By Lisa Stahl
Getting the colony garden seeded this spring was a little later than usual. This was mostly due to the cool weather we were having. But as expected, the gardener, with the help of his wife, were finished by the end of May.
The very first vegetable we eat each year is horse radish. This is dug out usually after Easter. The reason this plant is so early is because its a winter plant and grows in the ground throughout the winter months.
The next vegetables usually are radishes followed by peas, beets, carrots, lettuce and spinach.
Potatoes are one of the first vegetables seeded, and, like the rest of the produce planted, the gardener plants only enough to supply the colony. But as always, there is more than enough left over to help out other colonies if there is the need.
During the fall months, most of the vegetables left over which the colony doesnt need are donated to this Salvation Army.
Our garden is located about three miles from our colony on about 2-3 acres. Each colony has a couple who is in charge of the garden, just as it is with any other occupation. The gardener and his wife are in charge of planting the garden and looking after it throughout the summer. In the spring when the started plants such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers and onions arrive, all the women help plant them. The women help in the garden throughout the summer as instructed by the gardeners wife.
The rest of the seeds are planted by the gardener using his old Farmall 100, which weve had for the past 30 years. Some plants are too small for the tractor planted and are planted by a hand seeder.
The scene of my grandpa, (the gardener) driving his open-stationed tractor reminds me of a picture of an old-timer back in the 30s or 40s. With its natural adjusted air conditioner, it probably makes more gallons to the mile than miles to the gallon. I asked him once why he never got a more advanced and up-to-date garden tractor, and he replied, saying, Theres nothing wrong with the one Ive got. It gets the garden seeded each year, doesnt it?
Though strange as it looks seeing him drive along, his favored old tractor has outlasted any other tractor on the farm. Though it takes a few weeks to get a needed part, (probably because stores dont carry such an old version of parts,) its still seen rolling along our dirt roads each summer, completing again and again a job which was permanently dedicated its, many seasons ago.