I have been swamped and sick the last few days. So Will being the amazing Hubster that he is agreed to handle today’s post for me. Time to show off our garden. I married a man with a super green thumb! I hope you enjoy hearing about his hobby as much as I love eating from it=)
As many of you know, I love to garden. There is something very therapeutic about growing plants from the earth, and if you slow down to notice the process of gardening/farming you can see how so many of its principles can be applied to “real-life.” This year, our backyard garden contains the following plants:
- 50 green bean
- 5 lettuce
- 7 spinach
- 15 peppers
- 6 zucchini
- 3 cantaloupe
- 5 tomato
- 4 eggplant
- 4 potato
- 11 onions
- 6 broccoli
Growing something requires some (ok, a lot) of intentionality. The little plot of ground that our garden is planted on was not ready to just throw some seeds into. I had to prepare the ground. All of the sod, sticks, and stones had to be removed before I could even think about sowing seeds. Once the debris was cleared, the soil needed worked, turned over – I even had to throw some compost in there to develop fertile soil.
When you plant a seed, it takes time for it to grow into anything visible. Some seeds don’t come up for weeks after planting, and the only reason that they even come up at all is because the environment tells the seed that it’s finally safe to come out of the shell. There is enough water, enough sun, and the temperature is just right.
Sometimes you can “direct sow” plants directly into the fertile soil, but the plants that require the most attention and care are usually started indoors where there is more protection. For those seeds that need more attention, once they are started and some roots are established, it needs to be transplanted to a place that it can flourish – obviously the little starter pods don’t contain enough soil (or nutrients) to sustain any real growth.
Right after you finish planting your little plot, you have something you can be proud of, even if there are only little tiny streaks of green throughout.
And then the garden bursts into life…
OK, so maybe too much life. The weeds begin to creep into our fertile soil…
Weeding is a tedious and painful process. Sometimes the weeds have deep roots and you can never quite get them out – and the weed continues to spout anew week after week. Other times the weeds have thorns, or they vine like crazy and wrap/mingle with the crops you are trying to raise. Cultivating ground is sometimes a violent process. Sometimes you have to get help; a shovel or a rake. Only after digging up the weed do you see how spread the roots had been, no wonder it was so hard to get rid of! Once the weeds are gone, the plants are finally able to establish themselves…
Eventually though, the plants flower and there is a harvest. The harvest is so much more satisfying when you know how much work has gone into getting it to that point.
Do I even need to explain all of the analogies layered into this process? The spiritual applications of this process are nearly endless. But so are parenting, personal habits, and so many other areas of “real life.” Sometimes it helps to get your own hands dirty and experience the process of growing something – it will give you insight into so many other areas of life.
Perhaps gardening can grants us a bird’s eye view of an accelerated version of our own lives. It takes hard work, a safe environment, and a vigilant eye to the things that creep up in life over time to produce any sort of harvest.