Gardening? You’re a farmer | Information, Sports activities, Jobs


It’s almost summer! I enjoyed all of the pre-summer activities including the planting season, lawn mowing season, and gardening season.

These three things are probably some of my favorite pre-summer activities; However, I do love gardening quite a bit. So much fun playing in the dirt, planting plants and then waiting, hoping and even praying that something delicious will come up.

My family has had a garden for as long as I can remember. I originally remember my great-grandparents who had a garden in their yard, but those memories are very vague and fuzzy because I would have been very young back then. The next garden I remember was my grandparents house and there was a big strip of earth behind the barn that grandpa planted and then we ate all summer.

I’m not sure where they bought their plants or how they decided what to plant, but I do remember green beans, peppers, tomatoes of all kinds, zucchini and corn. I’m sure I lost quite a bit of vegetables, but as a kid I remember helping him pull weeds in the garden and plucking bright red jewels from the tomato plants and putting them in my mouth. Those little, sun-warmed rubies were unlike the tomatoes you’d find in the grocery store, and I was obsessed with them.

Green beans were another treat. The crispy crunch of a fresh bean between my teeth was heaven. Watery slices of fresh cucumber made for a welcome change on those burning summer days as we sat on the swing under the pine trees.

Even if those summer days may just be fond memories now, the garden is still there.

As my grandfather got older, it went from a huge patch to a smaller strip, until finally the garden was handed over to my mother. Her yard had a large square garden similar to my grandfather’s. However, hers had to be fenced in to protect it from the deer that visited my mother’s house.

She spent many hours with her in the garden picking ruby-red tomatoes, crispy green beans and watery cucumbers. We also tried to branch out. There was sweet potato for a year, jalapenos for another year, watermelons for another year, and a few more experiments the results of which have been forgotten. This garden not only provided delicious food, but also lifelong lessons in cooking and canning.

Now I have inherited my mother’s huge garden. As you drive past my house, you can see a huge garden plot from this kitchen window. It doesn’t look like much at the moment. My plants are tiny and still growing; My flowers were planted in front of the garden to please passers-by. The garden has expanded – pumpkins, watermelon, corn, four different types of tomatoes, two different types of peppers, okra, Brussels sprouts, green beans, zucchini, strawberries and asparagus. It’s not always nicely manicured, and it looks overcrowded and parched at the end of summer, but it still produces those ruby ​​tomatoes, crispy green beans, and watery cucumbers that are reminiscent of past summers.

So why this journey into garden memory, you ask? Well, gardening is actually farming on a much smaller scale. It’s in the blood. Remember how many of you are excited to come out and play in your backyard filth as soon as the weather turns nice. It’s the same with farmers.

As soon as everything is planted, there is this anticipation of the harvest. For gardening, the question focuses on what do I get first? Do I get a crispy green bean first? A dark green zucchini? A deep red tomato? The same goes for farmers, except they know what they are getting; The question just focuses on how much exactly they are getting on the morning.

When I try to talk to people about why they should join the Farm Bureau, I often get the answer: “Well, I’m not a farmer.” My answer to that answer is to ask if the person is gardening. Often the answer is yes.

Gardening is agriculture; in fact, gardeners are likely the original farmers. But it’s more than that. As the Lorax said, “If someone like you doesn’t care very much, nothing will get better. It is not.” (Dr. Seuss). And this is the truth. It is not just farmers who help shape policy, provide feedback and do outreach work. We all are: farmers, gardeners, amateurs and even eaters.

So, as you prepare to head out into the garden this summer, think about all of the things that go into your garden (memories, plants, fertilizers, work, and love) and think about how to make sure you can pass them can garden memories for the next generation.

Clemson is a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau and holds a PhD from Pennsylvania State University. She and her family farm in Mecca.

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