Tuesday 5 March 2024

Memories of the Schmidt Greenhouse

    I grew up a country boy in rural Southern Indiana.  My family lived just one house away from my grandparents’ farm and commercial greenhouse, so as a child I spent a lot of time there.  They grew lettuce over the winter and tomatoes in the early spring. 

    When I was very young, my cousin and I used to play with our toy trucks in the dirt of the unused lettuce “beds”, digging holes and making roads.  A few years later, my first jobs were in the greenhouse, picking tomatoes and doing other agricultural tasks.  I became one of the farm hands and made a whopping $.60 an hour.  We would pick tomatoes early in the morning, because later in the day, it just became too hot in the greenhouses.

    I would walk down the long rows on tomatoes, whenever I came upon a tomato that was ripe, I would put my thumb on the swelling on the tomato stem, pluck the tomato off, and put it in the half bushel basket I was carrying with a leather strap.   When full, I carried the basket of tomatoes to the greenhouse shed, a long cement block building attached to the end of the greenhouse, and there my grandfather and uncle would wipe the tomatoes with a cloth and pack them into a box, ready for delivery to one of the many local grocery stores in Evansville.

    The photo below was taken in the greenhouse, showing my Uncle Bill cutting lettuce and filling newspaper-lined baskets with the lettuce, as other members of my family look on.   

View my paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca


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