How Does Your Garden Grow?
June 01, 2011
For as long as I can remember, I loved working in my grandmother's garden. Truthfully, there may have been a few times that I didn't LOVE it, but even as a child I learned to enjoy watching things grow and produce fruit and vegetables. Grandma grew a garden to feed her family. Times were hard, and there wasn't always money to run to the grocery store. Even in better times, she continued to garden and can. I remember days spent harvesting vegetables and working in the hot kitchen canning the produce from the garden and then storing it in the "fruit cellar" to enjoy the rest of the year.
I have been fortunate in my life not to have to garden out of necessity, but out of enjoyment. I get a great sense of satisfaction out of preparing the soil, planting the plants, tending them through growing season, and then harvesting the fruits of my labor to enjoy for dinner or to share with my neighbors.
I am thankful every year that the meals that I prepare don't depend on my little garden as the sole source of our food. If they did, we would probably be hungry quite a bit of the time. In this area of the country, I have found that growing a garden can be a challenge. We have to contend with late frosts, heavy spring winds, and monstrous thunderstorms that bring large hail and damaging winds. Worst of all, every kind of bug and critter known to be an enemy of the garden seems to thrive in my backyard.
As I write this, my little garden in mostly planted and starting to actually show some signs of healthy growth. The bugs haven't attacked in full force yet, and the rains have been coming with plenty of frequency. I have had several fresh salads from my lettuce patch and even some delicious creamed spinach. We'll see how the rest of the garden comes along. I'm crossing my fingers for a good growing season!
If you would like some tips for starting your own garden, be it for enjoyment or to supplement your food budget, the library is a great resource for gardening books and magazines. Check out Homegrown Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs: a Bountiful, Healthful Garden for Lean Times by James W. Wilson, and Jerry Baker's Old-Time Gardening Wisdom by Jerry Baker. Good luck and happy growing!