A few years back, our family garden turned into a competition, as most things in my family turn into one way or another. It was as warm April morning, and my family was on our way back from church when we passed by a farm supply store. We often got our gardening and yard care supplies from there, so we stopped into to see what was in stock. A half hour later, we all emerged with bags of seeds, bulbs in burlap sacks, and furrowed brows. Determined to beat the other in growing the best veggies.
My sisters took on garden box A (pictured below, left) growing summer squash, bell peppers, and lettuce. I see they were probably going for the quantity over quality route, since summer squash grows so large and rapidly that it rivals crabgrass as a backyard nuisance.
I decided to tackle something a little more exotic. I carried out seed packets of Anaheim peppers, Big Boy tomatoes, and purple cabbage. If I was to succeed in this challenge, I wanted the fruits of my labor to be rewarding and to carry a special meaning, as well as special taste.
While Mom and Dad pledged to be neutral, growing their potatoes and cucumbers in another plot, I knew they secretly were rooting for my sisters. My eldest sister subcontracted my father to water her plants every morning at 6 am, and mom would routinely help my littlest sister weed each day after work. I was left to tend to my plot by myself, although I enjoyed the independence and the challenge. September 1st arrived, and while they grew a greater quantity of crops, we all benefitted from a backyard labor day barbecue featuring the freshest fruits and veggies from our garden. I guess we all won that summer in a way, but if anyone from my family were to ask, I came away with the superior green thumb.
- Danny Lovell 2/2/19