Spring is a wonderfully exciting time of beginning to grow our garden but also keep working. Each morning I have to ask myself: What's going to be first, sowing or sewing? And I can never figure out the right answer. Often I'll make a few items while my kids are still sleep and then take them outside to tend to the garden. This year we are growing a fairly wide variety of items if I do say so myself. Since my time has to be split our garden can't be as big as I would like it to be, but I sure try to maximize what I do.
We've got at least one plant (often more) of the following
- Pole beans
- Butternut Squash
- Grape Tomatoes
- Yellow Tomatoes
- Blue Tomatoes
- Brown Tomatoes
- Beefsteak Tomatoes
- more tomatoes that I can't even remember
- Green Basil
- Red Basil
- Salad Mix (I honestly don't have a clue what that is comprised of)
- Orange Carrots
- Rainbow Carrots
- Bell Peppers
- Loose Leaf Lettuce (it's red)
- Purple Cauliflower
- Ground Cherries
- Bush Beans
- Jerusalem Artichokes
- 3 types of Sunflowers
- and last but not least an unending number of weeds.
I wish that plants grew as readily, prolifically, and easily as weeds do, but I think that there wouldn't be as much joy in seeing the first sunflower sprout emerge from the ground, harvesting the first strawberry, or seeing the first tomato starting to form if it didn't take time, effort, and some sweat to get your garden just right.
In this new, crazy time in life, I'm trying to find every silver lining that I possibly can to cancel out the bleakness that everyone is feeling. I hope and pray that my garden will be fruitful so that I can not only take care of our family's needs but bless others with fresh, nourishing produce. The garden is a small sanctuary of sorts, getting my feet and hands dirty brings me back down to Earth and back to a continual place of reverence and thankfulness. I appreciate the food that we grow more than the food that we buy, and I'm amazed at how orchestrated every plant is. It's calculable, predictable, and reassuring. I know that there will be a time of waiting when nothing is ready, when the maximum amount of work needs to be done to keep things going smoothly but I know the benefits in the interim remain.
Today on the way home from buying more plants and trellising net I stopped at my favorite coffee joint (Dutch Bros baby!) and my day got a little brighter as my barista asked what kinds of plants I had and when I responded with 5 different types of tomatoes, he surprised me by telling me he has a tomato garden growing as well. Thanks to some new knowledge from Roots and Refuge I was able to offer him a "sucker" so he could get a new plant for free. It's nice to think that I helped someone else be a little more sustainable and now someone else is growing a plant identical to mine. Food doesn't have to cost a lot or anything if you're resourceful, knowledgeable, and prepared.
Next time you buy a cucumber, bell pepper, or zucchini from the store, save some of the seeds and try planting a couple of plants of your own. It'll give you a hope you may not have known you had before and something to look forward to in the coming days. The days may be uncertain (as they have always been) but God remains constant and the plants He created keep growing despite the craziness in society.
Sew On, Sow Forth, Be Blessed.