Managing my garden

J.A. Bolton Storyteller

April 22, 2014

Come spring I always like to plant myself several gardens. Since I’ve moved, the only place I have to plant my garden is on the sides of two steep hills behind my house.

In a dry spring my garden wouldn’t produce much because I didn’t have enough water pressure to reach up the hill. I have a friend who lives up in the mountains who always has the prettiest garden. I called and told him about the problems I was having with my garden and did he have any suggestions.

He said, “It’s all in the way you place the plants in your garden. First, you plant your onions at the very top of the hill. Then you plant your tators right below them and then whatever else below them.”

I ask him, “Why in that order?”

He said, “In a dry year them onions will get real strong and put off a real bad odor. This bad odor will cause the eyes on them tators to start weeping and therefore the water will run down the hill and water the rest of your garden.”

And folks, by-golly it worked.

On the other hill is where I plant my corn. That hill is so steep I have to use a shotgun to plant it with. Why the first year I planted corn on that hill I didn’t get a good stand so I figured the barrel on that old Sears and Roebuck shotgun was too short. I just went out to the outhouse and got the phone number out of the catalog. I called and got to talk with a young lady and told her my problem and that I needed a longer barrel for my shotgun. She must have had to think on that for a while cause she put me on hold for 10 minutes. When she finally came back on the phone she was kinda laughing, but she recommended that I order one of their long goose barrels with a poly choke on the end. Well I told her right quick that I didn’t have time to get that poly choke thing all the way from France, but she explained that it was made right here in the good old U.S.A.

She went on to say, “You could adjust the choke to get whatever pattern you wanted.”

Well I told her to send me two of them rascals right away cause I needed to get my corn planted. In a week I had them barrels and set right into planting my corn. I loaded one end of that gun with three inch magnum shells and the other end with two pounds of Silver Queen corn. Well I commenced to shooting that corn up on the hill. Folks I ran through a half a box of shotgun shells and about 20 pounds of corn but from then on I had a good stand of corn.

Well I used to work my garden with a mule and a Dixie plow. I made the mistake of loaning my mule to my neighbor who happened to be the local moonshiner. He just happened to ride my mule to his still the night the Revenues raided it. Now my neighbor is in prison, his shine is the property of the state and my mule is in Washington.

You ask me, how what mule ended up in Washington? Why some of them local politicians put his name in the hat for the U.S. Congress and be dog gone if he didn’t win. Now if’en you ask me, he will fit right in with some of the other stubborn mules in our nation’s capital!

To be continued next week.