Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Good Morning, Class of  '64

Garden Harvest - John Sloane
Another Day with Larry
November Garden - Deborah Lazar

 Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm
holding up until your back gets used to it.
Author Unknown

In golden April weather,
In sun and wind and rain,
Let us fare forth and follow
Beneath the spring's first swallow
By budding break and heather
To the good brown soil again!

Frederick Frye Rockwell
Around the Year in the Garden, 1913

We come from the earth.
We return to the earth.
And in between we garden.

Author Unknown

Part 2, Conclusion

Squash was another staple. We loved the yellow summer squash. I still do, but frying them takes so long. I’ve tried several other ways to cook them, but none are as good as frying. Shredded squash does make an excellent relish. 

Cabbage was big for us. It was eaten raw, boiled, fried, and made into coleslaw and sauerkraut. Flat Dutch was one variety we raised. My job in the summer was to find and kill cabbage worms. They are green, the same color as the cabbage leaves, and usually stay under the leaves so that was quite a job. They hatch from eggs laid by a white moth. After I got my BB gun, I shot a lot of the moths with it. That was effective and a lot more fun. In the fall, we buried the heads of cabbage with the root stalk sticking up. You could dig up one of those heads in January or February, peel the outer leaves, and, when you hit it with a knife, it would usually burst open - it was so crisp and juicy. Really tasted great.
Another staple was peas. They were among the first new vegetables from the garden so they were especially welcomed. Creamed peas and new potatoes together was both popular and delicious. Mom canned a lot of peas.
Another vegetable we liked was cucumbers. We ate them fresh with salt sprinkled on them, in salads, and canned as pickles. The salads usually included onions and tomatoes dressed with a creamy dressing, vinegar and milk or buttermilk. Mom’s canned pickles were a little like sweet pickles in the markets today except not as sour. She also made bread-and-butter pickles. The only cucumber variety I can recall is Straight Eight. 
A major crop was tomatoes. We raised and ate so many of them that we all had cold sores (we called them fever blisters) around our mouths from the acid. We ate many of them fresh, sliced with a bit of salt, or burst open from the stem end and salted. Fried green tomatoes was a taste treat - we had them a lot. A couple of slices of fried green tomato on one of Mom’s biscuits was a sandwich fit for a king! The only way I eat winter tomatoes from the grocery is by slicing and frying them like she did the green ones. She canned tomatoes, juice, ketchup, and sliced green ones to fry in the winter. Beefsteak and yellow beefsteak are the only varieties I can recall. 
Leaf lettuce and onions were also big in our gardens. They were both early and tasted good in the spring. In the fall, we pulled the mature onions and spread them out to dry. We then bagged them to keep them through the winter. Mason violently disliked onions and refused to eat anything with onions.
One of my favorites was ground cherries. They grow on bushy plants that look like a tomato plant. They are about one-half inch in diameter. When they ripen, they fall to the ground. The fruits are enclosed in a Japanese lantern-like husk which must be removed before using them. There were both blue and yellow ones. We liked the yellow much better. We made most of them into preserves - delicious. I like them raw, but no one else did.

We experimented with cauliflower and celery a year or two. I believe that was Mason’s idea; he loved to try new things. I remember Mom canned some cauliflower pickles.
The gardens took a lot of work. As I was growing up, Dad and Mason prepared the ground and did much of the planting. They also helped hoe it a time or two. Mom did the rest with me as her helper. She weeded, watered, dusted, sprayed, picked, cooked, preserved, and canned almost all of it. We went to the garden immediately after breakfast every day that it wasn’t raining and worked for 2 or 3 hours. She really loved her garden. The gardens along with the chickens, milk cows, and hogs that we butchered made up at least 90% of our food. No one ever ate better!

 Gardening requires lots of water — 
most of it in the form of perspiration.
Lou Erickson

Farmer's Daughter - John Sloane

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