Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Time To Plant

Grandma's Backyard
Ft. Worth
8.5" x 11"
According to the Moon Phases in my sidebar, there is a full moon. That means that it is time to plant, according to what I remember "Toot" telling me. Yet, I hear the news people say that it is too late to replant the crops that were destroyed by the floods in the Midwest. Here, it may be getting too hot. I really don't know.
My "gardening" seems to work like this. Throw something out in the yard. It may grow, or the birds, deer, or ants might eat it. We actually did plant some things that have thrived over the years, Crepe Myrtles, several rose bushes, a Mimosa tree, and a couple of Lantana plants. One small place with Day Lilies keeps coming back. But, the gorgeous Hibiscus plants that I once had didn't make it. They were huge, with blossoms the size of dinner plates. But, one morning, I went outside and there wasn't a trace that there had ever been a plant there. I don't know what happened to them. I would say that a deer ate them, but there wasn't even a little hole where the stem came out of the ground.
One year, I threw the old still life materials I had from my fall arrangement that my students had been drawing, out by a fence. Was I surprised when I had corn growing and vines of gourds that covered a fence. The gourds came back until we removed the fence.
With rapidly rising gas and food prices, along with everything else, and we hear that people are needing to grow some of their own food, I feel like we should plant something. We have room for a big garden in back, but, between fire ants and critters, and no one who wants to get outside and work , that is not going to happen.
Several years ago, I bought a few packages of seeds. I thought that I might plant something, when the moon is full, or on Good Friday. But, those days always slip past and I forget about it. I've even saved egg cartons to start some plants. I thought of starting seeds in the egg cartons, then transferring them to flower pots, or even the plastic ice cream buckets that I have been saving.
We tried to have plants in our windows and indoors, but the fire ants found them, and the plants had to go outside with some ant poison. By then, the plants were about dead. The last plants we had indoors were seeds that my grandson's teacher had sent home for the kids to plant. Our plant grew and my grandson was working on his project. However, it soon had mildew on it and we threw it in the trash.
During the War, (WWII), we had a Victory Garden in our back yard in Calvert. A lot of people grew something, and still had cows, chickens, etc. at their homes. Even people who had grocery stores. One year, my dad had someone plow the middle of our back yard to make a garden area and I was to plant it and take care of it. I actually had some very small lettuce, some small potatoes, and lots of carrots! The lot was higher on the north side, toward the front of the house, and sloped back to the street behind us. So our Victory Garden did very well on the north side where it drained. But the rains kept the south end of the garden underwater. We didn't get anything from that side.
Grandma and Grandpa Miles moved from their farm in Navarro county to Ft. Worth about the time of the War. They lived in a small apartment in Victory Village, housing for Air Force families and workers at the aircraft plant. After the war, they bought a little house in the new housing that was springing up.
Most people who bought the little houses, were planting some trees and fixing up their back yards for children to play or for entertaining. But not Grandma. In the spring, Grandpa had someone come plow up all of the back yard, except for a strip around the edge of the yard. Grandma planted her garden and spent every morning out chopping and tending her garden.
In the summer and fall, she would have fresh things to eat, and spent time canning and preserving for the winter.
In the drawing above, I was remembering Grandma, with her hoe, out working in her backyard garden, until almost noon, when it started to get too hot. Then it was time to come in and cook dinner. And after that, she and Grandpa just sat in their room, in the sweltering heat. I wrote about that in an older post.
She always wore her sunbonnet out in the yard, with long sleeves and those separate sleeves that ladies wore to protect their arms from the sun. Her cotton dresses were simple, sometimes with a little lace trim, rick rack, or tucks for decoration, and always with a somewhat long skirt. She wore cotton stockings and her yard shoes, galoshes, if it were wet outside.
Grandpa is shown standing at the back of the yard, pointing out things to my sister. To one side, my friend, Eddie Grace, and I are standing, talking, probably about movies and movie stars, or boys.
Grandma would show us how to pick various things in the garden and how to know if it was ready to be picked. But we had to be very careful, in case we might do something that would harm the plants or disturb the garden.
We could go sit on the back steps in the afternoon when the house made a little shade, or walk on the grass around the garden. But we knew to stay out of that garden unless Grandma or Grandpa were supervising.
Remember that, in those days, there was no air conditioning, and even fans were rare. So, we looked for shade and a bit of breeze.
Wish I could plant a seed and grow the things that I seem to eat most. Potatos and potato chips, M&Ms, ice cream, chicken, tomato soup, bran flakes. And even gasoline! And in that line of thinking, I'd like to be able to grow a money tree, too. Pure fantasy, just like a garden in my yard would be.
Seriously, though. The rising prices for everything are really scarey. It makes my head swim to try to think of how this has happened. I always thought it was a shame that we have so many huge grocery stores, packed with food. There aren't that many people to buy all that food. And in other parts of the world, people have so little and are starving. So, what happens to all this left over food? But, now, we are hearing of looming food shortages and higher prices. I don't know how much more some people can cut back on things.
Glen Beck, on tv and radio, has been urging people to stock up on food and necessities. He predicts that it is only going to get worse. We may need to all take a cue from Grandma Miles and plant a backyard garden. I'm sure that we would starve, if we had to depend on my gardening. Being a picky eater, I probably wouldn't eat what I could grow anyway.
Saturday June 21
19th World Wide Sketch Crawl
Click on the Sketch Crawl logo at the top of my page, for more information . I hope that everyone will join in and draw their surroundings on Saturday.
Downtown Bryan
Texas Reds Festival
Friday Evening and Saturday
I have a link to the festival below the Sketch Crawl links. Sounds like a lot of fun, and that will give Bryan sketchers even more things to draw. The 4141 locomotive is going to be parked and there will be lots of food, activity, and entertainment.
Please share this with anyone who might be interested.
Let me know if you see something that particularly appeals to you. I appreciate your support and your comments. Most of the work is for sale. Click the contact button and let me know if you are interested in one of my creations.
Thank you to all who have signed my Guest Book and who have joined my group.

1 comment:

BC said...

And, Toot and Grandma Miles were great gardners too!