Learning to garden

One of the reasons I relocated back to Alabama from NYC was to help my dad and to spend time with him re-kindling our relationship. One of the things we have been doing together is gardening. He loves it and is extremely knowledgeable because he has been doing it forever. As a kid I hated it. During the summers my brother and I would have to wake up early in the morning and help harvest the vegetables. From corn to peas and from beans to okra we did it. And it wasn't just because my dad loved it. It was because we needed it to save money on groceries as we were not rich (or even middle class). My family were securely working class and used the garden to suppliment our purchases during the winter months. Today this seems like the best way to re-connect with dad. He loves it so much that he sometimes ponders, to my dismay, leaving his much nicer home on the Conecuh river. So that being said, I thought to share some views of our garden. He is teaching all of the things I refused to learn as a selfish, know-it-all kid. For example, there are good days for planting and bad days for planting. My dad knows the specific days from the farmer's Almanac. He kind of knows them by heart now although his memory is slipping. There is also specific distances between hills (plants) and after every rain the dirt must be plowed or hoed in order to keep the weeds from running amok. It's not easy work but seeing fruit and veggies grow out of the ground fills me with wonder and satisfaction. I can be a pretty impatient person but this endeavor has not only helped me slow down and appreciate nature but helped me understand my dad and myself a whole lot more.

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