Go Ahead Grandpa, You Can Chuckle

Grandpa was a one-mule dirt farmer

He grew an acre of corn and was allotted two acres to grow cotton. His garden was enormous, with rows that seemed to go on forever, when I was sentenced to hoe them.

Plants growing in pots were strictly a diversion for the women and their flowers.   No self-respecting man put plants in a pot (so named because  usually  discarded chamber pots were used (my theory).

Now, three generations later, a friend and I are actually admitting we use containers (can not find chamber pots anymore) to plant, of all things, vegetables in!!

(Huh! Huh! Huh!)

(Grandpa did not actually laugh, at such foolishness,  he just made low kind of “huh! huh! huh!”; you could see his belly bounce under his overalls).

“The young fools grow’d up on a farm and they didn’t learn a darn thing.”

(Huh! Huh! Huh!)

Container gardening has become the rage for “want’a be farmers,” willing to dole out cash for seeds, containers, dirt and cow or chicken poop.

Oh, we spend our money for bags of potting mix and organic compost; we feel less foolish than admitting we pay for dirt and poop!

And the containers, oh my! some people will dole out $20 for a couple of planters, then,  still have to buy the dirt and poop (I mean potting mix and compost)!


Well, back in April a couple of “foolish” ex-farm hands decided to  come into the 21st century.

Growing  vegetables  in containers

Shoot, THEY claim you can make tomatoes grow upside down!

Grandpa, stop laughing and look’a here!! Time has come to show you, all ain’t lost!

The other guy had the intestinal fortitude to admit he paid $19.95 for his two up-side down container bags  (now mind you, he did get two tomato slicers, and 2 cookbooks with them, I think).  Still had to buy dirt and poop ( I mean, soil mix and compost)!


(Between you and me, that sounds like the country boy trying to impress the city girl with his new suit!)

.I threw together two old pots with some duct tape, used a piece of chain to fashion my upside down container.     My friend  actually had the nerve to say the thought his was prettier.   I made the local newspaper for my efforts.

Well, worn out overalls never did look as good as a new polyester suit did it?   Me, I am too old and cheap to be trying to impress anybody.

 you can grow vegetable in containers

Poor guy has had to protect his  plants from storms, raccoon,  ( he claims  bears, too!)

I live in town,  storms are my main concern, haven’t even had to worry about bugs!!

Okay, I admit,  I bought  the soil mix  ( would call it dirt if it was free)

I got beat in the “I got my first tomato in the upside down container contest”;  I am looking forward to a later harvest.   My plant has big tomatoes and is full of bloom.

Tomatoes growing tall in a box!

Put together another container. Just a storage container with a false bottom  supporting soil mix over a reservoir of water.

Look at what these two plants did !

These two plants are 10 feet tall. Yes I am getting tomatoes.   So far, over three pounds!

Here’s the latest harvest, with a squash that also grew in a pot, Grandpa!

From plants in pots, Grandpa, would you believe?

Gardening has changed, Grandpa

Do not have to hoe long rows in the hot sun. Don’t even have to plow the ground anymore.

Why, I even have corn ready to tassel. You would belly laugh at this. It is in a container! Tall, healthy and green, looks like most of the stalks will have two ears.

Who would have dreamed the difference 50 years would make!

You may have laughed and called us fools who “never learned nothing”; but you see we did learn:  to love the land and our heritage.

We can not connect to the land as you did but we can try.

Using our “pots” we again work alongside you, dirt in our hands, a precious memory in our heart.


 first published 6/25/2009  using the title “Grandpa Would Have Laughed And Called Us Fools” (Original blog no longer available)


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