Sunday, April 3, 2016
Gardening Part of Living More Than OK
I have recovered and caught up some since my comprehensive exams for my Ph.D., so I thought I would move back to writing in my blog. I realize with life one never fully gets caught up so I decided to keep moving forward. One of the activities I have been doing recently during my recouping phase is helping prepare our Spring/Summer garden here in Texas. The garden is something my wife enjoys so my daughter and I help her with the preparation and harvesting.
Growing up in Ohio my mother and father planted a large vegetable garden. My dad would grow sweet potatoes almost as big as a football. When he died my mom moved us in with our grandmother and she even had more land for gardening and that garden provided much of the yearly food supply. So our present home gardening of the past few years brings back fond memories of growing up helping my mom in the garden.
For the most part these past few years while I have been working on my doctorate, my college teaching, and counseling; the garden has been run mostly by my wife. I am just starting my dissertation so after that is finished I will be more involved in the gardening. Preparing the garden in tilling the soil, planting and pruning our fruit trees has been a helpful relaxing diversion while I have been recovering from the stress of the exam I went through.
Gardening also provides times for families to work together. The above picture shows the garden pathway my daughter and wife laid out the other day. It was hard work for them but after their work they enjoyed a steak dinner of which I was not a part of since I was working on reports the whole day. The picture also gives an idea of the garden we tilled and planted a couple of weeks ago. We have a variety of tomatoes, peppers, squash, okra, cucumbers, Swiss Chard, collard greens, Mumbai spinach as well as herbs and other vegetables. We all worked together to get the garden going then pray for success as we never know what Texas weather will bring.
The work that goes into gardening provides an appreciation of farmers in our country and around the world that provide us with food. Our home garden has helped with the food bill but we are definitely not self-sufficient. The battle with weeds and watching over the need for watering is work. It is hard to imagine the level of work that goes on the grand scale of large family farms that provide the world’s food supply.
Outside of the hard work there is amazement and wonder in watching the plants grow. Some of our plants were from seeds. The wonder is in seeing the green shoots breaking up through the ground and before we know it the plant is blooming with flowers that become the vegetables. The development is an amazing wonder of creation. How did the various plants develop? Why are there so many varieties instead of just a few plants that we would be stuck eating? Kind of makes one wonder who or what is behind such amazing wonders doesn’t it?
Whether it is just a few herbs and tomatoes on a patio or a small raised garden give Spring planting a try. If you are benefited with a larger piece of land use some of that land for a garden. It will save you dollars at the grocer and teach your family the hard work that goes into growing produce. As you watch the development of the plants, you may also be caught up in the wonder of watching creation in an amazing way. Then of course the best part is harvesting the fruits and vegetables and using them in your salads and cooking at home.
Reflection: How thankful are you for the farmers who provide the bountiful supply of food you enjoy at your local market and grocer? Try this Spring to either just do a few plants if you are in an apartment or try a small raised garden in your yard. Reflect on the amazing variety in the vegetables, fruits and flowers. Why do you think there is such variety? Does it amaze you?