Garden tales

Does it really matter how you plant your garden as long as you get it planted? One of my favorite parts about summertime is a weekly trip to the local farmer’s market for a selection of fresh vegetables. Squash, tomatoes, corn, broccoli, potatoes, okra – you name it and it probably ends up in my basket. I have always wanted a garden. I find it to be one of the more rewarding hard work tasks that you can do. There is a lot of grunt work that goes into getting a garden set up and then keeping to it so that everything grows like it should and weeds remain out of the picture. Then at the end of all that work comes a bountiful harvest of fresh food to savor. We had a garden growing up right behind my grandparent’s house. My mother and father would spend lots of time in the afternoon tilling the ground, pulling out the weeds and watering the plants. On the weekends during the middle of the day I can remember my grandmother putting a large pot of turnip greens on the stove and I would spend most of my time sneaking loaf bread, turnips and pepper sauce in a sandwich while watching from a set of stone steps my parents laboring over the garden. One summer I ate myself sick into pepper sauce turnip green sandwiches and I’ve never touched another one. This year I decided I would try and plant a small set of vegetables – a few tomatoes, some pepper plants and, my favorite, lots of squash plants. A few years ago I tried to till up some soil, but my lack of ability to get enough water to the area I chose caused my garden to fail before it even began to grow. Now the issue is where to plant it. I don’t trust Leo not to dig it up so putting the garden in a fenced area in the backyard is out of the question. I’m also not exactly sure where my property line is, so putting it on a small area beside the house is a no go for fear of garden wars becoming a new reality television series. Also I don’t own a tiller, so everything I plant has to be in a pot or in a random hole in the ground. So, instead of logically finding a normal place to plant this garden, I decided to put it in the only place that I had available – right down the side of the driveway. Does it really matter how you plant your garden as long as you get it planted? Yes, I put those squash plants in a nice neatly spaced line down the driveway, leaving enough room for the mower to cut on the other side. Not only is this convenient, but it’s close to the water hose and it gets plenty of sun during the day with no interruptions. There are a few pepper buds and one yellow flower for a tomato that have bloomed. Perhaps I will have some success after all. Remember it’s not about where you are planted, but where you choose to grow. Not all of us want to grow where we are planted. Believe me, I hate the thought of being in a place that I don’t want to be in and then being expected to be fruitful. In those instances, there are only two options – adapt and thrive or refuse and die. Sink or swim. Life only presents two options, so choose the latter. I’m hoping my vegetables will do the same. Laura Pitts is a former Daily Mountain Eagle reporter, and is currently director of the Scottsboro Public Library.