In Spite Of It’s Size, She Loved My Little Head

Texas Organic Garden

If you don’t know, or realize it yet, as part of my micro farming, I am an avid organic gardener. However, in late part of 2010, it was the first time I had ever tried to grow a winter garden. Most people around my way grow a spring and summer garden, and just a few grow a fall garden. However, out of the four hundred and fifty nine residents in my area… four of us chose to grow a winter garden that year.

The first thing I planted was thirty eight cabbage plants, then decided to plant the same amount of Georgia Collards. A few days later when one of my neighbors said he was going to try to grow some Texas Yellow 1015 sweet onions, I decided to plant some of those too. Initially I just planted about fifty of the plants he had left over. Then I went and bought more on my own, planted them, had a brain cramp, bought, and planted even more. All in all, I planted six hundred onion plants.

I still wasn’t satisfied with what I had planted, so I planted two short rows of big top carrots, and a long row of Hanover greens from seeds a dear friend sent me from Virginia. Finally, I was satisfied with my garden.

However, much to my disappointment, during the winter of 2010 – 2011, we had several nights of heavy frost that took a serious toll on my collards and cabbage. Each morning after a heavy frost, the leaves of my collards and cabbage were lying on the ground wilted, and looking so pitiful that I almost cried. I didn’t think they were going to make it, but much to my surprise, the collards adapted, and bounced back with a vigor much like they have in spring and fall.

But my poor little cabbage, even though they survived, they only had little heads on them about half the size of a soccer ball. I was actually ashamed of them because I have been known to grow some of the biggest and best tasting organically grown cabbages in the area.

Anyways, it wasn’t too long after then, I stopped by an elderly widow’s house to see how she was doing and checking to see if there was anything she needed. She and I had previously talked extensively about gardening, and she had told me that she used to garden, but since her husband passed away, her son put his house on the property, and had the entire yard covered with clay and gravel… so she was no longer able to have a garden, and she missed her fresh vegetables.

She asked me about my garden, and I told her that everything was doing well except for my cabbage that had such small heads. She said she wanted some because she loved cabbage and hadn’t had any in quite some time. I told her that I was ashamed of mine because of the size. She made me bring her a couple of heads anyways.

I stopped in to see how she was doing a few days later, and she told me that the size of my cabbage heads were just perfect for her since she had only been cooking for herself since her husband passed away. She told me that in spite of her diet, she took one of those little heads and cooked it the way I told her I had cooked some a few times.

She cut up one small head, put it in a pot, covered it with water, added salt, pepper, garlic powder, two smoked pork neck bones, and just a small amount of left over bacon grease and sugar. She brought it to a boil, then turned it down to simmer for about an hour. She also baked herself a small pan of cornbread to go with them.

She said when she sat down to eat, she gave a special thanks in grace for that meal which she had been blessed with. She went on to say that when she put that first taste in her mouth, she thought she must have died and went to Heaven because nothing on earth should have tasted that good. She said it practically melted in her mouth, and was bursting with a gfreat flavor.

Her words of praise were music to my ears, warmed my heart, and almost brought tears to my eyes because in spite of it’s size, she loved my little head.

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