Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesdays With Rita: Family Gardens

They say that smells are the strongest memory inducers of all. One of my favorite smells is tomato plants.
I pick up the on-the-vine tomatoes at the grocery store just to smell the plant.
The smell of tomato plants brings back memories of my grandma who always had a very large garden until she moved to Arizona and lived in a trailer court. Her counter was covered with fresh vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, okra, radishes and onions.

Fresh corn reminds me of my Aunt Marie who always had a garden. Corn was my favorite at her house. One summer they teased me about how I managed to eat my corn-on-the-cob without two front teeth. Nothing as simple as loosing my baby teeth would keep me away from fresh corn with lots of butter and a dash of salt.
This year Doug and I decided to plant a garden. Well, I decided and he went a long with me. As I was picking out seeds for lettuce, spinach, cherry tomatoes and green onions he threw in the corn. It is coming up fast and neither one of us can wait to have our own fresh corn.

We also put in okra plants and now we have little baby okras. Our mouths are watering already.

Oh, and there's the cantaloupe plant, the purple sage and some lavender.
Having a 26 x 12 garden in Arizona isn't the easiest of tasks but I'm on a roll.

As are the memories. Grandma and Aunt Marie bent over pulling weeds. Wilted lettuce and cucumber salads. The heavenly smell of tomatoes.

What memories do you have of family gardens and the harvest they produced?


  1. We ate the first tomato from our garden yesterday. So good!

  2. My grandma had a HUGE garden with all kinds of vegetables and berries. My dad, her son, loves to keep a vegetable garden. That first ripe tomato is prized by all! Last year, we discovered another favorite - kale.

    I must say kudos for keeping all those plants watered in AZ!

  3. My father would grow tomatoes in Illinois. It is one of my fondest childhood memories of him, working in his garden and tending his tomatoes. I tried to grow tomatoes here in AZ and they whithered and died. Your garden is lovely!

  4. Beautiful garden. You guys can be proud of it.

  5. your garden is delightful, not easy to have that in this AZ heat. Nothing beats the taste of fresh grown, so eat on. I ate all of my spinach and lettuce and now am done for the summer. Keep it growing!
    No matter what tho, there's nothing like a Jersey tomato!!


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