Many of you have been following along as I learn from my grandfather. When I was a young child, he taught me a lot about gardening. During the Depression, he grew food for the family. When he moved to a multi-unit building (in the 60s I think), he petitioned the city to let him garden on a bare patch of land at the end of the street. It was enormous, and he was known as the guy who feeds the whole block. He continued to tend that patch until he moved to a retirement home about 10 years ago.
About a year and a half ago I was talking so much about our garden, and bringing him goodies on occasion, that he got excited and signed up for a garden patch at his community. This spring his name came up on the waiting list, and we planted the garden together.
We planted three tomato plants, which he and Marion have been eating straight from the vine. The tomatoes look beautiful, of course – he has not lost his touch!
Everything we planted is finger-food type veggies: tomatoes, peppers, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, and broccoli. They eat in the cafeteria almost every meal, so these are nice and healthy snacks to eat between meals.
My grandfather was a bit apprehensive as we began planting in the late Spring. He was afraid he’d forgotten how to garden, and looked to me for much guidance. But as I’ve been sick and moving for the last month, he has been tending the garden on his own. It’s clear he’s really enjoying it – the excuse to get out of the house, the feeling of nurturing with his hands in the soil, the freshness and sweetness of the fruit, and the joy of sharing his harvests with friends.
And we’re already talking about what to plant next year – they’ve extended his patch, so he has more room to garden next year. The possibilities!