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Passing Down a Passion for Gardening

4 min read | Dec 13, 2012 | Resources 

My children did not always care about where their food came from or that it was organically grown or even what kind of plants were growing in their own yard. They took for granted that the food they ate was good for them. They were not interested in going to the garden to pull weeds or pick vegetables, but they did enjoy gathering bugs and caterpillars which were plentiful among the plants. One of their favorite summertime activities was to set up a vegetable stand along with their best friends who lived across the street. There was always an abundance of vegetables and flowers and they could easily con mom into helping them gather enough to sell to neighbors passing down the street. How could you resist these pretty little girls screaming to you at the top of their lungs? Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans and potatoes always mounded the kitchen counter, much to their embarrassment when friends came over. They just knew mom would press a bag into each friend’s hand as they were leaving, saying take this to your mother, she will like it.

As they become adults, my daughters look back fondly at these memories and the many fruits and vegetables their mother grew and preserved. They make special requests of foods to grow and enjoy tending to them with me. My oldest daughter could not wait to plant flowers and vegetables at her own little house and I have no doubt the other will want the same as soon as her school life allows.

I have precious memories of my father taking me by the hand and going from cherry tree, to raspberry bush to grape vine to check on the progress of buds and emerging fruits in early spring. He always had something “new and unusual” to grow each year. There would be gourds growing out of trees and so many watermelons I couldn’t eat them fast enough. At one point he had a mail order seed business with his heirloom Indian corn and long handle gourd seed. I helped shell, weigh and seal the seed in the special envelopes he printed with his antique printing press. Much of my summers were spent in the hot sun tending his many acres of vegetables. I may have grumbled quite a lot back then because I wanted to do other things but now I appreciate every bit of hard work he made me do and all of the wonderful things he taught me.

It’s easy for me to get lost in time working in my garden. It is a wonderful source of exercise. Even with the hard work, there is a certain tranquility and peace achieved. Seeing what you and the dirt can produce is a refreshing reward. There is nothing more tangible than vegetables and fruits you produce yourself, free of contaminants so prevalent in commercially grown foods.

It is important to teach another generation the wholesome tradition of gardening, to support the people who provide beauty and sustenance for the environment. Many plants can be passed on from generation to generation. Through root divisions, cuttings and seed, you can proudly boast to your friends that you have your grandmother’s rose bush or your great grandfather’s poppy seed. Your children should know how much better a homegrown tomato or cucumber tastes picked fresh from their own backyard compared to handpicked from the cooler at the local grocery store where it was bred for shipping purposes, not taste.

Now is the time to begin stirring the passions in your family and friends. If you have never gardened, you will be amazed at your accomplishments. If you are an avid gardener, there are always new plants to discover and share.Fairviewcarries an amazing selection of plants for every enthusiast. Plant perennials for beauty and fragrance that repeats year after year. Mix in annuals for brilliant color to last the whole summer season. Include trees and shrubs to define and add texture to your yard and gardens. The habitats you build in your yard will delight you with birds, insects, and butterflies that you would otherwise never see.Fairviewalso carries a tremendous array of vegetable plants and seeds, along with a knowledgeable staff to help get you started on passing along your passion for gardening.

Have Fun & Enjoy!
Anna Y.
FairviewGreenhouses & GardenCenter