What we are doing now should prove to anyone that living inside city limits does not mean you cannot have a vegetable garden. The other half found a site a while back that told of a way to grow vegetables in a planter box. I do love a little gardening every now and then. It’s another thing that takes me back home.
During the summer of 1992, my dad decided it would be a great idea to plant 36 fairly long rows of peas. There were crowder peas, purple hull peas, and some other kind. There were also two rows of butter beans. I thought the man had lost his last little bit of mind. I understood the need…I didn’t understand the motivation. It was as if he went pea crazy that year. Of course, we filled up two deep freezers and had some to give away to others, because you know, you are supposed to share the first crop with someone else in the hopes that your future reaping will be bountiful. Just a little bit of neighborly advise there! Anyway, the rows were planted and the work began. There was hoeing to be done (and hoeing there was! LMAO!) and fertilizing to make the most beautiful peas.
I can’t count how many mornings I woke up with my Mom at 6am to go to the field. This was supposed to be my summer break! I was supposed to have fun with friends! Tough shit, country boy. You will pick peas and YOU WILL LOVE IT! OK then, let’s go get this over with. One evening, my Dad drove the truck down to the field and parked it. The next morning, my Mom and I filled the back of the truck, a few buckets, and a few trash bags. I think we got out of the field after 12pm. That was a lot of peas to pick. The only part that was at least somewhat enjoyable was the butter beans. To pick the butter beans, it’s easier to use a 5 gallon bucket. Place the bucket next to the plant you will be harvesting. While sitting on the bucket, you can pick the beans and deposit them into the bucket through the gap in your legs. At that point in my life, a was a bit chunky and sitting down was mainly what I wanted to do.
Shelling the harvest was an all day event. After shelling the purple hulls, your thumbs are left purple and wrinkled. Dad felt there would be a large harvest that year and so bought us an electric pea sheller. Ohhhhh, we were the SHIT! No more hand shelling for us, let me tell ya. One would think this would make things much easier and in some ways, it did get easier. It didn’t take as long to shell a bushel of peas as before. As Mom and Dad were using the sheller, my sister and I and whoever was at the house that day would get a dishpan and shell by hand.
Poor Mom. When the shelling was done, the work of getting them in the freezer began. The peas and beans had to be blanched and then poured onto a table with a fan blowing on them to cool. After cooling, they were placed into freezer bags and arranged into neat stacks in the freezer.
I miss those days of farming now that I am an adult. I am hoping that we can get a good harvest from the vegetables we plant. I, for one, love the taste of fresh veggies from the garden. I would rather have them over anything else. Pictures will be coming later and I will document the progress of our little city garden.