gleaning from the garden

IMG_3228This was our garden less than two weeks ago. We didn’t finish planting until the end of May, so the beets and lettuces were just barely peeking out and all the little baby plants were bravely holding their territory in a sea of mud.

IMG_3232This was our garden yesterday. And I was reminded, as I always am, of what a miracle it is that things grow. We drop a seed in the earth and in secret and the dark it sprouts. It becomes a shoot, a stalk, a leaf, a bean. We can’t get over it. I think this is what is behind our family’s passion for growing things. We love the delightful surprise when a harvest appears “from nothing”–and God creates the world all over again.

IMG_3219Who but God could dream up a peony?

Strangely, though I planted only herbs and vegetables, we have been surprised by other growth also. Because we had to till up our garden where there was meadow before, a healthy crop of weeds has also emerged. And I have been reminded of the curious persistence of unwanted growth in a fallen world. I have also been reminded to mulch.

IMG_3233(Do you love these zucchini cages? I made them from maple branches and twine–I’ve only been waiting to try this since 2011.)

Additionally the garden has already taught me not to be a know-it-all. Wanting to keep costs down, we purchased only one roll of fence. At installation we discovered it would surround all of the space we had dug up except for one wide row. Betsy the Expert came to the rescue.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “We’ll just plant the tomatoes outside the fence. Animals will not eat tomato plants.”

“Are you sure?” asked Hubby.

I was very sure. So that’s what we did.

And the top halves of all of our tomato plants were nibbled off within seven days. Mrs. Know-It-All forgot to tell the deer that they don’t like tomatoes.

They’ve also been eating from Norah and Harriet’s pumpkin vines.

IMG_3246“Don’t worry, Mommy,” said Norah when we discovered this. “I don’t think deers really like pumpkins.”

She’s my girl.

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