Garden Poor to Garden Rich

| 8/14/2015 3:10:00 PM

Tags: Gardening, Depression Years, Food Supply, Friendship, Gene Stratton-Porter, Stewed Tomatoes, Sharing Our Bounty, Planting A Garden, Medway Ohio, Connie Moore,

Connie MooreYesterday a friend in my hometown of Medway, Ohio, emailed me to catch up a little on our lives. She lamented how she felt poor for not having a garden this year to walk out to and gather vegetables. I thought about that feeling – feeling poor at not having a garden.

No doubt, that is what drove my mother to plan her gardens even when she couldn’t work them herself. Gardens to her generation meant more than just some nice corn or tomatoes on the table come picnic time. They were months of food, a kind of living security blanket for the family. You weren’t poor if you had food.

Then, I felt poor. Realizing I would never share the joy and security of my mother’s shared gardens was depressing. This year would be one without those gardens for a number of family and friends.

Friends Bob and MaryAnn do have gardens though, raised beds that are thriving this summer. When they shared large, sweet-spicy Burpee Supersteak tomatoes with us, the likes of which I had never tasted, I felt relieved of some of my poorness. The tomatoes were refreshing. But that is not enough of a word for it. They felt good going down and then some.

It seemed I couldn’t get enough of them. Ice cold, they soothed something deep down like a medicine being poured on a wound. Then, I realized the sweet, soothing taste and the feeling in the pit of my stomach were things I had once read about.

James Lewis MacFarlane, a soldier from the Great War, was on his way to a slow death by means of shrapnel and rampant infection. Only by walking away from the one place he felt he had a right to, did he save his life.

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