Thursday, February 4, 2010
Feeding the Family: The Garden, Part 1
The sun was hot, the days were long, the dirt was dry, the row was endless and the weeds were numerous. My brother Tommy and I had the job of weeding the garden. Rows were assigned and a timeline given ("Before supper"). Tommy didn't seem to mind. He hurried through his rows, yanking up all the weeds, staying ahead of me. I tried to keep up for awhile, but daydreams and the hot sun soon slowed me down. It wasn't long before Tommy started using the hoe, working between the larger plants. I was still on my hands and knees, pulling every weed around the peas and the beans. "Isn't it lunch time yet?" I asked again and again. Kool-aid and cookies sounded really good. Yes, this is how many days of my summer vacation went. Planting the garden was fun - it was early in the year, it was cooler, the dirt was black and moist, and the planting seemed to go fast. But this weeding business was very tiresome and b-o-r-i-n-g. This was no back-yard garden, after all; this was a small field. Row after long row of vegetables: peas, carrots, beans, beets, corn, cucumbers, squash, potatoes, lettuce, radishes, watermelon, tomatoes, and more. Eventually, the plants were bigger than the weeds would ever get. I anticipated the reprieve. But the real work was soon to begin - time to harvest the bounty.