By their roots ye shall know them
- Subject: By their roots ye shall know them
- From: SECK138@aol.com
- Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 17:37:12 EST
In a message dated 11/19/2002 9:15:20 PM Eastern Standard Time, LinQuilt
> By Their Roots Ye Shall Know Them
> By Carol McAdoo Rehme
> "Carrot, carrot, carrottop," sang my four-year-old son
> as he placed another wooden block on his teetering tower.
> "I'm a carrot top!"
> Earlier that day, my friend Christi had patted him on
> his flaming head and said, "How are you doing, Carrottop?"
> When Koy looked blankly at me, I explained that his bright
> orange hair was nearly the color of carrots.
> "I'm just like the carrots at the grocery store," he
> "The grocery store!" I exclaimed. "Carrots grow in
> the ground."
> It was at that moment I realized my little carrottop
> had had no exposure to gardening during his young life. I
> conjured a vision of sun-ripened vegetables growing in tidy
> rows and sighed.
> My own experiences with gardening were limited. As a
> young child in Sunday school class, I planted flower seeds
> in a paper cup for a Mother's Day gift. I was told they
> were marigolds, but I can't know for certain. They
> withered. In a fourth-grade science class, I sprouted beans
> in a glass jar. Lima, navy, string, kidney...I never did
> find out what kind. They rotted.
> Once, early in my marriage, I cleared and planted a
> small plot. But overnight my lush-leafed tomato plants
> were stripped bare; instead, rheumatic branches sagged with
> fleshy fruit. Upon closer investigation, I came eye-to-
> hideous-eye with my first tomato worm, and my career as a
> master gardener was nipped in the bud!
> How I wished my own city-bred sprouts could experience
> the earthiness of nature and the awesome lessons I was
> certain only waited to be learned.
> Decisively, I dialed Christi and explained my desire.
> She obligingly invited us for a series of visits to her
> small acreage. I was as eager as my four children - the
> joy of a garden without the bother of the bugs.
> In the spring, Christi let us plot her garden by
> pounding stakes and stretching string. We crumbled moist
> clods of dirt, planted onion sets, and patted tiny seeds
> into the fragrant soil. During early summer, we plopped
> belly down to marvel at the dainty green shoots that
> striped the garden. We learned how to thin radishes and
> hoe weeds.
> What golden teaching opportunities this created. And,
> typically mother-like, I took advantage of each visit. By
> illustrating the importance of nourishment, maintenance and
> pruning, I emphasized the hand of the Master Gardener in
> the lives of my own precious seedlings.
> On one trip to the plot, I applied the principles of
> faith. Another time I taught that we "reap what we sow."
> I found an opportunity to explain the parable of the
> mustard seed. I even told the story of "The Little Red
> Hen." After all, I wanted the children to cultivate the
> full impact of this garden.
> And how thrilled we were to reap the bounty of our
> labors. With her thumbnail, Christi showed us how to split
> plump green pods and scrape the sweet peas into our mouths.
> The kids plucked ripe tomatoes, sun-warmed and heavy.
> While they played hide-and-seek between the stately,
> towering ranks of cornstalks, I bent low to fill a small
> basket with crunchy carrots.
> "Here, Carrottop, this is for you!" I tickled my
> son's face with the feathery leaves.
> Koy took the crisp, tapering vegetable and turned it
> end-over-end in his chubby hands.
> "Hey," he said, and I saw revelation light his face.
> He examined the fine, hairy roots.
> "Hey," he repeated, and I felt his wonder.
> He waved the ferny top through the air. I waited
> expectantly to learn which profound lesson of the harvest
> he had gleaned. What had most impacted his young life?
> "Hey!" he finally said, slapping the green leaves
> against his legs, then pointing accusingly to the orange
> "Everybody is all wrong. Carrot tops are GREEN. I'm
> not a carrottop. I'm a carrot BOTTOM!"
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