Updated: Jan 20
When I was growing up, my mother used to try to instill all of her gardening knowledge on me. Her green thumb was down right necromancy. She could find a completely dead plant and bring it back to life, lush and full. I, as a child, soaked it all in. I loves eating Oregon snap peas from the vine, and all the strawberries leaving nothing behind to harvest. I would smell the Tropicana roses and melt as if they had magical properties to ease all stress. As a teenager, I loathed the garden. I hated watering, even though the food it provided was what we lived on. I refused any information I was given to learn and made up my mind that gardening was not for me.
When I became a mother, I think that is when it all changed. My daughter was the one who had the idea really. When we had moved into our German home, we requested that they leave the raspberry patch in the backyard. I love raspberries and I wanted my kids to enjoy being able to snack on them while playing outside, like I got to as a child. As any parent, I wanted to give them more than what I had, but some of the same good stuff too. We enjoyed them for one season, and then the next season, the landlord ripped the bushes out while we were away. We were so sad to come home and see our precious berry bush was now just a pile of dirt.
We had a back porch lined with concrete blocks and moss growing over them. My daughter asked if we could plant in them. I was nervous as I didn't want her to be excited about plants that i would undoubtedly kill. So I gave it to her. Now I am not a perfect parent, nor will I ever claim to be, but I can say, my children impress me every day. When my daughter gets her mind set on something, she will succeed. She is the most determined, stubborn, lovely human, and at 8 years old this girl stuck with this garden. She planted flowers, and carrots, and radishes and tomatoes! She watered and sang to the sprouts. She encouraged each leaf that reached to the sky. She sprinkled salt on the slugs and collected and played with the snails. My pride in her abilities absolutely spilled over, and she taught me how to love the garden too.
When we moved to North Dakota, we had a dream of growing tomatoes. We started 70 seeds, thinking that not very many would come up. Boy were we surprised when they ALL sprouted. however, our handful of plant pots were not going to hold 70 Heirloom tomatoes. So we shared. There is something really special about sharing plants starts, because you know that they will eventually experience tasting a new variety of tomato and falling in love with it, the same as you do. Its even more wonderful to share the fruits of those plants after tending to them and putting your love and energy into it. It feels like you are sharing with the world a part of your soul, your energy, something that cannot be communicated with words.
After we moved to a larger home in North Dakota, we were gifted two cedar planting boxes. This was the biggest garden I had ever had. The joy of planting new varieties and tasting the different flavors was joyous, and intoxicated our creativity in the kitchen. One of my most favorite parts of gardening, was that it was a family garden. My children being a part of this, sparking the joy for me when I was too afraid of my self proclaimed black thumb, makes it for me. They are the reason I fell in love with gardening and earned a green thumb. I am forever grateful for them, although sometimes they may regret the monster they have created. The crazy plant lady as I am called.
Today, my 2200 SQ FT garden is plotted out. There will be so much work to do cutting tree's building, bringing in dirt, planting, weeding harvesting, and then canning, freezing, storing preserving. I cant wait to show you all of this, as we build.