I garden for several reasons: 1. I don't know any different - that was part of summers all my growing up years. 2. There's something about paying $1.00 for a package of frozen vegetables that will last one meal knowing that the same $1.00 would buy a package of seeds that could feed my family for a whole year. 3. It's an excuse to be outside instead of having to clean house. 4. Even if my children are being raised in the city I want them to know where food comes from (Not the grocery store) and develop the work ethic needed to be self sufficient and know the satisfaction of watching God's handiwork. There's something deeply rewarding to me to sweat and work and plan, then harvest and preserve and listen for those lids sealing (even my boys' eyes shine when they hear them).
It's probably deeply seated in my psychological makeup since some of my happiest memories are gardening days on the farm when my mom and Grandma Slagenweit would slave for hours over the stove canning and blanching in a hot kitchen that had no air conditioning. We'd sit on the front porch shelling peas (if there were a bushel we'd take them to the Mennonites who had a pea sheller but if it was under a bushel....it was up to us), or kidney beans, cutting green or yellow beans, or be out in the yard with the old ash tubs scrubbing red beets. Grandma and Grandpa would tell us stories or occasionally we'd listen to music. Sometimes we'd be in the kitchen taking the skins off tomatoes or peaches. I remember Grandma sitting with her feet propped up and as fast as she could slice peaches I'd eat them until my stomach ached. The smells, the work, the rewarding feeling of seeing all those jars lined up on tea towels just created a sense of deep satisfaction that I've never gotten away from. It's one of those things that has made living in the city seem more "normal" to me.
This is while we were laying out the six raised beds we purchased for this year.
|carrots, peppers, tomatoes, squash and lima beans|
|The lima beans have done so well!|
|Only squash survived....no cucumbers.|