I am not a competitor. I do not possess an intense drive to stare down an opponent and crush their spirit, or exert copious amounts of energy to prove superiority. What can I say, I am a Libra whose life motto is, “can’t we all just get along?” So when the Garden Club Gals approached me with a request to submit a vegetable for an upcoming show titled Friends, Fun and Flowers immediately my thoughts turned to why bother?
Why bother, picking seven or eight beautiful yellow wax beans (the first I’ve ever grown). Why bother, taking the time to drive these beans to the facility and display them for viewing? It’s not like I will be known as the best bean grower in Atlanta, or win a book contract based on my bean-growing skills.
Regular readers know how much I love beans. Truly, a trip to my patch cures a bad day. The sight of tendrils reaching toward the sun fills me with hope. With each visit I discover something wonderful, like this lightning bug, who is waiting for the sun to dip behind the trees.
With sweat, blisters and a few sunburns, I’ve taken this compact, Georgia clay eyesore and converted it into a bean-growing organic garden machine.
With the beans selected, I wondered how to “present” my offering. I am not the type of gal who polishes off the family silver when company comes for tea, if you know what I mean. After a cursory glance around the kitchen, I settled on the perfect item with which to display my just-picked beans, my grandmother’s bowl.
The dish is small with a light green paint around the scalloped edging. A thin seam snakes across the bottom —Superglue—holding two pieces together. While the bowl is imperfect, I believe the brokenness provides the perfect contrast to my yellow wax bean offering. Of course, being new to the competition, I soon learn that all vegetables are judged on a plain white paper plate. This leads me to another reason I don’t enter contests…too many rules.
After leaving the facility, I went about my over-booked life without another thought to the show. The following Monday I received a call that my beans not only won, they won a “high honor,” a green ribbon (which apparently is more distinguished than a blue one…who knew?)
Today, I am proud to announce that I am a Beanie Winner. I daresay the award won’t bring me fame or high acclaim, but now when I enter my little garden I do so with my head held a bit higher.
Would you like to grow prize winning beans? I will send a $10.00 gift card from Botanical Interests® to my 100th follower. How cool is that? Just follow the blog via email to be registered. Y’all know that I don’t blog every day, or even weekly. Like you, I’m too busy. I do however, like to share stories from my garden from time to time. Thank you for reading and remember, keep those hands dirty.
Renea Winchester is the author of In the Garden with Billy: Lessons about Life, Love & Tomatoes. The National Association of Pen Women (Atlanta Chapter) recently named her the Author of the Year. Learn more about her work at www.reneawinchester.com.