I grew up in a rural community in North Carolina. Small school, small church, old dirt roads and blacktop roads leading into town. Most fathers held regular jobs, and Moms stayed home with the kids. Houses usually had a large yard with a front porch. Some of these were older homes, but we had several new housing developments on our road, which brought new families into new smaller homes. Many families planted a small patch of fresh vegetables. Mostly tomatoes or peppers. I often helped in the gardens by picking corn, green beans, tomatoes, green peppers, strawberries, and apples as a small kid. I didn’t know it then, but I witnessed the last days of regular family gardening for many years. By the time I was a teenager, family gardens were beginning to disappear because of society change. Lack of time to plow the rows, no time to plant the seed, not enough time to tend the weeds, or at least that’s what everybody said. By the time I reached high school, both parents had regular jobs, and no one was left to instruct the would-be gardeners of the future to carry on the tradition.
Fifty years ago, I was in the freshly plowed soil planting seeds, carrying water, and getting my hands dirty. I was mesmerized by the photos on the seed packets and wondered if that seed, I held in my hand would actually turn into a watermelon. I loved looking at the various colors and shapes of the seeds. After many years, I’m encouraged to see families today planting their young seedlings this year. It seems that more and more are preparing the soils and dotting the landscapes with rows of old traditions. Isn’t it ironic as we experiment with new paths and changes within society, that we often find ourselves back on the original road?
A new article highlighting the old traditional gardening methods will be arriving soon, entitled Folklore & Wisdom. Until then, share your family’s garden with us. And most importantly, Enjoy Your Journey To The Past !!