Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Harvest of Memories

Mom always maintained a large garden.
Hmmm . . . let me reword.
Mom always maintained a humongous, gargantuan, colossal, huge, enormous, vast, giant, mammoth (that's all the big words I can think of right now) garden.
Better.
Okay, well, that's how it appeared to us kids.
I will admit, here, that my help during the weeding and hoeing was minimal.
Mostly my nimble fingers came into play during the shelling and snapping.
And the rest of me got very involved with the eating.
Ahem . . .
Mom and the older kids would come in from the garden with bushel baskets of freshly-picked peas and/or beans.
Us kids would find comfortable spots on the lawn in the shade of the huge pines. Each would have a bowl which we would replenish now and again from the central stock. Chris would turn on her radio.
And we would shell/snap. And talk.
Sometimes the talk would get quite serious. For example, it was while my older sister and I were shelling peas that she explained the facts of life to me.
True story.
At other times, we would get very animated and silly, quoting heavily from Mad Magazine or one of our favourite movies.
The hot sun.
The cool shade.
The soft grass.
The top 40 on the radio.
The smell of pine and sage and green, growing things.
Occasional snitches of deliciousness from my bowl.
My brothers and sisters around me.
It is one of my most treasured memories . . .
Today is the first harvest from this year's garden.
We picked peas, beans, beets and rhubarb.
And the next generation got involved in the processing.
Here's to many more years of gardening.
And a whole new passel of memories.
Snapping.
Shelling.
Heaven.


14 comments:

  1. Ah yes......sweet peas warm from the garden,......oh wait.....you were wanting them for something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heehee! If any of them made it to the house . . . bonus!

      Delete
  2. Always loved shelling peas ... except the year or two where there was a little infestation problem ...

    But we won't think about that. We'll think about sweet peas straight from the pod and how good they taste! And yellow beans. Mm-mm-mm. Aren't you lucky to have all those helpers! Teach 'em young, and they'll always have that skill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Butter beans!! Oh yum. I once grew so many I supplied in-laws and friends for weeks.

      Delete
    2. I'm counting on them learning their gardening skills so well that gramma can finally retire! :)
      Heehee, River! Beans for all!

      Delete
  3. I am hoping my next place will have space for a garden... I really want to grow my own vegetables... I love how much fresher they are ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved this story because of having such a sweet family moment. I remember shelling peas with my grandmother. I didn't have a sister; which was sad for me; I always wanted one. My brothers were 6 and 9 years older. I did pick potatoes with them on our farm.
    Blessings for share this lovely story~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely memory of your grandmother! Sad that you missed out on 'sister time'. Of course it wasn't always affable . . . :)

      Delete
  5. Our garden didn't do well this year but since it was experimantal new to SC soil and extra high temps. Hubby says it will be better next year. We might have gotten 3 tomatoes and a bowl of green beans!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A tiny harvest is still a harvest! Here's to next year! :)

      Delete
  6. I almost felt I was there, shelling and snapping along with you.
    My mum always had a garden too, not too huge, but big enough to feed us. I remember planting and a bit of weeding, but harvesting was done by mum, I guess while we were at school, because I don't remember picking anything until I had my own garden. I did learn to shell peas at the kitchen table though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shelling peas. One in the bowl. Two in the mouth. Mmmmm. :)

      Delete
  7. Thanks for prompting some wonderful childhood memories of picking, shelling and preserving. My green thumb is blacker than my mothers, so unfortunately my garden harvests are too small to inspire such memories for my children!
    Perhaps it just skipped this generation though. And there is always hope for next year!

    ReplyDelete

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