This is my tenth A to Z Challenge. My first was in 2013, but I missed 2021. This April I am going through the alphabet using snippets about my family through the generations.

My grandfather working in his garden with my cousin Dee Dee. 1945
My mother looking at her corn at the first Old Plank Garden in 1961.
Me in my garden 1994

The Real Garden

Kristin Cleage

Our garden this year has been great, best I’ve had in years. Jim Tulani, James and Cabral got up a fence in early June that keeps the dogs from rolling around in the beds. Jim brought several pickup loads of horse manure from a local horse owner soon after the fence went up. He also roto-tilled several planting beds that were over grown and made a large double bed for the corn.

I got it planted soon after, before weeds could take over again and mulched everything heavily…the hay was here on time. We got all of this done pretty much before I started working. The beginning of the summer was hot and dry, so I watered. It soon changed to hot and wet, wet, wet. Now it’s cooling off and raining pretty well.

We’ve been eating summer squash, plenty of green beans (freezing some too.), collards, broccoli, swiss chard. The corn is tassling and there’s enough of it this year that you can hear it rustling in the wind. The pumpkins and winter squash may make it before frost if they hurry. Lots of green tomatoes, onions and red beans. The only down side so far is that the beans I planted with the corn (I even let the corn get up good before I planted them this year.) turned out to be bush beans and not Kentucky Wonder climbers. Looks kind of strange having those bush beans growing around the bottom of the corn.

I plan to put in lettuce, mustard, turnip and transplant kale as soon as the beans give out and by putting plastic over the pipes I bent over them, to eat from the garden up until Thanksgiving.

And next year with the fence already up, maybe I’ll really get some plants started and out early and have potatoes. The tomatoes Ayanna started this year look good. I did dream we had a killing frost a few nights ago, but I hope it was just a dream, I mean, it’s only August? No killing frost in August, even in the North woods, right?

The Ruff Draft May/June 1994 page 5

Today I did two G posts, unawares. The other is G- Glimpses in Detroit’s Mirror!

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter G

14 thoughts on “G – GARDENING

  1. You should make a garden collage! I remember those amazing gardens growing up… The snow on the plastic pushed aside to harvest greens for Thanksgiving dinner and enjoying your frozen green beans in the winter. I remember having my own little plot and growing different things. One year snow peas and apparently tomatoes that are featured in this post! The herbs we could just walk out of the kitchen and snip for a spaghetti or roasting a chicken ???? wonderful gardens!

  2. Clearly you come from a gardening family!
    I loved your write-up. Enough corn to “hear it rustling in the wind”–beautiful. Yyou were busy but it sounds as if you loved it. When was the first killing frost up there in those days? When we lived in Winchendon, MA in the 1980s it would come as early as the third week in April.

    1. Yes I did love it. Surely the first killing frost couldn’t come in April!
      Our last killing frost would be in May and the first killing frost would usually come in September. We would then run around pulling the tomato vines, putting plastic on the porch to shield the dogs, etc. etc. It always seemed to catch us with a last minute rush.

  3. Your family are very productive gardeners. My grandfather and also my father-in-law hd productive vegetable gardens. Your garden by the lake has a most beautiful setting.

    1. It really was. We started out with pure sand and turned it to good dirt with loads of manure from farms in the area. It was the best garden ever and I miss it still.

  4. Your garden looks amazing. What a productive crop you had. My family didn’t do vegetable growing, mainly roses and gerberas. We’ve grown some veggies and herbs with varying success.

    1. After my grandfather and parents moved into a two family flat, there was very little room for a garden. I lived near the farmer’s market and one day I bought some tomato plants for them. My mother and grandfather planted those and then planted beans and corn all over the yard. One of my best gifts ever.

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