|Planting about 120+ garlic bulbs last fall, these were the only ones that didn't rot in the ground. And of these, most didn't even grow large enough to be worth the effort.|
|"WHAT are these?" |
I have that look when I see our totally NOT CUTE Lilliputian bell peppers too , Ineke.
You hear me peppers?!?! NOT CUTE.
The garden this year stinks.
It's true. The spring/summer of rain did no favors for my growing things- the tomatoes are blighty, the cabbages did horrible. The peppers were stunted, if they grew at all. The garlic rotted in the ground. A huge plot for kale and swiss chard are still only about 6 plants smaller than my palm after an entire summer. Hundreds of beet seeds.... probably won't give enough for a single meal. Dozens and dozens of onions grew a tiny fraction of that- 18ish? Tons of pumpkins planted and I see only two small pie pumpkins in the dying vines. The corn tasseled out at about 2 feet high so I didn't think there were any cobs...and then Andrew told me there were so I went and harvested and they were too mature to eat.
The weeds blanket and crowd because there were weeks where it was too swampy to get out and weed every day.
It is downright depressing out there.
The beans are doing well now, after having been replanted twice. The cucumbers and squash loved the rain and have kept us well supplied. The herbs are doing marvelously. The flowers are beautiful this year. I can't eat them, but they feed something inside me.
How good God is in all things. Even in crummy garden years, we live in an age where we are not solely dependent upon what we produce ourselves. This winter I can buy canned tomatoes and the world will not come to an end. We will not starve. And that has not always been the case.
We may not have an overwhelming abundant harvest, but there are still fresh beans and cucumbers and tomatoes and garlic and basil and squash and cilantro and peppers to eat. And they taste delicious.
Usually we push off the start of school until canning is winding down because August and September are spent with me feverishly stuffing things in jars but I see no need to prolong the inevitable since there is nothing really to can outside of pickles and relish. And this lightens my load considerably. The children aren't terribly thrilled about this- and neither am I- but I guess it is time to wrap my head around the fact that home education is imminent. Since I haven't begun to actually do anything in that regard- we are still a few weeks out. :-)
So there are plenty of blessings in our gardening year.
I am also grateful for the reminder that I am not in control. I am not the sole contributor to my own outcomes. Why do I need this reminder so constantly? I can work my fingers to the bone and devote time and money and perseverance to a cause but it does not guarantee my success because while I am called to plant, God gives the increase. It's Him, not me. It's not me ever. Every good garden year is not because of my effort but because of His gift to us.
This was made more poignant this year in particular as several friends and neighbors had their gardens utterly destroyed and literally washed away in freak flooding. They were beautiful gardens and they worked tirelessly to make them so, but an abundant garden harvest was never promised. And it was never up to them to decide.
This is a truth that envelopes our entire lives, wherever they might lead, whatever they encompass. Every dish that I do. Every meal that I make. Every jar that I stuff. Every moment I teach my children. Every moment I talk with my children. Every moment my children watch me. Every time I watch the news. Every candid conversation I have with old friends who happen to be staunch atheists. Every time I go grocery shopping with ducklings in tow. Every to-do list I scratch out on a piece of paper. Every time I crack open the Word, every time I am broken, every time I am made whole.
It is high time we realize our dependence upon God. When we do, how can we not be eternally grateful?
And if it takes a rotten garden year to remind me of that, well, praise God!