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Inside the box

May 26, 2011
By Stephanie Bethke-DeJaeghere , Marshall Independent

A small little cardboard box, less than a few pounds and it holds the entire summers work inside it. As I hold the box, it holds so much promise for a great garden this summer. The wonders that it holds inside, the (sometimes) back breaking work of a vegetable garden and also some new things to try, just to keep things interesting this summer. The box originally has about only an hour or so worth of time, in the beginning, but holds a whole winter time's worth of good eating when the snow is deep on the prairie.

Inside the box, there are a few free things that the good company has offered up since I was so good to order from them. There are also some things that I and my family have also added into the box since we first received it. There are pumpkin seeds from school that the kids have carefully brought home from a class on nutrition. They really do like to eat pumpkin bars.

There are the seeds that a little boy gave me for teaching him about Jesus in religious education classes this past year. I know exactly where I am going to plant them and I will think of him every time I see them.

There are the three packages of seeds of marigolds that we planted inside the house earlier this spring. They were planted by the hands of a future farmer and are flowering already. We are moving them outside this weekend.

They were a gift from an anonymous donor who received some timely help on their garden and this was a reward. We have enjoyed them and will continue to enjoy them all summer long. I love marigolds.

The box also contains some new strawberry plants for our strawberry bed. In an effort to improve on the size of strawberries, we decided to try a new variety. We also have shell peas and edible snow pea pods. Then there are green bean seeds, sweet corn seeds (62 day) and also some flower seeds that have yet to be planted.

There are sunflowers that came for free with a magazine. I think they are the decorative type and not the kind that our blue jays would be interested in. We also added in potatoes, onion plants and our own plants started from seeds such as other flowers and, of course, tomatoes.

These are all waiting in the wings for planting this weekend.

There was a second box too. This one was much bigger then the first and had some other interesting, new things in it to try this summer. A table grape plant, blackberry plants, a new variety of raspberry plants and a dwarf lilac tree as well. They have been long since planted and are doing well. We have had grape plants in the past but only to find that wild grape plants are not for eating like you would get from the grocery store.

They are tiny, full of seeds and sour! We are aiming to have grapes that the kids can eat right off of the plant while they are outside, just like we do with our raspberry bed and strawberry beds.

A box of goodies to build memories on, to use to spend time with each other as we plant, and hoe as we pick and can our food stash for the winter.

The memories that we build, just from what comes out of a little box will endure for many, many years for both parents and children. A healthy lifestyle, healthy food and many happy memories.

For more about gardening, you can reach me at



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