Thursday, May 10, 2012

Eden Was A Garden

Gardening requires lots of water...most of it in the form of perspiration.  Lou Erickson
Finally, after many days of hard work the garden has been expanded and the seeds are in the ground!  Although we smell like dirt and our bodies are sore there is something about gardening that feeds the soul and renews the spirit. It's an intimate relationship between the earth we tend to and care for which brings forth such wonderful healthy food to nourish and sustain us.  From the beginning of creation it was meant to be this way.

Earth here is so kind, just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.  Douglas William Jerrold


I truly have come to love gardening despite the hard work and the hours that must be spent to attend to such an undertaking.  Have you ever seen a beautiful garden and admired it in all it's glory?  Did you ever wonder who owned it? A well tended spot of land says something about the character of the person caring for it. I can tell you this, it didn't get that way because the person sat down the shade of a tree and fancied to himself, "What a nice place for a garden" and then continued to sip on his glass of southern sweet tea, garnished with mint, daydreaming about beautiful gardens. It is work but it is rewarding.

Witness to a miracle, sweet corn reaching for the sun
Every year I strive to create a larger garden with more diversity, a garden which more closely resembles nature than the artificial system of growing one type of plant year after year. Nature isn't a monoculture why should our gardens be. Interchanging crops and companion planting is healthier for the soil and helps the plants protect themselves against pests and disease.  I've planted my pumpkins with my corn (they will help keep the corns roots moist and weed free) and I'll plant pole beans along side the corn (the corn acts as a supportive trellis and the beans will return nitrogen to the soil that the corn uses).  This is just one example of companion planting practices that have been used for centuries, and contrary to popular belief, this style of planting produces more abundantly than modern methods without all the deadly chemicals that are polluting our world and our bodies. It's less expensive and healthier too!


I finally found a use for all those used canning lids...garden markers!

All my seeds are non-hybrid, non-GMO, open-pollinated seeds that have not been treated with fungicides or chemicals.  I know at the end of the season I will be able to harvest my own seeds from my best plants to grow next year.  Seed saving is an ancient, but somewhat forgotten, practice that is beginning to find it's way back into our modern culture by plant and nature enthusiasts who recognize the benefits of such resourceful and wise practices.  If we want to protect our Earth and ourselves we would be well warned to go back to the past before modern technology destroyed farming as we know it.

Beautiful tiny grapes to be! 

The one thing that I am still learning to do is "share" my garden with the birds. I must be selfish because I don't want to! I work too hard to let my garden become a buffet for the numerous birds that await eagerly for an easy meal. Before anyone gets upset about my unfair treatment of our feathered friends know that I leave PLENTY of pecans on the ground for them, I don't kill the weeds in our lawn for them, and I give them plenty of seed. They can stay out of my garden! 

mean "garden snake" and silver flags on cucumber trellis
So, to facilitate this I am trying different things to keep them away.  I placed black hoses in the garden to resemble snakes, taped fluttery silver "flags" to various parts of the garden and created a "scarecrow" of sorts out of my PPE gown and gloves and an old straw hat. 

My girls nicknamed her "Betsy"
I don't know how effective these will be but it is worth a try to protect my precious seedlings. I find it so amazing that a tiny seed becomes a large plant that will provide for my family if only I will take loving care of it.  Thomas Jefferson once said "Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God".  I pondered that quote for quite some time trying to discern the meaning.  Were farmers special to God? If so why? I understand from Genesis we were meant to be good and wise stewards of the land and the creatures He created, so farming brings us back to the beginning when it "was good".  

A pumpkin seed pushing through the soil, another miracle!

I grasp just the tiniest measure of understanding when I witness the miracles of birth or the sprouting of a tiny seed. Each one is a whisper of a promise to come, a hope and a future, a message of love. In this way I know my God loves me. I know He cares for me and will sustain me.  In tending my small little "Eden" I will worship Him, I will glorify Him and I will sing His praises.  Everyday becomes a gift and a miracle and I am thankful for each one.

The "Garden Angel" tending the grapes!
"One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth."  Dorothy Frances Gurney

Blessings,
Michelle





2 comments:

  1. Now I want to garden with you too! Love your blog. I love the quote by Jefferson and your relection on its meaning. Have a sweet day!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Gardening is both a joy and a blessing. Come on over, I'd enjoy the company and appreciate the help! :)

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