From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Planting the Garden with Mama

Another Trip Down Memory Lane... All In The Family... And What I Think About It...



As I was planting beans in the garden a few days ago, I thought about my mother. I don't know if my brother or sister were involved in her garden-planting sessions, but I participated in many of them.

My mother planted corn, potatoes, pumpkins, melons, etc. in hills within a row. Here's the procedure.
  1. Establish a straight line by stretching a string across the garden (tied at each end to a stick that is inserted firmly into the ground.)
  2. With the hoe, pull the garden soil back at regular intervals along the straight line, creating a row of shallow holes.
  3. Instruct young daughter to follow behind the hoe, placing a specified number of seeds (or seed potatoes) in each hill.
  4. Pull the soil back over the seeds with the hoe.
  5. Instruct young daughter to follow behind the hoe and gently firm the soil over the seeds with her little feet.
Beans were planted in a similar fashion, but a long shallow ditch was excavated with the hoe instead of a series of small holes.

We called each planting with several seeds a "hill", whether or not it was on top of a little pile of soil.

I didn't realize at the time that I was learning anything, but looking back, I realize that Mama was showing me how to plant a garden as well as requiring me to do a little job.

Recently, my daughter told me that she was surprised how many things she knew how to do because she had watched and helped me do them when she was little.

One of the Mennonite women once told me that they teach the children how to do things by working with them. It's common to see their children helping in the garden, the milk barn, the machine shed, or wherever.

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1 comment:

organicallygrowing@rcc said...

What a wonderful story. I have memories of planting with my mum as a child. I thought I hated gardening as I grew up but now have an alotment and a daughter (2 years old) of my own. We planted onions and potatoes a few weeks ago in much the same way as you discribed. She was really good and I thought she had got the idea really well, then when I had moved on to something else turned round to find her 'collecting' a little pile of seed onions she had rescued. Ah well - still a little way to go there!!

Love your site.

Helen
http://www.organicallygrowing.blogspot.com/

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.