Unearthing Farm Artifacts in the Garden

Bits of pottery, plates and china unearthed while planting our garden.

An evening planting digs up questions and farm artifacts.

This evening over an hour was spent digging two holes to place a couple of melon plants. Breaking ground was easy. It was when the earth was turned over that remnants, artifacts of moments long forgotten where discovered buried several inches to a foot deep into the ground. Pieces of what once were held by hands, a part of living memories, were now underground fragments throughout our growing garden space- digging up questions.

When I was young, the neighbor kid and I would explore the cornfield behind our house. We would find golf balls, bones of animals, pieces of tools, flashing to make a puddle boat… There was such excitement at finding items that were not expected. I felt the same way while I was digging and my shovel would hit something hard. Is it a rock, a root, or something else? Broken pieces of glass would turn over with the dirt. Blue, brown, and clear glass caked with dirt would surface with each dip of the shovel. A rusty hand cranked can and bottle opener was buried with the bouquet of these broken glass bits. Maybe this part of the yard was the place to sit and have a drink after a long day of work. Maybe those bottles were busted on the ground and desired to be buried, forgotten, as a long day sometimes is.

Bits of pots, plates and China.

Bits of planter pots 6” down were being reintroduced to the sun. Pieces of old plates or tea cups with dainty pink flowers and gold trim- china with royal blue designs made their way up and out of the dirt from as far as 1 foot down. It didn’t matter if the treasures had perceived value- they were pieces of the past. How did they get there? Why were they there in that place?

Blue glass unearthed in our garden.

The original house of this farm property wasn’t where our home is now. Was there a shooting range where bottles were stacked for practice? Were these pieces that once served a family, broken as that sometimes happens, and lumped with the used bottles for target practice? As I got to the deepest point, bricks appeared. It was as if time was being rewound. Was there a building that used to sit in the very place I was digging our garden? A place of new growth and life springing from the depths of the past?

An old pop top Amy found in the garden.

It’s funny how just seeing an object like this can bring back memories.

A glass bottle neck with a screw-on top, labeled with WESSON appeared in another hole. I had not seen a bottle top like this in a very long time. It’s funny how just seeing an object like this can bring back memories of commercials or jingles from a long time ago.

A Wesson bottle cap brought back memories of commercials and jingles.

This property has had several families trying to live and make it on this land through the decades. There are flowers from years past that were planted and have spread, year-by-year.  The trees are tall with twisted branches. Old trees look as if they have seen better days. New trees are sprouting. An adventure is always at hand if you go out to find it.. If you look beyond the surface. We love our old place. A place of new life and pages turned… and new life again. There is a story to tell… if you dig deep enough. Pretty bits of color just may exist in a garden hole where a melon is set to grow forth. Food for our bellies to come… food for thought for now.

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