Category Archives: Summer 2016

Davidson County Fondly Remembers Soda Fountains

“The confidence it keeps”

By Ryan Jones

Before social media and coffee shops, the news of the day traveled via drug stores. As gathering place, rest stop, and convenience store combined, drug store soda fountains were neighborhood fixtures, thriving on offers of five cent ice cream, house-mixed soda, and made-to-order small plates.

Davidson County’s collective memory contains several notable establishments scattered throughout Lexington, Thomasville, and Denton. Some are still serving up sandwiches and sodas today, blending past and present, old and new.

Lexington’s most enduring institution is Lexington Drug, which the Welborn family began running almost 120 years ago. After the original building burned in 1905, William Welborn reopened the business uptown near the Old Davidson County Courthouse, where it remained for the next 80 years. By the early 60s, the business had grown into a second location and Lexington Drug Store No. 2 opened where the current and only pharmacy carrying the name still operates today.

The local favorite has managed to ride the tide of big-box buyouts and closings over the years, outlasting stores like Mann’s Drug and People’s Drug. Both had locations along Main Street and also featured soda fountains that drew regular customers seeking good conversation and novelty snacks.

PeoplesDrug
People’s Drug located on the corner of First Avenue and South Main Street in Lexington

Mark Motlow, who now owns and operates Lexington Drug with his wife, Connie Motlow, understands the lasting appeal of the soda fountain and has no plans to remove the counter there any time soon. Though he has had to make equipment updates to meet code standards, the layout of the store has remained largely unchanged over the last 50-plus years.

“We’ll keep the soda fountain as long as we can. When we paid off the building in 2003 (after purchasing it in 1993) we had to bring it up to code and get rid of some of the older fixtures that gave it that nostalgia, but we still have the main fixture that’s been there since 1962,” said Mark Motlow. “There are three sinks and compartments to hold syrups for the sundaes, milkshakes, and the sugar and water for the soda.”

Beyond milkshakes, sundaes and sodas, the simple menu features pimento cheese and chicken salad sandwiches – made with Conrad and Hinkle products, of course – and house-made egg salad sandwiches. Those in the know always grab up the egg salad before Wednesday because that’s about how long the good stuff sticks around. The store is also famous for hand-squeezed orange and limeades that many longtime locals find impossible to unravel from childhood memories.

DentonDrug
Denton Soda Fountain. Photo currently hangs in the old Denton Soda Fountain location where Dr. Cranford’s Optometry currently operates.

The Motlows purchased Lexington Drug from the Welborn family when John Welborn was ready to retire from his role as pharmacist. “Connie had already worked for Mr. Welborn for probably eight years. At the time she was his only pharmacist and he approached us to ask if we wanted to take over and make it an easy transition. It was because all the customers already knew Connie,” said Mark Motlow.

That kind of continuity is important for a place like Lexington Drug, Motlow explained. “We’ve had probably three generations that I know of — people bringing their kids in who used to come in when they were kids to get an orangeade after school. The fact that you can sit down at the counter and see people you know, it’s a nostalgic thing. We have people that come in and sit for hours. All walks of life, all ages.”

“I and many others would walk there after getting out of school at Cecil School in the afternoons. I loved the cherry smashes, limeades and orangeades. The staff was so nice,” said Lexington resident, Helen Fitzgerald. “It was just a neat place for 5th and 6th graders to safely walk and hang out after school. We could just chat and relax, see other friends.”

Fitzgerald also enjoyed spending her pocket money on the small items Lexington Drug carried in addition to pharmaceuticals. “As a young girl with a limited budget, I could do most of my Christmas shopping there. They had neat jewelry — used to carry collectible Boyds Bears, perfumes, candy, books. Most of the same things they carry now.”

Jeni Walden Lawson remembers her grandmother, Vera Walden, taking her to Lexington Drug for ice cream. “She never drank sodas, but would always treat herself to a Dr. Pepper. She said it reminded her of when she was a young girl. She would go there with friends.”

Besides being places of communion, drug stores and their soda fountains in particular also sometimes served a utilitarian purpose.

“The drug stores were kind of like an oasis between stops,” said Scott Gibson, noting that normal household shopping today looks much different than the way it did during the heyday of the soda fountain. “The shops uptown were rather exclusive. An average shopping day might take you from one end of town to the other simply to find the variety of goods sought. The drug store was practically designed to get you back into shape to continue on.”

