James Laird - Lark Ellen Home for Boys Grow Gardens- Page 1

We had been at the Boy's Home for a couple of years when they encouraged us to grow gardens and the home would buy any eatable produce for the kitchen. Only a couple of us were successful as most gave up before getting the soil ready. The other boy was one of the oldest ones and picked squash to raise and the best spot to do it. The soil was good and a water faucet was near his plot. His squash grew like gangbuster with little effort on his part. Needless to say we had squash much too often with only the adult staff happy and the rest of us eating no more than we had to.

The gardener helped me line up an area for my garden which had no water available and very rocky soil. I planted Golden Bantam corn the first year and had a pretty good crop considering my efforts. I was just surprised at the small size of the ears. I had picked that corn because they looked so good on the seed package and the gardener said it would grow in that soil. The second year I grew string beans which took a lot more work with staking up the vines and a lot longer time to pick enough for a meal, but I had a bigger crop and made more money. No one else grew anything that year and it was the last year any gardens were planted.

In the lots across the street from our driveway some Japanese planted corn one year and when I looked at some of the ears they look kind of funny and when I ask them about it they said it was popcorn. An area several blocks in size across the street from the front of the boy's home was planted in lima beans every year. The crop was harvested by a large machine which left lots of beans on the ground, and flatten the bushes. The owners gave us permission to go over the field and salvage the beans left behind. This was a good way to make pocket money and our young backs did not mind the bending over. The best location to find beans was where the machine had stopped for some reason and it would spill lots of them on the ground at those spots.