Thank You Martha, Mel, and Memories

I came to gardening through motherhood and, if I’m being honest, Martha Stewart.  I guess that’s not entirely fair.  I did grow up in Idaho and hail from sheep and potato farmers, and on my mom’s side we are Harwards.  My mom’s cousins still run Harward Farms down in Utah County.  But when we found Adjoa and knew she was going to be a part of our family, I started thinking about the important things in life.

It’s cliché, I know.  I thought about the things I remembered from my childhood and the list was pretty short.  We would pretend our bikes were horses.  One summer we built a fort.  We loved sleeping outside, under the stars, on the trampoline.  And I remembered summer food, freshly foraged.

We would pick rhubarb, sneak inside, climb onto the counter and retrieve the sugar bowl.  We’d dip the rhubarb directly into the sugar bowl for each new bite: me, my sister, our little brother, and all the neighborhood kids.  {My mom would die if she knew this – she’s a bit touchy about other people’s germs}.  If my parents ever wondered why the rhubarb didn’t produce very much, it’s because we ate it all while they were busy with grown-up tasks and we were instructed to run amuck.

I remember scavenging raspberries from the bushes, tilling, planting seeds in neat little rows, and watching our garden grow.  Incidentally, I don’t remember weeding the garden, but I know that was our job.  I remember my mom canning –especially her pink applesauce and the delectable apricot syrup she made one year.  After my first attempts at canning this year, I suspect the apricot syrup I so fondly remember was actually an attempt at jam, gone wrong.

It took me a couple weeks, but it finally dawned on me that nearly all my memories had good, home grown food in common.  I shared my burgeoning ideas with a neighborhood friend who admitted she was harboring gardening thoughts herself and was thinking about this thing called Square Foot Gardening.  I was taken in – hook, line, and sinker.

The next week I commissioned my husband to build some boxes and we were up and running in time to plant.  Since that first summer, we’ve expanded the garden, added chickens, and this year I’m learning the art of preserving through much trial and error.  What I thought would be a lot of work, and what my husband believed was a passing fancy, has turned into a fun family affair that I hope inspires my child when she’s grown.

Jessica Sorenson
Equity Real Estate Agent
Salt Lake Home Rebate
7090 Union Park Ave #658
Midvale, UT 84047
Phone: 801.897.5005
Fax: 801.583.2844

August 17th, 2010 – – POST UPDATE

My mom called me last night to correct my post.  Gotta love moms!

She wanted to make sure I knew the apricot syrup was NOT a jam-making error.  She was inspired by a favorite local pancake house that served apricot syrup.

Mom wanted me to know she created that recipe herself, thank you very much!  And she insisted her mother made SURE she knew how to can properly.

So you all know now, too.  My mom knows how to can perfectly and properly.  I just didn’t pay enough attention when I was a kid!

p.s. For the record.  I am also trying to make jams and jellies without adding store-bought pectin.  I’m trying to do it as naturally as possible.  Which makes for some runny jam that is just the way nature intended it to be!

Oh.  And she was significantly grossed out by the rhubarb in the sugar bowl confession.

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