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Kennedale
Monday, November 30, 2020

Local gardener extraordinaire

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Ever notice the large garden behind the US Post Office in Kennedale. It produces a lot of items from aparagus to watermellons and a lot in-between. It is an active year-around garden but especially noticeable in the spring and summer. {{more:Read More …}}

Mr Bowlin in a recent picture

This is no small garden with 4 or 5 short rows. This is a big garden with row after row that is tended by longtime Kennedale resident Bobby Bowlin.

Most gardens you never see because they are out of sight in back yards. This is one is in full bloom, in all of its glory, as the post office abuts the rear of the Bowlin property and there is no fence to conceal the active garden.
 
a different era before the back to earth movement …
 
It harkens back to a different era, when a lot of folks in small communities grew most of the food they ate. What was not eaten fresh, was canned and stored for later or shared with relatives and neighbors.
 
Mr. Bowlin has kept up the practice and has shelves lined with canned vegetables, pickles and relishes. It is the first thing that you see when you walk through his front door. On his kitchen stove sits a couple of large pressure cookers, used for the canning process, ready for the next batch.
 
And, was it mentioned that he likes to cook. What do you do when you have a lot of homegrown fruit? You make pies from scratch. He also bakes cakes. His favorite dessert is meringue pie. He makes jellies and cans his own soup, chili and hot sauce.
 
There is a lot of work and a lot of passion that goes into his garden. It gets him up early and keeps him busy for long hours and for a 75 year old that is a blessing.
 
arrived in 1960 …
 
Mr. Bowlin moved to Kennedale at 18 with his mother 57 years ago, shortly after his father died from a massive heart attack. He had grown up on the 400 acre family farm in Webb, a small community in southeast Tarrant County, long since swallowed up by Arlington.
 
But as a teenager, he was faced with burying his father, selling the farm and finding a place for his mother and himself to live.
 
The house at 312 Mansfield Cardinal Road where he lives was one that he actually bought and had moved to its present location from Forest Hill.
 
had to grow up quick …

Bobby Bowlin pictured with

his son Darrell in 1964

?I had to figure out how to take care and provide for my mother (who didn’t work outside of home) and myself and pay all the bills,? said Mr. Bowlin.

He eventually got a job with Winn-Dixie and stayed with it for the next 34 years before retiring as Receiving Manager. Now, he has his garden and his kitchen.
 
He is a wealth of information on Kennedale as a longtime resident and likes talking about who lived here over the years and what businesses were along the main stretch of Kennedale.
 
Stop by and visit. He will gladly sell some of his fresh produce or canned items. He is always looking for ?seed? money to keep his garden going.

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