When they came as some of the first settlers to Pleasant Grove, the Fugals settled a homestead. They used that land to feed their families, and generations of their children ran through its fields and grew up on its acreage.
By the time the homestead came to my grandparents, it was significantly smaller. Bits of it had been spun off over time, and what remained in the family was just a few acres that Grandpa Boyd used as a hobby farm. He loved the earth, getting his hands in it. He planted rows of corn that started small but quickly outgrew me each summer, and plots of vegetables that tangled up in green.
I remember being sent onto the land on summer afternoons, charged with finding and picking whatever was ready to eat. The veggies would wind up on our dinner table, of course, but we couldn’t eat them all. Plenty of them went to neighbors’ porches instead, waiting to be discovered and to feed someone else.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot as the weather gets warmer: those hot afternoons and the feeling of doing something with a purpose. I’m not my grandparents, and what we do here is very different than what they did. But there’s still something of that impulse I felt as a kid: to get out there, near the earth, and harvest something important.
Farmer & Cultivator