Friday, April 15, 2011

Flashback Friday # 27 ~ Gardening in Jim's Early Life

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row
That's part of what Linda has going today at her FlashBack Friday Headquarters. Click there at the right to see what Linda and others ended up doing today with a post about gardens at our homes when we were growing up.

Do you have any memories of gardens from your growing-up years? Did your parents have a flower garden? Was landscaping important to them? Did they take care of the yard themselves or have someone else do it? What about a vegetable garden? Did your family have one and was it big or small? Any fruit trees? Did your mom (or anyone) "put up" (as we say in the South) or can the bounty from a garden? What involvement did you and any siblings have in planting? Was growing things encouraged, discouraged, or treated with ambivalence? What is your attitude, ability and involvement in gardening today?

I have lots of memories of the garden we had at home. It was a family garden but Mom was in charge and we all called it Mom's garden. We also had a potato patch and sometimes a watermelon patch. Us kids would have a couple of pumpkin plants too.
It was those potatoes that made it possible for me to be paid for when I was born. We were very poor but for some unexplained reason God wanted me paid for. A large crop of potatoes in that patch did it. In the midst of a terrible drought and all our potatoes exceeded all of Dad's previous harvests.
There were enough for a very nice sale to the grocery store in town which completely paid the doctor bill for me being born. I was born at home in our old country house so there wasn't a hospital bill to be paid. My sister, Lois, was born there later as well.
We raised all the common vegetables, like carrots, radishes, tomatoes, snap beans, green peas, strawberries, sweet corn, cabbage, onions, lettuce, asparagus, etc. My favorite eat-in-the-garden-fresh was carrots, followed by tomatoes, strawberries, and then the radishes. My favorite cooked vegetable was rhubarb pie. MOM MADE THE BEST!
Mom would also plant a few rows of flowers too. (SIGH. SIGH, again.) It is sad to think about her and those really pretty flowers of hers. Mom was city girl who married the farm boy, my dad. Her life changed completely after that. No more being secretary for a state senator. No more walking down for an ice cream cone. No more walking to church. And all that city living stuff.
We raised a lot more vegetables than we could eat. Mom would can everything there was an put in the storm cellar. We also put the potatoes there in a potato bin. One of the jobs I like was sprouting the potatoes (rubbing the sprouts off). Before I got to doing it all it was a family job. Just nice sitting down there by the cellar door working together and talking and thinking.
We all had to hoe the gardens. That was to keep the soil soft and to cut the weeds out. I also helped hoe the corn. Back then it was unpatriotic and a sign of a sloppy farmer to have weeds sticking up above the crops. Now the farmers spray for weeds.
We did not get to plant, that was for Mom and Dad to do. Dad plowed it with a farm implement type plow. First with horses, and then later he got a tractor in about 1938. That was the same year that we got electricity because REA finally put in power lines in our area.
Unfortunately I did not inherit the green thumb. Mrs. Jim doesn't have one either so we aren't very pretty with flowers around here. Shrubs and azaleas, our flower red, and ornamental pear trees and a small redbud tree doing the flowering for us.
By the way, we were far north to keep the fruit trees from freezing. I had a cherry tree, meaning it was my job to pick the cherries and prune it, which did fine for maybe ten years before the freeze got it. Our peach orchard really didn't get big enough for a nice crop of peaches before they all froze.

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It was fun reading this. My husband drove a tractor several summers on his granddad's farm in South Texas.

Life was hard when you and my parents were growing up but those are sweet memories and those experiences are what developed lots of character in those generations!
My grandma made rhubarb pie. I have never had any that I thought was a good as her was!

Wonderful memories.
Enjoyed your memories and thank you for visiting my blog. I have never heard of anyone eating pumpkin blossoms as you asked. I haven't had any since that time in my childhood!

Very neat to read how the potato crop paid the bill for your birth!

have a great weekend!
Thanks for sharing valuable memories.
I kind of think that being able to support oneself in this fundamental way is more valuable that being a large consumer of cheap, foreign products.

P. S.
Green fingers are nothing but patience and love for life.
I think you have both, you are just using your gifts otherwise, but equal good.
Did you mean that your mom married the "farm" boy? You said "family" boy.

Nice to hear that ya'll did family stuff together. Not quite entertaining, but still family stuff.
Great memories Jim! Back when I was a kid we didn't worry too much about mowing the yard. The cows grazed in the yard part of the time. We had a huge garden and Mom canned lots of veggies for us to eat during the winter. I never hoed corn, Thank God, but I have hoed my share of tobacco. I also hoed in the garden too. Daddy liked to keep the weeds out of the garden and the tobacco!

This post brought back memories!!

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