Playing in the dirt

There is something about putting your hands and feet in the dirt. My garden is starting to really take off, especially since the rain of recent days. Gardening gives you a feeling of accomplishment and it is relaxing to a point, working in the garden. My friend Joyce Matthews says putting your hands in the dirt, keeps you humble.
Our boxer, Roxie, has been digging up my plants from time to time. She’s not after the plants, usually some critter which jumped in or is making its way across it. Since my garden spot is not that big, it doesn’t take much of her digging to be ruined.
I have replanted and replanted a couple of things and I’m still not sure the eggplants are going to make it. But that’s a chance you take when planting a garden anyway, even if there’s not a dog involved.
My dad worked on the family farm as a child. I visited as a child and learned a lot about gardening from Granny and Daddy. I guess love of the land was passed down to me.
One of my favorite scenes in Gone With the Wind is Scarlet’s father telling her “Why, land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.” She was brooding about Ashley’s pending marriage to Melanie at the time and he was trying to impress upon her there were more important things. As we know she didn’t get it until much later.
There is also a scene in Pretty Woman where “Edward” (Richard Gere) takes his shoes off and is going barefoot in the grass. All of us used to do that a lot more, especially when we were kids. I think it’s something we still need to do once in a while. It just does the body good.
I’ve had a garden much of my life. Even a couple of big ones. Don’t know about a green thumb but I have pretty good luck, thank the good Lord, with my gardens. We just ate the last freezer bag of squash from last year’s garden. I still have a few green peppers from last year but that’s about it.
Weeds have been a constant problem this year. Worse than previous years. It has been about all I can do to stay on top of them when I have the time. My garden is not totally weed free and that is not one of my goals.
I am happy if I get anything from the garden. My herbs are really doing great, in fact the mint is trying to take over the whole garden.
I was a little later than usual planting so my squash are just beginning and my tomatoes aren’t that big yet. I am looking forward to the first tomato. There’s nothing like a fresh Georgia tomato, f.
On the farm there were always fresh vegetables and fruits available. I think that’s why my Granny was so tough. Never was sick hardly a day in her life until she fell and broke her hip and then she went down from there. She was 88 at the time and used to getting up at the crack of dawn to do farm chores and at that time could get around better than I do now. Being tied down to a bed did her in and I can understand that. When you are used to being that busy and then confined, it is not something you easily accept.
One day maybe we will have a garden tractor and then I can have a bigger garden, though not too much for me to handle. I would like to plant some corn though and maybe some okra and potatoes and maybe even some peas or green beans.
We need to be growing and eating more of our own food or at least buying from a local farmer. The processed food bought at the grocery store is deplete of most nutrition and with the chemicals they use on produce and vegetables to grow these days, it’s no wonder our bodies are falling apart.
Not only is organically grown food tastier, it is more nutritious for you. Growing your own can lower your grocery bill. Being outside working in the garden helps you get your dose of vitamin D and it can become a family hobby. There’s nothing like going out to the garden for fresh herbs and cooking with them.
If you grow enough and freeze or can, you can enjoy them all year. There’s also something gratifying about being able to share something from your garden with others.
I’ve read where places actually had a community garden, where everyone shares the labor of planting, weeding and harvesting. Everyone who participates gets to enjoy the fruits of their labor as well. That sounds like it could be a fun way to get to know people.
There is a community garden in Cordele which was planted through a ministry and it helps feed the homeless and the hungry. Something we should be doing anyway.
Gardening was passed down to me and it’s something you can pass down to your children and grandchildren. Gardens don’t have to be very big to produce quite a lot.
I’m thankful for mine, even if our Roxie keeps digging up things in it. She also likes to run through the water hose or get water from the hose when I have had to water the garden.
Remember when you were small and you had so much fun playing in the dirt? Gardening gives you an excuse to experience playing in the dirt again. Except this time you can really eat what you harvest instead of pretending.©2016

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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