Bonnie Lee: It All Started With Potatoes

Mim loves gardening.

Liam loves potatoes.

Mim loves spending time outdoors with her favorite little boys.

Growing potatoes in buckets seemed a perfect way to introduce my  grandsons to the joys of gardening.  Liam and I got dirty mixing compost and soil, set the “eyes”, covered them and waited for something to grow.  Every week during the Spring and early Summer Liam watered and added more dirt to the container. The potato plants became enormous.

Liam and his twin brother Rory just turned four.  Rory thinks potatoes are fine but his favorite food is sausage. We grow sausage Mim?   What’s a grandmother to do. There is a lot of room on the patio, whats one more container?     We grew sausage!   Well, we grew onions, sage, parsley, and thyme.   Rory weeded and watered and “checked” the onions. The sausage garden thrived.

Liam and Rory have a big brother Freddy. Freddy is five and could not be the only boy without a garden, so another container was found. Freddy’s favorite food is bread. A trip to the farm store taught me that you cannot buy a “packet” of wheat seeds (it’s enough to supply a bakery or nothing). Pumpkins were a nice compromise.  The vines grew on a trellis as high as the roof and the yellow flowers were a big hit!

October found us harvesting potatoes. My little men were so excited to tip over the big bucket and dig through the dirt to find the treasured nuggets. Liam was very proud of his crop and took it home in a market basket that he could barely lift.

Rory and I spent an afternoon grinding pork and chopping vegetables and herbs for breakfast sausage.  He loved pushing the buttons on the food processor but declined getting his hands dirty with the mixing.  It was a grand adventure and Rory went home with sausage for his entire family.

Fred’s bread was a different kind of story. We learned what blight can do to beautiful pumpkin vines, and also that the Farmer’s Market is a good source of pie pumpkins and a fun place to spend Saturday Morning.  We baked pumpkins and made delicious pumpkin muffins to share with friends.

Gardening together was a great experience.   It was satisfying to share the joy of growing something from a seed with a new generation of children, teaching them as I had taught their mother and as my mother had taught me.

Because one of life’s most important lessons is to appreciate the wonder that surrounds us.


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  1. Beyond adorable. I can’t wait to help my niece and nephews with gardening.

    I’m holding my very first giveaway today if you would like to come take a peek! It is for a handmade journal from an eco conscious creator. 😉