Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

February 4, 2010

Time to Plant

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

It’s plowing time!  At least it is the season for planting that garden.  Most of us would not identify with the plowing. We just enjoy the produce that comes from the garden in the back yard.  But one way or another, plowing is where it begins.  The methods have greatly changed, even since I was a boy. 

Plowing is the tilling of the soil to prepare for those rows of vegetables that you will look forward to harvesting later in the spring and summer.  There is no way to get around having to till the soil each year.  Those furrows could be long or short, but they must appear to let your mind dream of the future produce that will come.

Plowing methods have changed as well as the design of the plow.  Since those early days of the wooden plow with a small metal tip, there are so many new shapes and modes.   And the power that pulls the plow has certainly changed!

As a boy, our large home garden was almost half an acre.  We did not have a mule, so a friend would come each year to plow the field. I always looked forward to his coming and my being able to pet the mule.  It was a mule that I knew by name.  The friend of the family would often come to town with his mule and wagon and as he would pass in front of the house, I would jump on the back and ride down the hill to the village. On occasions, I was allowed  to give the mule a sweet treat!

After the field was plowed, a lot of work was needed.  We would  break the ground more, and seek to remove all the grass.   We would labor to get the ground smooth, and then make the long rows to plant the vegetables. These rows were made with the hoe, unless our friend came back with his mule and plow.  I thought of that mule and plow last week as I watched our neighbor tilling for his garden.  For the most part, tractors have replaced the mule.  But my neighbor introduced a new source of power to me.

I watched him as he attached a tiller to his ATV!  With that power he began to till the ground.  And it was effective!   Perhaps others have used their ATV to plow, but it was a first for me.  We continue to change in our methods!  I wonder what method of picking the vegetables will be used in our home gardens in the future?

I recall that the garden was hard work.  When school was out, my grandmother and I would go out early in the morning for a couple of hours to hoe around many of the vegetables, pull weeds, or spray for bugs.  From the time the garden was planted, school year or summer, after supper, my parents and I would  would work the garden  until it got dark.  The harvest would come later, and was somewhat easier, but the hours a day were still much the same.  I cannot tell you that I really enjoyed this labor or that I despised it.  Working the garden was just a fact of life in those days.  It was the family project!

Fortunately, I did not have to work in the hot kitchen when canning time came.  I did have to help in preparation by shucking the corn, snapping the beans, shelling the peas, etc.  Many of you who are reading this perhaps are saying to yourselves, “Those were the good 0ld days.”  Really? 

There might not be the fresh taste, or the satisfaction that you grew those beans, but isn’t it easier to go to the air-conditioned store and buy them?  I confess I enjoy the fresh vegetables from the garden, but I am not sure I want to do all the preliminary before.

Just my feelings.  Enjoy your garden . . . or your trip to the store!



1 Comment »

  1. Thanks Lawson for the memories of gardening. I did my share as a kid. They were good days although we didn’t think so at the time. I really enjoy reading your thought each day. It gives me a lift to my day. Pray for me! I am now retired but I would like to find part time or fulltime work. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Comment by Dudley Henry — February 4, 2010 @ 9:15 am | Reply

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