Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Family & Friends - Daddy's Garden

   During the entire fifty-four years that I knew my dad, he always planted a garden.  Until I was thirteen, we lived in town on just a small tract of land, but he managed to have a garden, along with a few chickens, quail and rabbits. Oh, and I forgot to mention the hunting dog that barked a lot at night.  I'm sure we were despised dearly loved  by all our neighbors. :)

   Later, to the relief of  most of them, we moved to the edge of town on an acre of land and my dad was in heaven!  Our plot of land was long and narrow, and the back half became his garden and orchard.  He planted tomatoes, onions, okra, squash, beans, peppers, corn, strawberries, sweet potatoes,cucumbers, watermelons and cantaloupes.  He grew apple, peach and plum trees and had a few blackberry vines along the fence.

   Each evening, he came home from work, ate his dinner and headed out to the garden, where he stayed until dark.  He plowed, hoed and watered it lovingly.  The rows were straight, the plants grew tall and strong, and it was impossible to find a weed anywhere.  After he retired, he would sometimes be out there even before he had his breakfast.  In the afternoon, with the sun bearing down, he would remove his shirt, drink a little water, and just keep hoeing and plowing that garden.

  His garden yielded enough that we had to buy a large, chest-type freezer to hold it all.  He took boxes of tomatoes and squash to church and left them in the foyer so that others could share his bountiful harvest. He took vegetables to all of our relatives and neighbors.  Our window sills were always full of ripening tomatoes and our plates were a rainbow of healthy, beautiful fruits and vegetables.

    Every year, my mom, tired from all the work of freezing and canning, would tell him that his garden was too large.  But every spring, after much planning and thumbing through the gardening catalogues, he continued to plow up the whole plot and start again.

  I wish that I could grow a garden like Daddy's.  But our soil is nothing like his rich, Oklahoma dirt.  We live on sticky, mucky, blackland and I would have to bring in a lot of dirt and build up beds to have much of a garden. But this year,  I've decided to plant some tomatoes in those new Topsy, Turvy planters.  I plan on hanging them from hooks on my patio.

  Yesterday, I went to Walmart and bought all the things I'll need. Or rather, all the things the side of the box said I'll need.  The total came to $34.00 for just two plants!  Those two plants are going to have to produce a lot of tomatoes for this venture to be profitable!

   I'm sure Daddy would be rolling his eyes and chuckling if he were alive to see this.  But that's okay, because I know he would be proud to know that I at least tried to grow something on my own. And  he did pass on some of his heritage to me.  Every year, I go out and pick blackberries, peaches and blueberries.  I fill my freezer and share my homemade jellies with friends and neighbors.

   If you check back in about sixty days (according to the instructions with the plants) I might just have some tomatoes to share with you!  Happy gardening!


  1. Our Jason is the big gardener in the family and we rely on his expertise all the time! I could kill a silk plant but with Jason's help, Mike and I've managed to keep most of our landscape healthy and happy, even learning what is good to put in the soil type. I was never so glad to be an "anti-palm" person until this spring when I view all the brown palm trees in our yard that are barely hanging on or are dead following our hard freezes in Houston this past winter. For once, MY yard is the green one with elms, oaks, cypress, crepes, wisteria, etc.

    My grandfather sounds like your dad - he always planted a garden and it's HIS fault I could never stand the "vegetables" in the school cafeteria because I was used to FRESH homegrown veggies he grew in Missouri. I was probably the only kid who loved cauliflower and broccoli (although I'm sure my grandmother's cheddar cheese sauce made a huge difference too!)

  2. The story here about your dad's garden makes me hungry for homegrown veggies and not those items from the supermarket called vegetables. The afternoon I met your dad was a hot summer day and he could have been working on his garden that day. I sorta remember him in overalls and thinking he was probably a farmer by trade... later learning about his career and work on the Apollo project which reminds me now of the movie - The Astronaut Farmer.

  3. Oh, great post! My father-in-law was like your dad; my dad did well to mow the yard. I've wanted to try the topsy-turvy thingy, but instead bought large plastic planters, tomato cages, and 3 small plants. Hopefully, I'll have a small harvest, too. I wish you well on your experiment, Glenda. I might post a few of my own pictures of my tomatos, too. :)

  4. My Daddy always had a big garden too and I loved it when I got to share in his produce. Mama would get so tired of canning so some of it they passed on to me. I was really blessed because Mama would also pass on things she'd already canned! blessings, marlene



Related Posts with Thumbnails