Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lessons From Our Garden

This is our first year that we have had a big garden. It's the first year that we have planted anything, save tomato plants from the nursery, let alone from seed. I read a few different books about gardening, different types of beds, different ways to garden. After talking with Daniel and a confirmation discussion with a local farmer, we decided on raised beds. This took a lot of extra work in the beginning of the year, but we won't have to build these beds again, just add compost in the fall.

From the beginning, we've prayed over our garden, asking God to bless it, protect it & help it to be fruitful. He is answering our prayers!

We have cucumbers planted with corn planted beans planted with sunflowers planted with beets & carrots. We have squash planted amongst a different type of corn. Carrots with tomatoes, basil with peppers, watermelon with chamomile. Kale, cabbage & brussel sprouts together. It's all so beautiful, planted this way. I wanted to experiment with it, see how these plants grew interplanted, see how well the harvest went.

Some lessons I've learned... Plant the beans at the edge of our garden boxes. It is way to hard to hunt for those beans when there in the middle of the row. Do not plant them next to cucumbers. Can you say "picky"?!? Plant more beans. Plant more peas. Don't wait to put up the trellises. Plant from seed. Even our tomatoes, planted from seed in imperfect conditions, are doing wonderful!I'm sure the lessons will continue. I expect them to.

Some family lessons... Keep it fun! Keep the kids with me. Whatever project we're working on, work on it together instead of breaking up the group to do 2 or 3 projects at one time. Remind them at the beginning of the year how much fun it is to have a scavenger hunt for these cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, beans & especially potatoes. Let them eat it right out of the ground. They love picking the lettuce & eating it for snack!

Another lesson in the importance of the little things... Daniel is insistent on family prayer before meals, thanking God for our food. He is the driving force behind this. I get busy, don't take the time to sit down to eat in the middle of the day, etc & forget, but Daddy does not forget. Gabe & I went out to pick our first potatoes. We spread apart the hay to search for a potato, to see if there were any ready to pick. We found one, then another. We found a huge one & Gabriel picked it up & said, "Thank You, Jesus!" at the top of his lungs. My heart just about burst. And I quietly said, "Thank you, Jesus, for giving us this gift of a child and this gift of food."

I wish I could say that I have been absolutely, 100 % enthusiastic about this whole garden thing. I have not. I've been overwhelmed at times. I've complained about the hard work. I've said, "You just don't understand!"
And yet, through it all, even through my bad attitude, God has been faithful to provide for us, faithful to teach us, faithful to show us His glory & goodness.

I wouldn't trade these lessons for a little bit of free time, for "me time", for a little more "book work", for anything. I asked the girls the other night, "Was all the work in the spring worth it? To be able to go & eat the food that you worked for. Was it worth it?" Their answer was a resounding, "Yes!"

God is good!

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