Love those summer gardens

July 18, 2014

Ray Augenstein

Ray Augenstein

Summer Gardens, don’t you just love them?  I love the taste of fresh ripened vegetables. The smell of new potatoes with green onions cooking on the stove, Fresh sliced tomatoes that you grew yourself, which tastes so much better than what you can buy in the store. And the plump juicy ear of sweet corn, roasted just right with the gobs of butter and salt.  Just add a steak charred on the barbeque grill and you have the perfect cook out.  There are so many wonders offered by nature to those who take the time and effort to plant a garden.  Walking among the rows of cabbage, carrots, onions and peas, fills a heart with pride on what you have accomplished.

My parents used to have a garden when I was growing up. As soon as the ground thawed, they would work to till the ground, raking the clods of dirt out, then laying out long straight rows with a string stretched between two stakes. When finally the plants began to shoot through the ground, my parents would walk out between the rows and look upon their labors with pride. Then came the best part, my brothers and I were enlisted to go up and down each row pulling out all the weeds. This was a continual task until finally they harvested the crop, when we were assigned the task of snapping the beans, picking the peas, and pulling the onions and carrots.  All of this tasted good when I was kid especially since I didn’t have to do all the work.

When I was discharged from the Navy, I had this great idea that I was going to plant a nice big garden. I worked the ground, planted the seeds and waited patiently for my crop. I don’t know what happened, I have never seen such a scraggly mess in all my life. Everything I had planted certainly didn’t look like the garden my parents had.   I have never been able to get a garden to grow, according to the way I envisioned it to be. I just don’t have a green thumb or a green hand. In fact I think mine was black. My tomato plants were small, and produced tiny tomatoes, which the bugs and worms found before I did.  Nothing was eatable except a cherry sized tomato.

Another thing I found annoying was that all the wild critters got to my garden before I could.  The deer, squirrels, raccoons and crows, all sneak in at night and eat the garden almost before it comes above ground.

I gave up gardening, but I enjoy the same fresh taste of vegetables, and I don’t have to do all the work and see it go to waste.  My Garden is called the “Farm Market”, where I pick and choose what looks best to me, and I actually enjoy it more than fighting Mother Nature and spending money for just a mouthful of nostalgia.

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