Appalachia Gardening

Getting To Walk In The Garden

Har the garden

Chitter was out gallivanting on Saturday. So she missed out on all the hurried work that took place when we cleared Pap’s garden off. She missed out on some of the fun too.

Face on a tree

Like the face we found on a tree near the creek.

Talking and loafing

She missed the latest news-brought to us by Uncle Steve and The Deer Hunter.

Wild bill and his antics

She missed the always comical antics of Wild Bill.

Spring tonic

But most of all she missed walking in a fresh plowed field. The tractor hadn’t even made 2 lengths of the field before Chatter started asking if she could walk in the garden barefoot once he was finished.

Walking in paps garden

By the time the tractor was finished plowing and talking between the men had commenced-the boots had been shucked and the cell phone forgotten-at least for a while.

Walking in paps big garden

And off she went to feel the cold dirt between her toes and see what treasures the plow had unearthed.

Nc dirt

She came back to show me her finds-like the black as coal dirt she found.

Type of grub worm

Some kind of squiggly grub worm.

Round rock

And 2 interesting rocks-one was round and smooth-Chatter wondered if it was an Indian artifact-but it was just a creek rock.

Walking barefoot in the spring

Chatter sent her sister a picture of her feet-so she’d know what she was missing out on. I think it’s only fair that Chatter got to walk in the garden first. Some of you may remember-last year when the garden was plowed Chatter had been sick and I wouldn’t let her get in it-even though she was feeling better.

So last year was Chitter’s chance to run through the garden while we all watched-this year was Chatter’s.



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  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks for the memories. I had forgotten the feel of cool newly turned earth beneath bare feet til your story. And I noticed you used one of our dad’s words “gallivanting” in your story. Now if you use the words “primp” and “argee” (his word for argue), it’ll be almost like he’s here with us again. LOL
    God bless.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    This post makes me want to shuck my shoes and run out to my freshly plowed garden. The day I plowed it was too cold for shoe shucking. But when I plow again just before planting I will be shucking my shoes and reliving my childhood. LOL

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    OH I love the smell of the fresh dirt, I feed the grubs/bugs to my dogs! Spring is the best ever, my favorite season as it is the promise of more to come.
    I enjoyed the face in the tree, I see these and always wonder if others can see them. Oh the stories those trees could tell.

  • Reply
    teresa atkinson
    March 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Oh – that fresh plowed dirt smell……
    love it.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Ahhh your girls have all the fun! No one is allowed to walk on fresh till here, but they can walk on the soil that spills in the aisle ways, not quite the same I’m sure! But definitely tillin’ time is a good time!

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    March 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

    You put up the best posts. It never seems to amaze me.. I just wish I could remember enough about things to post like you..

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    How do you know Chitter was out gallivanting and not scooter pooting?

  • Reply
    Barb Wright
    March 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    How great the smell of freshly plowed ground. I have always been a fact I live on the family farm. We rarely,if ever get to go into the field this early. We are too far north. Today,tho’was warm and we got alot of cleaning up and hauling manure.I’ve been busy making maple syrup..but the warm weather has put an end to that. Also,I love the term “har”!! Up here we say disc. Funny how a few hundred miles make such a difference!

  • Reply
    March 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    dirty feet and toes! spring is comin’!

  • Reply
    Jen Y
    March 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I remember wanting to run through the garden after it was harrowed. I used to sneak in & it felt so wonderful! My dad always forbid us to walk in it because it compressed the soil. He marked the rows & only then were we allowed to run down between them.
    Our garden soil was so soft that once after a rain my mom went out to pick something & sank so far she got stuck! My older sister had to help pull her out & she lost her shoe deep in the garden. LOL Every y ear after that she’d wonder if her shoe would get plowed up. We never saw it again.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I read through the comments just now and came to the conclusion that Bradley is Shirla’s ex-husband. He says his drivers license picture looks like that big old knot and she thinks it looks like her ex.
    My drivers license picture looks more like the grub worm.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    March 12, 2012 at 11:30 am

    There is nothing like the feel of ‘mother earth’ under your feet. Great fun!

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    March 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

    There is nothing like sinking one’s feet and hands into freshly turned soil – ahhh… Mama Earth!

  • Reply
    Darlene LaRoche
    March 12, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Nothing like the smell of fresh plowed dirt….brings back memories of childhood.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 12, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Makes my feet itch to get into the dirt. As a child that is exactly what I would have done. At my granddad’s there were almost always Indian arrowheads turned up with the plowing. Those were real prizes.
    Is that stars painted on Chatter’s toenails?
    Thanks Ethelene for the poem.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Ahhh, can smell it. Nothing better. Took my axe and spent the day Saturday chopping up a maple I had cut down last year. Splitting wood (with an axe) is good therapy.

