Sunday, February 28, 2010

Playing In The Dirt

I grew up not only playing in the dirt but also eating dirt!
At least that is what my sister had said.
She went running into the house yelling, “Mama!, Joleen is eating dirt!!!” She was always telling on me! But then she was a big sister and tried her best to take care of me I think. I was, after all, just a little tyke, she was three years older and knew better. Ha ha

My love for playing in the dirt just grew from there.
My parents always had a vegetable garden and my sister and I each had our own special areas in the garden.
Daddy would go out with the spade early in the Spring and turned the reddish brown dirt over. Then mother did the planting.
I can still see my mother bent over working in the garden wearing her big brimmed sunhat.

The best things in the garden were peas. I loved to eat peas, but did not care for green beans that were my sister’s favorite! (This is still true for me!)
Peas were so sweet and were special because you could plant them early and they were the first things to pick in the spring.
Even though mother planted rows of peas I would have my very own row in my garden.

I used a garden rake to work the ground and smooth it down. Then mother taught me how to make straight rows with the edge of a hoe and place the pea seed in one at a time. I had to keep the weeds out of my garden and learned how to use the hoe for this too. It was so exciting to see the first sprouts start coming through the soft ground. You could just see a little green through the raised spot of dirt in each place I had placed a pea.
And then each little pea seed would make a big plant! When they began to get their white blooms honey bees would be buzzing all around.
Next the pea pods would start to grow. I would be ready to eat peas right then but mother said I had to wait until they were puffy or else there would not be any peas inside. Of course I had to pick one to see that for myself! And she was right, just little spots inside where the peas were just starting to grow.

When it was time to pick the peas I had my own container to place them in. I didn’t want them mixed up with the peas mother grew because I wanted to eat my very own peas that I grew “all by myself”!
Come supper time there were two pots on the stove with peas in them, my peas and the “other” peas!
Ummmm, they tasted so good!!
Even better then the dirt I use to eat!!!

Today I still love to garden even though I don’t have a lot of room like we did on the farm where I grew up. I have two small raised beds and large flower pots that I use.
I grow a few things mainly because I still love to play in the dirt, watch things grow, and still get that thrill of eating something I grew “all by myself!”.
I go to the Farmer’s Markets most every week in the Spring and Summer because the taste of fresh vegetables can’t be beat. I will let them do all of the work. Ha ha