Friday, June 15, 2012

The Garden Party...

It's been a busy (and awesome!) week and will take me a couple of days (and couple of blogs) to get everything up to speed here.

Today we will start with Tuesday's activities.  I attended my first garden party with my mother since I was a little girl.  It's been a long time and we had a lot of fun.

There are so many fun things to do at garden parties.  There's always balloons, activities, snacks and talking. My favorite part is always the talking.  Now that I'm older and a bit wiser, I know the importance of truly listening to everything that she tells me.

I admit I was a little alarmed when I saw the string because I had no idea what it was going to be used for.  Then I found out what it was for and I thought it was genius.  I do a lot of things the same exact way that my mother does them and I found out my mother marks the rows in her garden the same exact way that my grandfather did.  One stake is driven into the ground on each side, a shovel's length apart from one another.  It makes perfectly straight and evenly spaced rows for the garden.  You use a shorter handled shovel and the spacing is perfection for each and every row.  I never knew this and it's one of the reasons that I enjoy the whole talking part.  I'm going to do my rows this way from now on because it works perfectly.

The activities of the garden party were actually fun.  We planted 8 cucumber plants, 4 pepper plants, 22 tomato plants, 2 cantaloupe plants, 2 watermelon plants, lots of corn and lots of green beans.  It was warm out but not overbearingly hot so we took our time and just enjoyed the day.

I remembered the little kernels of fertilizer that went into the garden as it was planted when I was a kid and at almost the exact same time I was thinking about that, Mama brought out a bucket with those fertilizer kernels in it.  I hate to admit it because I love to go without any chemicals in my garden but I loved seeing that bucket.  She told me that she knows I'm against it, but it's her garden and she wants the fertilizer.  She's right.  It's her garden party and she wanted the fertilizer and deep in my heart, I wanted to use it there too because it just wouldn't be the same without it.

Grandpa used old coffee cans to "irrigate" his garden.  Since coffee cans have changed so much, my mother has adapted the idea with empty plastic soda bottles.  This is great because it means you can water your garden any time of day and don't have to worry about the sun scorching the plant like you do if you pour water on it anytime but in the morning or evening.  The water goes directly to the root.  I've done this with a wine bottle for a houseplant but never thought of using it in the garden.  I had no idea that grandpa used to that either.  Another example of why I love the talking part so much.

Putting in the rows, I was replaying an old scene in my head of a cream colored tractor with a plow on the back going back and forth.  Dirt clods being thrown through the air and up against the side of the barn and a little yellow dog chasing them and barking.  Those little white kernels of fertilizer going into the rows when they were plowed and dropping corn seeds or bean seeds in with them.  It's funny how those memories creep into our minds.    

We went for a walk in the woods and she showed me an extremely large old Beech Tree that was bursting with nuts.  After doing a quick Google search in my phone, we learned that beechnuts are harvested after the first frost and can be used to make a few different things like cake and bread.  We both learned something new on that one.  You can Google "Beech Nut Recipe" to find out a lot of really cool things about beechnuts!

The black walnuts are looking good too.  I can't wait to make my first ever home made black walnut cake.  I know they are a pain in the butt to harvest and Mama reminded me of that fact, but if I just do it once then it will be SO worth it!

The snacks at the garden party were good too.  I love seedless green grapes.  They are like a drug and once I start on them, it's hard to stop.  I didn't know that you could freeze green grapes until Mama told me while we were eating them.  She said they are good as a snack on a hot summer day straight from the freezer.  I'm going to try the frozen grapes someday and I know that the memory that pops into my head when I do will be the garden party that I had with my mother on that beautiful spring day in June, 2012.

I can't wait to do this again next year!

Happy Friday my friends...



PS:  I forgot to tell you about the balloons.  They are to keep these guys away:

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