Com the Gardner


Com was a Jaredite gardener. Not a farmer with fields or orchards or flocks, but a gardener. He grew herbs, vegetables, and flowers for his family and to sell at the local market. He lived during a peaceful time, yet trained for warfare, as did all the Jaredite men, and even some women. He didn’t hunt much, but traded produce from his garden for meat.

Com was born to parents who loved to garden. Com’s father, David, grew fruit and nut trees as well as vegetables. Jerusha, Com’s mother, grew amazingly beautiful flowers and herbs. Both his parents sold their products in the local market. There were times when they took their produce to neighboring cities because of its excellent quality. People came from all over to purchase Jerusha’s flowers; she grew a fantastic variety, including several different types and colors of roses and medicinal herbal flowers. Her favorite customers were young men buying flowers to impress a young woman. Ahh…the delights of young love!

Com was the oldest of 5 children. From the time Com was born, he was with his parents in the garden. Before he could crawl, Jerusha would wrap him in her scarf and hold him while she worked in her flower beds. Once he was able to sit up, Com would sit in the garden and play in the dirt. He loved playing with the dirt and squishing it between his fingers!

When he started crawling and walking, David and Jerusha created a small fenced in play area to put him in to prevent him from digging up seeds and plants, which he loved to do! Com had plenty of dirt and grass to play with in his play area and was usually quite content there. As he grew older, he learned how to plant seeds, handle the plants gently, and distinguish between desirable plants and weeds.

When Com was about 5 years old, his parents gave him his own little garden space, along with a small shovel made out of fine steel with the handle being made from a type of hard wood. Com loved his shovel; he felt so grown up! He used it to dig holes to plants the seeds that he chose to grow. He used the shovel to help him weed his garden. He even used it to dig holes where he was not supposed to dig holes – even in his neighbors’ yards!

Com’s first little garden was quite a success, much to his delight. He grew radishes and lettuce because they were easy to grow, and green beans because they were some of his favorite food! After saving some plants to turn to seed for his next garden, he took his produce to the market with his father and actually made a little bit of money. He parents taught him to save most of what he earned to purchase seeds and supplies for his next garden.

When the next growing season arrived, Com was eager to start his next garden. He pleaded with his parents to have a bigger space so he could grow more plants. He wanted to grow more green beans, radishes, and lettuce, and he also wanted to grow some pumpkins. He saw big pumpkins at the market and really wanted to grow some of his own. He also chose to grow a couple of tomato plants and some marigold flowers.

David, thinking that would be a lot for a 6-year old boy, had a heart-to-heart with Com, explaining the time maintaining his garden would take. He wanted to be sure that Com understood the responsibility of a larger garden. Com assured his father that he really wanted a bigger garden and told him that he would work hard at maintaining the garden. David then agreed to allow Com to have the bigger garden.

Com took his saved up money to the market to purchase the seeds he needed to add to the seeds he saved from the previous year.

Finally, planting day arrived. The weather had been warm enough for long enough that David and Jerusha were confident that it would not freeze again. Com grabbed his shovel and began digging the proper holes to plant his seeds. He also used his shovel to create a small mound for his pumpkins seeds, then carefully planted them.

The first thing Com did after waking up each morning was to run outside to check his garden. He checked the soil to be sure it had the right amount of moisture for the seeds. He pulled any weeks that started to grow. He carefully watched for the first signs of his seeds beginning to sprout. Com loved his garden!

After about a week from the time Com planted his seeds, when he went outside to check his garden, he discovered sprouts. He was so excited, he ran back into his house, woke up his parents and begged them to come outside with him. It was a very happy day for Com.

One week later, Com’s parents were outside intently talking with Jerusha’s brother, with his two younger siblings, Leah who was 2 years old and Rebekah who was about 1 month old. Com was at his school class for the morning, learning how to read and write as that was important for the Jaredite people. Suddenly, Rebekah became fussy so Jerusha took her inside to feed her. David continued talking to Jerusha’s brother, focusing on the conversation and not paying attention to little Leah.

Leah, who absolutely adored Com, was exploring the gardens, and decided she wanted to play with the small plants in Com’s garden. While playing, she pulled most of them out! Com came home at about that time, saw his plants laying on the ground, and became very upset. He yelled, screamed, and cried. David, realized what happened and felt bad for not watching Leah more closely, took Com into his arms and apologized. He and Com looked at the pulled-out plants, observed that they were unharmed and thought they would be able to successfully replant them.

David took Leah inside the house, came back out with Com’s shovel and they proceeded to replant all the small plants. After planting, Com retrieved water from their well and carefully watered all the plants. Thankfully, all but one of the plants survived and continued to grow and produce many vegetables. Com did forgive Leah as she was very sorry for what happened.

For Com’s 11th birthday, David presented him with a full-sized shovel. He loved his new shovel as much as he’d loved the little one when he turned five. It was made of the finest steel. The handle was also of the same steel with a layer of hardwood attached to the steel. His name was carved into the wood along with a tree, signifying the Tree of Life.

He continue to expand his garden and the fruits, flowers, and vegetables that he raised. He experimented with different growing techniques, different placements of plants, cross-pollinating, among other techniques. He learned much from his experimentation. His gardens flourished!

Com became renowned for his gardening skills. Many wanted to know and learn his techniques so he taught many different gardening classes. Jerusha would teach with Com, sharing her vast knowledge of flowers.

Most years, there was plenty of rain for the gardens and fields where Com lived. For the most part, the people in his community followed the commandments of God and so were richly blessed. There were a few years where rain was not as plentiful. It was not because the people were any less righteous, it was part of their life experience. During these times of drought, Com and the other farmers pulled water from the wells to water their gardens and crops. It was tedious work, but worth the effort as the people needed their crops to survive. Many in the community came together to help each other water the crops.

One day, as many in the community came together to help water a farmer’s cops, Com’s fun-loving, happy personality longed to help lift the sober mood. It was a very warm and dry day, and they were about finished watering. Everyone was sweating because of the heat. He was now married with two children of his own, and decided that his wife, Paza, needed a little cooling off. He took one of the buckets of fresh, sweet well water and threw it on her!

Paza looked at him in amazement. He’d never done anything like that before. The others watched closely, wondering if she would be angry at Com. She acted angry, took a bucket of water to Com, who stood still, wondering what she was going to do. Then, with a big smile, she threw the bucket of water on him! Com reached for another full bucket, but Paza ran from him. Com chased her, water spilling out of the bucket, and threw the remaining water on her, and splashed water of others in the process! Soon, it became a huge water fight! Just about everyone joined in on the fun. Because of the stresses of the drought and the continued hot temperatures, the water fight helped to cool everyone off and helped the community to relax and find enjoyment.

Com and Paza continued gardening and teaching others about gardening their entire lives. They passed their skills to their seven children who continued the family tradition of gardening, working hard… and having fun, too.

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