Reaping what we sow

I've had a great week working with Daddy on our garden. You may recall that I said I wanted to learn how to garden this year. I bought a book. I bought some seeds. I wasn't really sure what I was going to grow yet, but I figured I would give it a try. And then my father got involved.

Really my whole family got involved since my brother Perry joined forces too. First we spent all day two weeks ago getting the yard tilled. We had about 14' of garden ready for crops in my back yard. I thought I would grow some tomatoes, some squash, maybe some herbs in a pot. When I got home the other day, Daddy and Perry were planting the last of the tomatoes they were putting in my yard.

There are 24 tomato plants in my back yard.

After Daddy and Perry planted all their tomatoes, they realized they hadn't left much room for my other vegetables. So Daddy came back with the tiller and added another 7.5' to the garden. He also had to add more fencing to keep the dogs (and toddler) from killing the plants inside. And move the gate he created.

So Saturday morning Daddy and I started planting our squash and eggplant and cucumbers. There was a lot of hemming and hawing about what to put where, but we have a decent plan. We are going to experiment with some carrots too this week.

Like so many projects with my father, he does about 75% of the work. But I was there to assist and keep him on target and listen to his stories. It was a joy. He was in the best mood out there in the dirt that I've seen in years. He also said he wished he could find a job that was about as active as this gardening he's been doing because it makes his body feel better too.

When I stopped by their house this afternoon, I got to see Daddy's garden as well. That's when I did a quick count and realized he also had 29 tomato plants in his yard. While I counted this, Perry and Daddy were filling large pots so that Perry could add a dozen tomato plants to his yard.

Let me do the math for you. Our family has 65 tomato plants in progress. We never do anything halfway.

It was funny that my supposed new project of learning to garden has involved watching or helping Daddy do things the way he wanted, but I figured since he lived and worked on a farm he had more experience than I do. And I'm sure I'll have many years one day when I'll have to figure out a garden on my own. But for now I'm happy to play in the dirt with Dad and do things his way. That's what memories are made of.

But I did learn that Daddy has less than zero interest in herbs. So I still get to putter with some plants of my own without him messing in them. I have basil and thyme and cilantro and soon hope to have mint.

And I may have bought three more Roma tomato plants to put by the back door for guacamole. That makes 68 tomato plants then.

We never do anything halfway.

Our garden