Whether or not you fancy yourself a gardener, the meaning of the term “green thumb” is pretty easy to explain. This term generally refers to a person who possesses a considerable talent or ability for growing plants and keeping them healthy. But if you looked deeper into the origin of the word, it actually has a pretty interesting history. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, one possible origin could be linked all the way back to the reign of King Edward I of England.
It is said that King Edward enjoyed fresh green peas so much that he would have over half a dozen serfs working shelling peas at a given time to satisfy his hunger. It was rumored that he would give a prize to the worker with the greenest thumb, presumably stained from the hours of endless shelling.
This story personally hits close to home for me and gives me memories of my own history. It takes me back to when I was young and would go to my grandparents’ house for a visit. I vividly remember sitting out on the back patio with my grandpa. It was a covered patio with lattice walls and it looked out over
an old in-ground swimming pool that had been filled with dirt, which made for
the perfect backyard garden.
I’m not sure what all vegetables my grandpa grew, but one item I know for sure was fresh, homegrown peas. We would sit around on the whicker patio furniture with buckets filled with freshly picked pea pods. One after another, we’d snap the ends off and remove the strip from the middle of the hull. Then we’d pry open the pea by pressing down in the middle with our thumbs. When the shell was opened, we’d pop the peas out with our fingers as they fell into the bowl and finally toss away the empty shell.
My grandpa was one of those aforementioned green thumbs and was one heck of gardener. So, this process could go on for a long time. As a kid, I wasn’t much of a vegetable lover. My payoff for this work didn’t come in the form of eating these fresh peas I shucked. Rather, my grandpa would replace those peas with an empty butter dish filled with my favorite candy, Skittles. It was always a worthwhile trade!
In this current fast-paced world that includes overbooked schedules and streaming technology in our faces, it’s refreshing to think back to such a relaxing memory of soaking in the slow comforts of pea-shelling splendor. That is why in this edition we turn our focus to features of businesses who specialize in plants, grass, produce, and everything green and growing. Your town.
Your life. Your magazine.