The last few weeks I have had this deep urge to garden. I want to get my hands dirty and grow something. I have never had a green thumb. I tend to kill house plants (lack of water will do that). I grew a Dahlia last summer in a pot. It bloomed twice. I was very proud of that flower. We watered the heck out of our lawn last summer, but it still turned out to be the worst looking yard I have ever seen (concluding we have to pull it all out, bring in top soil and lay sod). So my history with gardening is not very deep. My parents aren’t gardeners either. My mom is really good at keeping potted plants alive…but I don’t think I have ever seen her plant seeds, in the ground.
Maybe it’s a generational thing. Do baby boomers garden? Does our society allow for the time and energy to garden?
My grandma is another story, completely. Living most of her life on a Ranch. Working the land. Basically consuming only what her family produced. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? No, sounds like a lot of work! She is the strongest woman I know, physically and mentally. At age 84 she can kick my butt (true story…she has. Last spring I tried to help her with some yard work and threw my back out, within the first 5 min of working…shameful I know). Still living on her own on a 1 acre plot of land, she has a HUGE garden, and too many flower beds to count. She grows everything and then cans or freezes it. I grew up on Grandma’s canned foods. Her peaches are still the best thing around and now she started making Pear Honey (basically a pear like apples sauce) that could be consumed in one sitting if I liked.
The older I get the more I want to be like my Grandma. She is a Pioneer Woman. I spent so many summers on the Ranch; riding horses, building fences, feed the cows, learning to sew, learning to can, learning to drive (at age 11). I loved the Ranch, but took it for granted as a kid.
In the spring 1995 my grandfather died in a farming accident. Everything changed. Grandma couldn’t handle the Ranch all by herself anymore. She stayed through the summer (and I lived there with her all summer) and then in the fall moved into town. I can’t believe it has been 15 years!!
Anyways, back to my point. I want to be a Pioneer Woman. I want to be able to grow my own food, raise a chicken or two (we don’t have the space or knowledge to raise a cow, at least not yet!), I want to can, I want to bake, I want to sew quilts and clothes and anything else I might need. And for some reason I KNOW I can if I want to. I know that Grandma has passed this desire and this knowledge down to me. Maybe it’s genetic or maybe it is all the time I spent with her as a kid. All I know is that I am lucky to have her in my life, because she has taught me so much.
So the plan…I am going to grow a garden. I am going to can beats, pickles, jams, salsa, tomatoes, and anything else I can think of. I am going to sew something…at least finish the drapes I started last summer. I am going to be more like my Grandma.
It was Grandma's birthday on Monday