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    Eating the Fruit of a Novice Gardener

    So I’ve never had a garden before, and let me tell you that last night in my salad I had sugar snap peas that were raised in my own backyard. It’s amazing to me that you can do stuff like this!

    Of course I realize that farmers grow food, it goes to market and I buy it there. But the whole process has been a bit of a mystery to me up to now.

    Terry my aide was instrumental in this whole thing. She, of course, has a green thumb and has beautified my home with a potted palm, dieffenbachia plants, aloe vera gone wild, and various Christmas Cacti. She also planted lilies, sunflowers and Herman did his two bits transplanting a lilac tree that originally comes from his grandfather’s farm and has yet to blossom.

    But this year, Terry started something new. She put up a trellis with strings and planted pea pods and sugar snap peas that climb up strings she has at intervals. This must be where the whole Jack and the Beanstalk thing came from. When she was planting the peas I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about the whole thing. When they started coming up, I was amazed.

    First of all, our soil here, according to Terry, is very sandy and mostly composed of construction fill from building the house. It certainly isn’t pH balanced, vitamin enriched soil. But I’m here to tell you from experience that it bears veggies.

    Now Herman, having been raised on a farm, tells me he’s had gardens for years. He was amused at my amazement. He tells me how his mother once planted a quarter acre of green beans and they had canned green beans for five years. It’s the reason he doesn’t care for green beans today.

    On his farm, Herman tells me they even had an orchard with apple trees, pear trees and plum trees, but we aren’t going that far. We especially aren’t going to talk about his relatives coming to visit from the city and picking and eating too many nearly ripe plums in his back yard. He tells me there was a problem in that his old farmhouse only had one bathroom.

    He also tells me that when his elderly cousin, Knut, who is no longer with us sadly, lived upstairs at the farmhouse, he added another bathroom for his convenience. Having two bathrooms in old farmhouses was quite a luxury and he’s especially proud of this. Anytime I question his handyman skills, he always refers to the famous bathroom he once installed. His daughter, Hermanette likes to mock him about this, bowing with outstretched arms and intoning, “O, great bathroom installer Dad.”

    So this concludes my story about being a novice, first time gardener, or at least eating the fruits of it. Sorry about the whole bathroom digression. Sometimes this kind of thing just happens.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"