Gardens and Quahogs

By Sam Boyden

From a very young age I remember driving roughly an hour from Pembroke MA to Yarmouth MA where my grandparents lived. I would go almost every weekend until high school and help out around the property. My aunt and grandmother would tend to the flowers near the front of the house while my grandfather and I dug for quahogs in the river behind the house. In the backyard next to the house my grandparents cultivated a glorious garden. It was full of tomatoes, cucumbers, abnormally large squash, zucchini, lettuce, the whole 9 yards. I was tasked with picking the fully grown produce and washing it off from the rain collector barrel attached to the garden. It was a large blue barrel that all the gutters from the roof led to so the produce could grow while also being cost efficient.

Times not spent in the garden were spent downriver in knee deep water and mud hunting for quahogs. My dad, grandfather and I would hop in the metal boat and race downriver to our spot for catching quahogs. We would rake through the mud looking for the most XL quahogs the river had to offer. If any seemed too small we had a tool to measure the size of the shell to see if it was the legal size to take. My grandfather, Dad and I would see who could scoop up the biggest quahogs as well as the most. The cooking of the quohogs was left to my mother and grandmother who had genuine experience with the shellfish. My time spent down the cape was always surrounded by nature whether it was on the beach or in the river which I will always remember.

(Not my picture but it’s a picture of the hotel down the rover from my grandparent’s house)