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Friday, April 17, 2009

Getting Back to the Garden

When Wal-Mart and fire ants came to Greer in the same year, I gave up having a big garden – and I mean BIG. For the past few years I’ve had only a few ‘mater plants because of the travel softball season being all over us. But, you know what? It makes me nervous not to have a garden, depending on so many outlanders to provide what I eat. So we are going back to the garden, starting little and building up to a putting-up garden. And with two acres, it’d be a sin not to. I’ll just keep an EpiPen in my britches pocket.

I planted some broccoli and onions and Romaine lettuce and beets way back before Spring break, and they are up a right nice size now. I started tomatoes from seed, Rutgers and Park’s Whoppers, which are just about ready to put out. The nine-pack of vegetables were a good price at Lowes a couple of weeks ago. I got one pack of Roma tomatoes. I have seeds for cucumbers, birdhouse gourds, crooked-neck squash, and eggplant. They will go out in May. I’ll have to go buy some Jalapenos and bell peppers. As much as I like okra, I’ll pass on it this time. It comes in after school starts when I have no time. But retirement is not too far off.

No corn this time, but I can flat out grow corn. I’ll never forget the year, ’81 to be exact, Uncle Marion and I tended that humongous garden down at the farm right next to the lake. SIX acres of Merritt sweet corn. It was also the summer I first found I was pregnant with Elizabeth. Oh, Lord! I hoed and puked and hoed and puked. Then I pulled ears and puked and shucked and puked and blanched and puked and cut off and puked and bagged it for freezing and puked. Then I ate nary a kernel of it until Thanksgiving when the nausea went away. My uncle said, “You’re just like Momma. Always got to be growing something.” I never told him what a complement that was. He was the same way. What a wonderful trait to pass down. Ah, good times, good memories.

I suspect more and more people will venture out to plant some vegetables with the recession and all, and some may do it because it’s just plain “greener” to eat locally grown foods – a victory garden sort of. But whatever your reasons, I’m just curious to know what you are growing this summer. Tell me.