I can remember growing up in the rural community of Greenfield, MA. We had about 15 acres of land, most was open field, and some was woods. During the winters, we would take out the snowmobiles, and go tubing around the property. Or build snow forts in the piles of snow left behind by the plows, snowmen, snow angels and snowball fights were always a part of our winter fun. We would shovel or plow a path from our house to Nana’s.
My grandparents had about a one acre area where they grew a garden every year. Growing corn, green beans, cabbage, tomatoes, sweet peas, snap beans, and I can’t remember what else. The early signs of spring would bring out the tractor and tiller, the sound would take me running outside to catch a ride. The smell of fresh turned dirt would enter my room in the early mornings as I got ready for school. The evening would bring about sounds of the soil being worked, getting for the plants.
Did I hang around for the planting, the tending to, or the harvest? Why heck no! I had more important fun to tend to. Like going to the fairgrounds and hanging around the horses, playing in the woods, riding bikes or making a trek to town to spend a Saturday afternoon at the Woolworth’s and the Soda Shop.
One of my favorite memories of growing up in Greenfield, was helping Nana and Aunt JoJo with the garden harvests, which were done by my Gramps and Uncle Olen. We would sit out in the warm sunshine, snapping beans and prepping everything for canning or freezing. I remember watching the corn grow, the Beagles going crazy as they kept the coons away, and the scent of Lilac trees.
Those years, living next door to my Nana, were my first experience with gardening. I eventually moved away to live in Florida, and never thought of gardening again. Until 4 years ago, when I attempted to grow some tomato plants in containers. Because Nathan loves tomatoes, and I really don’t like the looks of store bought tomatoes, I set out on a new adventure.
That one simple grow season has expanded every year since. Today, I am learning how to use Permaculture, and grow a more bountiful, productive garden. While I still have a long way to go to get the garden the way I truly want it, I have a decent start, and am growing more then I have in the past. We not only share our harvest through our roadside stand that operates on the Trust System, but we also have enough to carry us through to the following season.
Going back to my family roots, and learning to update methods used, has been the second best move I have ever made. The first best move I made was moving to NE TN and getting out of FL, and finding the one man who can truly understand, support and even encourages my love for growing our food, and providing us with foods that we know are safe and healthy for us.