I get asked all the time where I learned what I know about gardening. The truth is it’s in my blood. My family has always been a self sufficient bunch. Ever sense I can remember I’ve been around a vegetable garden. I felt inspired to write this because I visited my Grandfather’s house in Galveston,TX, over spring break.
My grandfather is in his mid-eighties and still works hard in the back yard. But, his back yard is still a bit bare. Hurricane Ike, the second costliest hurricane to hit the US, hit Galveston in September 2008. Now, almost 4 years later, my grandfather is still trying to get some fruit trees to take root. The backyard was covered in about 7 feet of water for several days. The saltwater killed all of his trees including a 50 year-old pecan tree. The house, being raised from the ground, had about 2-3 feet of water in it.
This all happened and yet my grandfather’s self sufficient attitude is still strong. With seven children, he and my grandmother did everything they could to save money. The garden and fruit trees were a great source of food for the family. It didn’t provide all of it, but it helped. Now, his garden provides all his vegetables during the summer.
His backyard is a cute forty by twenty-four foot rectangle. The plot is six by thirty-five. He’s got it plowed and ready for planting. He plants all the favorites including sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers and squash. He has planted some mango, and avocado trees, but they just aren’t doing that well.
You know anyone can grow a garden and enjoy the memories. I have older pictures of me helping in his garden and I was so proud to snap one of my son helping him the year before. I think it is so important to teach our kids about growing food. These memories are so strong I feel I am better for having them. Getting your hands dirty is not only fun for you, but your whole family. The memories you create will be the stuff of legend. I hope you’ll remember to take your kids and grand-kids into the garden. They’ll thank you for it.