Our little one planted a lot of bean and squash seeds over spring break.
I led with the corn, placing the seeds twelve inches apart down each row, and she dropped a bean seed next to each one. We alternated on the squash seeds, twenty-four inches apart down the long rows, first her, then me, dropping the seeds.
As we planted, I wondered if she contemplated the lush garden this would become, or only the mechanics of pushing seeds into the soil. But then one morning, as she took handfuls of rattlesnake beans out of her coat pockets, she said, “Daddy, is this the one that goes like this?” and her finger spiraled into the air, like a bean vine winding up a corn stalk trellis.
“Yes! Very good,” I said.
Later, as we walked down the rows, she showed me her handful of blue seeds, and said, “Is this the one that goes like this?” and her hand trailed in big sweeps along the ground, toward the lake, tracing future watermelon vines.
“No, the seeds look the similar, but these are the ones that grow like this,” I said, and formed a big bush. “This one makes the little yellow squash with the crooked necks. Do you remember those?”
She looked at the seeds and nodded.
It should not surprise me that she remembers her plantings. At age four, when I asked her one evening what she wanted for dinner, she said she couldn’t remember what it was called, but she could show me. She took me all the way out to a garden, and pointed to collard greens. She had planted those very collard seeds in that very garden.
“Are you sure you want these for supper?” I said. She said definitely yes. We brought them in and Kayla cooked them with her wonderful collard recipe, and the little one ate all the collards we gave her.
Kayla started teaching her to bake bread at age three. Now, with minimal coaching, and a little help kneading, she can make a pretty decent loaf of bread. She is getting close to really good pancakes–although very choclate-chip-rich if left to herself.
She is five. Our planting days were long. It was cold in the morning, and hot by the afternoon. We ate picnic lunches out by the gardens, and gave the left-over peanut butter and banana sandwiches to Bando. The work never felt like drudgery; only joy.
When she would get tired, she would sit on her blanket and practice spelling, or color pictures for Kayla, or play with Bando. Bando never leaves her side. He stays close, wherever she goes, to keep her safe.
I wonder if she will remember these days, what we planted. I hope she remembers.
Hi Justin! I love reading your blogs! Always very well written, interesting and makes me smile! So awesome you & Kayla get to spend great quality time with your daughter! Thank you for sharing!
Best to you and Kayla! It’s so wonderful to see (through your blogs) how beautiful your life together is. You work hard! Enjoy!
Thank you very much Michelle! Every day with Kayla is the happiest day of my life. I am amazed at how the Lord has blessed our family.
I am wishing your family the very best! Thank you for your kind words!
Beautiful story! I posted it on facebook!
Thank you Linda! Have a wonderful day!
If more children could experience the wonder of growing your own food, we may start to change the thinking in our food diets. Thank you for sharing your life stories from down on the farm.
Thank YOU! It is so interesting to see the farm through eyes of a child; the wonder and newness and change it brings to them. Hopefully, we are planting some wholesome values, as well as good produce! Thank you so much for your nice words!
I absolutely love this Jay! So touching! What a great dad you are! Not to mention what a beautiful and smart niece I have! Love y’all!!!
Hello Mel! YOU are a great aunt! Well, not a great-aunt, but you know what I mean! Also, you are a great sister. I love you, Mel!
all these posts will make a great book!
Thank you so much Lu! Have a wonderful day!
I won’t have the materials to start my garden for 2-3 more weeks. In the meantime my housemate wants to spray the backyard with a commercial herbicide to make the rest of the lawn (mostly weeds) look healthy. I want to plant the vegetable garden organic and also plant native plants on the rest of the yard. Is there an herbicide I can make or buy that will not harm? And, so I can explain to her, what would be the harm of a commercial herbicide. Pardon if you have already covered this somewhere. I haven’t had time to read your whole website yet. A link would suffice if you have already covered it.
I think you are doing a wonderful service for our environment and to make people healthier! Thanks so much!