September 14, 2007


Carol of May Dreams Gardens has invited everyone to write about their very first garden.

You'll love this Carol as you are really into vegetables. At the ripe old age of 10 I was handed the duty of tending the family vegetable garden. Do you know how much fun this was to a 10 year old who just wanted to play dolls ? Well, let me tell you, it was work with a capital W.

An Alabama summer is like no other - a hundred degrees in the shade. But it's a dry heat as they say in Arizona. Dry heat ? Is that something like sticking your head in an oven ?

But, luckily we are also in the States bordering the Gulf of Mexico and usually are blessed with ample rainfall.

So I learned the basics of vegetable gardening - hoeing ( Carol's favorite pastime ) , weeding, fertilizing and harvesting. We start early in Alabama - February or March can be warm enough to plant Spring Onions and Cabbage.

All Summer the vegetables kept coming and what was not eaten was preserved with an average of 100 or more jars of each for winter consumption. My two sisters and I spent many summers canning jars of green beans, pickles, corn, tomatoes, sauerkraut, beets, peaches and apple butter in the cellar.

My childhood revolved around the garden that fed our family of five. By the time I finished high school and headed for the Windy City I thought that I left all that behind. But I am a daughter of the soil and so to the soil I returned.

I was destined to be a gardener but now that I have a choice, I do it for the sheer pleasure of it.


  1. That was a lot of responsibility for such a young child, but it sounds like you were mature for your age and up to the task. I've never done any canning or serious vegetable gardening, but the Alabama heat I can identify with.

  2. I don't think I was particularly mature for my age but I was definitely up to the task. When you live on a farm you either work or you don't eat .

  3. Thanks for posting about your first garden. Did you ever sneak a flower or two in there, just for fun?

    I'm glad I don't rely on just my vegetable garden and preserving the harvest for all my food. I'd starve!

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  4. Hi Carol,

    I didn't know much about flowers back then. I recall that we had plenty of wildflowers growing in the meadows nearby -in particular, goldenrod.


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