Monday, June 25, 2012

My First Garden

As a grandmother I want to introduce  my little Sweetpea Lea to gardening .  When she comes to mawmaw's house she loves to touch the flowers and vegetables and watch the butterflies and bees.  She's a picky eater when it comes to veggies as are many her age.  I've heard young mothers say that french fries were the only food their toddler would eat.    Of course things were so different in my generation.

Beginning at the age of 10 it was my duty, as well as my two sisters, to tend to the vegetable garden.  Watching our food grow was a satisfying experience.  We would plant green onions, cabbage, turnip greens, corn, peas, beans,sweet peppers, cucumbers,  tomatoes, beets, carrots, squash, strawberies and collard greens.   We grew peanuts and corn in large quantities in  a separate field , some to eat and some to sell .  Anyone who has a large vegetable garden knows that its a lot of work to keep up.

 I  remember picking a ripe sweet pepper or tomato off the vine, rub it off on my shirt, putting it in a biscuit and eating it for a snack.  We didn't use chemicals even back then and were organic before it became a trend . 

As we girls had to prepare meals for our widowed Father and ourselves all the vegetables we grew went from garden to table .  We ate very little red meat, if any, and raised our own chickens for both meat and eggs.   We drank milk right from the cow  .  The only things we bought from a grocery store were flour , cornmeal and  lard in bulk .  We churned our own butter and made buttermilk as well.   When the vegetables were ripe, the real work began and I can recall many summer days spent in harvesting and canning.  It was a lot of work but a healthy lifestyle and to this day I still prefer vegetables to meat.

When I get my own house here in North Carolina I will make a little garden for my Lea so that she can learn how food is grown and perhaps come to love vegetables as much as I do.  I was happy to read that there are many young families these days turning to organic farming as  a business and one expert said that farming will be the next big thing.  It's refreshing to see the renewed interest in vegetable gardening  and it's my hope that more parents will introduce their children to it .


  1. Hi Carolyn,

    My friend from South Carolina is coming to visit in two weeks and I am sure she will have lots to tell me about how different her garden is there. She lived for many years in the Chicago area.

    I just love your painting and I am sure your grandaughter will learn so much under your gardening wing. I'll bet you can't wait until you get your own house and garden.


    1. Well hello dear Eileen, so good to hear from you. Sorry to be late in replying, I've been away. Thanks so much for your kind words. I am just in limbo until I do get my own home and garden, as you may imagine.

  2. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  3. I love the color, the art and the memories.

  4. Beautiful art and beautiful words as well! I credit my love to the outdoors, nature and gardening to my grandmothers and father. They were a big part in showing me how to plant a seed and watch it grow! I learned so much from them as a child. As if a sponge soaking up Mother Natures liquid. All this skipped my mom for some reason, Bless Her Heart. LOL, but now in her retirement years, she is really soaking up the surrounding beauty that my dad has planted.


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