Fresh Peas, Onions and More

| 3/30/2016 9:32:00 AM

 Connie Mooretilling the garden

With warm weather and robin songs come the sounds of planting. Tillers roaring to life, row stakes being driven in the soft garden soil and moans and groans as unused muscles rebel at the sudden activity. Bending and stretching, we step into spring gardening.

My great-grandpa, George Leach, planted his potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day so there would be new potatoes to cream with fresh peas for Memorial Day supper. He lived just outside Jackson, Ohio, between the town and McKitrick Heights, a little housing development in those days.

The potatoes were planted on the east side of a sandy ridge where they thrived in the well-drained soil and morning sunshine of April and May. The rest of the garden went in around the hills of potatoes.

Great-grandma Elizabeth Leach always insisted on Little Marvel peas going in as soon as possible and then lettuce and onions. As April progressed, green shoots caught their attention as they came out the back door for morning chores.

Just as they divided chores, so too with garden work. Grandma picked the peas, grandpa insisted on digging the potatoes. Care had to be taken to find some of the golf ball or smaller sized potatoes in the hills and yet not disturb the plants. They had to mature and provide the winter store of potatoes for the family.