I have been gardening for a long time.
When you get asked how we gardened 30 years ago , of course it gives you an idea for a blog... !
Back then I was freshly married and living in Mexico in a German Mennonite village.
When my family came to visit it reminded them of Poland and the villages where they had grown up.
The most impressive part of living in the Mennonite village was watching them make these huge gardens in their front yard. The whole family would be out there planting potatoes, seeding, hoeing and the endless watering using the row method of letting the water slowly go down one row and then the next. What I loved was seeing rows of flowers in between the vegetable rows. Mostly Marigolds, Zinnias and sometimes the most beautiful Dahlias and Gladiolas. One crop they used I was not familiar with... the Castor Bean Plant. Once I found out that this was the same plant the Bible mentions in Jonah , I was impressed with it and used it often to tell the story of Jonah to the Sunday School kids.
Doing a bit of research here at Blumenflor we found out that back when Grandma was making her garden she was also teaching her children the necessity of planting flowers for pollination of the vegetables by bringing in the bees through flowers. Another interesting find was why the Castor Bean plant was also in the garden, it apparently repels rabbits! It is a toxic plant but the children were taught to not eat the beans. So much was maybe considered Tradition back then but yet it was a way of life that served the German community well.
Once it was time to harvest the bounty from the garden the family then learned to can and preserve. If you would ask how many 1 quart jars of Tomato Catsup was needed for a family of 8 , you would get the answer just like that. Everything was mentally calculated at the time of seeding and many a prayer went up that the crop would do well. The garden was a necessity in those days.
I feel we are going back to those earlier years of gardening. Looking at the rate of new gardeners and their commitment to carry on another year is encouraging.
The family legacy of gardening , canning, preserving was on the brink of going lost but is now finding it's way back into our communities. There is always a silver lining during hard times.
I loved making gardens back then and talking over the fence with my neighbour about how the beans are coming along and if we had enough "Pepper Kraut" Summer Savory to make "Schubbel Sup" Bean Soup.
Not only the women were good gardeners but the men, being farmers, would look after the fields of corn and the home apple orchard.
When the field corn was in its "milk" stage the the tamales were made. That was always a gathering of neighbours and friends.
Reminiscing about 30 years ago has brought back wonderful memories! May we keep on passing down the tradition of gardening, it is worth it!
Check out our online store where you can get your seeds and potting mix to start that garden.