Big Cabbage

Audra Spears / The Outlook Levi Leonard poses for a photograph with some of the vegatables he has been growing in Coosa County.

Coosa County native Levi Leonard has been a gardener most of his life.

“I’ve been doing it about 80 years,” Leonard said. “I’m 89 now. Age ain’t nothing but a number.”

This week Leonard is reaping the benefits of potatoes, onions and cabbage. Leonard proudly held one head of cabbage grown in his Cottage Grove garden.

“I don’t know what variety it is,” Leonard said. “I just planted it. I have 60 more, they just haven’t headed yet.”

Leonard also has other vegetables growing in his one-acre garden.

“There’s tomatoes, string beans, corn and ribbon cane,” Leonard said. “The ribbon cane is just coming up. It’ll be November before it's ready.”

Tooling around in the garden passes the day for Leonard.

“I get up about 7 a.m. and work in the garden til about 5 in the evening,” he said.

All the vegetables come in handy reducing Leonard’s trips to the grocery store.

“I just go to get meats,” Leonard said. “I go on Saturdays normally.”

Leonard’s garden produces more vegetables than he needs.

“I don’t eat much of it,” Leonard said. “I give it away to my neighbors. I don’t charge them. They say, ‘Thanks.’”

Leonard left Coosa County for a brief while.

“I was in the Air Force,” Leonard said. “I came back, got married and been here ever since.”

The 80 years of gardening haven’t gone unnoticed by others around Leonard.

“People say I have a ‘Green Thumb,’” Leonard said jokingly. “Last time I looked at my thumb it was black.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.