The First Spring Crop – Artichokes

When I was a kid we had a HUGE garden.  My dad had a saying, “if a little bit is good, a whole lot is better” and this was certainly his philosophy when it came to gardening, animals and building things. 
His garden reflected this wonderfully with fruit trees, tomatoes, green beans, corn, beets, spinach, onions, squash, melons, carrots, turnips, radishes, lettuces, potatoes and peas.  Funny, back in those days, fresh herbs weren’t used much.  You’d come in with fresh tomatoes and onions to make a sauce and pull out dried oregano and basil.  We grew everything organic with Bantam chickens roaming the garden keeping it bug free.  Little chicks that look like chipmunks  following the hens down the row feeding on earwigs, sow bugs and grasshoppers.  Vegetables were never in the fridge, they were waiting vine fresh in the garden and bumper crops were frozen, canned, or given away by the shopping bag full to neighbors, friends and the nursing home across the way.
First Artichoke – see babies poping up in the leaves too!
This has instilled in me a need to grow things and dig in the dirt.  I don’t have much room now but we cram what we can into containers and a little spot here and there.  I think of that quote from Steel Magnolias where Wheezer says “I don’t eat tomaotes, I just grow the dang things, cause I’m a Southern women and we’re supposed to dig in the dirt and grow tomatoes”….  or something along those lines and I understand the concept completely.
So spring is here and look what I found popping up in a corner of the garden.  My dad would be so proud….Happy day!!!

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