Grow Write Guild #21: Gardener

lettuce bed

I have long been a fan of You Grow Girl. It was Gayla who inspired me to compost (or was it Old Guy?), and then to start a worm bin.  It was also Gayla who got me thinking about texture in my garden, and raised beds, and gardening on the cheap, and lots of other wonderful earthy things. So of course I’ve been inspired to start blogging about my gardening, and her Grow Write Guild prompts are exactly the kick in the behind I need. 

The current prompt is Gardener, and Gayla has challenged us to write about the moment when we knew we had become gardeners.

I came by the long road in my journey to be a gardener. Some of my earliest memories are eating fresh produce out of Grandpa’s garden, and watching Granny put up beans and peas. A summer day never went by without a plate of sliced fresh tomatoes and cucumbers on their supper table.  In his later years, after Granny was gone, Grandpa still tilled up a patch of ground to grow a small garden. He couldn’t bear not growing stuff. I don’t recall noticing that it gave him joy, but now I realize that he did experience a quiet joy and pride in being able to feed his family good food. I guess it’s only natural that I developed a love for digging in the dirt.

My own identity as a gardener has developed slowly over the years, and I have always had house plants and flower gardens, and even a solitary tomato plant and the occasional hot peppers. But it wasn’t until 2 years ago that I called myself Gardener. I had just spent months researching and planning my raised beds, then collecting materials to build them. Music Man and I built them on a Saturday afternoon, mixed our soil, and filled them, then planted them soon after. When the lettuce came in, I was suddenly struck by the fact that yes, I am indeed a gardener!

That summer and the next there were eight 4×4 beds in my garden, and we built four more last fall. We then planted raspberries along the back fence and put in some garlic. We may even repurpose part of our large backyard to expand a bit more. I spent much of last summer alone and had a bit of trouble keeping up with eight beds (with one foot in a surgical boot for 6 weeks!), but Music Man is here full-time again and is a bit enthusiastic about storing up food, perhaps in preparation for the Zombie Apocalypse. I guess that means he’ll need to learn how to use a canner! 

If anyone is out there, I invite you to tell me about your own gardening. Better yet, why don’t you join me in Grow Write Guild?

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