Ivy proud of large cabbage plants

David Lee Ivy takes a lot of pride in his backyard garden at his home. He grows all kinds of vegetables, but is especially proud of his large cabbage plants.
Staff Writer

David Lee Ivy plants his backyard garden in February and enjoys the fruits of his labor through October. He is especially proud of his large cabbage plants.

"We had some cold weather this year," Ivy said. "I got my seeds in the ground in February when the weather was so good. But I've had to cover them with sacks every time it looked like we would have a frost or freeze. Those big cabbages are growing good for me this year. "

When asked if the over abundance of rain had hindered the garden, Ivy said the rain has not been an issue for his plants.

"Now that it rains and then the sun comes out for a few days, it's been perfect for my garden," Ivy said. "All of my tomatoes, mustard greens and cabbages are doing good. I've had to pick some of my peppers already because the stalks will break from the weight. I'll have to keep an eye on my tomato plants because the tomatoes will make the plants fall over if they aren't propped up."

Ivy is pleased with how well his garden is coming along. All his plants are green, healthy and growing.

"I make my garden with seeds and a hoe," Ivy said. "I have a small tiller but that's cheating. I make all the rows, plant the seeds and watch it grow. I don't use fertilizers or weedkillers. I kill the weeds with my hoe."

Ivy and his wife Alice eat what they grow, and are certain they're eating nutritious, fresh food, free from pesticides and chemicals. Ivy grows his garden with the dirt in his back yard and looks to the good Lord to provide the rain.

Ivy has battled cancer three times and attributes his health to gardening and God. By growing his own food he knows what he is eating and doesn't worry about added chemicals or his food being genetically engineered.

"I've worked hard all my life," Ivy said. "My parents were sharecroppers, we all worked to bring in a good crop. I didn't get to go to school as much as I wish I had. But I know how to grow food. That's something not everyone can do."

Ivy said he won't have any vegetables ready to be picked until June. But until then he continues to be on the look out for unwanted grass and weeds. He said it will be nice to be able to go to his garden and pick whatever vegetables he wants to eat during the summer and fall.

“We eat what we plant,” Ivy said. “It helps us spend less at the grocery store because we have lots of vegetables and fruit that we can just go out in the yard and pick.”

Ivy grew up on a farm and has always enjoyed tending crops, watching them grow and harvesting them. He said growing things in a big part of who he is.

"That's what's wrong with young people," Ivy said. "They need to pull their pants up and go to work. Stop staying in the house or running in the streets. Find some good, hard, honest work and make your way. These men who lay at home and live off a woman who has a job are just worthless."

Ivy tells his grandchildren to do their best in school and go on to college. He said education is the ticket to a good life today. But he also said there is nothing wrong with good, hard, honest work.

Ivy shares his vegetable with others, he refuses to take money for his food. He lives by the Golden Rule and treats other people the way he would like to be treated.

"I don't take any money," Ivy said. "I like to share what I have with other people. I treat other people the way I want them to treat me. I love to see people smile and are happy to have what I can give them."
Ivy makes the most of the lot he has behind the house and has turned most of the yard into his garden.

“We don't have a big yard,” Ivy said. “But I can grow everything I want and make good use of the space I have. I know to keep certain plants growing together because some of the running vine plants will strangle and choke out the other plants. These are things I learned growing up. I want to continue growing my own food in my own garden for as long as I am able. I'm hoping that will be for a long time.”