A few months ago, This writer was invited to join the facebook group, The Southern Gardener, which was begun by Sandra Cobler Hammon, who states that she has had organic gardens on and off for 37 years. At present the group has 276 members and is steadily growing. The members, consisting of hobby gardeners to professional gardeners, are very helpful.
Sometimes gardeners cannot explain their passion for growing things, but I think Sandra Cobler Hammon sums it up nicely:
'My Summer Love Affair'
"I have to admit, I didn't plan for this to happen. Nor did I plan on it turning into an obsession. It was supposed to be a summer fling like so many others before. But this time, it was different. And while it lasted, I was completely overcome with the pleasure it brought me.
Before I go any further, let me put your mind at rest and tell you.....I'm talking about my garden. My thirty by fifty foot garden that my wonderful husband lovingly tilled several times over so that I would have soil finely sifted just so. He even made beautiful rows to surprise me. Now, how could I ever cheat on a man like that? He also had the patience all summer to know that when I disappeared, I would likely be hidden away for, at the very least, a couple of hours.
This was the first time I'd started seeds indoors. My plan was not only to save money, but have a winter project that would hopefully be fruitful in the months to come. Perhaps that's why it meant so much to me. When you pack those little seeds into their spagnum moss mounds, water and cover them to create a little world of their own, and then see sprouts in a few days, you just can't help but grin from ear to ear knowing there's hope in your plan.
And so it went. The rows were beautifully spaced and the plants were in their new homes for the summer. That's when the 'love affair' really started. The rest had just been flirting around with the idea that something might actually happen. When each plant started responding to my every touch, I knew there was a connection. Silly, you say? Maybe so. But I have a feeling it was very close to the feeling God had when He touched creation and it responded to His command. So often I would think of Dorothy Frances Gurney's poem, 'God's Garden' as a verse reads:
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
Some people admit to talking to their plants occasionally. I must confess, I did that on a daily basis. Walking down into that little piece of heaven and loudly proclaiming, "Good morning, Garden. You look gorgeous today!", I'd venture to say I quickly became our neighbors annoying substitute for an alarm clock. As the blossoms started appearing and the bees starting buzzing with excitement, it was evident I had started something that had begun to have life. Even the wasp knew they were welcomed companions along with the lady bugs. When you grow an organic garden, you learn very quickly what to respect and leave alone to do their job, and what advesaries to get rid of. In other words, the difference between 'the good guys' and 'the bad guys'.
The summer months passed as the harvest was gathered daily. My bones were weary and my skin was tanned, but my heart was as proud as proud could be. I've minced, diced, sliced, canned, and frozen every piece of produce that grew and I've loved every minute of it. I knew I had done my best and was being rewarded for it. The fact it was pesticide-free was not only beneficial to my family, but to the environment as a whole. And for that, I am very pleased.
There is still some gatherings from those unrelenting vines which will hang on until frost. But for the most part, it's time to put an end to this summer love affair. At least until January. I hope my husband understands when I tell him how much I'd love for it to be an extra six feet on each end. He'll give a dramatic sigh, but then smile. I think he likes the results."
Sandra also invites other gardeners to join the facebook group, The Southern Gardener at https://www.facebook.com/groups/bloomwhereURplanted/
In the next article of Memphis Organic Gardening, learn how to build worm beds for great natural fertilizer. So, until next time "KGO" (Keep Growing Organic).