Friday, January 26, 2007

Why Vintage? Part 2.

I grew up in New Jersey- the Garden State. My dad was a real estate agent and we spent countless hours driving around with him to some of his listings and developments. Sometimes those drives would take us into the most beautiful countryside , just miles outside the crowded cities. I remember one of the farms that he purchased. The house, the barn, the quiet. It was then and there , that I knew, this was my destiny. I was going to live in an old farmhouse, surrounded by trees, water and gardens. Oh to live the simple life!

Yeah right! Little did I know that the simple life, as depicted on television, wasn't that simple. I moved to the south, a place that seemed to have what I was looking for. I found that old farmhouse and moved in. I started hanging out with my neighbors and soaked up every bit of information about country living. I listened to hours of stories about things that I had only read about. These people had lived 'my' life! I was among my heroes.

I learned to garden and put up food. I'm a hands on type of person. Sure, I had stacks of gardening books, but there's nothing like a life lesson out in the field. My biggest joy came when I looked out my window one day and saw one of my neighbors standing in my garden- looking around with a confused look on his face. He didn't understand the concept of gardening without the use of a tractor; let alone plants that were grown close together in beds without an inch of ground wasted. I ended up teaching this man, and others, a thing or two about gardening. I had come full circle.

I discovered the world of heirloom seeds and started to grow heirloom vegetables. So many incredible varieties of plants that had been grown for decades and I had access to them. This made perfect sense to me that I would be attracted to them. They're vintage!

It's been many years since I lived in that farmhouse. Every time I moved, I took with me the plants that were given to me by my neighbors. These heirloom plants are my prize possessions; full of history and love and loss.

The seeds are ordered for the 2007 garden. It's just a matter of time before I'm back out in the garden. Most of my mentors are gone now, but their memories live on in my gardens. Thanks to all of you that took the time to pass your wisdom onto me. Until next time.....


Jes said...

lovely story! I grew up with a Mom who was an antique dealer, loved old houses and decorating. hmmmm....I guess it's pretty obvious where I get it from!

I wish we could garden together!


Barb said...

You are an incredible writer and I think this post shows the importance of learning from the ones who've gone before us, so that we in turn can teach others. My passion at the moment is getting the idea across to parents and other adults that if we don't support and encourage the natural gift of curiosity in children, then how on earth can we expect them to take an interest in or even care about the environment and future of our planet. We need to provide opportunities for children to have hands-on experiences from the ground up. One of the outings my Spec. Ed. kids loved was going to the home of a parent volunteer who lived near the school to help her plant, weed and nurture her garden. Her passion for growing things was infectious and just what these kids needed. We need to pass this on.


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