Couple labors for bountiful harvest

Published 11:58 pm Sunday, April 26, 2009

NATCHEZ — With a can of pesticide in her hand Frannyae Sims was making the rounds through her newly planted garden Saturday afternoon when The Dart landed at her Eastwood Road residence.

In the coming months Sims and her husband, Gary, will be reaping the fruits of their labor in the form of homegrown potatoes, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and more.

“It tastes so much better,” Frannyae said after dusting her potato plants. “It’s much fresher and the tomatoes are sweeter, they don’t have that waxy taste like the ones you buy in the store. You can’t get stuff like this in the store.”

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For the past seven years the Sims have been clearing a plot in their back yard to plant their homegrown feast.

But a few years ago their dogs got too big and they had to move the garden out of their yard — now they work neatly plowed rows on a small strip of ground behind their house.

“It’s a good feeling to know that you worked on it, and you’re going to get something out of,” Gary said watching over his wife.

And the Sims now have their planting down to a science — almost.

Frannyae said she normally does the actual planting on Good Friday but this year the Farmer’s Almanac had another plan.

Frannyae said the almanac suggested Saturday for planting since Saturday night was the first night of a new moon cycle.

“You always plant on a new moon,” she said. “It makes a difference. The whole garden will come out better.”

In past years their gardern planted in counjunction with the new moon have yeilded so much produce they normally end up giving most of it away to friends and neighbors, Gary said.

“We love sharing it with anyone who wants it,” Gary said. “We end up just giving away so much of it.”

And for Frannyae, like Gary, giving away their produce is as rewarding as watching it grow.

“For a lot of people these are hard times, and this is a way that we can help them out,” she said.