“Sharing the Harvest,” Friend, Aug. 1992, 43
June pushed as Grandpa pulled the old red wagon up and down the long rows of vegetables. Grandpa stopped to inspect a knee-high, leafy green plant. “June, here are some nice big green peppers. Do you think that they are ready to pick?”
June stooped down to look, just as Grandpa had. “Yup.” She carefully picked one and held it up to Grandpa for final approval.
“Yup,” said Grandpa with a serious look. “Just right.”
June smiled and picked two more. She carefully placed them next to the corn in the wagon. The wagon was almost full, but there were still cucumbers, green beans, and squash to pick. June beamed as she looked at the beautiful fresh vegetables in the wagon. There were big red tomatoes, ears of yellow corn, orange carrots, leafy green lettuce, red radishes, and now big green peppers.
Grandpa and June had planted the big garden in the spring. First they got the soil ready. Next, June helped Grandpa plant seeds in little holes. Then they carefully covered them with dirt. After the seeds were covered, she helped Grandpa sprinkle the rich, dark soil with water. Up and down the long rows they had gone, digging, planting, and watering.
They had also planted small bedding plants. “If we plant these instead of seeds, we’ll get vegetables sooner,” Grandpa had explained. “I just can’t wait to pop a big ripe tomato into my mouth!” Grandpa loved tomatoes!
Together June and Grandpa watered their garden almost every day. Grandpa put on his big black irrigating boots, and June tugged on her little blue rubber puddle hoppers. It was fun walking up and down the long rows, getting their boots muddy while they made sure each plant got enough to drink.
Grandpa and June spent a lot of time weeding the long rows of vegetables too. “Weeds drink up all the water,” Grandpa explained. “Now, what is this I see?” he would ask. June would squat down next to Grandpa to have a look. “Does it look like the plants around it?” Grandpa would ask.
June would compare the green plant to those near it. “Nope.”
“Weed or vegetable?” Grandpa would ask next.
“Weed,” June would state firmly, and she would pull it out with a hard jerk.
“Yup,” Grandpa would say with a big smile, “you sure are a good gardener.”
As June looked up at Grandpa now, she said, “Wow, Grandpa, we sure have lots of vegetables!”
“Yup—with lots more to come!” He unloaded the last acorn squash from the wagon onto the back porch. He sat down and wiped his forehead with his big red handkerchief. June sat down next to Grandpa and wiped her forehead with her little red handkerchief.
“Well, June, do you think we can eat all those vegetables ourselves?”
“Nope,” said June. “We couldn’t eat that many in a hundred years.”
“You’re right,” replied Grandpa with a chuckle. “Well then, what do you think we should do with them all? I would hate to waste any of our hard work.”
June thought a moment. She was proud of the vegetables, and she didn’t want to waste any, either. “I know—let’s share them!”
“Now, that’s what I call a good idea. But who do you think would want some?”
June didn’t have to think very hard before she said, “Sister Rencher doesn’t have a garden since she can’t bend down to pull the weeds anymore. I bet she would like some.”
“Yup,” said Grandpa thoughtfully.
June’s mind was working fast. “Sister Rice works all day. She doesn’t have time for a garden.”
“Good thinking, June. The Sorensons next door don’t have room in their yard for a garden. I bet they would like some.”
“Can we give some vegetables to my Primary teacher, Sister Johnson?” asked June. “I know she would like them.”
“Yup,” said Grandpa. “Now how many people is that?”
June counted on her fingers: “Sister Rencher is one, Sister Rice is two, the Sorensons are three, and Sister Johnson makes four.”
Grandpa scratched his gray head and asked, “How can we get all these vegetables to all those people?”
June rested her head on her hand and thought for a moment. “I know! I know!” She jumped up and went into the house. Soon she was back, carrying four big brown grocery sacks. “We can put vegetables in each sack for each person!”
“That’s a great idea,” said Grandpa.
Together June and Grandpa thoughtfully chose vegetables for each person and carefully put them into the sacks. “How can we get the sacks of vegetables to the people?” asked Grandpa.
“Can we take them in our wagon?”
“Yup, I think that will work,” Grandpa said. “You always have such good ideas. Now whom should we visit first?”
June thought about this for a minute or two. “The Sorensons—they’re the closest.”
Later, June was holding Grandpa’s big hand as they pulled the empty wagon home. They had delivered all their vegetables. June’s small hand felt warm and secure inside Grandpa’s big one. She felt good inside. “Grandpa, it’s sure fun to plant a garden. It’s even more fun to weed and water it. But do you know what’s the most fun of all?”
“Sharing the vegetables!”
“Yup,” said Grandpa with a big smile.