Home Life-Free Mack Ford, gardens, and family

Mack Ford, gardens, and family

Tina Specht

Contributed by Columnist Tina Specht

Everyone that has been around Minden knows Mack Ford, right?  Well, I had the privilege of meeting him a couple of years ago and I am so glad I did.  I love to sit and listen to the life stories he has told me.  

Mr. Ford has seen a lot and done a lot.  If you haven’t had the privilege of meeting this man you need to put it on your list to do so.

I am growing my small garden because of this man. He has brought me many vegetables from his garden and brought me some half barrels to start a small garden.  I didn’t think I had it in me, but listening to him and doing what he said made my garden look amazing. I am just waiting for it to produce a great product.  I did start a little late because I wasn’t sure I could do it.  

Thank you Mack Ford or encouraging me to get out there and prove myself wrong.

The only people that had a garden growing up were my grandparents.  They had a huge one.  They had one all their lives. 

Coming from a family of twelve, they needed to grow most of their own food to help feed all those kids.  They had six boys and six girls.  You know boys can eat, and I am sure most of the girls did also.  

There is nothing better than going to the garden and getting what you need for supper that night — or even putting up all those veggies and having them for the winter.  

My grandparents had a big enough garden where they never needed to buy any of that stuff at the store.  They had enough stored, that when the next garden was growing they still had a few jars left, or things left in the freezer to get them by until the garden was producing again.

One of my fondest memories was sitting on the veranda with all my aunts and my grammie and snapping beans.  We had enough to do it all afternoon and there were a lot of us doing it. 

I loved to sit with the adults and not say a word, but listen to them reminisce about the good ole days.  They talked about living on the farm growing up, hHow they all had to chip in and get things done.  

My family didn’t just have a garden, they had the whole farm.  I think the only thing they went to the store for was sugar and flour for the most part.  

On a side note, my family can make the best bread ever to be made.  I can’t do it. I have tried once or twice but it comes out like a brick.  

Baked beans, potato salad, red hotdogs and homemade rolls were on the menu for every Saturday night.  

That wasn’t the only thing that was a regular schedule. They did laundry a certain time of the week also.  I used to love to go to my grammies and sleep on fresh sheets that just came off the line.  Back then they didn’t have a clothes dryer.

I love the good ole days.  There are times I wish we could go back and live there.  Life was so much simpler then.  

I want to go back to a Saturday night, eating that baked bean supper then everyone going to the living room and watching Lawrence Welk show.  In black in white at that time.

If you get a chance, sit and talk to your grandparents and ask them what life was like.  I love to listen to everything that went on back then.  I am so glad I got to grow up with them and have the memories I have. 

At the time, I didn’t appreciate what they made me do. But looking back, I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I am who I am today because of my upbringing.

Farmer’s Market Skillet

2-3 medium zucchini, sliced thinly

1 yellow squash, sliced thinly

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon of thyme (this was fresh from my garden)

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1/2 sliced onion

1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat add the butter and olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for about a minute. Add the zucchini and squash. Cook on medium to low heat about 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Once done, add the tomatoes and cook for a couple more minutes. At the end add the thyme and stir. When ready to serve, sprinkle on the parmesan cheese.