Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Things My Father Never Grew

My father was a serious gardener.  I would almost call him a farmer. He planted with the same deliberate intent,  except he lacked a barn. He did have a small tractor.  Our garden was immense. At least a half acre, back breakingly carved out of our forested land. The work quantified by the rock wall that surrounded the plot. I remember watching him toss the rocks to the perimeter as he measured and staked his arrow straight rows. A string stretching the length to guide my sisters and I as we squated with our pails planting the seeds that would grow into the food thatwould nourish us.

I learned everything I know about gardening from my father and he from his father. I have never read a single book on the subject, never googled how to plant. I like to think it is part of me, like how chickens know to roost and salmon to swim upstream.

Although I know my rows will never be as straight or long in my smalled canted beds, I am proud of my garden. I am especially proud when I grow things my father never grew (or at least I don't remember him growing).

This year it is Swiss chard, radicchio, tomatillos and lemon cucumbers. 

Is it just me or do cucumber salads taste better out of metal bowls. It think its a reaction from the acid in the tomatoes and vinegar with the metal. Science is yumm.  This is also my nana's bowl, the same in which she served my grandfather's home grown salads. That makes me proud also. Using my grandmothers things, they really are so much better than anything you would buy today, but I will save that for another post .

This post is part of the homestead-barn-hop.