I had a really great Daddy who was a hard worker. He not only worked a day job, but came home and spent his evenings keeping his garden clean and the produce picked. He instilled in me a love for nature, the growing of plants, and the full enjoyment of the peace and quiet of the garden.
He said he did his best thinking and praying while pulling weeds.
To this day, I still enjoy pulling weeds and “love” the clean beds where the plants can thrive.
Daddy also taught me to give away produce and extra seedlings with a happy heart.
When I married and had children, I grabbed the first opportunity to have a garden of my own. I quit work with my third child and started contributing to the family by canning and feeding my third child only home-grown baby food. I continued this trend with my fourth child.
The process of canning, freezing, and pickling everything—and I mean everything—became my life’s goal. My passion for preserving food resulted in some good results, and some not so good.
Our family of six (four daughters plus me and my husband) could sit down for a meal where the only item not from the garden was the meat on the table. We could consume a “quart” of home-canned green beans in nothing flat. Not a 14-ounce can!
I think my husband, Ron, enjoyed and appreciated all I did with the garden, though I’m not sure the girls loved weeding as much as I did. Their “help” was still appreciated.
Up until 2008, we had traditional gardens.
We used a big riding tractor/tiller to prepare the soil, and I purchased 90 bales of straw from some local farmers every year. I also had a load of sand dumped on the garden site from time to time. When we moved from that home, the ground was the most perfect soil you could ask for, and the produce was abundant.
I am sure God was giving us so much as we had so many who showed up just as we got the beans broke or the peas shelled or the okra cut up for the freezer… that never saw a freezer. Those are some life stories, for sure.
I know the garden brought our family together and we not only shared in the abundance, but also the work that came from canning, or pie-making (another story for another time), or the cookouts.
There is nothing like home-grown peppers or zucchini on the grill or potato salad where everything comes from the garden except the mayo and mustard. Nothing compares to homegrown; it really is that simple.
I control what goes into the ground and on the plants, so we have the best of the best for the health of our family.