Some of my most vivid memories from growing up are from summers in my Mamaw Cole’s garden. We cut up old dresses, these were to tie the tomato plants to wooden tobacco stakes. She did this to keep the plants from falling over from the weight of the tomatoes.
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I carried pails of Miracle-Gro that we mixed to pour on her plants. I picked green beans, removed the strings, broke, and occasionally I strung them up to dry in the sun. I hoed potatoes, and I was occasionally surprised by a hiding snake. I loved life on the farm, and the memories I made with her.
I always hoped to give my son similar experiences. Growing up on a farm and understanding where my food came helped to keep me grounded. It also helped to keep me in shape, I didn’t lay on the couch all summer or watch too much television.
|A photo I took of Jeremy’s farm converted to watercolor with the Waterlogue app
My house in Lexington didn’t have room for a real garden, so instead I landscaped. I planted evergreens, shrubs, and an abundance of hydrangeas, even as a toddler Gabe would follow me around with a watering can.
This year, Gabe and I are helping my fiance Jeremy put on a full garden on his farm. Gabe was so excited to plant something he referred to as “magic beans”. Gabe helped plant potatoes, beans, onions, tomatoes, and cabbage so far. Gabe is like most four year old boys, he loves to play in the dirt. We let him participate as much as possible digging holes, dropping seeds, setting plants, and covering things up with dirt.
When we drive by the garden, he yells, “Mom, look the “ta-toes” are growing.”
Gardening also teaches important life lessons, you get out, what you put into it.
I look forward to working in the garden with Gabe.
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We have a few more things to be planted, and whole summer to cultivate.
I don’t want to wish away summer, but I am looking forward to fresh sweet corn, vine ripened tomatoes, and juicy watermelons.
What is your most vivid childhood memory? Did you ever plant a garden or did you plant one this year? What is your favorite vegetable?
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Happy Thoughtful Thursday,