My Road to the Garden
Did you ever have something you hated as a child but as an adult developed a passion? That was me with gardening. Of course the passion didn’t happen overnight. It took decades. Always there was a little itch in the back of my mind. Unbidden, pushed aside year after year. But always there. The desire to grow things.
As a seven year old, one of my chores was to help three brothers weed the family vegetable garden. The garden was huge, covering 3/4 acre. Everything was done by hand. The north western area of California summers were hot and red dusty dirt stuck to everything. The weeding went on and on. To a small child the chore seemed like torture.
Thirty years later my husband and I lived on the Oregon coast. We wanted to “return to the land”. Ducks, chickens and a small vegetable garden was a place to start. “Oh, I’ll do the gardening” I said. “I know all about gardens. We had one when I was a child”. First off I knew zip about gardens. Only how to pull weeds. I didn’t take time to research because “I knew it all”. The soil was poor and crops didn’t do well. Then I remembered I hated gardening. After a few weeks the ducks and chickens were given to a farmer. That is those that didn’t choke on slugs, fell to their deaths or didn’t fly away. Good riddance we said. So much for “returning to the land”.
Five years later in the Nevada desert I found Mother Earth News magazine and other resources. Vegetable gardens are easy they seem to say. Ok, I’ll try my hand again. Just a couple tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. A bumper crop of tomatoes. Of course, they like heat. A few peppers became part of our meals. Potatoes..well. When the plants dried up I determined it was time to dig out the wonderful new potatoes we had been anticipating. Eight thumb size tubers! Not even enough for a good mouthful.
Several years later we lived in central Virginia. There the itch began to be scratched in earnest.
Next time, some things I will cover in my blog and what I learned about the Rules of Gardening. Hint…there are very few rules.