Posted on 15 January 2013 by

Old-Time Gardening

Photo Credit: ArtJournalEveryDay: June 4+5 by ArtJournalEveryDay: June 4+5 used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

No one really appreciates what an old-time gardener went through when it comes to garden preparation.

Especially, if one did not own a horse.

So this year, I have decided to teach this history to some of my young garnders.

This lesson is going to start with their holiday gift.

So way I went to the store. Not the clothing store but instead a non-traditional type of store for my holiday shopping. The store I refer to is what I call a feed and seed. Since I support my community businesses, I choose to go to my local feed and seed.

While there, I pick up some manpowered tools. A garden spade and garden fork along with some garden clogs are on my list of items to get. Along with these items, I get some gardening gloves and a hat to keep the sun out of their eyes. They will really need the gardening gloves and hat because this garden project is going to take some time.

My next stop is to my local discount store, where I pick up a journal for each one of my gardeners. We are going to document this process and hopefully this will be a record that they will share with their future family.

At this point, you may wonder what this gift is going to be and what it is going to be used for. Well, this year, my young gardeners and I are going to create an old-fashioned garden. No tiller or horse, no straw bale or lasagna garden, and no container or raised bed gardening will be allowed. Instead, a garden created by pure human power and determination will be grown this year. Why, one may ask?

This is not a project to prepare one for the projected “end of the earth or mankind” but instead it is to really reconnect to our food production system. We as a society have gotten so used to these modern day ways of growing food that we have become disconnected from the truth. Farming takes work, time and effort to be successful. Even when one works 18 hours a day, sometimes the outcome is not what one hoped and Mother Nature throws us a curveball. If you do not believe this, consider this past year’s corn yield. The drought raised food prices and there was nothing we could do but pay the price.

In response to this, I plan to teach my young gardeners how to grow an old-fashioned garden. While this technique will not protect crops from disease, drought or flooding, it will help my young gardeners to learn what it really means to be a farmer.

So away I go with my wrapped garden supplies for my young gardeners, I cannot wait to see their faces when they open their garden spade and garden fork. I bet this will be a holiday they never forget.

Until we blog again, may the holiday season bring you health and wealth throughout the year.

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