Verne Sheldon my Great-Grandfather on his 87th birthday.

Grandpa Verne my great-grandfather, sparked some of my first interest in vegetable gardening. Grandpa was born in 1880 so many of his methods would have definitely been considered “old school” but they worked! For instance, I can remember helping him plant his sweet corn…..mainly because I had “caught” the fertilizer for the corn from the river! Grandpa Verne planted sweet corn in hills-not rows. Each small hill of soil would have five seeds of corn, with each “hill” being about two feet apart in all directions. BUT…..buried several inches underneath those mounds were carp or “suckers” as they were locally known, small 8-10″ fish that I had caught in the river for Grandpa to use for “fertilizer”. He told me that the fish would provide all the nutrients the plants needed to grow as they developed. That “old school” method of growing sweet corn might have been a little labor intensive and might even seem ridiculous to some, but it produced some really nice, sweet corn from a fairly small plot of ground!

In addition to learning about gardening from Grandpa, it was fun to hear tidbits of how “things used to be” sprinkled with wisdom…..Grandpa Verne said something that day that I can still remember and it didn’t have anything to do with gardening or growing things. In fact, at the time I don’t think I really knew what he was talking about at all! He was telling me that as I go through life, the negatives will always take care of themselves, so I will always have to work on the positives. At the time, the only thing that made sense or that I could relate to, were the positive and negative terminals of a battery. But it didn’t take long until I started to learn what Grandpa was trying to teach me that day-because sometimes it seems like we can always get in situations where the negativity is completely surrounding us! That’s when I remember those words, he told me… on the positives.

Maybe some other ways we can work on the positives can be found in the following two verses: “If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Romans 12:7-8 (NLT)

Thanks Grandpa Verne, I’ll keep tryin!

Till Next Time…..

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