I am Marla Hasheider. My husband Larry and I are grain and livestock farmers. We have three children and three grandchildren, with one on the way in a month. We also have a love of gardening.
Larry and I love tilling the soil, planting seeds, watching them grow, and harvesting from our labor. It doesn’t matter how well or bad my garden did last year, I am optimistic this year will be a good year and have a good harvest. Larry (and I believe all farmers) are excited and optimistic in the spring when they plant their seeds and watch them grow.
Two weeks ago we tilled the garden to prepare for planting. I have lettuce and spinach up and growing already and I have peas, potatoes, and strawberries in the ground. I will also plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes, and jack-o-lantern and pie pumpkins when the time is right.
Larry looks forward to our garden maturing because he likes to go in the garden and pick some pea pods and just shell them and eat. Talk about a healthy afternoon snack!
I love planting the large varieties of watermelon. Last year I grew a watermelon that weighed 120 pounds. I picked it to enter it in the Okawville Wheat Festival and won first place. After the fair, we cut it open and it was not even red inside. It had a lot of maturing to still do.
Two years ago I planted pumpkin seeds for large pumpkins. Once the pumpkins developed on the vine, you could see it getting bigger every day. When the grand kids came over, I would take them out to the pumpkin patch to see the pumpkin. Larry, our son and a nephew loaded it on a trailer and we took it to enter it in the Wheat Festival. The scale at the Wheat Festival was not big enough to weigh the pumpkins so we took them to the grain elevator in town to weigh them. I grew a pumpkin that weighed 500 pounds (and two others that weighed 340 and 380 pounds!) I won first place with that pumpkin.
I am the cook at our Lutheran School in town. Last year I grew enough jack-o-lantern and pie pumpkins that I gave every student (60) in our school a pumpkin. We also have blackberries, cherries, rhubarb and grapes that we enjoy every year.
Larry plants lots of sweet corn. Our son wanted to plant a lot so we could give some away. Our children and grandchildren come over and in assembly line fashion, we cut the corn off the cob and freeze it. Everybody takes plenty home to eat all year long. The extra corn we give to family and friends. For us, it is more fun to give it to friends to enjoy than to take it to farmers market and sell it.
The garden is a fun place for me. I love to try growing new things and I appreciate the bounty that it provides my family and my community every year. Especially at this time of year, when my plot of soil is so full of the promises of good food, my family working together and award winning crops, I can always look out at my garden and smile.