Garden Time on the Farm

“One plants, one waters, another pulls weeds. The sun shines. God gives the increase.”

c e hollis
Heirloom Tomatoes

We start early when seed catalogues come in the mail and we drool through the pages, making lists, and dreaming of how neat and full and wonderful the vegetable garden will be this year. Oh yes we dream. When the packets of seeds come they are so flat and small it seems there is no way that we will be able to trade them for rows of squash, okra and beans.

But soon the trays of seeds will sprout in the potting soil and the dream will feel closer. Ron looks at the fenced garden as he passes but its early. In a week or so we can look for asparagus to cut and we’ll enjoy soup and steamed asparagus and just a raw stem now and then.

In the boxes are the brown remains of last year’s tomato vines clinging still to the trellis wire. I clean them out and pull stems and weeds and pieces of grass as it tries to get ahead.

Okra

Where we have laid cardboard boxes we lift it to find good worm worked soil. and there are already lanes to plant in. I plant tomatoes (Better Boy and Big Boy and Mortgage Lifters and Cherokees, Romas for canning and Cherry tomatoes for salads). Squash––yellow crookneck and zucchini go in next door to bell and hot peppers. Along a fence trellis I plant cucumbers to climb and load with cukes. I will be canning sweet pickles and kosher dills.

Marigolds, sunflowers and zinnias go in to make the garden more tempting on the hot days. Soon the fig tree will grow its furry leaves and I will be able to smell figs. Morning glories will run the fence to greet me in the mornings.

This year I plant eggplant. I have decided I like it and learned some recipes. Watermelons and cantaloupes are favorite and I add Crenshaw melons and honeydew melons besides. Okra, I must admit, though I like it fried and in gumbo, I plant expressly for the glorious flowers it produces—a soft yellow trumpet with a mauve center—is a wonderful bloom for a vegetable.

We cheer when the tomatoes bloom and set and check often as they begin to turn red. We can hardly wait for the days when we can slice all we want onto platters to serve will lunch and supper and even for breakfast with eggs and gravy. I plan to can plenty of these beauties for winter soups and spaghetti sauce.

Making a summer vegetable garden is such a fun pursuit and then in the fall we have pumpkins, onions and beets and turnips forr evening meals.

God blesses and we can grow some of our own food which costs us for seed and water, equipment, and in work yet somehow tastes better and finer than store bought. Grow, garden grow!


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