give a little bit


I'm yearning for a garden this summer, small but robust. I'm thinking garden boxes because I live in a neighborhood after all.

I grew up pulling weeds in my Mom's garden, and then my Grandma's massive garden, taking direction, bristling under her gruffness.

She canned more than she ate, lining shelves and shelves for a day that never came.

We stood shoulder to shoulder last summer, dumping hundreds of jars of tomatoes. Such a waste: Time, land, and food.

I don't understand why she did what she did: hoarding food we had to pry from her, selling the mason jars at her estate sale.

It turned my stomach; I swore off gardening, this joyless compulsion.

Until now.

I plan on giving what I grow. I plan on involving my kids, working together, our hands in the dirt.

That is, once I figure out what on earth I am doing.

Have a green thumb? (I'm so jealous.) SusieJ is giving away seeds over at her site, a great start to a season of bounty and sharing.


Karen Jensen said…
Good for you! I just started gardening a few weeks ago and just had a salad with some of my own home-grown lettuce! Yumm.
Madge said…
i grew up working in my mom and grandma's garden -- keeping more than any of us could ever eat...

still, i'm like you, i want a garden, and i want to share it.
you've got it in your blood -- you'll figure it out! my husb is the gardener. he loves both veggie gardening and landscaping around the house. more power to you both.
Tricia said…
I wish I liked to garden, and I wish I had the patience. Like you, I grew up weeding, but we did in fact eat what we grew and my mom canned and canned and canned to make sure we had enough to eat during the winter months.
Bravo! And I LOVE the pun in your last sentence. Excellent.
JCK said…
Oh, my hat is off to you! I would love to have that daring do! I have a black thumb and am completely intimidated. husband has been talking about making big garden boxes and planting vegetables.

I'm getting hungry already...
CJ said…
We don't do a garden, but my Partner's parents do and we certainly reap the benefits!! We do flowers and plants, which I love. The smell of spring dirt! MMM! Have fun with your garden!
Was she hungry or poor as a child?

Not that hoarding is a healthy response, but there is a reason.

You should see my pantry and fridge. Always full. Because as a child? Never full.

I wonder.

I want to grow things, too. I do. I have a yearning for this, but not enough land that whatever we'd grow would not be much at all. Maybe Laura and I will start small this year, with some boxes like you suggest.
Shana said…
My friend Kathy is an excellent gardener and blogs about it. I'll be following her lead (for the most part) as I try to get my garden going this year. Her blog is if you're looking for local gardening wisdom.
Salad and herbs are no brainers- you can plant in pots near your patio door. Tomatoes can be staked in flower pots as well. I bought the book Square Foot Gardening a few years ago, but haven't implemented it yet. I hope to soon. I tried growing some things from seed a few years ago as well, but I had to leave them on my kitchen counter, had no idea what I was doing and I think most of them molded. Now if I can't plant the seeds in the ground, I buy starts at the nursery. Some things like oregano and thyme and mint come back each year. Keep mint contained, though, because it takes over.

My problem is that I an gung ho early spring and neglectful by mid summer so everything dies.
Anonymous said…
OH Lisa, you've captured the whole give what you grow thing perfectly, with such beautiful words. And yes, my Grandma did the same EXACT thing.... depression era scarcity thinking.

Here's my favorite tip... works like a charm. Cut open large black plastic bags, and lay them over your garden. Poke holes to plant the seeds/seedings. You'll never, ever have a weed! Ugly... yes... But maybe you can spread grass clippings/straw on top. Worth it not to have the weeds.
Anonymous said…
Spring is in the air this week. I just planned out our garden yesterday. Can't wait to get my hands in the dirt, but I don't think I'd ever plant anything if it wasn't for the kids. They love it!
We got the bug as well. We are getting some help from Verdura Gardens. We are already scheming about having a harvest party later this Summer to share some of our bounty. :)
Suzanne said…
I am so with you. I want a garden so badly. I have the space all set aside. I'm just not entirely sure what I'm doing. If you figure it out first, will you let me know??
stephanie said…
I think this would soothe some jangled nerves of mine...Especially if we could somehow do it together. Please? :)
Saucy said…
You'll like it but it can be a ton of work so start small! Kids love peas. Tomatoes take care of themselves if you have the right soil. I think sharing the product is a fantastic idea!
Jennifer S said…
I spent a lot of time weeding when I was a kid, too...and canning.

It's lovely that you can seeing gardening for what it could be, in your capable hands. I hope it's a huge success.
Anonymous said…
I can't wait for the garden.

Oh, by the way, visit my FUTURE BLOG!

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