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Have hoe, will garden

July 28, 2011
By Stephanie Bethke-DeJaeghere , Marshall Independent

For the past few weeks I have been traveling around the area with one of my best friends, my hoe. Yep, it is maybe sad to say but a new hoe that I purchased earlier this spring has been riding around in my vehicle for quite a while now. I do spend a lot of time weeding my own garden and helping out weeding at the community garden.

The quickest way to cure a kid's boredom is to pick up a hoe, look at your children with intent and start walking toward the garden. It is amazing how quickly they find something productive to do so they won't have to follow mom into the garden. I was recently at a store in Marshall and made a large purchase that barely fit into the back of my vehicle. I had to move my hoe out of the way so they could fit the item in the back. Really, they said. Are you sure that this hasn't become an addiction with you, this gardening thing that now you are keeping your hoe with you?

The problem is, you see, I prefer a very sharp hoe. As many of us sage and wise gardeners know, a sharp hoe makes the work go much faster.

A dull hoe tires you out much faster. I have, too, spent many an hour on my knees in the garden, crawling through it. I have to say that I can't make too loud of complaints to my older son because he has the knees ripped out of his pants all of the time. I thought by now he would have outgrown it, but I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. I have my share of jeans that I keep for farm use only that are ripped up pretty bad, too.

I used to not like weeding. It was seen as a bad chore. I was like my children at one time. It was amazing how quickly I could find something better to do with myself if the subject was broached about how boredom can be relieved quite quickly on the end of a hoe in the garden. And in those days, it also included walking beans, one of the biggest 'gardens' of all. I only remember making the mistake one time to my farming dad that I was bored.

He quickly put an end to that neverending whine that kids have. I made darn sure that I never said that in front of him again. Weeding isn't so bad now. I get up early during the week since I work in construction anyway and so on the weekends when it is hot outside, I also get up early knowing that later I can rest a bit in the afternoon.

It is pleasant out in the garden, pulling a few weeds or picking vegetables before the kids are up and the telephone starts to ring. I don't have to go far to find peace on my little plot of land. Sure, the recent storms didn't help out my sense of peace for a while. But now, the summertime flowers are growing strong, butterflies and bees, hummingbirds and other birds of all kinds are cheery in the morning hours.

I even have a little farm kitten that follows me into the garden to keep me company. You can't beat having a little tricolored kitty rubbing against your legs purring the whole while to help you forget your troubles for just a little bit. I think that this is what is missing in so many people's lives these days.

A simple grace, a simple peace and it is only 1,000 feet away from my front doorstep.

For more information regarding gardening, you can reach me at



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