My family has had a garden for as long as I can remember. It has been a big part of my childhood, and something that I can look look back on that always brings a smile to my face. My dad, Tom is always in charge of our garden, he puts in the most hours weeding, watering, and harvesting all the vegetables that we grow. He would always walk back to the house with his hands full of peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and his hat full of cherry tomatoes because he’d always forget to bring a bowl out. The ongoing joke between my neighbors and my family is calling my dad “Farmer Tom” because he loves the garden so much, always holding a full garden tour whenever a new vegetable begins to sprout.
One of my fondest memories of the garden is the year the we decided to grow pumpkins. We didn’t have high expectations of the pumpkins because it is tough for a first time crop to take off right away. Regardless of any expectations, our goal was to be able to make at least one jack-o-lantern out of our home grown pumpkins. For awhile we had nothing, and we all grew skeptical whether we would get any pumpkins at all, let alone one big enough to carve. One day after school, my siblings and I come home to find my dad back in the garden, this wasn’t uncommon at all. After we set our bags down, there was a note on the counter from my dad saying to come back to the garden. We put our mud shoes on and head back. When we get back there, my dad eagerly shows us the pumpkins. There were 3 pumpkins, still very small, but it was the first life of pumpkins we’ve seen since we planted them. We are all excited to see them, but more excited to see the reaction of my dad because we knew how much he wanted a homemade jack-o-lantern. As time passed the pumpkins continued to grow, there was no sign of any rotting and the pumpkins looked very healthy.
The pumpkins finally were big enough for us to harvest them. Not only did we get one but we got three, one for my brother, my sister, and myself. To say my dad was happy was an understatement. I still vividly remember covering the table with newspapers, scooping out the insides of the pumpkins, separating the seeds from the orange goo so that we could make pumpkin seeds. Then having my dad help us all carve our pumpkins because it was just as much fun for us as it was for him. It was a day full of smiles and trying to sneak up on my mom to rub our gooey, pumpkin covered hands on her to get a laugh out of everyone. It is a day that I will never forget, and one that I hope to recreate when I have a family and I’m in my dads shoes.