KY: YERTmama’s first foray into growing food in the backyard…

Mom has always had flowers, since I can remember, which she took very good care of: lilies, iris, tulips, pansies…

But Dad planted a garden, with radishes, carrots, beans, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, canteloupe, pumpkins, even corn! I remember the first time we all helped him seed…and the first time we pulled up the mutant carrots… But Dad cared about that garden as well as for it. He watered it, tended it, and then we would bring in the bounty. Only thing was, Dad didn’t cook. And neither, really, did Mom. I am trying to remember eating this gorgeous bounty but, aside from swallowing soggy things boiled in bacon and salt water, which is how you “prepare” vegetables in the South, I do not recall ever eating any of these wonderful fruits of our labor at anything near their natural form…

Today, Mom and I had to go buy a tea kettle to replace hers that started spewing water all over the stove. On the way home, we had to wait for a train so we killed time at St Matthews Feed & Seed store. I thought to myself: It’s now or never, and walked straight over to the tomato plants. Real food. Plants you can grow which make no garbage and keep giving you food. It’s miraculous! I have grown plenty of plants in my house but, other than herbs, I have never bought and planted plants to grow food for my family. This is a first! We bought cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, cilantro, lemon mint, and seeds to start green beans.

“You don’t know if any of these seeds are GMO?” I asked the store lady. “Huh?” “Genetically modified – these are just seeds right, they haven’t been messed with or anything?” She looked at me like I was asking her to bicycle to the moon so I took our little packet of seeds and thanked her, then we paid and skedaddled. The little plants are waiting hopefully outside in their pots for the day, coming soon, when I will put them in the real ground for them to take root and start really growing…like the baby in my belly…

We can grow things. That’s amazing.

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