CPR Section House

CPR Section House

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Garden in the Bush

Fresh vegetables were rare and in Northern locations , other than beans and root vegetables , there was little fare to be ordered up with the supplies .
During her first winter , Mum made plans to put in a garden come spring . She ordered seeds in from Montreal to arrive by May .
The days lengthened and warmed until finally the soil was beginning to thaw . Mum chose a sunny spot not too far from the back door that she thought would have enough soil to grow what she planned : beans and root vegetables it was .
The ground never saw a spade , or pick axe as it would have it , but determination , a lot of sweat equity and Dad's help produced a small garden plot by the end of May . Dad wasn't too sure that they would get the results that Mum hoped for , but he indulged her.

Mum carefully hoed the plot into rows and planted seed precisely to instructions on the envelopes : two rows of carrots , two rows of beets , two rows of yellow wax beans ...all things she could preserve in jars when the time came . With the blueberry preserves and these , there would be treats for Christmas and visitors during the winter .

Throughout June and into July , Mum and Dad carted water from the spring and collected rainwater in the washtub for watering the plants every few days . Each evening they spent a few minutes weeding . By the middle of July , they were eating beans and beet tops with supper ... the best reward for hard work in a garden .

One early morning just after Dad had left to fill the switch lamps , Mum headed out to the outhouse . As she was returning , she could see beyond the house  , a large animal in her garden with greens carrot tops hanging from its mouth . She headed for the garden , grabbing the broom off the back step as she flew by . Who did he think he was eating her carrots ?

She yelled and ran towards it waving her broom in the air . All it did was raise its head , look unconcerned in her direction and proceed to tear out another mouthful of tender young carrots . Mum was not put off her task . She was more than familiar with chasing animals out of the gardens on the farm , so she felt no fear doing the same with this one . Using the broom to swat its withers she finally got the reluctant animal moving . Soon it drifted back to the bush and she repaired the damage , gathering small carrots from the ground to cook up with supper .

When Dad returned after work , she described the animal in answer to his questions . She was still more than annoyed over it .
" Was it a bear ?"

"No , it wasn't a bear! . I know what a bear is ! It was bigger ."

"What colour was it ?"

" It was dark brown ...a bit bigger than a farm horse ... and it had wide horns ."

Dad immediately went out to find its tracks . He came in shaking his head and told her she had chased a moose out of the garden . Then , he roared with laughter and explained a few things about moose to her . " You're lucky it didn't charge you ...it could have killed you ."

" Well he shouldn't have been eating my carrots !" 

This story like others made it way up and down the line - one about a feisty English war bride who had mistaken a moose for a beaver ( my Dad's addition) and sent it running in fear back to the bush off the end of her broom .

No comments: