Thursday, August 04, 2005

A Lesson from Pap Pap!

My parents have a farm...not a big one but one that they refer to as a "gentleman's farm." It's 13 acres and one of my favorite places on earth. The only animals they have now are beef cattle and a couple of barn cats. He doesn't do it as a business but for his family and occasionally he sells a side of beef or a whole cow to the people who ask. Growing up, in addition to the cows and cats, we had dogs, horses, a sheep (a pet for my younger brother that followed him around like a dog), quail, rabbits and pigs. Never chickens because farm chickens are too dirty for my Dad. The pigs were anther story. Pigs only roll around in mud to keep cool. My Dad's pigs had no mud. Their pen had a wooden floor the entire length of the pen. He piped water underground all the way back to the barn. And every day we kids had to go back to the barn and spray the pigs! It was the most important chore of the day! Do you have any idea how many times a day I heard "Whose turn is it to spray the pigs!" I used to hate those words but now as an adult I would love for my only responsibility of the day to be to "spray the pigs!"

Okay, I got off track which is easy for me to do! On this farm my Dad also had gardens. They were huge! His biggest and main one is still about an acre big. He grows corn, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, garlic, pumpkins, watermelon and others that I can't think of right now. Again he does this for his family but will sell dozens of corn to the people around town since my Mom doesn't can as much as she used to. Well this year my Allison showed an interest in my Dad's garden and he took off with that interest! He told her that he would give her a corner of his garden to plant her own. Well, then he changed his mind and built her an elevated garden in the back yard so she could see it from the patio and house! It's also easier for her to go out daily to water her plants. They planted tomatoes, green peppers and purple and pink flowers in her garden. She is so proud...and so is my Dad! Usually you can find my Dad bragging about his garden to his farmer friends. You know the kind of bragging that I'm talking about..."I've got red tomatoes already" or "Wait till you see how big one of my pumpkins is." However, he's bragging on his granddaughter's garden this year! I LOVE that he has taught her about gardening. It will stay with her forever.

The first fruit from her garden was a tomato. Of course, I had to make a big deal out of it. You can see it growing on the vine in this picture. My Mom said when it first grew, she was watching out the window and saw my Dad and Allison arguing. Allison wanted to pick it and he was trying to convince a very stubborn little girl that you had to wait. Patience is not my daughter's best trait! My Mom enjoyed watching them because who do you think she got her stubbornness from? Dad! Anyway, here is the harvested tomato. Yes, I took a picture of it! Would you expect anything less from a scrapbooker? Isn't it beautiful? Yes, I agree! Well Allison wanted to make ketchup from it. I told her that I didn't know how. She told me that all you do is "put it in a bowl with water and mix it up real good." LOL...I wish it was that easy! I decided to cut it up and put it over barbecued chicken topped with cheddar cheese. Here is the finished product! Yum! It was so delicious! I can't wait for more vegetables from her garden! I don't like green peppers but you better believe I will LOVE those! Curtis on the other hand is waiting patiently for his favorite stuffed green peppers with peppers grown from his precious daughter's garden!

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