Pass it around, read it to the kids or simply enjoy it for yourself!
If you like magic, flowers, gardens and FOOD-I think you might be interested in this tale... :)
The Gourmet Garden
Written by Suzie Hearl Canale
Dedicated to my oldest and dearest friend Leslie...
To change a community’s fate,
Well this is a story that proves all of that wrong-
A story that will set everything straight.
The tale begins in a land far away,
In the middle of a farm country,
Where people work hard as they tend to their fields,
Growing gardens as big as can be.
The town was known for their special skill,
Referred to as “Green Thumb Plantation”,
Where each family possessed a gardening secret,
That had been passed down from each generation.
One farmer believed in rich soil,
To make his crops hearty and strong,
A second laid seaweed to nourish the roots,
And a third sang to his plants a sweet song.
To conceal every plot, they built fences,
Tall walls were all you could see,
Signs reading "Keep Out!" and "Beware of the Dog!"
Hung on doors to ensure privacy.
Day after day, they woke early,
Tilling and seeding the earth.
“Early to bed means early to rise,”
Was the motto taught straight after birth.
They grew fields of round curly cabbage,
Kale, cucumbers and red ripe tomatoes,
Others grew broccoli or turnips and carrots,
While some dug in the soil for potatoes.
Farms produced green zucchini by the thousands,
As a few loved the snap of green beans,
And last but not least was the pride of the cornstalks,
A delectable veggie cuisine!
For those who loved fruit, there was plenty,
Bushes swelled with plump, juicy pink berries,
Trees sprouted apples, peaches and plums,
Some even grew fresh, shiny cherries.
Where no vegetables or fruits could be found,
Instead they grew flowers by the hundreds of dozens,
Raising blooms of bright colors from the ground.
There were shoots of delphinium and hollyhocks,
Mounds of poppies and sunflowers galore,
Dahlias and peonies sprang from every which way,
While morning glories climbed the garden gate door.
Each day, the neighbors all wondered,
What had made those blossoms grow?
Did that garden contain a new farming secret?
What had caused it to flourish so?”
The family who lived there were special,
For they gave much more than they received,
“Give unto others who are in need of the most,”
Was the old saying they truly believed.
Although they had little, they managed,
And somehow, could always get by,
Even though their flowers were worth less in the market,
Enough food was kept in supply.
The children of the house were two sisters,
Who both had a gift- so they say,
Many amazed at how close the girls were,
Since they were as different as night is to day.
Annie was ten and the eldest,
Who said, “The strong must aid the weak.”
She helped when she could and gave all she could give,
For a young child, this was unique.
Her sister, named Lucy, was nine,
A girl who was hard not to love.
She drew people in with her laughter and warmth,
A true friend who none measured above.
Trading bushels of goods all day long,
Swapping for foods to ensure a good diet,
That would keep them both healthy and strong.
Until one very hot summer,
A blithe had infested the land,
Poisoning the crops until most were all gone,
Leaving food in desperate demand.
One would think that this hardship would trigger,
And exchange between farming tips,
But alas they still stubbornly struggled alone,
Still squandering their ideas with tight lips.
Through the months, they suffered greatly,
Storing all of the edibles they could,
By selfishly hoarding any crops that were left,
Without sharing, as one always should.
Low and behold there was one farm,
Whose garden still thrived on its own,
An enchantment had fallen on all of the petals,
Blessing the flowers the two girls had grown.
Each one of a different kind,
A yummy assortment of magical goodies,
Oh so strange for a garden, keep in mind!
From the callas had fallen real mangos,
As spuds grew from potato vines,
The grape hyacinth had swollen with sour grapes,
And the sweet peas dropped legumes in straight lines.
There were cymbidiums that burst with green kiwi,
And tulips that cupped strawberries and cream,
Oranges drooped from the beards of the iris,
It was beyond any gardener’s dream.
If dessert was desired, they were covered,
By the dahlias, which had now donned new sweets,
Blackberry ripple, butterscotch and candy canes,
They even made chocolate brownie treats!
At first the girls stared in amazement,
Then they smiled with a grin ear to ear,
“There is now enough food to feed all that are hungry!”
The girls bellowed in excited cheer.
They quickly dashed off in a hunt,
Picking the gifts off of every vine,
Then they went straight to the kitchen to plan a big feast,
To be held in the garden divine.
The girls invited the entire town,
Family by family, they arrived with thanks,
Then they graciously sat right down.
Laid before them was a collection of dishes,
A smorgasbord by any means,
Platters of casseroles, breads, dips and soufflés,
There were even homemade Boston Baked Beans!
As they sat with each other in enjoyment,
Their hearts swelled on that very spot,
For the farmers decided it was time to exchange,
Their “green thumbs” with the rest of the lot.
All of a sudden as they happily chatted,
The garden pulsed and exploded in size,
Breaking the gates and the walls that surrounded,
No one could believe what they saw with their eyes!
The town took the display as an omen,
To tear down all of their guarded gates,
And as soon as they did, all the crops grew anew,
Offering food for their empty plates.
The people had learned a fine lesson,
and right then, changed their greedy ways,
Pledging to share all of their own growing secrets,
For the rest of their gardening days.
Except Lucy and Annie were still bothered,
The girls felt they could do so much more,
Suddenly they realized what they could do with the harvest,
And knew just what to use it for!
They would start their own volunteer service,
Asking those who owned automobiles,
To deliver good food to all those in need,
Starting the town’s first “Meals on Wheels”.
And so this is exactly what happened,
Many farmers signed up right away,
To commit to the people who needed their help,
To end hunger, handing out tray by tray.
The last question to be answered were the flowers,
What had been the girls secret skill?
Annie and Lucy used their family’s real gift,
They grew magic from their heart’s own goodwill.