Growing a Vegetable Garden

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A family working in a vegetable garden.As far back as I remember as a child, we always planted a vegetable garden in the spring. I have incredible memories of my dad spending hours turning the soil, then planting tomatoes, cukes, lettuce, zucchini, and so much more, usually in May, mainly around Memorial Day weekend. But the work didn’t end there.

The tiresome digging, placing seeds and plants in the ground, and watering them was just the beginning, but the setup was complete. The summer months gave way to daily watering of the vegetable plants, pots of blossoming basil and parsley whenever nature didn’t send a welcome occasional shower or thunderstorm, preferably without potential heavy rain and gusty winds.

Sometimes smaller, weakened plants couldn’t withstand the elements and were destroyed. But the ones left standing grew bright green leaves, and the bean stalks grew tall, while the tomato plants, as they flourished, needed to be tied to tall, sturdy wooden poles so that they could grow straight up. And as the tomatoes grew and ripened, one evening, my dad would discover the first one, the sweetest, most delectable, perfectly round, and red “love apple.” And, of course, this singular delicacy was the tastiest of the growing season, primarily because of the anticipation and the pride of producing your homegrown veggies!

Decades have passed, and we are still growing a vegetable garden every spring, and my kids have done the same in their own homes too. They have learned and maintained the tradition of caring for and nurturing their harvest of nature’s bounty. 

Our kids need nurturing and attention as if we are growing plants in a garden, even if they are parents themselves now. I know it from personal experience. Parenting is relentless and tiresome, but we try as hard as possible to turn out the perfect “tomato” year after year.

And even though some years for some different crops could be plentiful or scarce, without any logical explanation, the following spring, we attempt to plant, water, grow and reap all over again. And then even try growing, occasionally, a different fruit or vegetable altogether. 

We pass along the inside secrets to the next group of garden keepers. Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if we simply tried wholeheartedly to “grow” our children the same way we grow our vegetable gardens? Give it a thought, and then sit back and enjoy reaping the benefits with your kids this summer season!

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Fran was born, raised, married, and still lives in Mount Kisco, NY. She has four kids, including a teenage daughter and two precious grandsons, whom she babysits a couple of days a week. She also works part-time as an accounting clerk, helps run her husband’s excavation business, and lastly aspires to finish writing her book one day. Despite her crazy, busy schedule, she cooks almost every night for her big family and tries her best to keep up with the dishes! She truly believes spontaneity is the spice of life, and sometimes the very unexpected happens, but it’s usually all for the best. Enjoy her many tales of raising kids over 20 years; what an amazing journey!

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