Maybe it is being surrounded by snow, ice and cold weather too long, or it could be the bright and lengthening rays of sun that make appearances, often fooling us as to actual temperatures. Has spring arrived, or not?
The cat sitting on my mother’s front porch rail, getting an imaginary tan, paired up with the calendar that says it is mid-April, helps me. It is getting to be that time of the year when one can think of gardens, flower seeds, outings and doing things just for fun.
My mother says, "I plant them for the kids," but I think that it is still the kid in her. She can't resist trying that old trick that my grandmother used to do. Years ago there weren't places to buy plants around every corner so women started "cuttings" and planting seeds in soup cans on their window ledges.
Recently she helped the grandkids see what they could grow. She now has ever so many little plastic cups in her big windows to the south. Now don't laugh, she has the "stub end" of celery that is putting out delicate, green leaves, some garlic and onions that sprout fast and long. She also has the top part of some carrots planted that really look like fern, which reminds me of the year she had one that grew to bucket size.
The sweet potatoes they planted didn't sprout. I think they are treated so they don't, but she always has to try, and of course she always has some petite little Chia plants that delight the kids because they come up so fast. I think somewhere in her stash she still has a clay head with lines to fill with seed to grow green hair, but it is still fun just having a little pot of tiny green plants. Yes, they are edible, whether dry seeds or grown, green as grass.
Do you think it is time to get ready to plant a garden like our grandmothers and mothers use to? Even my mother has quit (except for tomatoes and peppers) because it is so easy to pick them up at the market. She no longer has the hassle of cultivating, pulling weeds and dealing with all those mosquitoes one has in a big garden.
I do admire those who still grow their own and can the produce besides. Is there anything fresher than those fruits and vegetables you grow yourself? I was watching a news cast recently where they were talking about planting "school gardens" to not only teach the growing process, but encourage children to eat nutritious vegetables and fruits. Sounds like a good idea to me!
Almost like finding Easter eggs as they discover that first little radish or cucumber or tiny baby carrots, just like in Mr. McGregor's garden.
I remember the late Bud and Nadine Berg, of Clarks Grove, who planted a garden and gave spare seeds to the kids, who planted them in their sandbox. Guess who had the nicest and most productive garden? The kids.
I didn't know seeds would grow so well in sand, but evidently enough dirt made its way into the sand, and the mixture produced exceptionally well.
Heirloom seeds are available to borrow. You save seeds from your garden to give back to the seed banks. Why heirloom seeds? Because they are still the "real thing"; not maintained by manipulation that is supposed to make them better or more productive.
Ask a master gardener and they will tell you they are different and the taste will be worth the effort.
Glen Hanson, who lived in Geneva for a great number of years, always planted potatoes on Good Friday. One year the cold or snow was too prohibitive and he took a ribbing, "Now what are you going to do?"
He found some five-gallon pails and planted some potatoes so he could brag about his "new" potatoes for the 4th of July.
My neighbor, Solvieg Sorenson, would take one of the top prizes for her garden and she still cans the extra produce. Old habits that some consider work, to others, can be fun.
I noticed Everett Jensen, from Clarks Grove, had some neat garden boxes last year that he had built in his yard. Made me green with envy. His were not as high as I would need, but those raised garden beds were not only attractive, they looked like the "clear deal." I have learned that it is surprising what one can do "sitting on the ground," as I often do.
I think of all the good stuff we send with the garbage truck that we could mulch for good soil. I thought that my mother was a little daffy when she would save eggshells, coffee grounds, banana peels, vegetable peelings and mulched leaves that crowded the backyard, but the results were amazing and no artificial fertilizer. Of course, she also had the privilege of using lake water and shoreline "seaweed" etc. to add to the mix.
Makes you wonder if we were eating and drinking the right stuff or should we go back to nature.
My Uncle Paul always saved his lawn clippings and used them between the rows in his garden. Surprising how it kept the ground moist and warm but free of pesky weeds. His garden plot grew up to raise garden dimensions in the process. More produce than he needed? There was always someone who was happy to share, in particular the elderly who could no longer garden. I recall he planted cabbage while it was still cold in the spring, but the cabbage grew and was always early, crisp and tasty. When he was a kid, my mother says he was more apt to shy away from gardening, but as an adult it was a very productive and healthy hobby that benefited many.
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Birthdays and anniversaries:
• Thursday, April 24th: Keralyn & Bill Powers, Madison Kae Wagner, Marnie Ray Wagner, Dak Sorenson, Marilyn Cuden, Audrey Paulson, Lowell Wichmann, Scott Brandt, Kara Vangen
• Friday, April 25th: Ed Deml, Nicole Langlie La Tourneau, Nicole Nielson, Evie Toft, Christine Davidson, Jeff Kunkel, Janice Morreim, Stan Reichl
• Saturday, April 26th: Jim Arends, Lester Casterton, Teresa Deml Sisler, Beverly Harpel, Jean Larson, Pat Motl, Ashley Bangert, Mary Peterson, Pat Pichner, Steve & Judy Christensen, Bob & Gerry Flim, Allan & Darline Jensen
• Sunday, April 27th: Brian Schember, Norma Robertson, Heidi & Christopher Olson
• Monday, April 28th: Martin Rossing, Rodney Peterson, Mildred Flugum, Jamie Cameron, Jean & Chuck Groth
• Tuesday, April 29th: Derek Anthony Kubicek, his 7th; Jane Brocker, Roberta Dettman, Angie Hall, Mitchell Jensen, Pat & Linda Goodnature, Jennifer & Steve Schultz
• Wednesday, April 30th: Nancy Williams, Jeff Misgen, Paul Moen, Dawn Cooper, Kevin Cooper, Jonathon Lein, Karey Dufresne, Judah Ashton, Jonathon Lein, Rick & Melonie Miller
God bless you and have a great day!
Birthdays and anniversaries are for reflecting...dreaming...enjoying...Have a wonderful day!