Were You Born in a Barn?

barn with sunflowerWhat is the craziest thing your mother or dad ever said to you? As you read the sentence above a memory came into your mind. It may have been something your parent said all the time or a once-in-a-lifetime event. For me, it was when my mother looked at me and asked, “Were you born in a barn?”

I was about ten, going on twenty, and acting like a three-year-old. I had been sent to pick green beans in the garden, but I wanted to play with the neighborhood kids. Pleading my case that I would pick the beans when I got back was of no use. My mom wanted to can the beans now. She worked outside the home, and this was one of her few days off.

So I picked up my bucket, tromped out to the garden, furious that I had to do this right now. It was a large backyard garden with about a ten rows of green beans. On that day, the rows looked like there were a mile long each. The reality was they were about thirty feet long. Typically the job would take less than an hour, but today, I felt sure it would take all morning and my friends would be having fun while I slaved away.

Pouting I began picking, and with each bean, I got more upset. I glared at the back door and finally sat down in the middle of the row on the soft, moist soil. I sat there picking at the dirt and throwing dirt clots at the bees that were working the garden.

Slowly I finished the chore and carried my bucket into the house. My mother took one look at me covered in dirt and mud with the back door hanging open and asked, “Were you born in a barn? You’re a mess. The door is open. Where are your shoes?”

I stood there with my bucket and thought, “You don’t know where I was born? Weren’t you there?”

She took the bucket, sent me to the bathroom with a promise that I would be cleaning up the floor where I tracked in mud. Looking into the full bucket, she smiled and said, “You did a great job picking the beans.”

Through all of these garden chore episodes (or maybe because of them), I have a love of gardening and the ability to laugh at myself. And, no I wasn’t born in a barn.


Excited about Lettuce?

LettuceThis time of year is a great time if you are a gardener or like fresh veggies and fruits. Where I live, almost everything is ready for eating. The big exceptions are the fall crops like apples and pumpkins. But it is harvest time on the International Space Station.

The first crop to be grown and consumed is lettuce. While lettuce may not be high on your list of favorite foods, it is a significant step forward for those living in space. Think about how hard it is to have fresh vegetables in space and how bored they must become of packaged processed food. While their packaged food is nutritious, it isn’t the same as eating something fresh from the garden.

Back on planet Earth, it is hard to imagine getting excited about lettuce. I grow lettuce in my little garden patch but many times the rabbits eat more of it than I do. Guess that is a plus for having a garden in space, no rabbits to eat up your crop.

I ramble on about this as I wonder “what would it be like to garden in space?” Consider this food for a story in the future.