“You should enter some of your peppers in the fair.”
The county fair.
When I was in fifth grade I performed a baton routine at the Grady County Fair in Chickasha,Oklahoma. That same night I won a ten-speed bike that I really wasn’t able to ride comfortably for about five more years. It didn’t matter that my mom bought all of the tickets that she was supposed to sell. I had won. It was a fabulous night.
The memory of that fabulous night was all it took to peak my interest and begin a perpetual thinking cycle this past week. Here’s what happened…
Our local extension agent and his wife were attending a party at my house, and we were touring my garden. He innocently suggested that I participate in the local county fair. My mind started spinning like a Ferris wheel.
There is a certain spin that living in the country puts on hobbies. We have to work with what’s available to us or travel to a nearby city to get it. A Teddy Roosevelt quote sums it up best: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” I have dirt, and I have decided to do what I can.
I showed up to my first Master Gardener meeting with a green paper folder with a few sheets of paper inside. (Green, you know, for plants? ) There was a total of four participants in the meeting and we all had to stand and tell our names and what we hoped to get out of the program. The lady across from me just wanted to grow some grass in front of her house. The boy behind me was with his mother. He was going to include this as part of his home schooling science curriculum. Ahh, sweet. Then the scene changed.
I was handed a commitment page to sign for 40 hours of community service. I turned around to ask the boy to borrow his pen; he glared at me clearly annoyed that I had forgotten mine. I turned back around to find that a four-inch binder with twenty separate tabs had been placed in front of me. Neatly tucked inside was my first take-home test, ironically, on dirt, known in this extension office, as “soil.” The boy quickly threw his hand in the air and started asking about due dates then weaseled his way into a conversation about eagles with the lady who just wanted to grow grass in her front yard. This young boy had just established himself as a weed trying to take over my flower bed.
This boy has been planted in my Master Gardener class for a reason. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I know what I’m going to get…exactly what I put into it. You don’t have to be a former president to hand out words to live by. Julie Allgyer, future Master Gardener, sums it up best: “Bloom where you are planted.”