My grandson is a lot like my daughter and I, he likes about anything you put on his plate. He even likes a number of vegetables and fruits that I don’t particularly care for. And his father (number one son-in-law) is even more picky than I am.
When I was visiting the family a couple of weeks ago and trying to keep reigns on my grandson playing in the back yard my daughter cautioned me to be sure and keep him away from her three tomato plants near the back porch. The big guy likes to get up on the rock wall and run around under the back deck which is close to where the plants are located. I remember they had a few plants last year and when the tomatoes matured they were some of the best I had eaten in a long time. It’s too bad they don’t have a few acres, because they would have vegetables and fruits of all kind if they just had the space to plant them.
I remember as a youngster that we had a small garden in a couple of places that we lived. I know at that time it seemed they were much more than a small garden, especially when it came time for my brother and I to help with the picking and planting. But I do remember we had rows of corn, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, carrots and whatever else my parents thought might grow. I know it was quite common for my mother to can a lot of the vegetables to be eaten during the winter months when there was no garden. I can remember quite vividly watching my mother fill her pressure cooker with jars of vegetables and then helping her store them in the cellar when the jars had cooled. When winter came and we had fresh vegetables I always appreciated the time I spent helping in one way or another.
I never really minded the summers of having to work in the family garden because I knew what it would be like when placed on the kitchen table later and especially how good it would taste in the winter.
Of course at that time, back in the 40’s and 50’s, it was quite common to see families with gardens. I remember living next door to an elderly gentleman who had a garden that was much larger than the house where he lived. I don’t know that he ever sold any of his vegetables and fruits but I know he gave a lot of them away. He was especially kind to the older folks in the community who were unable to have a garden and would give the bulk of what he grew away. If it was able to be grown, he had it planted in his garden and he tended it all with great love and care.
If you have never visited the Farmers Market you need to do yourself a favor and give them a try. If you want fresh fruits and vegetables you can’t find better. Not only will you be doing yourself a favor you will be supporting the folks that are doing their best to provide you with delicious and nutritious summer fare.
Jerome Wassmann is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle.