Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'd like to live to be 99 years old, too!

My paternal grandparents were avid gardeners. Growing up, I was fortunate to have them right next door. During the summer I'd walk next door to visit and see what they were working on. My grandmother, we called her Mimi, had the most beautiful flower gardens, was president of a garden club, and passed much of what she knew on to my sister. I didn't pay attention, but my sister is slowly passing on this information to me in my old ages. My grandfather, we called him Grandaddy, had his Gi-Normous garden for fruits and veggies. It was lined with fruit trees, grape vines, and blackberry bushes. 

They both worked the garden all summer long. There were usually things to snack on throughout the summer. Each time I'd visit them while they were working in the garden, Mimi would point out what was ripening and send me home with something. There were 2 long rows of strawberries(Mimi made the best strawberry preserves), the blackberries were the biggest I've ever seen (or maybe I'm just remembering from a child's perspective) there were cherries on the cherry tree. There was a pear tree, but it was years before I noticed a pear on it. There were always huge, salty, red tomatoes. They grew asparagus, but I liked to pick the little red berries off the asparagus plants for my horse models. They looked like perfect mini apples. I'd sit out on the porch with Mimi, pulling the stringy ends off the green beans. Kale was usually on the dinner table every time we gathered there for dinner. The corn was silverqueen, silvery sweet, dainty little kernels. The grapes straight off the vines were a dark greenish purple, warm and sweet and juicy... I couldn't ever decide about the grapes, though. Was I supposed to eat the skin and spit out the seeds, or swallow the seeds and spit out the skin? I always tried them both ways. Equally satisfying. Not at all like the cold tart grapes I find at the store. The apple tree was right by the dock. It had golden apples ready to pick right before we'd head out on the boat.

At 99 years old, Grandaddy outlived Mimi by nearly 18 years. The garden is a patch of green grass now, the vines were cut down, the fruit trees are gone. At my sister's house, there are fruit trees and gardens and flowers everywhere... and, in her, our grandparents live on. I can still call her to ask questions like, "When should I plant this?" or, "How did Grandaddy plant the tomato plants?" 

As I work on my little garden of 20'x30', it gives me some longing for my grandparents, but also warm feelings from happy memories. I used my horses to graze down the tallest grass, tilled it, hoed it, raked it, and then planted the veggies that I know I can grow... sort of. My daughter, Willow, helped water, while I spread out the straw to keep down the weeds or keep the mud down, or something like that... it looks tidy anyway. I planted kale, tomatoes, sweet onions, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, red, yellow and green peppers, and there's one asparagus plant came back from last year.

Once Grandaddy said to me, "I don't live to eat, I eat to live." In an attempt to reprogram my eating habits and cravings, I'm going to do a JuiceFeast. On June 1st, I'm beginning a 92 day juice feast. This is in an attempt to re-program my eating habits. It ends early enough that I'll be back on regular raw food in time for the Raw Spirit Festival. I'll be a volunteer there(because I have the energy and good health -or- because I can). I already have my plane tickets and hotel room! I feel that this will begin the final part of my raw food journey, as I learn from these raw foodists around me the way of healthy life, peaceful acceptance, and the many other highlights I'm only just beginning to understand.


deaintheraw said...

great post Robin,
What a wonderful legacy your grand parents left you and your sister.
I don't have many memories, I used to envy people like you who come from close knit families, since switching to living foods and reacquainting myself with God I feel only happiness when I read about or hear about families. Best wishes for your juice feast, mine is winding down only 26 days left. Ciao bella oxoox Dea

RawBin said...

Thanks, Dea! It's never too late to begin making memories. Think of the lovely memories you're creating by interacting with your partner's child! That's a wonderful memory making opportunity!
I'm really excited to start the juice feast. I've been practicing my juices. Learning what not to do... Okay, no green peppers in a sweet juice. It truly made me gag!

loulou said...

that's a lovely post :)

i mostly missed out on grandparents, but i've learned tons from my parents, so i think that makes up for some of the lost generation behind that.

it's fabulous that you're committed to doing a 92 day juicefeast, i look forward to hearing all your stories as you progress and hopefully i'll get to share some delicious raw food with you at the raw spirit fest in september. fingers crossed.

keep posting the lovely photos!


Joanna RawTn said...

aw! Your garden is beautiful and something to be proud of yourself! How nice that Willow helped you. I would love to muster up some support here, lol. My hubby tilled it for me one day while I was at work, and makes sure it gets watered if we don't get enough rain. I guess I shouldn't complain! :D

I loved reading about your grandparents. Thanks for sharing your heart. You Rawk!

shannonmarie said...

Rawbin, I love your new blog. The photos are so beautiful and bright. I want to hang outside with you, too. Please teach me how to garden like you :-)

On another note, did you make it to Java Green on Friday? I was wondering if you were going to post about it.

RawSoldier said...

Awesome garden Robin! I grew up with my grandparents and never really learned what they were doing in the garden. I loved to eat the food however ;-)

~Blissings to you