The soda counter was also just a convenient place to pass the time while waiting for a prescription to be filled, said Tony Cranford, whose optometry practice is located on the corner of South Main and Peacock Avenue where Denton Drug operated for several decades. Growing up, he remembers visiting the store where he now welcomes patients. Back then it also featured an upper level with a doctor’s office and living quarters, he said.

“I remember it as a child. I guess I remember the soda fountain better than anything. It had a high ceiling and a fairly ornate tin mosaic in the ceiling with two large fans,” said Cranford, who also worked during his high school years behind the soda counter at a Mann’s Drug location in Asheboro, as did his brother, Delbert (Del) Cranford, the current co-owner of the Denton Drug store, now located on Highway 109.

Del Cranford started working at Denton Drug as a pharmacist in the early 80s for Harold Tanner and Bob Barrett, and by the end of the decade had become the owner. Later, his daughter, Lora Griffin, became a pharmacist and partner in the business. The store was moved to its current location in 2002. Somewhere along the way dwindling revenue led the store to close its soda fountain, but Cranford remembers it fondly.

“It was a gathering, social type thing as well as a place to get a snack. We had a lot of the same people come in,” he said. It was like a community center. People would come in and shoot the bull and have a fountain coke.”

Those who have worked at soda fountains share much the same sentiment toward the experience as those who simply grew up visiting them. The day-to-day experience of greeting rotating regulars and fixing up familiar foods carries with it a certain brand of nostalgia for Davidson County natives like Joni Walser.

Walser, who worked at People’s Drug on the corner of First Avenue and South Main Street in the 70s, remembers the high soda fountain counter at the store as well-worn but rooted in its own history. Her mom and two aunts had also worked at the store, so she remembers feeling particularly driven to land a job there.

“I desperately wanted to work there. I loved the idea of following in their footsteps. I liked the legacy of it,” Walser said. “Also I was following in the footsteps of some older high school girls I admired and sort of modeled myself after.”

“People’s was a popular spot for downtown workers to come for their lunch hour and for afternoon regulars who came in for an orangeade or milkshake,” she said. “We served them hot lunches, sandwiches, and there was always banana pudding. When we ran out of oranges or lemons or pimento cheese, I’d grab a basket and walk across the square to Conrad and Hinkle for replenishments, chatting with people I knew as I passed them on the sidewalk. This felt quaint and small-town special to me even then. I was sort of living my nostalgia in the present. I never dreaded going in to work those Saturday mornings because the social aspect of it was such fun.”

Walser worked at People’s for about a year until she hopped over to Lexington Drug No. 2, “which felt quite modern by comparison, but with the same conviviality,” she said. “Thankfully its soda counter is still serving up those magical orangeades and the counter still wears the same red Formica top from the 70s.”

Both Kyle Ann Bowers and Connie Miller worked at Lexington Drug while they were students at Lexington Senior High School in the early 2000s. They share an appreciation for the personal, customer-centered business model of the soda fountain.

“I loved talking to the customers who came in regularly. Most of them cared deeply about the drug store and those who worked there. They didn’t mind talking and relaxing for a moment. The environment was very intimate and caring,” said Miller. “People like to come to a place that feels genuine and trustworthy. Customers like to feel appreciated, and they value genuine respect and kindness. No one is rude or impatient. The service and conversation is heartfelt and not forced.”

“The clientele is definitely broad. There are families who have been coming there for generations — kids who grew into teens, who grew into adults, and then parents — and started the cycle again. For me, having worked there for so long, it’s really neat to see children I made ice cream for who are now in college,” said Bowers. “I loved the feeling that I was part of history.”

Long before Miller and Bowers took their first shifts at Lexington Drug, Elizabeth Loftin was serving the people of Denton at the original Denton Drug store soda fountain. She eventually became a pharmacy technician and recently retired after 50 years with the establishment.

“We mixed our drinks. We made our own syrups with a gallon jug and five pounds of sugar and mixed it up. Ice cream was like five cents a scoop and a milkshake was a quarter,” remembers Loftin. “We had Coble Dairy products.”

Loftin now owns the machine that made orangeades, and though she rarely pulls it out, citing the difficult cleanup process, she loves having it as a memento.

