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Sowing seeds is the easy part, waiting for the plant to break through takes patience

Dad’s garden was a thing to behold.

I would say it was an act of love, but that wouldn’t do justice to the work he put into it. Sure, it came from a deep love for his family and blessed others in our community. But Dad’s garden was more. It was a work of beauty. It encapsulated the lesson he taught, “If you’re going to do something, do it well.”

Dad’s garden was bigger than most other backyard gardens.

After the last fall potatoes were harvested and strewn on the rough-hewn floor of his shed, he began layering the leaves raked from the yard atop the now barren rows. Kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and newspaper he shredded were added throughout the winter. He combined the manure collected from his pedigree rabbits’ pens into the concoction that would become black gold in the garden.

Before Punxsutawney Phil even thought about peeping from his burrow, Dad consulted the Farmer’s Almanac and with a calendar at the kitchen table, he plotted out his spring planting schedule.

The pull of the cord that cranked his gas-powered, red Troy Bilt tiller signaled the start of gardening much like the dropping of a green flag at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Back and forth, he chopped up the earth until the course mixture became fine earth ready to welcome his corn, beans, lettuce and radish seeds.