Our garden is kaput. I’m always a little happy about that. I love the theory of farming but not the practice. Hoeing, picking peas and butterbeans, pulling corn and gathering squash and okra are all exhausting. Especially this year with Carl’s back pain flaring up and R.J. with a hurt wrist. Still there is something extremely satisfying about planting seeds in the ground and watching them grow. And then putting up that harvest! So I’m also a little sad when our garden plays out.
When my mother was growing up, gardening was a necessity. Her family only purchased things like flour, sugar and coffee. The rest of their food came from the farm. And, of course, everything had to be done by hand. Richer farmers may have had gas-operated tractors in the 1920s and 1930s but my grandfathers still plowed with mules. At least they had mules! They mainly grew cotton for their cash crop and most of the family picked it when it was ready. Their vegetable garden consisted of rows of peas, butterbeans, squash and okra. They also grew turnips and collards in the early spring and early fall. My mother tells of picking velvet beans that stung her hands. I suppose it was similar to cutting okra. My hands sting as if covered with fire ants. Doesn’t bother Carl to cut the okra so I usually leave that to him.
Speaking of Carl, his headaches are continuing. It’s going to be another long night for him tonight. Thanks for remembering him in your prayers!