Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Garden Lessons

You may recall that last April or May I made the big decision not to have a garden this year. "It's ok, your garden needs a sabbatical," someone told me. Sounded good to me.

So I didn't have a garden, and I was very curious how I would feel about this come September.

I planted lettuce in the flower bed as per Merle B's suggestion. That worked out very well.

I missed a few things like fresh carrots.

It has actually worked out quite well.

The main things I have learned are:

1. There's more available locally, for a decent price, than I had realized. Or maybe Horse Creek Farms is offering more than they used to. The fancier produce places along River Road have pretty fancy prices so I never bought much there, but the Horse Creek stand up by Lake Creek Drive and Peoria Road has had a lot of variety for a great price. The other day I bought a big bag of little apples, a little bag of big apples, a sack of corn, some tomatoes, a few plums, a green pepper, and I forget what else, enough to require two trips to the car, for less than $12.

2. At this stage of my life, I have more money than time. Certainly this hasn't always been the case, like all the years when I had neither, but it worked out very well this summer to, for instance, buy our corn for freezing from a local farmer rather than grow it ourselves.

3. The Lord has ways of providing. Aunt Orpha called me the other day and said she has all the green beans she needs, and would I like to pick what's left? Sure, I said, expecting enough for a meal or two. This afternoon I went down there to quickly pick it before it started raining and mei zeit, I soon saw I would be there for hours. So I called home and had the children come join me. I just finished the first cannerful and there's enough for at least two more. And then Lisa the niece was here today and brought me a bucket of plums, and a farmer that brought some seed in this year brought Paul a bag of apples and pears.

4. Oregon has such a plethora of fruit that you can cycle them. In Minnesota, if a fruit existed, you picked every bit of it you could find and canned or froze it and then pulled it out for company dinners. You even imported peaches and such from Michigan. So the first summer after I was married I picked, canned, froze, and stored strawberries, blueberries, pie cherries, black cherries, Royal Anne cherries, raspberries, peaches, pears, applesauce, and probably a few other things. Because they grew here, you know. Since then I've learned to put away what's plentiful that year and let the rest go. One year it might be grape juice and green beans, the next applesauce and cherries. The plentiful years have a way of supplying the lean years, kind of like in Egypt with Joseph in charge.

Will I have a garden next year? I don't know.

Quote of the Day:
(while snapping beans today)
Steven and Jenny:
"I got the last word."
"No I did."
"No, I did."
"No, I did."
"Well I had the last word in the bean patch when we were talking about if mushrooms are amazing or horrible."
"No, I had the last word because then Mom told us to be quiet."
"No I did."
"No I did."
Me: Listen, guys, someday you two will be missionaries thousands of miles apart and you will wish so bad you could be together again, snapping beans, so you could say nice things to each other.
Jenny: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!--Oh, Mom, you dream big!


  1. I like it when people can give things up if they absolutely don't have the time...but I must say that many lessons can be taught to children in the garden! My dad would call everyone out there early in the morning to pick whatever needed picked, and although we grumbled about it, it taught us a lot and I will probably do the same for my children! =)

  2. We have a lot of roadside produce in the area and even with a garden I stop by if someone has something before mine is ready I buy it. Especially sweet corn. Love it. Gardens are a good thing but do take a lot of time. Glad you're not missing out on the fresh veggies.

  3. Like I said on my Facebbok status last week, "Farmer's THAT'S my kind of gardening!"

  4. Thanks for the update. Now I'm really wondering -- what happened with the kitchen re-modeling?