I can remember back as a boy my Dad would go and barrow the neighbor horse to plow our garden , our neighbor was my Aunt Biola in Birch Tree Missouri. After my Aunt Biola husband Ott Kelly plowed there garden with that big white horse, my Dad would barrow there horse to plow our garden, My Aunt husband Ott Kelly would never charge us any money for using there horse, Ott would just say feed and water the horse.
We lived way out in the country, and yes we were all poor country people, but we were happy. After my Dad cut down a lot of trees he would cut the big part of the tree up and we would save it for fire wood for the coming winter, we would pile all the tree limbs and all the brush on the garden to burn, we would make 3 to 4 piles my Dad said it is good for the soil when you plow the ash under the soil it will fertilizer the soil and help the garden grow even better.
We always had a big garden when I was a boy, we would keep my Aunt Biola horse about a week, it takes a long time to plow up new ground with a horse, when I say new ground for those that don't know what that means, it is ground that has never been plowed. My Dad would have to stop and rest the horse after one round of plowing, and it was hard work for my Dad too, he would be so wet with sweat, you see when you plow with a horse you have to keep the plow under the soil by pulling down on the plow as the horse is walking, My Dad would stop and get some water for the horse and get some water for his self and cool down a little and get up and do it again.
After 3 to 4 days of plowing with the horse the plowing is all done. My Dad would get out his chopping axe and start cutting off tree roots that came up from the plowing. My Mom and my little brother Marvin and I carry the tree roots off the garden and put them in a pile to burn later, the next 2 to 3 days we all are picking up rocks, so many thousands of rocks, like I said before we are blessed with too many rocks here in Missouri. Some of the rocks were so big my Dad would have to tie a rope around the rock, and go hook the horse up to pull them out of the garden.
After all the tree roots are picked up and the rocks are picked up the ground is one big mess, the soil has big dirt clods and lambs in it, but the soil looks so good dark in color very rich soil great for planting.
My Dad would hook the horse up to a big home made rake, made out of big heavy steel frame with big steel spikes sticking out. After my Dad made a round in the garden with the home made garden rake, he would have to stop and clean out the rake, it would be so full of tree roots and rocks, my Mom and my little brother Marvin and I would follow behind the rake with a 5-gallon bucket picking up rocks and tree roots, some of the rock were just too big so we would have to leave them for my Dad to pick up.
My Dad worked so hard putting in a garden every year. My Dad did not have to cut down any trees the next year, and that made it a lot easier on him, and the ground was a lot easier to plow the 2nd. year, after being plowed the year before.
My Dad went and barrow my aunt Biola horse again to plow our garden the 2nd. year . After my Dad had finished the garden again just like the year before there were thousands of rocks to be picked up. But we always had a big beautiful garden.
We always had lots of rows of sweet corn, my Mom and Dad would cut the corn off of the cob and can the corn. We also planted lots of rows green beans and always 2 to 3 rows of red potatoes, and always 1-row of sweet potatoes. And 2-rows of tomatoes, we always had lots of tomatoes. My Mom and Dad loved red beats so we always planted them, also they loved there green onions, and lettuce in the spring as a boy my brother, Marvin and I did not like the Red beats, green onions,and lettuce,but now we both love eating them, and when it is fresh out of your garden it taste so much better then store bought.
The 3rd. year of planting in the spring my Dad would add some chicken manure and some cow manure to the garden, Dad said it was nutrition back in the soil that are garden plants had took out in the 2 years before. Dad said you had to put back in the ground what you took out.
And just like in the past my Dad would barrow the horse and plow and rake from my aunt Biola. My Dad had to work all the manure up and all through the soil by plowing the garden cross ways and then plow long ways, just like so many times in the past we had a lot more of Missouri rocks to pick up.
As you all know by reading this Going Green in The Garden is nothing new people have been going green in the garden for many years. The story I just told you about is over 53-years ago, I was only 10-years old but I will never forget it.
Some people call it the Good Old Days well it sure was in lots of ways. Lots of hard work, I can remember my Mom canning in 1-Qt. jars out side the house on a old wood cook stove in the yard. Mom caned in a old granite cooker, my brother Marvin and I our job was keep the fire going in the old wood cook stove, we had to take the chopping axe in the woods and cut the old dead wood up and carry it back to the stove.
And after that we would have to help Mom out and wash the canning jars, Mom had 2-Big wash tubs set up in the yard one tub had soap in it and the other tub had clean water in it to rinse out the jar after washing. My brother Marvin and I had no school in the summer so we were home all day and we would help our Mom with the canning.
Lots of hard work but we had a lot of garden vegetables to eat in the cold Missouri winter. Well we all have came a long way in the last 52-years and a lot of things have changed. And gardening is one of the big changes, there is a lot better ways, that is why I like to Garden The Easy Way, as another old saying goes I have been there and done that. Although we still have the Amish People that use the horse and plow their garden yet today, we have some that live near us at Seymour, Missouri. And they raise chickens and cattle for their food and they put the chicken and cow manure back on the garden for fertilizer.
We have to put nutrition back in the soil, we can not raise a garden in the same spot year after year with out putting something back, if you try your garden will die. Going green in the garden I think it would be safe to say it has been going on for over 100 Years, but there is some people that don't know that.
And there is a lot of things I don't know about gardening, but there is another old saying ( You Are Never Too Old To Learn ) I'm still learning about different ways to plant different things in the garden and I'm 62-years old, WOW that really sounds old, but it's not, I love gardening and gardening they say it will help keep you young and it is good for you and they tell me it even lower your blood pressure, because gardening is so much fun and it is so rewarding When your crop comes in.
But when I think back, I can not believe 52-years has went by, it just seem like yesterday I was picking rocks with my Sweet Loving Mom and Dad and my brother Marvin.
Well that is it for now. We hope that we shared something with you all today that might help you with your gardening. Hope to talk to you all soon until then Good Gardening Always from Ken and Marilou