Photo by Jacob Robertson
I first learned about growing food as a young child in my grandfather’s gardens in northern Maine. Grampa would gather any available grandchildren, slather us with Woodsman Fly Dope, and take us all “up on the farm” on a grand adventure, which usually included weeding, hoeing and swatting blackflies. Under his watchful eyes, we learned what was a “plant” and what was a weed, and what to do if we saw a bear. We worked hard (except when we were throwing rocks into the woods or weeds at each other), then we’d all go to the lake for a swim.
My own children also grew up in the garden, grazing up and down the rows of vegetables and berries. We had two important farm rules: If you pick it, you have to eat it; and never climb the apple trees. Many digs to China were attempted and many toys buried for future generations to discover. One year we thought we had a vegetable thief until we discovered Gabe, our Black Lab/Newfoundland dog, feasting in the cucumber patch.
During a ten-year move away from Maine, I learned to grow beautiful plants we didn’t intend to eat. Planting annual and perennial flowers seemed frivolous at first, but I began to enjoy them. At the same time, I missed the culture of growing food and preserving it for the winter.
Four years ago we moved back to northern Maine and a lovely old farmhouse on three peaceful acres. The work of reclaiming the land has been slow until recently, as other employment has claimed our first energies. The time has finally come for me to make the land my work, and I am home at last.
Marcia Stohlberg is a Connecticut Master Gardener who lives in Caribou, Maine. She is married to Tim, whose generous heart makes this return to work at home possible. They are blessed with four children, three sweet grandsons and Henry, a standard poodle, who oversees the farm.
home, garden, life said:
Seems as though you have come full circle. Congratulations!
Following twelve years here, there is nothing more satisfying or frustrating than managing a property–balance occurs when one comes full circle.
You’ve piqued my interest. I’ll be back :^)
I’ll welcome you!
Hi Marcia thanks for visiting me…I love your post taglines…I will read more!
Congratulations! I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. For the rules andmy 11 questions, please visit the post http://nittygrittydirtman.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/and-the-liebst…-award-goes-to/
Elna Pearson said:
Very nice site. Glad I found it. I have learned a lot about gardening and about you and the family. I will come back often to check.
Much love to all,
So nice to hear from you. Thank you so much for finding me here. I love the gardens, and the writing has been fun, too. Take good care!
greg tracy sr said:
I remember my gradma Vella Soderberg making those pancakes for me when I was 5,when my 2 boys were young they used to want them all the time.I still have the crumpled folded recipe she made 30 years ago.Thanks for the memories-greg tracy
Oh my, our grandparents were neighbors on East Road. How nice to hear from you! My husband and I visited with your parents at a church event a couple of summers ago. That was so much fun for us… of course, any event involving the Soderbergs would be fun!
greg tracy sr said:
Yes she told me about that and how nice it was to be with you 2.I always tried to incorporate apple into them,but being so thin, it never really worked like with it did with
mixes,seeing your cider recipe sounds perfect!We`ll have to try it!I don`t know who the swede was who came up with this recpie but…they really hit a home run!Where did you live down here?
Cromwell, CT for 10 years, then back home to Maine. We don’t have a lot of land here in Caribou, but we’re trying to make the most of it. It’s a work in progress – chickens next, we think!
greg tracy sr said:
Sounds like a plan!Best of luck!