Times Are Changing…

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!

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Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 9:54 am  Comments (13)  
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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love this post about how self-reliance is coming back “into style”. It’s so true. And I think it’s wonderful that your son-in-law still has his grandfather around to get some practical advice from firsthand. I’ve gotten a lot of my gardening knowledge from books and trial and error, but those few times that I’ve been able to be mentored by people who have done it all before, it’s been so much fun–and so much easier! Best of luck with your guys’ garden!

  2. We keep thinking about a garden. There’s nothing more convenient than walking out to the garden and getting some freshly-picked produce. And it’s certainly far better than what you can get at the store or even the farmer’s markets. And the self-reliance factor is appealing as well.

  3. Good luck with your garden venture! Maybe put some flowers in there in the corner to brighten things up!

  4. I envy you. I have the space for a small garden but not enough sun. My tomatoes finally bloom in time for the first frost, that is the ones the seer haven’t eaten. Maybe when I retire I’ll figure something out. Until then, you and Ed – enjoy!

  5. I have had luck at growing string beans, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini and herbs. What I do not know how to do, is can them. I feel like so much of my efforts go to waste.

  6. I love the idea of being self-sufficient and eating what’s seasonal, what you’ve grown with your own hard labour. It’s something I wish I was able to do myself! My dogs tend to gleefully destroy anything I grow in the garden though before it has a chance to be edible! Best of luck with the venture, hopefully you’ll get some yummy things out of it!

  7. I’d love to have a vegetable garden but we just have so many animals up here. Keeping them out would be a full time job so I settle for tomatoes on the patio and pray they don’t notice : )

  8. Wonderful post! My husband and I have been talking about starting a garden ourselves. Neither of us has any experience at it so we’ll be starting small, but becoming more self-reliant is definitely becoming more and more appealing. Good luck with your endeavors!

  9. It would be so nice to have a green thumb. The kids and I want to try straw bale gardening this year. We’ll see if that actually happens though. 🙂

    I fixed the word verification, I just took it off completely. Blogger has made it more difficult and seems everyone is having a problem. So I just removed it altogether since I’m not too worried about Spam to begin with.

  10. How exciting, sounds like it will be a wonderful garden!

  11. I wish them well with their garden. If anyone can make it work – it’ll be those two. Keep us updated on how things turn out. 🙂

  12. You have articulated so well a new trend. Since my stroke, my gardening is limited, but I will be eagerly awaiting reports on their results. Just consider me a cheering section!

  13. I do not have a yard big enough to have a garden but hope to in our next home, God willing.

    With each year I also wish to become more self reliant and get back to the basics. I hate the busyness of the world lately, the rat race. I grew up in a city but am a country girl at heart now. Hopefully within the next 2 years we can move to the countryside.


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