There has been a bountiful harvest of potatoes from the family “victory garden.”

There has been a bountiful harvest of potatoes from the family “victory garden.”

Dear Journal: Best part of a garden? Something to look forward to

  • Sun Aug 2nd, 2020 12:43pm
  • Life

Editor’s note: Karen Harris Tully is a writer who lives in Raymond and has agreed to keep a journal to share with Daily World readers during the odd and uncertain time we’re all navigating.

Dear Journal:

Well. We found out that school is going completely virtual here, and that’s a kick in the you know where. My hubby, Mike, is a teacher and Athletic Director, and I know he’d much rather be face-to-face in school and able to do sports. Our kids would love to be back in school with their friends next month. But that’s not reality right now. I’m not blaming the schools, I know they’re doing what’s best for childrens’ safety and community health. The fact that I expected this to happen and that I support this decision doesn’t make the official news any easier.

Back when this all started around here, when school had just been closed and the kids (and especially I) were climbing the walls, we started a garden. We built two raised beds in a sunny spot in the backyard that had been overgrown with weeds, and I found out later was only partly sunny. We filled it with so much soil, and different kinds of seeds, and organic potatoes that were turning green. And everything started to grow.

That garden has been a blessing, a constant source of peace and mental challenge, unrelated to the constant barrage of bad news around the U.S. No matter what’s happening with Covid numbers, mask and treatment debates, no matter what’s going on with racial justice and policing protests in the streets of our cities, the garden grows. And sometimes gets eaten by slugs and caterpillars.

We’ve been eating fresh sugar snap peas and lettuce and raspberries for weeks now. I think they’re even more delicious because we grew them. We’ve just harvested a few carrots, finally, and some of the potatoes, and it was a kind of fun treasure hunt for the kids (and for me.) The potato greens were an epic jungle, but we had no idea what was growing underneath, so we pulled the spent greenery and dug through with our hands. And it was so much fun. The squeals of excitement from the kids at finding their first potatoes, the biggest one which was nearly softball size, and all the cute tiny ones, it was an afternoon filled with sheer, simple joy.

It’s August now, my favorite month, and I’ll be figuring out what to plant for fall in that now empty space. The first beets I planted failed miserably in the other bed, but I still have hopes for them, and a new planting of sugar snap peas and little carrots. A garden, I decided, is about hope for the future. When other things look bleak in the world, the garden grows, and horticulture classes are in session.

Song of the day: Good Day Sunshine, The Beatles

Karen Harris Tully is a novelist living in Raymond with her husband and two small children. She writes sci-fi/fantasy for teens and adults and can be found at