Mom's Gardens


When I was a young girl, Mom had two gardens (circa 1955-1966) in a rural area near Wilmington, Illinois, one at home behind the house, and one on my grandparents' farm 1.5 miles away. I cannot believe not a single photo exists. We spent nearly the entire spring & summer tending those gardens, cultivating, planting, weeding, hoeing, picking off bugs, and harvesting. We also harvested from apple, pear and cherry trees on my grandparents farm. Our lunch would include just-picked items such as tomatoes, carrots, green beans, apples, etc. A quick rinse in a pail of cool water and it was ready to eat! We used no pesticides, eating our veggies raw was unquestionably the highlight of our time spent in the gardens. Then we spent days preserving hundreds of beautiful Mason jars of wonderful pickles, relishes, vegetables of all sorts, pie fillings and sauces, including applesauce, tomato sauce and spaghetti sauce.

When my husband and I started our own large garden and a small orchard in 1972, we planted and tended, cultivated and hoed, weeded and picked off the various bugs that wanted our produce as much as we did! I also preserved hundreds of beautiful Mason jars of food for our table.

The canning shelves at both Mom's and my house were a sight to behold! My children could polish off a pint jar of my bread and butter pickles in under a half hour, just for a snack! Oh, how I wish I had some photos of those activities!

Everyone should have a garden, even if it is just for a few tomato plants! Store-bought produce cannot come close to the flavor and texture of foods we have grown ourselves. And the fresh air and exercise are totally free!

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Cite this Page

SharonF, “Mom's Gardens,” Community of Gardens, accessed May 30, 2024, https:/​/​communityofgardens.​si.​edu/​items/​show/​12105.​
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