Sunday, July 19, 2015

Summer's bountiful harvest

Angie takes a break from gardening work.
Some thumbs are definitely greener than others. My thumbs have been greener than normal this summer.

I love gardening. I love digging in the dirt and getting it underneath my fingernails. I also love to sweat and get my clothes dirty. These are probably undesirable characteristics most women would not want; however, I'm not one of those women.

I love my work boots and old ratty clothes that I wear outside to work in my garden. I love my old baseball cap that adorns my scalp so it can breath in 100-degree temperatures. There isn't really anything about working outside that I don't like. Well, there might be one exception to that rule – mosquitoes. I would rather be outside playing in my garden and working in my chicken house than any place on Earth. I hate sitting in my house. The outside beckons me like a mother calling a lost calf.

I have been an avid gardener for the past eight years. My garden started out insanely large at a ¼ of an acre. I grew everything – green beans, onions, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, peppers, acorn and butternut squash and Lima beans. I could make a whole meal just from produce from my garden. I never bought anything in the store except meat and personal necessities. It has always been very satisfying knowing that the food on my plate came from hard work, determination and sweat from my brow. Plus, I had farm-fresh eggs from my chickens.
Angie's potatoes from her garden. 

This year I decided to scale down my garden a little bit. Since my ground is very sandy, my husband decided to bring in some cow manure to give it a much-needed boost. We also stirred in chicken manure and a compost pile. Let's just say my garden is thriving and may be one the best ones yet.

This is one of Angie's biggest potatoes.
I decided to dig up one of my potato plants yesterday. It was just like being a kid on Christmas morning. I love discovering a surprise underneath the ground. I screamed when I uncovered the treasure hiding underground. I'm surprised my neighbors didn't hear me yell for joy. I unearthed six potatoes the size of softballs. I couldn't believe it; I was in shock. So, naturally I had to keep digging to see if this unbelievable phenomenon was a trend. And, to my amazement, it was. Each plant yielded six to seven potatoes the size of softballs or bigger. After digging up 25 plants, I harvested about 70 pounds of potatoes. I can hardly wait to see what the next 25 plants have in store for me. My neighbors might just need some earplugs.

For me, gardening is a very cheap form of entertainment. It brings me more joy than going to the mall and spending a lot of money on clothes or trinkets that I don't really need. I'm happy in my garden; I'm happy watching my chickens cluck in their pen. I've made a wonderful world right where I live. I thank God for my piece of Heaven on Earth and all the joy it has given to me.

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