“My favorite memory is just meeting different people and just being in touch with everybody. At one time I could say I knew just about everybody in town,” said Loftin. She remembers some of the quirky requests she would get from soda fountain customers. “We had a couple of elderly people – well, I wouldn’t call them elderly now because I’m older now than they were – that liked to have ammonia put in their coke. It was supposed to help with their headache,” she laughed.

Walser remembers similar orders. “People would order them for a headache or, I guess, a hangover. It was just coke with a squirt from the small bottle of ammonia that sat just within my reach. I can’t believe people drank this. I wonder if they still do.”

“It was fun when you could remember the one or two particular customers who preferred soda water in their orangeade or those that ordered a Newton (coke, milk, and vanilla syrup). Learning and perfecting those unique requests taught me so much about using good customer service skills,” said Miller. “I appreciate someone who is genuinely appreciative of hard work and good customer service.”

Good customer service is the root of lasting success according to both Del Cranford and Motlow. While Cranford has no plans to reinstall the beloved Denton Drug soda fountain – “I have a lot of people ask me about it but I doubt I ever would” – he knows the business has only survived for the last 100-plus years because of the community atmosphere garnered by those early years at the counter.

“We’re independent so we can make our own decisions. If somebody comes in and has a problem we can decide what to do and not have to contact somebody at corporate and have them wait,” said Cranford. “We try to meet needs and accommodate whatever they want within reason.”

“We get to spend a good amount of time with each customer, more so than the big box stores. That’s kind of our ace in the hole. The local people in the community need that one-on-one attention,” said Motlow, adding that the soda fountain helps keep the business afloat in a lot of ways because the relationship between pharmacies and insurance companies doesn’t allow for a large profit margin. “The Welborns in later years felt like it was a mistake when they took the fountain out of Lexington Drug No. 1. That was a big drawing card.”

Walser thinks she understands the ultimate appeal of the soda fountain, and perhaps why Lexington Drug has withstood the test of time and why folks still ask about Denton Drug and look back at their childhood experiences visiting other soda fountains with such delight.

“I guess folks like soda fountains for the same reason they like a coffee shop these days, or a bar — a place where everybody knows, or will soon know, your name. A place where you can find company about any time of day, a place to take a break and have a treat, to sit by yourself on a stool and listen or contribute to conversation,” she said “This was the real charm. The interpersonal interactions it fostered, the friendships and confidences it kept.”

A Taste of Summer – Ice Cream

Nothing says summer better than a cold bite of ice cream after a long hot summer day. If we’re being honest, ice cream can help cool the body after being exposed to the sun for long periods of time and reduce your body’s temperature, right? That idea sounds good to us, as long as it’s an excuse to eat ice cream. You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream. Here are some amazing summer treat ideas that will cool your taste buds and leave you feel refreshed!

No-Churn Cake Batter Ice Cream
Ingredients:
1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk (fat free or regular)
2 c. of heavy cream (can use 1 16 oz. container of Cool Whip)
3/4 c. of funfetti or yellow boxed cake mix
1/2 c. sprinkles

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and cake mix. Using your hand mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture until combined. Gently fold in half of the sprinkles, reserving the other half. Pour into a freezer-safe container and add remaining sprinkles to the top. Cover and freeze for at least 4-5 hours or overnight.

Peach Cobbler Ice Cream Cake with Cinnamon Toast Cereal

Ingredients:
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Crust (or can use a graham cracker crust if preferred)
4 1/2 c. Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
8-9 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 c. (1 pint) peach ice cream below or your favorite peach homemade or store-bought ice cream, softened
2 c. your favorite homemade or store-bought vanilla ice cream, softened

Optional Toppings:
1/4 c. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal, coarsely crushed
1 peach, fresh sweet or canned, sliced
Whipped cream

No Churn Peach Ice Cream
1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
2 c. of heavy cream
4-5 c. fresh sweet peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. butter

Directions:
Line a 6” spring form pan with wax paper and set aside. In a food processor, pulse the cereal until finely crushed. Add melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and continue to pulse until combined (it should hold together when you press with your fingers). Press crumbs down into the bottom of the prepared spring form pan. Spread peach ice cream evenly over cereal crust using an offset spatula. Place in freezer to harden for about 20 minutes.
Scoop softened vanilla ice cream over and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Return to freezer to set up for about 3-4 hours.
Garnish with some crushed cereal, fresh sweet peaches and whipped cream if desired. Serve immediately and return leftovers to freezer.

