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MY DAD

--- Anne K Moore, June 12, 2009 ---
Photo by Anne K Moore ---

I will always associate gardening with my dad.  When he introduced me to the family vegetable patch, he set me on a life-long journey of love.  Father's Day brings back so many memories, for me even more so than birthdays or Christmas. 

Dad was a white-collar man whose father had come over from Ireland.  His days were spent in an office with balance sheets and adding machines.  His roots must have been in the soil.  Evenings and weekends found him in old beat-up pants, out in the garden. 

The suburban house where he began his family didn't hold a large enough yard for the kind of vegetable garden Dad wanted.  He bought a 50-acre farm when I was about five or six.  Next came Old Nellie, a rear-tine tiller.  He dug up a massive garden and we set about planting it.

The seeds I sowed alongside my Dad grew more than vegetables and flowers.  They grew a passionate life-long gardener. 

I admit we were not religious about weeding.  The crops came in anyway.  Dad and I continued to plant and pick until I was married.  Then, he sent me on my new journey with gifts of Old Nellie and his favorite gardening book, ''The Modern Family Garden Book'' (1941).  That old book, still holding a spot on my bookshelf today, taught me a lot about growing but not as much as I learned from my Dad.

From Dad I learned about wildlife and wildflowers, what good soil looked and smelled like, about rotating crops, about feeding the soil that feeds us, and about respect for living things. 

Father's Day bundles memories.  This day reminds me of the bounty of the garden, walks in the woods, and my Dad. 




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