Playing in the Dirt: Garden at Home

Playing in the Dirt: Garden at Home

Kamisha York
Peyton’s Allergy Shield of Hope

As the old saying goes “April Showers Bring May Flowers,” and as far as I am concerned, bring on the showers! I love the change of season. I love to wake up with a cool crispness in the air, and as the day goes on it warms up to a pleasant temperature, just exactly right. A little over a year ago this month, the pandemic hit, and all our lives changed, just like everyone we know. My family was home bound; all three kids going to school virtually, my husband and I working from home. We had to be creative, and so came the idea for the garden. 

Now it is Spring Break 2021. Who knew almost a year later we would all still be doing at-home school and work? This time last year, to bond with Peyton and my mother, I decided to start a vegetable garden. I guess since not all that much has changed, it is time to start it up again!  

Initially, I started the vegetable garden to create memories for Peyton and my mom. I wanted her to have pictures and memories of her helping her Grandma Josie start the garden, but this grew into something so much bigger. I have never had a garden before in my life, but it sounded like a simple enough task. From day one since we moved into our home, we have had a garden box in our backyard.

For the past 5 years of living there I have been saying to the kids that we are going to plant seeds in the garden box. But last year we finally did!  

My husband and I headed out to Home Depot with our masks on, with a list of everything that we needed to buy. We purchased the soil, seeds, a shovel, and a garden hose. My husband came home and tilled the soil that was in the garden box. We mixed and laid the new organic soil, and then my mom and Peyton got right to planting.  

Peyton and Grandma Josie planted carrots, beets, tomatoes, green beans, squash, okra, blueberries, chives, and cilantro. For the longest time I thought that I would not harvest any vegetables in my garden. I watered in the morning, and in the evening when the sun went down. I saw no change. For a person like me with no patience, I just knew there was not going to be anything but green leaves and no vegetables. But I just kept watering and watering.  A few days later I saw buds growing on the okra and green beans. If I learned anything from starting my garden, I would say it has given me more patience. Change does not happen overnight, good progress takes time.

Originally being nothing more of a fun science project, I have now created a sustainable, organic food source to feed my family!

I was able to serve my green beans and okra from the garden to my family on Thanksgiving, this warmed my heart to see the fruits of my labor in the garden being passed around the table. The day I saw Peyton walk out to the garden and grab a handful of green beans during her lunch break for a snack is when I said to myself, “job well done Mama.”   

I am so excited for our garden spring of 2021!! We have already started on the collard greens, and we will add more tomatoes, green beans, and okra again. I am also looking forward to adding citrus trees to the garden!

If you are looking for a great way to bond with your family and get outdoors in a safe environment this spring, why not start a food allergy friendly garden? 

2021-04-26T09:16:04-05:00