Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Tails From the Farm

Reap What you Sow

Gardens can be a lot of work, yet to walk out into your own backyard and harvest the day’s meal, is pretty darn great. Over the years, we took stabs at a having a nice garden. Honest, well intended tries that usually didn’t succeed as much as we hoped. It’s hard to keep ahead of weeds, and one must remember to water, if it hasn’t rained for a day or two. The reasons (excuses) were varied, plentiful and for the most part, completely valid. After all, there were long days of driving truck, horses to see to, and of course, there were the kidlets.
These facsimiles of gardens, with their coverings of robust weeds, were complete failures. With a bit of search and recovery, we still managed to harvest varied veggies. Even a small success is worthy of being counted, and a meal from the garden, tastes so much better than one from the store.
When the kidlets got a little older, we decided to really give having a proper garden, a go. The girlchild and her father, were especially keen. I was willing to follow their lead. The patch of ground was improved upon with a semi load of sand and a couple of well-aged, horse manure worked in and we were ready to have at it.
As it turned out, a properly tended garden, can be bountiful indeed. A well tended garden (not my doing) actually produced far more than we could use. Because of this, others were able to benefit as well. Of course, we didn’t forget about the horses. Two, long rows of carrots were planted to share with our many equines. One of the nicest things about carrots, is that there’s no rush to get them out of the ground. A few, hard frosts only make the taste sweeter and more intense.
In the years when we were producing Morgan horses, we always had youngsters of different ages. Each ‘batch’ lived together, only to be separated by gender before any became amorous and got ideas in their pretty heads. Now, Morgans are big thinkers. They get easily bored and will get up to all sorts of nonsense if left to their own devices with nothing to do.
That’s what it was like, one particular year. The batch of yearlings were always getting into things. Nothing could be left within reach of curious mouths, or it would be gone. Halters, leads, buckets, it didn’t matter. They had no qualms whatsoever about taking work gloves and hoodies. Hammers and fencing tools, were also fair game. Forget to properly close a gate, they’d take full advantage of it. They even learned how to open one of the gates, and this is the story of one of those times.
We, the girlchild and I, went out to do morning chores one lovely, summery day, only to stop dead in our tracks. A gate was open … wide open. The yearlings were out. It was definitely an ‘oh crap’ moment. I had no idea where they could or would go and we didn’t see hide nor hair of the little rotters. I didn’t have to say a word to sweetpea. Collecting a couple of halters and leads, she held one out to me. We had horses to catch.
It didn’t take long to find them. There they were, snoozing around our precious, most beautiful garden. They didn’t seem to have a care in the world and barely turned an ear towards our advance. Clearly, they harboured no guilt, for trashing the lovely garden. They must’ve had one wonderful time and fully enjoyed their freedom. It was there in the utter exhaustion, apparent in every inch of their shiny bodies. Greeted by yawns as we walked up to them, I was shocked by the state of the garden. There wasn’t a leaf out of place, not a hoofprint to be found. They hadn’t gone into it, not even a little bit.
Yearlings slowly rose to their feet, yawning and stretching as they did so. Even as they walked to us, they skirted the garden with care. It was as if they somehow knew, it was out of bounds. We have no idea, what kept that naughty bunch of yearlings out of the garden that morning, but it was pretty incredible.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB