I just walked in the door with my hair all tied up in a knot, mud caked on the bottom of my feet and in my fingernails, and I am one happy little girl! It is done! The garden is planted. I am feeling like it was done in the correct time frame too. Some years it has been the end of June before everything is in, but not this year. I am on top of it. I’ve got beans, corn, zinnias, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, lettuce, parsnips, basil, kale, carrots, golden beets, tomatoes, sunflowers, peppers, tomatillos, cabbage, cantaloupe, and a ton of varieties of squash……oh my word. Here is a picture of what it looks like out there right now….
and this is what it will look like in a few short weeks!!
Lovely isn’t it. I know it isn’t much to look at now, but can’t you just see those little seeds warm and wet just getting ready to burst their little heads up out of the ground. Every day I have to check and see what is poking up. So far it is lettuce, and 2 parsnips. Parsnips you say. What the heck are those. This is where my love of gardening started. I am afraid that when it comes to loves, I have 4. James of course, 4 children, cooking, and my garden.
When I was a kid I was lucky enough to live next door to many cousins, aunts and uncles, and my Grandma and Grandpa Barker. My grandpa was an amazing gardener. He had a huge garden, and that was why we never did a garden in the Garner household. Grandpa B. had enough to share with every family in Pleasant View, and probably half of North Ogden. When Hollie and I were about 12, and 13 we worked one really long summer for my grandpa. Our job was to weed the carrots and parsnips. Every morning we would head out at about 5:30am on our 3-wheeler and buzz over to the garden. There we would spend the next 2 1/2- 3 hours weeding. It actually sucked, but we were earning money. You know underworked and overpaid. Parsnips were my grandpa’s specialty. Everyone in town loved them, or at least they acted like they did. We certainly did at my house.
A parsnip looks like a white carrot, but doesn’t taste anything like one. In fact, I had a seminary teacher once that said when the Jew’s celebrate the Feast of the Passover the “bitter herb” they eat to symbolize the bitter cup Christ had to bear, is actually a parsnip. Obviously they didn’t wait until a hard frost hit before they dug their parsnips up. That sets the sugar my grandpa always said. We love them roasted in a hot oven with butter and brown sugar. Yummy.
When my grandma finally made my grandpa stop gardening it was a sad day in Pleasant View. First off, my grandpa was never the same. He wasn’t the type to just sit. He was a goer. I think the gardening kept his mind sharp and active. Once he stopped he went down hill mentally quite quick. Since our supply of fresh garden produce was now obsolete we planted our first garden. There’s a learning curve involved in gardening. First thing you need to know is keep on top of the weeds. We didn’t do this so well, but we did reap some produce anyways. I can still remember digging the potatoes out of the ground. It was seriously like a treasure hunt. My mom would get so excited as each shovel full of earth also contained some lovely red potatoes.
I’ve loved a beautiful garden my whole life. The ride around Bear Lake has always been a favorite, seeing all the cute little granny cottages with perfect little gardens. All prim and proper, and not a weed to be seen. I’m going for that look again this year. Some years I do well, and others not so well. I think I actually love the way the garden looks more than how it tastes sometimes. So in a few weeks I intend to blog about something wonderful and strawberryish since that is the first thing to come on. Next it will be a wonderful salad, and then some raspberry deliciousness, some ratatouille, and homemade tomatoes…….there is so much to enjoy when you plant a garden. So happy dreams of yummy things to come! I can’t wait!