All posts in Garden Project

Finding Life in the Garden

It’s October now and, even in balmy Charleston, our garden is about done. As I think back on this year’s version of our Garden Project, it occurs to me that there are parallels to be seen in gardening and life. Jesus seemed to be fond of showing people the deep truths of life in the simple and familiar things that we experience and work in every day. Stories of mustard seeds, sowing seeds, pulling weeds, fig trees… God even started everything off with a Garden.

I don’t have any intentions of matching the theology of Jesus, but here are a few things I’ve noticed that gardening has in common with life:

  • Timing is everything.
  • Embrace our partnership with God. There is a part that only He can do and there is a part that He asks us to do.
  • Follow the instructions. Invest in watering, weeding and care. If we are faithful, the harvest will nearly always be great.
  • Sometimes, even when we do everything right, something goes wrong doesn’t go the way we had hoped and we don’t know why. This is the providence of God.
  • Don’t forget to witness and value the miracles that abound in everyday life.
  • Sometimes God will surprise you. When you think the bell peppers aren’t going to make it, they produce a bumper crop.
  • Some of the best things in life happen in the morning.
  • Pull weeds early on. It’s much more painful and difficult once they’ve taken root.
  • It all starts with good soil. It may not smell great, but…
  • There is value in patience. Some things cannot be rushed.

Lord, help us to see YOU in all that we do. Show us the deep things of life in the simple. Help us to invest our hearts in our families, kids, jobs and… gardens – the way You invest in us.

Garden Project: Phase III – Tending the Garden

This is my favorite part of the garden project. Watering the plants. Stirring the soil. Pulling the weeds (which are very few with this new mushroom compost). Watching the miracles of growth. Watching the plants climb, flower…tiny little vegetables forming. There is something therapeutic about it all – partnering with God…a little.

Here are some photo updates:

Garden Project: Phase II – Planting Day

We have been preparing for our garden for some time now and Planting Day finally arrived. We always plant on the Saturday after Good Friday, which puts us a little later in the season this year, but no worries. We had to clean out the winter growth from garden bed. Our good friends Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo made a generous donation to our venture this year – a truck load of rich organic mushroom mulch! I snapped a few shots over the past couple of weeks and then set up an interval timer series with my Nikon D200 on a tripod while we were actually planting the garden.

This year, we are just planting basic, staple vegetables – zucchini squash, yellow straight neck squash, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, sweet red peppers and cantaloupe. We may try some smaller raised box beds on another part of our yard that gets full sun nearly all day. Our sycamore trees have gotten tall and are shading our garden bed more than I like, but they still get 5-6 hours of full sun. We’ll post updates as things grow…

Garden Project : Phase I – Start Seedlings

We are starting our annual vegetable garden project on time, for a change, this year. We planted some of our seedlings today and will plant the rest in 2 weeks. We’ll probably plant the ones we started today around Dad’s birthday, March 20th and then the rest around Good Friday. The kids are really able to help a lot these days and are very hands-on. We’ll post progress photos as soon as they start sprouting. Our goal is to NOT mix up the labels this year…we’ve found that it’s very hard to tell a cherry tomato seedling from a Better Boy tomato seedling, ditto for yellow and zucchini squash.

Here’s our tentative lineup for this year:

  • Better Boy Hybrid Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Straight Neck Yellow Squash
  • Zucchini Squash
  • Kentucky Wonder Green Beans
  • Silver Queen Sweet Corn
  • California Hybrid Bell Peppers

We may tweak the mix a little as we go along, but this is the initial plan. This is our first year trying corn, but we’re going to give it a whirl. We have to plant it in a square pattern instead of long rows to help with pollination. We may replace the green beans with something else – they “run” all over the place and take up a lot of space, but we may run them along the back fence or something this year.