Columns

Gardener's Grapevine 2016.07.07

By JO ERBSKORN

We see our grandsons usually one to three times a week for a few hours each time. My daughter rarely asks us to babysit, so it is on the basis of when we asked. Grandchildren are very different from children. It’s all about the fun when they are here. I let most of the work go and focus on them.

We had just Max this Saturday for a few hours while his mother ran errands. Max is a very inquisitive child. He reminds me a lot of his Uncle Nick when he was little. He wants to know about everything. One of the foods he’s passionate about is tomatoes. This kid has gone crazy over tomatoes since he was about a year and a half old. This weekend we showed him the small green tomatoes growing on the vine. He said he couldn’t see any tomatoes. I think he thinks they should be red. I can’t wait to see his face next weekend when the red ones are hanging there.

Max helped me with a flower bed I was cleaning up and adding plants to. Since his grandfather was prepping the house to paint it was pretty much the two of us. He got the understanding really quick about grass and grass roots not belonging in the flower bed. He also discovered that roses and holly “bite.” He helped plant the new plants and loved putting the brick in the ground to line the edge of the bed. He loved it so much that when I turned around he had stacked them higher than the new plants.

Our garden is going gang busters right now. The peas are really producing, the Italian green beans are just starting to produce and the raspberries are doing great. We have picked two quarts in the last three days and we only have a small ten foot patch.

After allowing Max to get good and filthy with the flower bed then play in the sprinkler, I decided to show him how to pick raspberries. He had his little bucket and I would pick a handful of raspberries​ and drop them into it. Then I picked another handful and turned to drop them into it. When I looked down the bucket was empty. I said, “Max where are the raspberries in your bucket?” He looks down at it, smiles at me and says, “Mmmm they good grandmum” with raspberry all across his face. We picked all there was and at the end his bucket was a third full. I said to him “these will be good on cereal in the morning.” He looked directly at me and said, “Nope I eat cakes for breakfast.” In my opinion raspberry sauce is pretty good on pancakes too, but he wasn’t buying it though. I think if he’s here next Saturday I will make pancakes with raspberry sauce for breakfast.

Everything is doing so well in the garden that a major portion of our meals are starting to come from it. As I said last week, the best part of gardening is seeing the realization dawn on Max’s face that food comes from the ground and the seeds he helped put in it.