Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

I do not have a green thumb.  Not even close.  My opposable appendages are more of a crusty black, known to slaughter even the most innocent of plants.  However, most summers my dear hubby and I manage to grow a sad, little garden of tomatoes and, well, tomatoes.  This year we set our sites a little higher.  We have, after all, successfully, grown a dozen tomatoes in one summer.  Yeah, we are that good.  We got a late start, but sometime around May we adopted a flat or two of a cornucopia of summer veggies.  We got your okra, your zucchini, your squash, your bell pepper (red AND yellow, thank you), your jalapeno pepper, your banana pepper, and the obligatory tomatoes.  We also threw in some waterlemon and cantaloupe because we love the defeat a lack of fruit brings.  We threw 'em in the ground and waited.  And waited.  We watched all our co-workers herd their beauties in and show off their bounty.  I admit I wished the blight to befall those gardeners who received more than their fair share of the green thumb gene.  I have no shame.

And.  Then.  Finally.  They.  Came.  Well, some of them anyway.  We remain the worst squash & melon growers alive.  But, baby, we can lead those peppers to the river with our little Pied Piper song.  We fought the deer for our tomato crop this year.  They were ahead for most of the summer, but we have rallied strong in the bottom of the 9th.  Amazing that a dirty t-shirt draped over a lawn chair also works as deer repellent!

Why do we do it?  Why do we slave over this little patch of barren ground when we can buy plump, red Better Boys all day long at WallyWorld for $1.00 a pound?  I know exactly why I do it.  Because it evokes memories from my childhood that are already fuzzy and patchy.  I remember sitting on my Grammaw's hearth, shelling peas.  EVERY TIME I ride past the acre beside my Gran's house, I vividly see my Grandy riding his tractor through the garden.  That garden hasn't been there in a decade, and my Grandy's been in heaven for five.  My Gran let me sell bushels of peas in the summer, and I felt like the richest girl in town.  I was.  Just not rich with money.  My grandmothers let me follow them down row after row of vegetation, picking whatever I wanted.  Gently nudging me toward the ripe and teaching me how to pluck only the good'uns.  I so much want my children to know the joy of picking dinner from the backyard.  And they LUV it.  They run those little naked feet into the backyard every afternoon and search for something to harvest.  And, that is why we do it.  To salvage some shred of our childhood that is so sweet, and to give that same bank of memories to our children.

That, and a fresh mater sammich is totally worth it.

So, last week after an especially bountiful afternoon of pickin', I pulled out the cast iron and fried up a mess of cholesterol cleverly disguised as vegetables.  And we took some pictures for posterity.  And for proof.  So, next year when my greatly expanded garden brings nothing more than devestation, I can look back and ask the kids "remember how much fun we had?"!

No comments:

Post a Comment