I can’t remember a time when I didn’t spend at least a portion of my week with a hoe or shovel or pruning shears in my hands. I was in diapers when I first went to the fields with my parents. My first clear memory of actually working is the summer after I turned four. Although I’ve lived in the city, the fields are where my genes were grown and developed. I have adapted to other lifestyles, but I am definitely the product of five generations of farmers.
My siblings and I have not carried on the farming tradition of our ancestors, but each of us dabbles in gardening. So too have my children, although two are definitely “city kids”, as my father often reminded me. As the time changes and the air warms and the sunlight beckons me outside I know that my parents and their parents and their parents experienced the same urge to dig in the ground and plant something. And I have seen a few signs that my grandchildren will be following this family tradition in their own ways. The gardening gene lives on.