This year for the first time, my boys decided—with some structured leading—to plant and cultivate their own crops aside from those in our farm fields. It began with a strange request. …
This year for the first time, my boys decided—with some structured leading—to plant and cultivate their own crops aside from those in our farm fields.
It began with a strange request. “Do you have any old straw bales?” their babysitter asked. I did in fact have some old bales to spare, and was only mildly curious at the time as to the purpose of the request.
A few days after bringing those bales home, she asked again, and I obliged with increasing suspicion.
It really wasn’t a secret, but as it turned out, the request was for the benefit of my progeny. She planned to construct a small raised bed using the bales as a perimeter, and intended to fill the middle with extra compost and soil from her main garden.
If I haven’t said it before in my columns, Mrs. Snow is a blessing of the highest degree.
After preparing the beds, she started a few pumpkins with the boys during their days with her, and eventually transplanted the pumpkins into the newly formed garden bed in her yard.
Over the summer, I watched as the vines from the three or four plants slowly took over the better portion of her lawn. Eventually they fruited a few small pumpkins, which began to grow.
Many days as I would come by to pick the boys up, I would be led away by tiny hands on our way back to the truck. They wanted to show me their pride in the great yellow green globes that eventually turned to orange in the cool of the dwindling summer.
There were more than a few times when it occurred to my boys that we should pick the pumpkins. Excitement, impatience, call it what you will. But after many months of patience—which is a feat for a two- and a four-year-old—Mrs. Snow said it was time to reclaim her lawn.
Having reached weights of around 65 pounds, give or take, there were about six or so actual pumpkins. Rorick and Walker each took the time to choose their favorites, and the remaining giants stayed to decorate Mrs. Snow’s porch.
After lifting meat and working on my feet all day I wasn’t enthused to pick and carry two massive pumpkins for the boys, testing my weary resolve.
Complaints aside, I was excited for them and was amused at the indecision and stress caused by having to choose one pumpkin over another. I loaded each into the truck, one in the bed and the other strapped into the passenger seat.
I then proceeded to hear all about how much skill it took to grow these pumpkins as we drove home; my oldest recounted his horticultural achievements.
Home they went and on the porch they plopped, soon to be the subject of perhaps another adventure as we near the time of sculpting them.
The way out here there’s nothing sweeter than witnessing the discovery of passion, especially in one’s children. They may have a lot to learn about gardening, but at their age it is satisfying to see them reach success in any way possible.
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