clint even grew a watermelon in his flower bed–without even trying (and a pumpkin the year before that!) I tell you, the man has a green thumb! Hopefully, some of it will rub off on Ed!
A few days ago, the guys planted potatoes in their new garden. Clint’s been getting some expert advice from his grandfather, who is well into his seventies, and still plants a garden! Clint’s grandfather showed him how to cut the “eyes” off the seed potatoes, and explained how to go about planting them. The man has a wealth of knowledge to share, and we’re all willing to learn!
If all goes well, perhaps we’ll have some potatoes later in the spring! Hopefully, there will be some green beans and squash to go along with those potatoes, too! A little later on, perhaps we’ll have some tomatoes, peas, corn, and watermelons. Sounds like a plan to me!