Monday, April 22, 2013

A Busy Day on the Morrow Home Place - Harvesting the Garden

August 16, 1945 -
Well, we finally picked the last of the green beans;  big beans, little beans, some ready to be shelled, others barely set on vines; we knew there was still another picking, and since we like to feel that we have tended to all unfinished business, early one morning while the dew was like a young rain, we gathered our last half a bushel. 
I did not take them to the canning center, for, while there were not many of them, I knew they would take double time for preparation as they were wormy, bug-chewed and would need to be sorted for canning.  Maybe I’m too fussy but I don’t like to put into a jar what wouldn’t look good on a guest’s plate and a bean pod with a big, or even small wormy hole in it, isn’t appetizing.
After all our late planting and too much rain, our garden hasn’t been this disappointing as it was an early spring when time came and passed to plant potatoes and beans.  For a time we discussed eating the half-bushel of seed potatoes we had bought, but the ground finally became mealy enough that we could plant, so we put them in without consulting the Moon, although it’s the latest we’ve ever known of anyone planting spring potatoes.
Now we have harvested eight bushels of as nice a crop we’ve ever had except the time we had twenty-five bushels from a half bushel of seed potatoes.  This will make us enough for all winter if they keep and the boys are not here to eat them.  We got ours dug just about that time other people were planting their little potatoes for the fall garden, but we shall we replant our ground to late roasting ears and turnips.
Now that we near the end of our efforts we’ll wonder if “The Boy” and “Willyum” will be here this winter to help eat out eighty-six quarts of green beans.    We know that “Willyum” is already somewhere in the Pacific, and grieves our hearts beyond measure to think that the boys who survived the European conflict must now enter the the Asiatic struggle. 
Our job was not an easy one, but neither is that of the boys so far from home amid the noise and din of battle or striving to bring order out of the dirt and chaos that Europe.  As we work, wet to the waist, or with sweat streaming into our eyes, or our backs nearly broken, chigger-bitten and bee-stung, we can appreciate in a very small way the terrible heat and constant strife with bugs and reptiles, the impenetrable jungle of the Pacific and when we come to the house with full baskets we can give thanks but we still have a cool, clean house where we can spend the rest of the day canning, cooking, eating, reading and resting, were no bombs have fallen and no destruction has disrupted the regularity of our lives. 
So if you should pass and see me sitting out under the silver maple tree in the rustic bench drinking a bottle of pop, don’t think that is our usual way of living—maybe I just finished a big ironing or canning and cooling myself before putting away the clothes or the jars.  Or if you see “The Husband” sitting in the rocker, on the porch, enjoying a nice drink, don’t misjudge him, for maybe he’s just finished digging the potatoes are barning a load of hay; then, of an evening after our supper, rejoice with us as you pass and see me in the hammock, “The Husband” nearby and his rocker, Spot sprawled comfortably out on the grass, -- it is the climax of a busy day. 

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