“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.”
— Thomas Jefferson
We both grew up farming and always with a garden. As soon as the dirt could be worked each spring a tractor disked the fields and along behind that came the iconic 140 tractor that made the rows that the beans, potatoes, snaps, and tomatoes were planted in. We both walked barefoot in the freshly plowed dirt helping – or hindering if you ask our parents – the process of planting and harvesting.
Each year, it did not matter how big or small the garden was there was always a row or two left for the flowers. There was always a row of gladiolus, zinnias, and sunflowers. Both sets of our grandparents meticulously cut these flowers at the peak of bloom and brought them in the house to enjoy. My grandmother sat hers on the bureau in the kitchen and Ma Dot sat hers on her table that was right beside her recliner she sat in each day. Mama Ray (George’s mother) too usually had a cut arrangement of some kind in her kitchen. Both sets of our grandparents are no longer here, but we remember how happy the garden and fresh cut flowers made each of them. The garden was by necessity, the flowers were not. They were for pure fun! We learned to try to keep the fun in things.
We start each season the same way that our parents and grandparents did each year except now we have tractors instead of mules and we purchase seeds from the beautiful catalogs that arrive in the dead of winter instead of having to dry and save seeds from the harvest to ensure there would be enough to plant for the upcoming year. The seed catalogs always arrive in the dead of winter when it has been cold, the days are the shortest, and everyone is just wishing it would either snow or the sun would come out! We always have a week or two of nothing but grey skies where the sun just will not peek through. The color filled pages of beautiful flowers and vegetables are always worn completely out as I go back and forth over each planning for when the weather finally warms up. Thomas Cooper said it best with: “A garden is never so good as it will be next year.”
Make no mistake – nothing compares to the taste of local farmed raised vegetables. Harvested at the peak of ripeness and picked up or delivered the same or next day instead of being harvested weeks in advance or worse sprayed with chemicals to ripen them as they are in transit so stores can compensate for shipment time and time on the shelf before purchase.
We dabble in the garden year round and so have fresh veggies available most of the time with the exception of our coldest months. Sign up for our email announcements for what veggies and flowers are available at specific times.