Sunday, August 4, 2013

Garden Helpers

With gardens now in overload-plants spreading their vines beyond the edges like spider webs, covering everything in their path; their leaves and bounty selfishly and boldly declaring they rule the back yard or back field or wherever a garden may be, I hear people saying they don't have time to weed or water or even pick and cook and can or freeze or giveaway the beans, peas, squash, zucchini (oh how those zucchini plants produce), tomatoes, corn, beets, carrots, potatoes, peppers, onions hanging from plants or clinging to vines or underground waiting to be discovered.

When I hear this-and I say that too-I think back to the gardens on my grandparent's farm.I remember one along the side of their farmhouse. My cousin and I would help weed it. Even better, we'd sit and eat the carrots. But I don't remember the one in the photo above which shows my grandmother at a very young age working it. Besides seeing her so young, what struck me was the enormity of that garden. I still can't figure out how she had the time to take care of it; how she did everything that a garden demands besides all the other demands on her-children, cooking, baking, washing, sewing, the farm and husband. I'm sure her children helped when old enough but still. Back then there were no weed eaters or hoses or chemicals to spray on or shake on or plastic to cover or line the rows. The only 'miracle grow' was a combination of the sun and rain-and you had no control over either. There were no fancy hoes or spades or apparatus to kneel on or sit on or fancy garden wear to protect you from thorns or nature. You simply went out and worked the garden. You had no choice.

We are all connected by technology. Anything we want to know about gardens and any other subject or fact or person is a click away. That generation was connected to the earth and soil. They were at the mercy of Mother Nature. I guess everything hasn't changed for despite our instant connections and technology and fancy products we are at the mercy of Mother Nature too. Kind of nice you know. There are some things that should be left alone-and Mother Nature is one of them-even though she seems a bit out of whack these days.

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