What is the definition of learning?
According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary:
Learning — v. 1: to gain knowledge, understanding, or skill by study or experience; 2: to find out; ascertain
Learning happens whenever or wherever someone learns. It could be at a park or in a creek bed, in school, or outdoors learning how to garden. Friday we did just that. We created our first family garden. We wanted to do it for awhile, but we also wanted to do it where our children could be part of the process from beginning to end. Although it is small, for a starter garden it is good. Troy and Will put the fence up around it. Addy and I started digging holes. We read how far apart to plant the things we planted, how much sun they would need, and how deep they would need to be and planted accordingly. Math, health, and science all wrapped up into one. I even gave them a bit of a family history lesson. I call it The Peanut Story.
The main and most important thing to me was we did it as a family. This is a family project. Throughout the summer, as we weed, water, and fertilize as needed, it is still part of a learning experience.
I grew up around a garden in the summer. My grandfather, we called him Daddy Cleburne, as soon as we were old enough he would plant rows just for us cousins and when we would be over to visit we knew that would be where we could find Daddy Cleburne. We would go find him and he would put us to work. It was never anything hard, but we learned a lot. Then when picking time was here we would all end up over at Mamatine and Daddy Cleburne’s shelling peas, snapping beans, de-silking corn, whatever needed to be done. My mom and aunts would be helping (their mom) Mamatine to can things. As a child, I remember when my mom would go ask me to get green beans off the shelf to cook for dinner, they didn’t come from grocery store shelves. They came from the canning shelves in the basement.
I know we never went hungry. Granted, we still bought groceries from the grocery store. If I had my choice, though, I would much rather pick things off vines and bushes than go to the grocery store and pick them off shelves. This year I have part of that choice. So I hope, as a family, we will always have a garden. Our learning experience has begun. I could see the kids stare at the garden they had just created, maybe a little bit of pride showed in their eyes. They even said they had fun doing it.
I look forward to what God blesses us with as yield. I have my garden boots, garden gloves, trowel, and weed fork. I am ready. So are the kids.
The Peanut Story:
When my cousins and I were about eight, nine, and ten Daddy Cleburne planted peanuts. It was the first time he had ever planted peanuts, but it was just something he thought he would try. So he planted three rows of them. When they came in that year, I had never seen that many peanuts in my life, but I thought it was so cool how they grew. Well we picked and picked and picked peanuts that year. We ate them raw, roasted them, and boiled them. Some of the best peanuts you had ever put in your mouth. Just about every time we went over to Daddy Cleburne and Mamatine’s we picked peanuts. To be honest, we really got tired of picking peanuts. That is the most yielding crop I believe. But we did, we kept going until the season of growing came to an end. We still had peanuts all that winter too.
The next summer came around and he started planting again. We went over to his house one day, I think we were all spending the night over there, but I can’t remember exactly. Anyway, when we walked in he had the most excited expression on his face, but even as a child I knew my grandfather and I knew something was up. He looked at the three of us and he said, “I have the best news.” Of course as children, we had to know. He said, “Come and follow me. I want to show you something.” So we did, and came to what was the peanut patch the year before. We saw the little plants coming up. He said, “Look at that. Guess what. We have peanuts again this year.” As a very loud groan came up from me and my two cousins, my grandfather about fell on the ground laughing. I will never forget that. Even though at the time it seemed like the worst to a nine, ten, and eleven year old, it became one of the best memories I have ever had as an adult–Gardening with my grandfather. ❤ Keep smiling! I am.