Prompt: Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood.
There is an earthy acerbic smell around me and as I slowly pull the weeds up with my small hands I look around at the garden that takes up almost half our back yard. We ate organic before it was hip. To one side are the sweetest little strawberries you ever tasted and sunflowers with their tasty nutty flavour. There is parsley, mint, chives and probably some other spices hidden in our garden.
As you reach the middle of the garden are three to four rows of peas strung up on wire. Those more then anything remind me of childhood. Picking them to freeze for the winter, but mostly just eating them raw. Cracking a shell open and eating the sweet little balls of green and leaving the big overgrown peas to reseed the ground. Then there are the beans and everywhere inside those bushes hide these long medium thick crunchy green vegetables that I love fresh with butter and detest blanched and frozen and saved for winter months. There are cucumbers, mainly for pickles, zucchini for chocolate zucchini bread, carrots my little dog spunky eats if we’re not careful. She’ll leave just the tops if you let her.
Also, I can walk among the rows of corn that some years did splendidly and other years just withered. I can dig up red potatoes for stew and if I go far back there are prickly raspberry bushes where my other dog Nikki ate raspberries off of the ground and we carefully climbed into the bushes to find raspberries for freezing for jello desserts and ice cream sauces.
Not to mention we had this huge apple tree we use to climb as kids. Big apples and little apples of various kinds were grafted on that tree and we ate as many apples as we could until we were sick of them. There was home made apple sauce, apple juice, apple pies, and apple crisps. Both dogs use to take bites out of the apples on the ground, throw them up, and play with bitten apples. At the end of the season there were 40 different apples with one bite out of them.
My grandma had a garden too. So, gardens and fresh produce remind of being a little kid and eating all that fresh organic food. I remember long days help my parents pick beans or dig potatoes. And there were so many weeds to pull and too many bugs.
However, the strangest flower bloomed by the garbage cans and pile of compost in a bin in the back yard. Every year their were red roses peeking up beneath the grass. Hiding there like some forgotten unspoiled beauty in the crunch of vegetables.