Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Inch by Inch and Row by Row........"

The seeds themselves taught me how to garden.
The weeds showed me that roots need soft, loose soil.
The little nature spirits smiled upon my garden
and it grew.

I loved the shush-shush-shush of the sprinkler
in the early morning,
loved weeding in the cool of the evening,
as the skies turned softly azure,
till there was not a weed left,
the fat pet rabbit munching up and down the rows,
then settling beside me to doze, well-fed, content.

I remember Stephanie, age two, plunked down
beside the pea vines, shelling and eating peas,
the older kids in straw hats helping me weed,
complaining about the heat,
my Grandma, sitting underneath the grape arbor,
chatting as I weeded.
I remember bringing home small trees and bushes
from the nursery on my bike,
teetery fronds wavering in front and rear baskets,
me peering through the branches,
trying not to topple,
people in cars smiling at me as they passed.

How we all loved the garden's bounty:
canteloupes, watermelons, honeydews,
veggies bursting with health and vitality,
organic, fresh from garden to plate.
The grape arbor and several fruit trees
meant all summer was a banquet,
satisfying to a single mom trying to feed
her hungry children.

And, just like the garden,
inch by inch, and year by year,
I and my children grew.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Organic

My title is taken from a song we used to sing in coffeehouse days.


  1. I love all the pics of the children in between the vegetable rows. This is the way to grow, for sure.

  2. labor of love is so rewarding...thanks for this glimpse into the paradise...

  3. Take care of them and they'll return the favor with such lusciousness of greenery.


  4. I so admire anyone with a green thumb...and anyone who pulls off single parenting! Kudos

  5. Oh Sherry how I adore this poem :D thank you for sharing the lovely pictures.

    Lots of love,

  6. Perfect. Just perfect, Sherry.

  7. Oh, the memories! Love this poem! And all of your children look like you. I wish we had taken garden pictures when we were doing it, though there is one of me pouting over a mess of tomatoes I had to peel and cut for stewing and canning. And the Pete Seeger Song! I hope you and they all knew the delight while you were doing it, not just on hindsight. (I'm writing a new poem now about the loss when we started buying canned goods at super markets.)

  8. So beautiful - the poem, the pictures, the memories. An entire story about growth. How sweet that the children helped with the garden.

  9. I looked and looked but couldnt find a photo of my eldest son in the garden. He was not fond of cameras - or of weeding, for that matter, LOL.

  10. That is a lovely garden and I am sure finding the pictures brought back many happy memories for you.

  11., children, memories...

  12. This reminded me of long ago days when many families in the UK had Council allotments to grow fruit and vegetables to supplement their food supply. As kids we would go to father's allotment and pull a carrot wipe it off and eat it on the way home from school!

  13. Wonderful! I love to garden and your poem, photos and history have my green thumbs itching~

  14. ah yes, going back to one's roots

    nice pic's mi amiga

  15. What a lovely memory - i suppose all growth is inch by inch and row by row - i'm glad there was a happy nurturing place..the warmth of the sun and the cool of the evening - and nothing better than popping peas!

  16. Beautiful....the lines, the pics, the story--Made me hang there till the very end!!
    Gardens are magical, fun, and always full of surprises!!

  17. I loved every picture and enjoyed every word.

  18. Lovely pictures of your children and the garden. Good memories.

  19. Sherry, this is truly a lovely poem. One of my favorites of your recent one. Really what a beautiful garden you had...oh my, what a bountiful harvest. And neat to see the children as well. It is so good for children to nurture life, I think. Love the title too, Sherry.

  20. It would be a hard heart indeed that did not love a garden's bounty!

  21. Sherry, I love everything about this... the beautiful... the concept of growing with our gardens. This leaves the heart smiling... ♥

  22. So beautiful...the garden...but really hard work. a couple of years ago, I decided I would stop pretending to be a "farmer." My partner has a bad back, and so is left to me. My garden space runs wild, this also appeals to me.

  23. I had a love/hate relationship with the garden. You remind me of all the things I loved about it.


  24. They were so lucky to grow like this...such beauty, Sherry. Thank you for sharing.

  25. It's so wonderful to watch each season as they grow - then a harvest comes and you realize they are grown (groan).
    Lovely and a bit tearful verse.

  26. By every measure gardeners top the happy list - always looking forward.

  27. Have many memories, of a hoe, in one hand, a weed, in the other, working my way, through the rows of green and wax beans, in the monstrous garden that my dad planted every year. Often, growing way too much organic fruits and veggies, for our own need, as dad shared them, with the neighbours.

    My favour part, was chomping on the fresh beans, as I picked them, for that night's dinner.

  28. This is delightful, Sherry! As a backyard gardener myself, I can appreciate your sentiments...


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