by Jay Reesor
When I was a kid growing up on the farm in the ‘60’s, my family always had a big vegetable garden. We would grow beans, tomatoes, carrots, sweet corn, squash, and odds and ends of other vegetables too. We didn’t grow peas because my dad grew acres of them for the local pea canning factory. It was our job as kids to help to plant, weed and harvest our garden. Growing a garden was a family tradition as I also remember my grandfather’s large, beautiful vegetable garden.
But when I married Miriam, my wife, the family tradition of growing a garden seemed to stop. It probably had something to do with the fact that growing vegetables and farming is what I do for a living, so there are always plenty of fresh strawberries, sweet corn, beans and tomatoes available on the farm in season. We didn’t need to have a little garden, when we had a whole farm.
So, is our family growing tradition going to carry on? I am very happy to report, that both of my daughters are very interested in gardening. One of them always rents a plot in the city and plants and grows to her heart’s content. The other one is working with peasant farmers in Nepal. Why do I like this? Perhaps it is because growing food is what the Reesors have done since ……. well, since there were Reesors I suppose. I also like it because I believe it is good for everyone to have some knowledge about their food. And what better way to know your food than by growing some?
When you grow a garden it helps keep you in touch with and understand weather from a growing point of view and appreciate rain in a dry summer, even if it is on a Saturday afternoon. It helps you to understand that not all tomatoes are perfectly shaped or beans perfectly straight. And, what better reward for all the effort than to taste the fruit and vegetables of your labour and find them delicious?
Do you have plans for a garden this spring? If so, I hope you have a productive and fun season. If you don’t have garden plans, why not make a plan? You may have a greener thumb than you think.