The Honorable Harvest

Written by Hannah Mulholland


In my story, Louise, harvests leek from her family garden. Her friend, Leo, also takes care of his family garden. Louise and Leo have different ideas on how to care for and harvest the garden. Louise teaches readers a valuable lesson about having an honorable and sustainable harvest.


  • Honorable: honest, moral, ethical
  • Leek: a plant related to the onion
  • Trowel: small, handheld shovel
  • Sustain: to undergo, to go through
  • Extinction: the termination of a kind of organism

“Loved them to extinction.”

It was a warm and sunny day on Louise’s family farm. Louise loved gardening and taking care of her family’s garden. When Louise was growing up her Papa taught her how to have an honorable harvest.

“Papa always said.. “Don’t take too much or there will be none left to take.”

On the other side of the city, Leo finally convinced his grandma to let him harvest a crop in the garden this year. Leo’s grandma said he could harvest the leeks since it is getting too hard for her to get all the way to the ground to use her trowel to harvest them. Leo was so excited to have a job in the garden, he has never been in the garden before, but has heard a lot about it from his friend Louise.

“I can’t wait for the first harvest! I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I just can’t wait!!! I am going to have more leeks than Louise could ever harvest! I am going to find them all, and be the best harvester there ever was!

The weeks went by and before they knew it, both Louise’s and Leo’s gardens were ready for their first harvest!

“Louise, Louise, would you like to harvest the leeks after school my sweet dear?”

“Yes, I can’t wait!”

The day goes by and soon school is over and Louise is ready to harvest.

“I always check on the leeks and other plants in the garden before taking and harvesting them. I don’t want to take all of the leeks or else there will be none left for the entire season.”

On the other side of town Leo has been anxiously waiting for the day to come where he can harvest in the garden. Each day Leo has asked his grandma if it was time to harvest.

“Grandma, grandma! Is it ready to harvest today?

“Yes, today is finally the day!”

Leo took the biggest basket he could find from the garage and ran into the garden.

Meanwhile, Louise skipped to the garden eager to check on the Leeks.

“Hello, hello, hello! How are you today my beautiful plants?”

The plants’ leaves were bright green and stretching to the sky.

“Is it okay to harvest you today? I won’t pick you all I promise, only the ones that are ready! If I pick them all, the wild leek wont keep growing.”

Louise carefully picked the readied leek, she made sure to leave a generous amount so there is enough for the rest of the harvest and so it will return next year.

Leo, on the other hand, took a very different approach to picking his family’s harvest of leek. Leo spent the entire evening outside picking all the leek he could find. He couldn’t wait to show his grandma his overflowing basket.

“I know that I have way more in my basket than Louise! Ha ha ha! I can’t wait to brag to her tomorrow at school”

Louise gently finished picking her batch of leek using her trowel.

“You are so generous to let me take some of your amazing harvest. I will be back next week to check if you can sustain another harvest.”

Louise knows that if she takes too much and doesn’t leave any leek her patch will become extinct.

Leo returned to his grandmother to show her all of his findings.

“Oh goodness! Leo! Did you pick the entire patch my sweet grandson?”

“Yes grandma! Are you so proud? Didn’t I do so good!?

“Grandson, you did a great job, but did you pick alllll of the leek?”

“Yes, yes, all of it!”

“Oh Leo, I think you may have loved the leek to death.”

“What? What do you mean loved it to death?”

“Well, Leo, since the leek in our garden is wild leek, it spreads and grows from itself. When we harvest, we want to be honorable and ethical with our harvest and not take too much!”

Leo became obviously upset, tears filled his eyes. He was so looking forward to this day and he messed up.

“Leo, sweetheart. I should have told you sooner. I feel so bad, I failed you and misguided you. Here, how about we spend time together each week and finish harvesting the rest of the garden together to learn? I should have never let you go without teaching you. I have failed you, I am so sorry.”

“Grandma, you have not failed me. We both made mistakes. I agree, lets harvest together so you can teach me everything you know!”

“Oh Leo, you are so understanding and loving.”

“Thanks grandma! You’re the best grandma ever, thank you for teaching me! love you!”

“I love you too Leo!”

Leo went to school the next day and shared with his friend Louise his mistake. Louise told Leo that everyone makes mistakes in gardening and it’s a learning experience for everyone! Leo and his grandma finished harvesting the garden together over the next several weeks where he learned so much. Leo learned what it meant to have an honorable harvest.


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Humanizing Science through STEAM Challenges Copyright © 2021 by E.J. Bahng and John M. Hauptman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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