Appalachia Gardening

Gardening = Satisfaction

the tall woman

Putting up the cow panel bean trellis was a family project. The girls have been helping us garden since they were little. They had a love hate relationship with the garden in those days. It was great to be outside with us, but it wasn’t so fun when the sun was high in the sky and the corn rows were long and weedy.

If we hadn’t made the girls help, like most kids they would have chosen not too. I used to tell them “You’ll be thankful I made you work with us—these memories of helping Pap and your daddy and me will be priceless to you someday.”

A few weeks back Chatter said “My favorite part of gardening is planting the seeds. It always reminds me of Pap telling me how far apart to put them.”

The Deer Hunter told the girls “Growing a garden is one of the most satisfying things you’ll ever do in life. To clear the land, till the soil, plant the seed, harvest and preserve your own food, it just don’t get any better than that.”

As I watched Chitter kiss seeds before laying them in the row I realized The Deer Hunter and I have succeeded in passing on the rewarding tradition of growing a garden to our daughters just as Pap and Granny passed it on to us.


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  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 13, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Genesis 3:19 says, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
    My garden isn’t the Garden of Eden but working in it makes me feel a connection with what’s real. I came from dirt, I will become dirt again and while I live I still draw sustenance from the dirt.

    Dirt is not dirty!

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    May 13, 2020 at 11:36 am

    I’ve always loved growing things. Where I live in the middle of the woods, I can’t grow food, but I can grow flowers and ‘bird plants.’ I guess that’s why we get so many hummingbirds and butterflies. I can hardly wait for farmers’ markets to open back up. I really miss REAL vegetables and fruit.

  • Reply
    May 13, 2020 at 11:11 am

    There are some things that can’t be bought, and somethings that can’t be taught, its either in ya or not, I think us older folks can differentiate the two by looking back on a few things.

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney Jr
    May 13, 2020 at 10:39 am

    I comment you and The Deer Hunter for instilling gardening in the girls. It will serve them well in life. Amazing the excitement of seeing new growth in spring. This brings to mind: PRIMITIVES-For them…They were necessities
    To us…They are Heritage

    • Reply
      Sanford McKinney Jr
      May 13, 2020 at 11:15 am

      COMMEND-Dang spell checker! Maybe? Could have been ME!

  • Reply
    May 13, 2020 at 9:51 am

    If my parents hadn’t taught me how to raise a garden, I’m not sure I would have had the interest in it that has remained with me most of my adult life. My childhood memory of helping in the garden was carrying that big bucket of water from the nearby creek when the plants needed a drink.

  • Reply
    May 13, 2020 at 9:50 am

    You’ve taught your girls well, and they are blessed to have a good family. As my Mama said, “Not everybody has a good family.” You can’t beat food fresh out of a garden!

  • Reply
    May 13, 2020 at 9:35 am

    Tipper, you and your husband are so wise to have had the girls help with the gardening for years. That is a rewarding job they will never forget. Sometimes I glance at the “you might also like” past posts and noticed “Working on a Building – Take 4.” I always loved to hear Elvis sing that gospel song plus I had heard it when I was a teen sung by the Statesman’s Quartet. I must have missed that post so I clicked on it and enjoyed the three takes. They all did a great job with that song. What I noticed in the first with Pap is that he looked over at Chitter and a sweet smile came on his face. You knew how proud he was of her singing and about that same time she looked over at him and her face broke into a radiant smile. How precious! Teaching gardening, canning, cooking or any of life’s values to your daughters is actually “Working on a Building” building on the values you have been taught and teaching it all to them. Good for you and your husband.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    May 13, 2020 at 9:21 am

    Yes!! The memories are priceless. Dad is gone now but I remember the many times I worked with him on the farm. Sometimes it wasn’t any fun but I wouldn’t take anything for those memories now. No doubt Chitter and Chatter will feel the same way someday.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 13, 2020 at 9:17 am

    Like Miss Cindy, I’ve noticed how you all work together. And as I said awhile back, the girls working in the garden when they were small was seeds of character that have grown to now. And I so agree with you about the making of memories. We can easily recognize that our memories are not about how much they cost or how long the thing remembered took. They are mostly snippets of ordinary things. But when things are as they ought to be, their sum us an understanding of how we were and are loved.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    May 13, 2020 at 8:10 am

    The evidence of creating a toil of love is Lil Chitter kissing the seeds before she drops them into the darkness where through their end will come a new plant- it still BLOWS my tiny mind how this can happen. Gardening is a labor of love and in most ways is like raising a family – the seeds of love are planted, the babies come, the work of keeping love alive, the good times, easy times, hard work, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, failure, success, hope, faith and above all forgiving sustaining dependable love. I think that’s why HOME CANNED food tastes the best- it’s made with love- tried and true!!! I’d say you’ve raised 2 very fine daughters and I’d like to thank you for that. Our society needs more love and more feminine qualities admired in times past. But I must say class, chastity, kindness, humility, kindness, compassion, love and respect for others and self will NEVER go out of style in my country Vogue…. Yep Chitter’s a KEEPER!!!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 13, 2020 at 7:33 am

    Tipper–Like the photo accompanying today’s blog, you and Matt, along with Pap and others, are casting a mighty long shadow for the twins. Gardening is indeed wonderfully satisfying, and I look back to the first time Daddy let me help cut up potatoes or trailing along with Grandpa the help hoe out the corn with great fondness. I still derive pleasure from gardening–and gardens past.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 13, 2020 at 6:56 am

    Since I moved here I’ve noticed how much the girls are a part of the gardening process and I’ve been so impressed. I have, in fact, noticed how much you all do everything together. I think you and the Deer Hunter are the very best parents I’ve ever seen. You talk to the girls and in the talking you teach them good solid life values. The life values most kids don’t get these days.
    Good job!!

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