Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Ah, the good old days of garden raiding

  • Print

A lot of gardens have been raided in recent weeks. In some cases, they’ve been totally cleaned out.

This was not the work of ragged-ass kids who couldn’t control a craving for something sweet and illegal but by older, stealthy raiders who came late at night equipped with boxes, bags, and a vehicle with which to transport their booty.  

Way back when we were kids we would cast  an expert and appraising eye at neighbourhood gardens to see what was ripe for the swipin’.

We only made small inroads in the gardens we robbed. We weren’t fussy, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, corn, cantaloupe, peas...  I even recall swipin’ and eating raw turnips and enjoying every bite.

However, the greatest attraction was crab apples. In those days I don’t recall ever seeing the larger apples common today. We would scale tall fences and chance encounters with ferocious dogs to get at this tasteful treasure.

How times have changed.

I have a crab apple tree in my back yard that produces huge quantities of delicious apples. It overhangs the back lane and I would be delighted to see kids pick and enjoy them but there are no takers. Across the back lane one neighbour has an apple tree which also hangs over his fence. It has large apples every bit as good if not better than those from the store but most of them ripen and fall to the ground unwanted. What a waste.

In my travels throughout the city I often see trees in unfenced yards loaded with lush ripe apples falling to the ground. I’m sure the owners would have no objections to the kids helping themselves as long as they didn’t break any branches.

Where are the kids today and what are they doing? I guess they’re too full of Slurpees and are too busy inside with electronic toys to demean themselves by picking and eating apples — let alone raw, muddy vegetables. Even at this stage in life I have difficulty passing a fruit tree or vegetable garden without tactfully sampling its bounty.

Back in my childhood days, we scraped the dirt off the vegetables and ate them raw, including the pea pods, from which we peeled the tough inner membrane.

For potatoes and corn we would build a fire and roast them in the hot embers. When the potatoes were done we would crack them open, throw away the charred outer crust and have a feast.

Even better, if available ,was to wrap the potatoes in wet clay and bake them. That way there was no waste and the peel was the tastiest part.

At times there were consequences to pay. When totally absorbed in our  thievery we would forget to keep a lookout and an outraged gardener would sneak up and reward us with a good hard swift kick in the pants.

Ron Buffie is a community correspondent for Transcona. Contact him at ronbuffie@shaw.ca

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Fall Arts Guide

We preview what’s new and what’s coming up in Winnipeg’s new arts season

View our Fall Arts Guide

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Will you be getting the flu shot this year?

View Results

View Related Story