  • Reply
    Jon Freis
    March 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I believe that’s a June bug in the 2nd year stage of it’s 3 year cycle (1st year is a white grub, 2nd year is a white grub with brown head, 3rd year is a June bug). The grub feeds on the fine roots of trees. Not a problem for big old trees, but a lot of grubs can kill young trees. The grub is what the skunks dig up and eat in the hayfield and on the lawn. So, next time you see where the skunks dug, thank them for lowering the grub population and saving the trees. Fishermen take a shovel there and dig them up for bait.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Mom would never let us go barefoot until May 1st. It didn’t matter if it was snowing…that was the magical date. After that, up until fall, shoes were only worn when we went somewhere important. The garden had been plowed at least a month before we tossed our shoes causing us to miss out on all the fun.
    The face on the tree looks like my ex-husband!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 12, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Love the smell of fresh or just rained on dirt~!
    Doesn’t the word “Galavanting” put images in your mind? I see someone just skipping and twirling along in a grassy meadow. My mother and now me used the word all the time.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2012 at 8:48 am

    The smell of freshly-turned earth…mmmmm. One of my earliest memories, and something to relish each Spring.
    We’re now having some of the cold weather that got lost in January and February, so the ground is frozen solid again. I feel sorry for my goat, who just took off all her “winter underwear” a little too soon.

  • Reply
    Ed Myers
    March 12, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I love reading all the comments to your pieces, Tipper, but Spring seems to bring out the best, as Spring is want to do. B. Ruth’s reminisce, Ms. Jones’ poem, Bradley’s sally and all the rest.
    With the young lady’s anointing, may your harvest be long and plenty.

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    March 12, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Lucky, lucky! I will be so happy when things dry out a bit more so we can get our garden ready to plant.
    We had rain again yesterday, so that set us back again, but soon…

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    March 12, 2012 at 8:39 am

    The smell of fresh turned dirt and walking in it can’t be beat! Love the face. Guess a person has to be more observant when walking around.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2012 at 8:35 am

    ah the feel of fresh plowed dirt on the feet that does bring back memories, we used to chase the little field mice around the field, i still plant my little garden out back, we live in the city now, you guys are lucky to still be in the mountains, my grandmother said your always closer to god when your in the hills and mountains, i truly believe that god bless you all. danny

  • Reply
    March 12, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I adore feeling the dirt between my toes. too!

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    March 12, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Oh I can remember some of the best times running through my Papa’s newly plowed gardens. He didn’t like it too much, but Mam-ma said we could so we all ended up with red/orange feet. “Gallivanting” is fun too. Haven’t heard that word in a while. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    March 12, 2012 at 8:17 am

    That looks like so much fun…I used to love walking thru the fresh tilled warm soil…When I would plant, I never used gloves, I loved my hands in the dirt, stirring it around, making little mounds, planting seed and making small dams around the seeds…until the ground warmed up enough to put mulch on them…
    I see you found a Green Man near your garden…a sign of renewal…
    Do you still have your green man mask on your porch?
    Great pictures and post Tipper..

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    March 12, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Oh, Tipper, Chatter and all the early-spring Blind Pig gang (except Chitter who was gallivantin’ [I hope her day away compensated for what she missed at home!]. I could not refrain from a little verse to commemorate Spring Plowing and Chatter’s bare feet in the soil. It all took me back to memories of the delight of that new-turned earth and the prospect of a garden! I’ve borrowed the first line from a poem by Emily Dickinson, “I never hear the word escape,” so I want to give her credit for that line. Anyway, here’s what I wrote about Chatter’s Saturday experience of bare feet in new-turned garden soil:
    “I never hear the word escape”
    Except I think of new-plowed ground,
    The soil turned up by early plow
    And all the treasures therein found.
    The loam itself, a warming bed
    To sink bare toes within,
    And little critters, unearthed now
    That rest upon my hand.
    The pebbles washed upon the land
    From some far-distant flood
    Are polished gray, collector’s piece,
    Memento found, I’ll frame in wood.
    But best of all this treasure
    Turned up in early spring:
    The promise of a garden’s yield
    That summer’s bounty will bring.
    by Ethelene Dyer Jones

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    March 12, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Wonderful photos! Going barefoot in the good clean earth is the best.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Dang, Tipper! That image on the tree looks jist’ like that guy on my drivers license.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Lucky Lucky Chatter being able to walk in the dirt my feet are very envious—-it will probably be weeks yet till I am able to do that–so do it once again for me.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    March 12, 2012 at 7:13 am

    The tree face looks to me like a hoot-owl with a big head.

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    March 12, 2012 at 6:40 am

    I can remember as a kid walking in the freshly plowed fields and finding arrowheads. Such simple pleasures : )

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