Quotes: Vegetable gardens

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Most children can tell you that apples come from trees. However, have they ever picked one? Would they recognize broccoli or a carrot in a garden? 

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Not knowing where your food comes from is a primary form of alienation.

- Allen Lacy, in The Inviting Garden -

A garden... is a finite place the gardener... has created, working on it with or against nature, a plot whose intention it is to provide pleasure; possibly in the form of beauty, possibly in the form of cabbages -- and possibly, beautiful cabbages.

- Abby Adams, The Gardener's Gripe Book, 1995 -

 BeautflCbgClo6315s.jpg BeautflCabg6318s.jpg

The first gathering of salads, radishes and herbs made me feel like a mother about her baby -- how could anything so beautiful be mine?

- Alice B. Toklas -


For those dependent on their gardens for fresh food, it was often a case of feast or famine... (One settler wrote), "Strawberries were now so plentiful that... I made 287 lbs of jam..."

- Bee Dawson, in A History of Gardening in New Zealand -


Men &
melons are
hard to know. 

- Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard's Almanack, 1733 - 
see What's Coming Up #152


Snowy winter, a plentiful harvest.

- Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard's Almanack, 1733 -
see What's Coming Up #129

Another spring excitement in the garden is the pea planting...

about the first or second day of April, as soon as the top of the soil can be worked with a fork, and long before the plowing.

How we watch those rows for the first sprouts! How we coddle and cultivate them! How eagerly we inspect our neighbors' rows, trying to appear nonchalant! And doubtless how silly this sounds to anyone who is not a gardener! Last summer we got our first mess of peas on June twenty-first, and after eating a handful we rushed to the telephone, and were about to ring, when somebody called us.

"Hello," we said into the receiver.

A voice on the other end of the wire, curiously choked and monchy, cried, "We are eating our first peas! My mouth's full of 'em now!"

"That's nothing," we answered, "we've got our first mouthful all swallowed."

- Walter Prichard Eaton, in The Once and Future Gardener -
see What's Coming Up #82

 Only two things that money can't buy, and that's true love and homegrown tomatoes.

- Guy Clark, in his song Homegrown Tomatoes -
see What's Coming Up #106

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Up in the mornin' out in the garden,
Get you a ripe one don't get a hard one.
Plant `em in the spring, eat `em in the summer:
All winter with out `em's a culinary bummer...
Homegrown tomatoes!

- Guy Clark, in his song Homegrown Tomatoes -
see What's Coming Up #135

Take two quinces, and two or three burre roots and a Potaton, and pare youre Potaton and scrape your roots, and put them into a quart of wine, and let them boyle till they bee tender, and put in an ounce of dates, and when they be boiled tender, drawe them through a strainer, wine and all, and then  put in the yolkes of eight eggs, and the braynes of three or four cocke-sparrowes, and straine them into the other, and a little rosewater, and seeth them all with sugar, cinnamon and ginger, and cloves and mace; and put in a little sweet butter, and set it upon a chafing-dish of coles between two platters, to let it boyle till it be something bigge.

- Good Housewife's Jewel (1596), when potatoes were new to Europe -
see What's Coming Up #133


 (Send) leafy, leafy collard greens
And please make sure they're washed!
Light up our eyes
Brighten our lives
With ten banana squash.

- The turtle's grocery list, from   
song lyrics by William 'Bud' Luckey -  

Even where the land was more receptive, settlers soon learned to take some precautions before planting their vegetables. Maize and pumpkin seeds were soaked in water for several days and then blackened with tar before planting -- the most effective way to deter rats, mice and birds.

- Bee Dawson, in A History of Gardening in New Zealand -
see What's Coming Up #142

 BeeStewarti8149s.jpg Stewartia pseudocamellia

The farmers loved her bees, thanks to

all the pollinating they did, how they made the watermelons redder and the cucumbers bigger.

- from the novel The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd -


The next time you think about falling fruits or nuts as messy,

consider this conversation between John Macunovich and cousins visiting from a very poor town in Beylorus (Russia):

"What do you do with the apples?"
"We rake them up and compost them."

see What's Coming Up #157   
  Right: Locust tree seed pods (Gleditsia triacanthos)



Better eat vegetables and fear no creditors, than eat duck and hide from them.

- from the Talmud -

I want death to find me planting my cabbages.

- Michel de Montaigne -