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“Do I Want to Plant a Garden?”

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The following is a poem by Wyoming native pioneer Maude Wenohah Willford from her book, “Over the Hills & Prairies of Wyoming,” published in 1963.

Do I want to plant a garden? Well, gosh Almighty, Yes!

After six good months of winter

I’d think you’d orter guess,

A man’s most awful hungry

Fer a mess o’ garden truck;

Fer spinach, peas, an’ onions

An’ all that sort of chuck.

To feel my teeth a crunchin’

On some tender juicy greens,

Or a six-weeks-ole sweet turnip

I’d give my Sunday jeans!

Ever since the clouds have scooted

From before the winter’s sun,

My eyes have been a turnin’

To the patch down in the run.


And I keep a thinkin’ o’ the plantin’

An’ the things I’m goin’ to grow.

Green leaves spreadin’ in the sunlight

Flowers bloomin’ row on row!

The robin comes a hoppin’,

An’ he eyes me sort of pert

As if to say: “Ole Fanner,

Ain’t it time to stir the dirt?

Bring the worms back up to life

An’ let the sun shine in.

What the heck you waitin’ fer

When it’s time to plough again?”

When this time o’ year comes round

And the April breezes blow

Then my fingers gets t’ itchin’

Fer the feelin’ o’ a hoe.


I kin tell the sap’s a runnin’

Up the willers on the creek;

The cattle in the feedlots

Is gettin’ smooth an’ slick;

The snow is off the tater patch,

The buttercups is here,

An’ every sign’s a tellin’ me

That plantin’ time is near.

Ma, too, she’s got the fever,

She’s just as bad as me;

Can’t keep her mind on nothin’

But the buds up in the tree.

She hunts her ole sunbonnet up

And dons it with a grin,

An’ says: “I’m thinkin’ Paw,

It’s time the peas was in!”


Now, instead o’ passin’ gossip

This is the talk you hear:

“What kind o’rutabagas

Are you goin’ to plant this year?”

Am I goin’ to plant a garden?

My answer is, “You bet!”

An’ the one that I’m a plannin’ on

Is the best and biggest yet.

I ain’t a thinkin’ of my back,

And how it’s goin’ t’ ache,

When I stoop all day a pullin’ weed

An’ work with hoe an’ rake.

I’m only thinkin’ of the rustle,

The rustle of the corn,

An’ the way the dew drops glisten

A shinin’ in the morn.

I’d hate to think o’ livin’

Just anywhere at all

Where there wasn’t any plantin’

Or harvest in the fall.

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