Anyone who knows me knows that I have an undying love for the St. Louis Cardinals. The new season has begun, and I have been thoroughly enjoying the games. Unfortunately, last night's game between the Cardinals and the Brewers got me into a bit of hot water - and no it's not because I should have been doing the dishes.
During the bottom of the third inning the announcers chatted with Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright (one of my favorite players) for an extended time on something a little off topic… gardening.
A few years ago Wainwright hurt his arm and was out for the whole year. Apparently, with all his free time, he started gardening. And he discovered that he loves gardening. And now he does a lot of gardening.
He talked about how much his gardening project had grown and all the different things he’s gotten into and his passion for growing food and sharing it with those who have none. Dalas was listening in the background while he was talking about wood chips and soil or some such thing and chimed in, “He’s talking about Back to Eden gardening”.
I said “Back to what?” And this is how I got into trouble, because supposedly this is the exact type of gardening that she has been telling me we need to try for the last year or so. Oops.
Frankly I don’t know how he does much gardening of any kind since he’s playing baseball during the whole growing season, but Dalas tells me that he doesn’t need to do much with it because of the nature of the gardening he’s doing.
That piqued my interest. Growing up on the family farm near Bertrand, MO I spent a lot of time as a child in the fields, on a tractor, in a garden pulling weeds or watering or in a greenhouse pulling weeds and watering, moving plants from here to there, etc, etc. Gardening is hard work!
A year or so before we moved for my dad to go to seminary he let me have quite a bit of ground next to our house for a personal garden. I remember very well that first attempt at a large garden that I alone was responsible for. I had 66 tomato plants staked up, a lot of peppers, egg plants and some watermelons and pumpkins.
My biggest success was with the cherry tomatoes; my big varieties kept developing “crow’s feet” at the stem and rotting and falling off. Dad let me come to him with questions and I tried my best. Mostly a lot of failure but I learned a lot trying to do it all myself, keep everything watered, weeded, and the bugs off my plants. And then I have Wainwright sitting there telling me that tomatoes are the easiest thing to grow!
During my time away at school and seminary I didn’t get to do any gardening like I did back in southeast Missouri. We had a garden by the parsonage for a few years, but it was mostly an endeavor for my dad to teach the kids stuff about gardening; I had very little time to help beyond watering and pulling a few weeds here and there. Needless to say, my interest was certainly piqued. A garden that was less work, less time and more successful? Me and my lack of green thumbs need to look into this.
I found this free documentary on Back to Eden gardening that I’m going to go through. I guess spring being here has given me the itch to start planting things! And now my wife also knows that I listen more closely to what Adam Wainwright says than what she says. I suppose I need to work on remedying that as well. I wonder how long it would take me to grow some flowers…
P.S. - My dad isn’t involved anymore but if you’re in southeast Missouri check out The Plant Stand and Mueller’s Greenhouses. They’re still owned by our family, and they do a marvelous job! You can also check out my Uncle's non-profit organization, Hope Seeds, that uses gardening to help people in need around the world.