To Make Peach Ice Cream
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. Place peaches, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, until peaches are softened and fragrant. Remove from heat. Blend peaches into a liquid puree and whisk into condensed milk. Using your hand mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture until combined. Pour over cereal crust.

http://lifemadesweeter.com/2015/06/peach-cobbler-ice-cream-cake-with-cinnamon-toast-crunch-cereal-crust/

Jell-O Sherbet

You Will Need:
Junket Ice Cream Mix in Very Vanilla. I found mine above the Jell-O mix at my grocery store (or you can get it online)
1 1/4 c. whole milk
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 Tbsp. powder Jell-O flavors: Berry Blue, Orange, Raspberry, Lime (or whatever flavors you desire!)
Air tight container for storage
4 glass bowls
4 spoons
Spatula

Directions:
Freeze your ice cream bowl for at least 15 hours. Place the 4 glass bowls in the freezer for about 30 minutes. With a whisk, combine the Junket Ice Cream Mix with the whole milk and heavy whipping cream until fully dissolved. Put your ice cream bowl on “stir” then gently pour the mixture into the frozen bowl. Let it stir for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the 4 glass bowls from the freezer and evenly separate the vanilla ice cream into the four bowls using a spatula. Put 1/2 Tbsp. of the different Jell-O powder flavors in each bowl and gently mix with a spoon until fully combined. Try to do this as fast as you can to prevent the ice cream from melting. Put the 4 different ice cream flavors in a container that can be sealed.
Gently use the back of a spoon or your spatula to connect the 4 different piles of ice cream so they freeze as 1 piece.
Put a lid on the container and let it freeze for about 1-2 hours before eating.

http://www.smartschoolhouse.com/easy-recipe/jello-sherbet-ice-cream/2

Choco Taco Summer Treat

Ingredients:
Chocolate Waffle Cone
1 c. sugar
4 large egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter melted
6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
11 Tbsp. flour

Ice Cream (any flavor you like best)
Chocolate waffle cone
Chocolate morsels
Chopped peanuts

Directions:
Slice the rounded side off the ice cream, straight through the container, and then cut half circle “log” into 5-6 slices. Lay the slices out and refreeze. Mix all the chocolate waffle ingredients together, until smooth. In a waffle cone maker, pipe a log of batter into the machine (about 2 Tbsp.) Cook for about 40 seconds. Pull out the waffle cone “oval” and place one of the frozen ice cream half circles onto it, and wrap it up, then place it back in freezer. Work about 3 tacos at a time so the ice cream doesn’t melt, making the waffles too soggy. Melt the chocolate morsels and let cool to room temperature. Dip the open ice cream side of the taco into the chocolate, covering all the exposed ice cream. Immediately dip into the chopped peanuts. Keep frozen until you are ready to serve.

Send us pictures of you enjoying your favorite ice cream so we can share these tasty looking treats! info@dcfocusmagazine.com or on Facebook

Beefriendly

BEEfriendly for All

During the summer months, some of us feel the painful repercussions of getting warned by bees that we’re too close. Aside from the discomfort from those warnings, bees are very much our friends. Without bees our crops would not grow and our grocery stores and gardens would be bare.

Approximately one third of our crops are pollinated by bees, but recently the declining bee population has made headlines with warnings about how that will affect our crops in the short and long term. Without our stinger friends, fruits and vegetables will become sparser, driving up the cost of produce.

Local beekeeper John Garner says, “Pollination from bees is essential to many crops that are locally grown and harvested.” Over the last several years the bee population has diminished, causing concern for many farmers and the produce industry.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is becoming a common term when discussing the honey bee population. Researchers are not confident in the reasons for the declining bee populations, but the research is clear. CCD is the term used when entire colonies of bees die over the cold winter months. Prior to 2006, there was an expected bee population loss of 10-15%, but since 2006 that percentage has more than doubled. Some areas are seeing CCD exceeding 30%.

According to Garner, who maintains bee hives at SandyCreek Farm, “In the recent past we have experienced a decrease in population; however, the hives this year look strong and very promising.” This is encouraging for the upcoming summer months when produce yield is at its highest.

Sometimes farmers see that their entire bee populations will completely vanish. Often the reasons are unknown, although there are various speculations. Scientists believe that a combination of factors is contributing to the bee population decline. Insecticides, an increase in mites and disease, and even a decline in right types of bee-friendly foods are proving to cause the decline in bees. Although this vast decline can be scary, there are still things that we can do to improve the number of bees and give them the best shot of survival.

