We settled into the hot car and left our mini-farm in the country. We drove over an hour to the harvest site…in Denver! Seems funny to leave the country to head to the city to get delicious produce, but that is what we did. Over the rivers and through the woods to Great-Aunt Donna’s house we go!
My Great Aunt Donna (mind you, that makes here great, great, great aunt to Maryjane…what a blessing.) has a large corner plot of land and a fifties style brick home on a busy street in Denver. For years she has cultivated a garden worthy of magazines. She is a Master gardener and a generous heart. When she called and said the grapes were ready, we didn’t dilly dally! The raccoons and the neighbors were eyeing the prize.
It made for such a lovely day that my grandparents came over as well. They are all of unknown vintage according to Aunt Donna, but I can tell you that in that room was over 240 years of combined farming/gardening experience. I thought up until recently that the green thumb had skipped me but I seem to have grown into it!
My grandma, Nancy, had eight brothers and sisters and lived on a farm in Nebraska. Aunt Donna was the second oldest, Grandma was in the middle. When their father died suddenly, my great grandmother was with child and was left with a great farm and many children. They sold and moved to Denver to live with family. My grandma was ten when they moved and so delights me with tales from the farm.
(Love my Grandpa!)
Grandpa grew up in Sterling, Colorado and before he hit the rodeo and military, he did his time on a sugar beet farm.
Both of them looked at me strangely when I announced that we wanted to become farmers! However, their homes and yards have always been filled with traces of the farming bug. Grandma and Grandpa’s previous home with a garden and a plethora of rose bushes. The indoor bay window I spoke about in an earlier post always filled with life and greenery. Their present home with the same lovely roses.
Aunt Donna’s yard filled to the brim with grapes, apples, rhubarb, squash, tomatoes, greens, and herbs. She is slowing down now, but the things she has taught me and the bounty she has received each year will stay with me forever in memory and the knowledge that one can farm anywhere is important to remember.
Though I have a huge family on both sides, many whom I resemble, many whom I share mannerisms with, Grandma and her siblings are the ones I always felt I stemmed from. The ones I came from. I married a man very similar to my Grandpa even. These are my people.
It was so glorious to bring the fifth generation over of future farm girls. Maryjane and Emily joined us. Maryjane’s first harvest. She played in the grass, ate grapes, and smiled at everyone. The future of what these fine people laid out for us. Family, food, love….and an irrepressible need to grow things.