July 7, 2008

Gardening is a Family Affair

We spent a wonderful weekend visiting family and celebrating the holiday. We enjoyed a picnic and patriotic concert in town with Uncle J and Aunt P, who gave us more potatoes and some amazing green beans. Like I said, their garden is ahead of ours! We also enjoyed fireworks on a country road overlooking a corn field. From that vantage we could see the shows from four different little towns - just the kind of night that reminds you how blessed we are to live in this country.

Our final bit of celebrating was at my cousin's family farm where we attended her annual 4th of July party, which was just terrific! I took these shots of their garden and their cows. So cute and they posed so well - ha! My cousin is the third generation to live and garden on this property. I wonder what her grandparents grew in this garden? This family also shares their garden produce and I once received some of their amazing tomatoes which were sent home, by special request, on a plane with my husband!! I savored every last one!

My paternal grandmother is 98 and recently told us about her gardening experiences. She, of course, relied on her garden as a source of proper nutrition for her family over the winter months and like most people she had an underground root cellar for storing her canned goods (and for taking shelter from tornadoes!). One summer night their sheep got out of their pen and when my grandmother awoke the next morning ready to harvest her abundant pea crop, she found the horrifying sight of nothing in her garden but root stubble. I wonder if they had mutton stew for dinner?!!

Our little family has also enjoyed gardening together over the years and this is a photo of my daughter and husband quite a few years ago with a little fall harvest.
Gardening with dad also got our daughter into the state fair one year as a finalist with her 4H project that compared "square foot" gardening with conventional gardening. If you want to read a very useful gardening book, check out Mel Bartholomew's "Square Foot Gardening" or, I just discovered that he has a newer version called "All New Square Foot Gardening". Hmmm...I think I feel a new book order coming on! We've just about decided that we're going back to that method next year. It will mean lot of lumber, dirt, and gravel, but we really think we'll get a lot more yield and have a neater, more manageable garden if we go that route.

Swiss chard is almost ready to harvest - mmmmmm.... Well, this is all then.

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