Saturday, October 07, 2006

BeanDreams: my inspiration

This is my Gidu (or Dido, however you like to spell it, it still means Grandfather) in his garden in Cape Breton, NS, back in the 1980s. As you can see, it was Prolific, with a capital "P"! Enormous quantities of beans and other vegetables, and tons of gorgeous flowers, most of which were bigger than I was! Huge Dahlias, and as you can see in this pic, gorgeous poppies (told ya Ukrainians love poppies!)! His soil was always rich and black, thanks to his composting. In the winter time, I remember visiting his house and seeing many coffee mugs lined up on the window sills, full of drying beans gathered over the summer.

It was pretty much every Ukrainian's dream, upon coming to North America, to have a property of their very own, to grow crops on. In Ukraine, the vast majority of people were serfs, who worked the land but weren't allowed to own it. So North America was very tempting, even if it meant leaving your brothers and sisters and parents behind. He worked in the steel mill in Cape Breton for decades, as did many other foreigners who came to this land around the 1920s (hard, hard labor), but he still had time to follow what I believe was his first love - gardening. As you can see, he was very good at it!

Aside from all these things, he was an excellent singer, actor, accordian player, liked to make jokes, read, cook, play solitaire and do jigsaw puzzles. But more on that another time. :) Right now, I just want to focus on his gardening - the man had an incredible green thumb, and did everything "organically" before that was even a buzz word.

So I definitely take Gidu as my biggest gardening inspiration! I hope to do him proud in my own vegetable gardening over the coming years. :)

I miss him...