AARP AARP States Colorado

To Plant or Not to Plant… That is the Question

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So I’m leaving one of my favorite neighborhood garden stores, and once again, for about the third year in a row, (no pun intended,) I think about planting a garden. Not a big garden, but something that would yield me some of the summer harvest I so enjoy. I think about my grandmother having a garden and so did my mother. I remember collard and turnip greens, squash, red, yellow and green peppers, and my favorite, cabbage. At Sunday dinner, if we ran out of tomatoes, someone would volunteer to make a trip to the grocery store and my grandmother would say, “No need to do that, just go out back to the garden and pick two or three, and while you are at it, pull up some onions too…”

In the store there were seeds, seeds everywhere. There were seeds in the Garden Center, Pets, the Checkouts and even seeds side by side with the Girl Scouts selling their yearly selection of cookies. There were seeds for flowers, plants, fruits, vegetables, you name it, and there were seeds. And to my amazement, some of the seed packets were only 10 cents, so I ask you “why does the stuff cost so much in the store?? Hum…” I got to thinking more and more about growing some of my own produce. Then my husband was quick to remind me that for about the last three years in a row, while I have had this vision of growing a garden, I have also ruined some of our top-soil, let two of the $19.99 topsey-turbey growers for tomatoes dry out, not to mention the countless hours of rest he has lost taking care of “my so called garden” while I was elsewhere doing other stuff.

… After weighing my longing desire to be a “woman of the earth” and growing some of my own produce as my grandmother and mother did, weighing that against the words of my husband and the fact that I do not like to get my hands dirty!, I have decided to support my local growers! Colorado’s produce rivals that of any I have tasted in the last years.

This summer not only get out and smell the roses… but get out and taste the produce!  Vibrant colors, juicy textures, garden like armors; visiting your local farmers markets and produce stands not only shows your support for your community’s local growers, but also introduces you and your family to a variety of foods and specialties not seen or offered in your main-stream grocery store.

Carol J. Smith, CEC

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