My parents always had a big garden in our back yard in Virginia. Like pretty much everything they achieved, it was a lot of hard, unglamorous work done cheerfully and without bragging. We four helped a tiny bit, but mostly just the two of them managed to produce and store a year’s worth of tomatoes, corn, beans, raspberries, squash, and more I can’t even recall now.
So, I’ll confess, I’ve made fun of home gardening’s recent “it”-ness. Heirloom seeds in artisanal letterpress packets. Tools handmade by Brooklyn blacksmiths (really! Brooklyn!). Low f-stop blog photography recording it all.
It’s easy to disdain.
But that at which we roll our eyes will win us, in the end.
My youngest begged for seeds at Home Depot. We popped them in the dirt.
We were instantly obsessed. Would they sprout? Would moles or birds devour them first? Would rabbits claim whatever survived to surface? We checked the garden last thing before school every morning, and first thing every afternoon. Weeks passed. Then one day — miracle! — peas and broccoli broke through.
Joy. We sent photos to bemused friends and relatives. And kept our vigil.
On the day we left for the summer, we ate these peas straight from the pod. Nothing ever tasted better.
And today we harvested carrots, too.
Excellent side dish when eating your words.