Monday, February 9, 2009

Our Victory Garden

This year will be our first attempt at a real Victory Garden.

When we lived in Ohio, before Daddy died,
each year we would plant a little something -
no doubt, just for my benefit.

We would plant
1 watermelon vine
1 pumpkin vine
a few beans seeds
3 or 4 stalks of corn.

We only had one watermelon make it to fruition,
because when each melon reached a couple of inches,
I was determined to eat it.
Like a good Daddy -
and he was the best -
he encouraged me to leave each melon on the vine for just a few more days.
Then he'd pick it for me and let me eat the very heart of the melon
all by myself.
What luxury!
What joy!
What a great Daddy!

We would carefully watch our little pumpkin vine
and remove the little feeder vines
and the tiniest pumpkins.
We managed to have a decent sized jack o' lantern by fall.
(I still remembered the lessons learned from the watermelons!)
We carved our little Jack and
carefully laid the seeds to dry along
the brick boundary that Daddy made across the front of the garden.
How I wish I had pictures!
We didn't know about butter and seasoning and drying the seeds
in the oven in those days.
So just did what Daddy had done as a child.
Every few days, we'd taste one seed to see if they were 'ripe' yet.

I don't remember much about the beans,
but I never could postpone picking the corn,
so we had lots of little tiny, naked ears.

A waste of time, seeds, and energy?
This little gardening project may not have produced food,
but it created a bond between Daddy and I that will never be broken
even though he died 43 years ago.

Through the years of our marriage,
Ray and I have planted one tomato almost every year
and I have a small herb bed in a watering trough.
(Ray couldn't believe that I spent more than $100
on a watering trough and then had him
take his ax and make holes in the bottom of it.)

This year, our 401k is almost worthless
and the company has ceased its contribution.
We purchased our major stock at $16 per share.
It went up to $22
and is now worth less than $3 per share.
To top of off, Ray's pay was cut 23%.

Our garden is going to require a good bit more planning this year
and it will be much bigger.

We have large streams through our yard
which are supposed to stay under ground,
but sometimes they don't cooperate
and our seeds end up in the neighbor's pond.
we are going to try to channel the smaller streams
into our spring that separates our fields
from our woods.
We have consulted our extension agent about this,
but his knowledge and personality
remind us greatly of
Mr. Kimble of
'Green Acres' fame.
So we are on our own.

There are a large number of elderly and disabled people
in our community who have always shared their gardens with us.
Now it's time for us to share with them.

We have great ambitions,
but we'll need a lot of help from God
and the gardening books!

I'll post pictures as this thing happens
- or doesn't -

We shall see!

Ruth Ann

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