To help prevent harm to local hives, Garner suggests, “Avoiding insecticides that can be picked up and carried back to the hives is one way you can help keep the bee population thriving. One example of such insecticide is Sevin Dust.”

BEEcoming a Backyard BEEkeeper

Our dietary needs and transitional shift towards healthier year-round diets have added pressure on the need for all-year seasonal fruits and vegetables. This pressure has turned bee pollination into a year-round service and commercial industry.

If you’re serious about becoming a local beekeeper or want to know more, the local Davidson County Beekeepers Association meets once a month at the Davidson Cooperative Extension located at 301 E. Center St. Meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of each month at 7 p.m. Meetings are free to attend.

BEEfriendly Haven
You can help contribute to the improved environment where bees can thrive by planting a BEEfriendly garden. Much like you, bees are attracted to certain types of fruits and vegetables. By planting the right types of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, we can give the bees the best pollen that can help them flourish.

Bees like multi-petal flowers and ones that have an easy area to retrieve the pollen. Flowers like daisies, roses, sunflowers, black-eyed-susan, verbena, and lavender are bees’ favorites. Flowering colors of pink, purple and orange are also a favorite of bees. Chris Mendenhall, a Master Beekeeper from Davidson County says, “the best thing a home owner can do is plant bee friendly plants like, Lavender, sage, thyme, sunflowers, geranium, poppy’s, zinnia.

Planting bee friendly plants will bring honey bees, butterflies, and solitary bees to your yard and garden and they will keep them coming back as long as there is a bloom.”

Bees are also attracted to apples, pears, melon, turnips, cucumbers, and avocados. Herbs too are a favorite of bees. Try planting lavender, catmint, sage, thyme, fennel, and chives as these are among those often frequented by bees.

Most importantly, if bees are visiting your summer garden, remember they are helping us all. By adding insecticides to your crops you could be hindering their progress. Welcome the bees into your garden as they are there as helpers, not harm. Mendenhall adds, “If there are honey bees in your area it want take long for bees to show up in your garden this time of year, only a day or so.”

Home for Honeybees
You don’t have to have an entire hive to help honeybees. Not all bees live in colonies. Many bees, like some varies of honeybees and bumblebees, are solitary. With a BEEfriendly environment you can help these loners feel at home.

Making a BEE board is an easy way to attract bees to your home and garden. You will need a piece of lumber or a sheet of wood. Make sure when choosing your board that it is untreated. Treated wood can contain chemicals, thus defeating the purpose of the new bee home. Take the board and drill holes up to half an inch wide. Place the BEE board in a sunny spot where it’s dry. The key to a good bee board is keeping it dry and out of the rain. If you are unable to find a structure that will keep it dry then you can add a piece of wood on the top of the board to act as a shelter or roof from rain and moisture.

To continue to protect the bees into the late fall and winter months, bring the board into your garage or shed. Make sure to store the bee board with larvae in a cool, dry place. Lastly, watch out for woodpeckers. Some birds will try to eat the bee larvae so you might add some chicken wire to the board to help protect the bee larvae from other creatures.

Hydration Station
For bees to do the proper pollination work they need a safe accessible source of water. Traditional bird baths or water buckets don’t offer the proper landing pads a bee needs to access the water. A short try or shallow source of water is great for bees. Add some rocks or stones to the base and fill completely with water. This allows bees a safe place to land and get hydrated before they get back to their job.

With a little help from all of us we can help the declining bee population and bring back what helps our fruits, vegetables and flowers. Pollination is a key factor to keeping our produce thriving and cost lower. BEEfriendly and kind to bees this year and see the rewards they provide.

BEEs are our friends and, with a little assistance from all of us, we can encourage a healthy environment where they can pollinate our produce. Once bees arrive in your garden Mendenhall suggests the easy way to keep them there is to “Plant, plant, and plant. The best way to keep honey bees happy and healthy is education in bee keeping, learn all you can and find a mentor.”

For more information on beekeeping or protecting the honey bees you can contact the Davidson Cooperative Extension, the Beekeepers Association of Davidson County or Master Beekeeper, Chris Mendenall, at 336-442-9835.

