The warm air, a slight breeze, sunshine shining on my face, are all things that raise my spirits as we set off through another spring season. As a boy, this time of year was set aside for preparing and planting our family garden. I will never forget one year in some reading I had found some guidance to enhance our tomato crop by planting them in old tires. The reservoir created then helped to keep them well fed with water throughout the season. With the passage of time, I do not recall whether the experiment brought much success to the process for the couple of years I used those. I do however remember the effort required to bury those tires and then in subsequent years to dig them back up as I transitioned to another approach. Needless to say, I was an industrious gardener as a kid. When I started the garden, I dug out the around two feet removing huge granite rocks and the filling the area with good soil. I prepared a seasonal compost system that kept the area each season refreshed with needed materials to break down and enhance the soil. I put in fencing to protect them from my rambunctious dog. Most of the standards – green beans, squash, tomatoes, rhubarb, okra, peppers, cucumbers and a few melons were the crop. In banner years, enough was harvested to can and keep us fed for a while. I enjoyed the gardening in that I felt I was being productive and giving back to the upkeep of our family especially before I was old enough to get a regular job. One of my favorite years was when the weather was weird on down into the fall and much of what I had planted had peaked and began to die. I had yet to clear the garden for winter and the weather got warm again for a couple of months, many of the plants revived and yielded another crop by Thanksgiving. It is amazing what God allows nature to provide. I know many of you garden and some farm. Our family has done both, although I have not planted something to eat in 15 years. But this year, once again, I felt the need to dig in the dirt and try to bring forth something productive that hopefully may sustain me a bit in the coming months. Of course, this year, the crop will cost a bit more as I have had to develop a new garden spot. However, thus far just the action of preparing the spot, mixing the soil has given me a great sense of accomplishment. As the seedlings come forth and hopefully bear edibles throughout the year, I know I will have a new sense of joy that will empower my spirit. Fresh vegetables, fresh herbs and a few melons are my hope and maybe a new connection to God’s creation that I have not sensed within my soul in quite a while. Sadly, I fear that rising food prices are ahead, and possibly some items not being as readily available with rising shipping costs. It may be a good idea for everyone to plant a few of your favorites. Dig out that old canning equipment from mom or grandma that you put in the basement, and store back some food supplies for you and your loved ones. There is a saying “You reap what you sow.” It usually has a foreboding tone in relation to getting your just deserts for something bad you have done. In this case though, I wish you all reap a great bounty should you decide to sow this season!
Randall Franks, above, played Officer Randy Goode (1988–1993) Randy Goode begins his work on the series as a partner to Wilson Sweet in "The Creek"; he soon begins driving Chief Gillespie and Detective Tibbs around. Randall has stayed a good friend of The Courier for many years. The actor recently took a fall and is still recovering. We hope he continues to improve. Our thoughts and prayers are with him. —Jim Clark, publisher courierL@bellsouth.net