The next day there was no school, and Hal and Mab spent much time in their garden. The sun came out bright and warm, and the children said they could almost see the things growing. Mab declared that her bean vines grew almost an inch that one day, and it may be that they did. Beans grow very fast. If you have ever watched them going up a pole you would know this to be true.
With their hoes the children piled more dirt around the roots of the garden plants where the rain had washed the soil away, and thus the bushes and stalks were helped to stand up straighter. Some straightened up of themselves when they had dried in the sun.
“Well, I think we are going to have some good crops,” said Daddy Blake when he went to the garden with Hal and Mab a few days after the storm. “In fact we are going to have more of some things than we can use.”
“Will we have to throw them away?” asked Hal.
“No indeed!” laughed his father. “That would be wrong at a time when we must save all the food we can. But we will do as the farmer does who raises a large crop of anything. We will start a little store and sell what we do not need.”
“A real store?” cried Mab, with shining eyes.
“And sell things for real money?” asked Hal.
“Of course!” laughed their father, “though you may give your friends anything from your garden that you wish to.”
“Where will we keep the store?” asked Hal. “And who will we sell the things to?”
“And what will we sell?” asked Mab. “What have we too much of, Daddy?”
“My! You children certainly can ask questions!” exclaimed Mr. Blake.
“Now let me see! In the first place I think if you keep the store out on the front lawn, near the street, it will be the best place, I’ll put an old door across two boxes and that will be your store counter. And you can sell things to persons that pass along the street. Some in automobiles may stop and buy, and others, on their way to the big stores, may stop to get your vegetables because they will be so fresh. The fresher a vegetable is the better. That is it should be eaten as soon as possible after it is taken from the garden, else it loses much of its flavor.”
“But will people give us real money for our garden truck?” asked Hal. He had heard his father and Uncle Pennywait speak of garden “truck” so he knew it must be the right word.
“Indeed they’ll be glad to pay you real money,” said Mr. Blake with a smile. “Persons who have no garden of their own are very glad to buy fresh vegetables. You’ll soon see.”
“But what are we going to sell?” asked Mab.
“Oh, yes, I forgot your question,” said her father. “Well, there are more tomatoes than your mother has time to can, or make into ketchup just now. She will have plenty more later on. And I think there will be more of your beans, Mab, than you will care to keep over Winter, or use green. So you can sell some of my tomatoes and some of your beans.”