For love of gardens and neighbors

For Jerry Walsh, gardening has not been a lifelong love but the lessons learned have lasted a lifetime.

"He (my dad) had to make me get out in the garden," Walsh recalls of his childhood gardening days.

Although he suffers from macular degeneration, Walsh plants, tends and gathers from his garden each year, then mostly gives the bounty to others, he said.

"I always like to give it to someone," he said.

Walsh said he most loves to share his crops with those who can no longer garden themselves.

Walsh said giving to others is a natural thing to do instilled in him from his father.

Walsh, raised in the 1930s and 1940s, saw food rationing during World War II.

"You had to raise your food or use the stamps," he said.

Walsh said his father worked at the local cotton mill in Winnsboro at the time.

"If a neighbor needed something out of the garden, we gave it to them," he said of neighbors helping each other.

Walsh, originally from Winnsboro, moved to Barnwell to work at the Savannah River Plant in the early 1950s.

Walsh retired in 1993 and has since been experimenting with his garden growing techniques.

Today, Walsh carries on that tradition of giving to others through his own garden.

"I like to see people enjoy the food," he said.

Gardening today has changed from the way Walsh's father and father-in-law gardened, from the weather to the types of seeds planted, Walsh said it is always a challenge.

"Gardening is a hit and miss kind of thing," he said.

Walsh recommends gardening for anyone who loves to work hard, especially during these hot summer days.