Even before we left Texas my husband wanted to build raised beds and plant a garden. I, unwilling to sacrifice the time, made excuse after excuse, “We won’t be here much longer… It’s too late in the season… What would even grow here?” So, when we moved to Little Rock, he started anew trying to convince me. I restructured. “We won’t be here very long… It’s too hot… It will be too expensive to buy the wood and soil.” And so it continued until early June. While assisting a neighbor with a household task, my husband noticed a pile of wood planks. The neighbor said that they were going to build raised beds, but never got around to it and that Ryan was welcome to take them. Two hours later, the table saw was set up in the back yard and my life was forever changed. Ryan built two garden beds that afternoon. The next day he had a load of soil delivered. Three days later, the whole family went to Lowes and we chose some vegetable plants, in pots, for our garden. Peppers, tomatoes, squash, and melon. As we were checking out, Thomas saw a rack of seed packets and insisted on corn seeds. Abby wanted beans. It was scorching outside, pushing 100 degrees. We transplanted the plants, and put some seeds in the ground. Thomas poured about 20 corn seeds into a four square inch area. Abby poured the entire packet of beans into a small trench. We watered it, stood back and admired our handy work.
The next morning we walked outside and the beans had sprouted! Abby and Thomas were giddy. My insides did a little flippy flop when I saw the babies’ reactions. Two days later, the corn sprouted. It was named Thomas’ Corn, and he wanted to pull it up immediately. I explained that it would have to be much taller than he before it was ready to be picked. Waking each morning, we go outside to examine our garden. Jalapenos, green peppers, baby tomatoes, zucchini – each new fruit brings rounds of cheers. But perhaps the greatest cheer was when we found the first watermelon, no bigger than a thumbnail, on the vine.
Because we planted so late, I’m not sure how much of the fruit will ripen to ready before the first frost comes, but I know that this experience is one that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Ryan was so right, and I was wrong. I love our little garden; I sit out there with my coffee in the mornings – with my sweet tea in the afternoons – and I remember what it was like to live on land. It brings me peace.