Just as I do every summer I come out to eastern Canada to visit my grandmother (my Dad’s mother for those who care to know the specifics) and just like every summer, without fail, she keeps a garden. Normally when I make it up here nothing is ready to be picked yet, but this time we made the trip out in August and I was able to help out a little in the garden.
As I squatted there in the garden today, picking green beans and smelling the fresh onions popping up from the soil next to me and my grandmother tossing me the occasional cucumber, I had foggy memories from my childhood begin to creep into my head.
They were memories of running along the fence looking for raspberries that had magically popped up from the other side as well as some of picking the ripened red tomatoes and bright orange carrots from the garden. I always enjoyed picking the tomatoes because they had that particular earth smell mixed with green and earth to it that I always enjoyed smelling right after picking.
This year my grandmother chose to plant cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, and beans and I got to help pick all of them! She said that the bees must be on her side this year because she ended up with so many cucumbers! She also ended up with a fair amount of beans, which apparently my uncle had grown tired of eating over the past few weeks but sadly I did not get to eat on this visit.
I enjoyed working in the garden with her today, not only for the time spent together, but also for the act of actively picking the food you’re going to eat. It’s one thing to get fresh veggies from the market or the grocery store but it’s another to pick them yourself fresh from the vine. I will also mention that as I washed the dirt off the cucumbers later on that afternoon I couldn’t help but want to eat all of them but in the end had to resort to eating only one. There’s always tomorrow!