SeedBombs

Seed Bombs – Do It Yourself Planting

Submitted By Andrea Austin

Do you have a green thumb or a black thumb? If you’re like me, you can take one look at a plant and next thing you know the poor plant is sucking in the last breath of carbon monoxide just to live another day. I know plenty of gardeners that are leaders in their talent. I’ve often been envious of the beautiful gardens that grace the property of many of my friends. Oh, how I’ve longed for the ability to envision and bring such beauty to life.

One summer day, my daughter and I were riding along in the car and she looked out the window and gasped. There was a beautiful garden that was so vibrant in its colors that it was honestly breathtaking. I could see the amazement on her face. Knowing that she wasn’t accustomed to such a color palette in our own yard, I could see inspiration strike her immediately.

“Mom, did you see that pretty yard?” was the next thing out of her. “Yes, I sure did. It was so pretty,” I replied. “Mom, why can’t our yard look like that?” she asked.

Now, the maternal side of my body halted and took a huge gulp as I knew this was something I wouldn’t be able to do for my daughter without paying someone to make our yard a masterpiece. “Well, honey how about we get some seeds and try and plant some flowers of our own?” I asked, knowing deep down inside I had zero ability to make that happen and even if I knew what I was talking about, surely I would kill whatever I touched.

I rushed home and started thinking of ideas on how I could give my daughter the most beautiful yard with vibrant and pastel colors. Soon I realized that it just wasn’t in me until I came across an article online about local elementary students who were giving back to the earth by making a bed of flowers that would attract beautiful butterflies.

That was it! I could help my daughter plant her own little garden, a garden that she could be proud of because she was the one who put in the hard work. But somehow I wanted to make it more special than just tossing some seeds into some dirt. After doing a little more research about plants that are butterfly friendly, I was prepared with a new idea. The following weekend we hopped in the car and headed out to buy seed packets of the plants necessary to attract butterflies.

Then we bought some air dry clay and potting soil. We headed back home with a unique idea that wouldn’t require dredging an entire garden, but would still give her the pretty plants she so wanted. With all the supplies ready to go, we started making seed bombs.

We took the clay and pounded it out just like play dough, making a ball and then flattening it like a pancake. We put in a little bit of moisture-rich potting soil and a pinch of the special seeds. We wrapped the pancake of clay around the soil and seeds and then gently pressed it flat until it looked like a smushed ball. Then we used a rubber stamp that we had around the house and stamped the clay.

The clay took a few days to cure, but when it was hard and all the moisture was gone, we took several of the seed bombs outside. With a small shovel and potting soil in hand I let her pick the perfect place she wanted to put her garden in the yard and we started digging small holes. My daughter was only 4 or 5 at the time so a small hole worked just fine. We dropped the seed bombs into the ground, covered them with soil and added a little water.

Each day we would visit the garden and add “liquid grow” — water as the rest of us call it — to the seed bombs. She would pick weeds that would start growing around the small freshly covered holes. She tended the garden with the same care someone would tend a community size vegetable garden. After about a week or two the small covered holes started to sprout. You have never seen a little girl so excited. We continued to water the baby sprouts each day until they developed into newly budding flowers. The young flowers were starting to mature and they would soon show us their gorgeous faces.

Soon they opened, and lo and behold it surprised even me. In our big yard we had made our own little piece of heaven. It wasn’t much larger than a 3-foot by 3-foot area, but to the two of us it was a 100 acre field. As the flowers started to bloom, the butterflies started visiting and my daughter would go and visit the garden on her own every evening.

I always heard that famers talk to their crops. As the summer went on and more of the seed bombs grew I would have told you she was a flower whisperer. The flowers were so beautiful, and the winged friends that would come and sip the sweet nectar were vibrant as well.

Who would have thought an afternoon drive would have turned into such a remarkable memory for both me and my daughter? Seeds bombs showed me that regardless of the color of my thumb, it is possible to grow your own piece of heaven in your own backyard.

 

To make your own seed bombs you’ll need:
4oz Air Dry Clay
1oz Potting Soil
1oz Flower Seeds

Directions:
Spread out the clay to be large enough to pour the dirt on it.
Pour the dirt on the clay and then pour the seeds on top of it.
Fold together and then knead until the mixture is thoroughly mixed together.
Roll out into a 3/4 inch log and make a cut every 1/2 inch. Roll each section into a ball.
Let sit in the sun to dry out if necessary and then toss where you’d like the flowers to bloom. You don’t have to bury
in the ground like we did. You can simply toss and go with this recipe.