Traditions grow sweeter as the years go by. We have perpetuated several for our children. One tradition is the vegetable garden. We work it and fertilize it every year. Weather permitting, we plant it by Memorial Day. This patch of ground lies near the farmhouse and has been used for years.
Its lush greenery provides many fresh vegetables to sustain our hearty appetites. We plant radishes, cucumbers and lettuce. We grow strawberries and sweet corn for freezing; tomatoes and beans for canning; popcorn and herbs for drying. We also raise the keepers like winter squash, potatoes, carrots and beets. Not only is the gardening passed on to the kids, but also food preservation.
My husband and son especially look after the cultivating and weeding that are needed, but from time to time they share the job with me and our daughters. The preserving is generally for the girls and me.
Not only do we enjoy the garden, but so do the pests. Animals, such as moles or rabbits, attempt to move into our territory. Once in a while a stray chicken finds its way around the fence which barricades the hens from this produce bonanza. The unwanted visitors get “shooed-off” by one of the family or by our handy farm dog. Garden intruders are a nuisance. Unwanted though they be, I am so glad that none of them is harmful to me or my family.
The garden is a fine place on the farm. It rewards us with fresh foods and exercise. In it we find time to see and hear the sights that the Lord has created in the country.
Photo Credit: Wenda Grabau
Photo Credit: Bretta Grabau