Of course I turned to page 188 first!

Feb 18, 2023 | 1 comment

Plant Green Garlic – by Lee Johnston

Stevens, Nyel, 188.  That’s what the index said and that’s the page I went to right off the bat.  Maggie’s book, The Container Victory Garden, arrived last night, and although it was addressed to me, I knew it was truly Nyel’s.  Maggie had said that all those who had contributed to the book would get theirs about a week prior to its official publication.  And here it was!  Nyel’s copy!

I was born in 1943 in Montpelier, Idaho.  It wasn’t until after World War II that I first became aware of the term Victory Garden, but I well remember my grandparents’ garden from those days, even though I didn’t know the name and they probably didn’t call it that.  To them, it was just the garden.

Painting by Janice Minjin Yang

Straightforward.  Spare.  It sounded so much like Nyel that he could have been inside my head reading it to me.  He went on to tell about his grandfather, a conductor on the Union Pacific Railroad — He grew just about every vegetable you could think of, but my favorites were the carrots, which I was allowed to dig and eat right there in the garden, with the dirt rubbed off on my Levi’s.

And he went on to tell about the Nyel I knew for forty years: Wherever I have lived since then, I always tried to have a garden whenever possible, some large and some not so large.  Today I’m trying to garden in pots, in a very small area off our kitchen.  So far, some things have been very successful, some were a complete bust.  The experiment continues.

And so it will, dear Nyel… with the inspiration of your words and the help from Maggie’s wonderful book.  And so it will!

1 Comment

  1. Caroline Miller

    At the time of this memory, he was too young to anticipate the distraction that would follow. His love for chickens.


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