Life Style

Gardening one’s heart back to health

Alexander – Some people believe that gardening extends one’s life and Ann Norton might be one of them. Ann and her husband, Paul, live in a small subdivision on the Buncombe/Madison line. How close to the line do they live? Well, for years they paid Buncombe County taxes until they resurveyed the line and they ended up in Madison.

Ann and Paul Norton outside near the garden where they spend much of their summer hours.
Ann and Paul Norton outside near the garden where they spend much of their summer hours.

Every year Ann, 73, and Paul, 77, get out during the spring season and start their annual vegetable garden. Several years ago, Ann had a heart attack that resulted in her taking heart medicine, but after she started back with her gardening, her doctor soon told her he was taking her off the medication. “He said, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing but keep it up,” explained Ann. She credits her better health to the “good Lord” and gardening.

Ann said she keeps the gardening going not only to have fresh vegetables for her and Paul, but for friends and neighbors. This year, Among her other vegetables, Ann had a bumper crop of tomatoes with some of her plants growing to eight and 10 feet tall and loaded with grape-size tomatoes.
“Oh Lord, they [the plants] were loaded with tomatoes,” she said. Asked what variety they were, Ann said she didn’t know as the seeds were given to her. Not only were the type of tomatoes a mystery to the Nortons but how long they’d been married was also a mystery. When asked, Paul said, “So long, we’ve forgotten.”

The Nortons intend to keep the gardening up, not just for their health, but to provide fresh vegetable for their own tables as well as the table of others.

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Clint Parker

Publisher & Editor Weaverville Tribune