One surprising thing I’ve learned in my first garden is how the Bible’s truths speak so clearly and tangibly in the simple act of growing food. In the springtime it was the first bursts of the seedlings, the miraculous growth, the sense of accomplishment and hard work. I haven’t had time to pen all the blog posts that have swirled in my head just about every time I have walked out my door into my garden.
Oh, how my view of my Creator and His Word have been profoundly impacted!
But these last few weeks, I have also been reminded that we live in a fallen world.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. –Romans 8:19-20
As I battled pest after pest, disease after disease, deer after rabbit, drought after downpours, I was reminded that this was not the creation that God intended! It reminds me that not only am I a fallen, sinful person in need of a Savior, but creation waits to be redeemed as well!
And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field.” –Genesis 3:17-18
Such a simple thing as squash bug damage reminded me that this world is on its way out, and those who have faith in Christ have hope of a new earth, free from sin, free from decay.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more…And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”…No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. –Revelation 21:1, 5, 22:3
Let me tell ya, I want to work in that garden! But until then, here’s what my current one looks like.
On the left, you see my cucumbers currently. They are still producing, and they have had an excellent crop! I’ve got frozen cucumbers in my freezer to last all winter! But on the right was what they looked like just a few weeks ago. I have no idea what is wrong with them. They have had water and I have seen no insects.
On the left you see my current Roma tomatoes. Although there are more tomatoes, and they are beginning to ripen, you can see that the plants on the right are more healthy than what I have now.
Both of the above plants are my squash plants right now. The one on the left was the most vigorous I have had, so it has withstood the squash bug damage and powdery mildew (what you see on the right plant) better. I also lost another very vigorous plant to the squash vine borer. I could do more to curtail the squash bug damage, but I’m just tired, honestly, of fighting the battle. I’ve gotten a wonderful crop of squash. We’ve eaten it several times a week, given it away, and frozen it. So what I get from this point, I get.
The first three pictures are my current green beans. The one on the bottom right is what it looked like a few weeks ago. We had a storm come through two weeks ago that snapped two of my bamboo poles, and as it would turn out, those are the best producing vines right now. We’re hoping to save them, somehow. The other beans started dying and I couldn’t figure it out, until I looked at their base. It appears that something has eaten the vines at the ground level, causing the rest of the vines to die. It’s very frustrating, but I am still grateful. I’ve canned 10 jars of green beans, and I have several vines still producing, so I’m hoping to get 5 more. I also planted some follow-up bean plants to harvest in the next few months.
This is my melon patch. It has done great! I’m on my third watermelon and I’ve given my dad a couple. These Charleston Grey watermelons have to be the best tasting ones I’ve ever eaten, and I LOVE watermelon. On the right picture you’ll see a cantaloupe growing next to the watermelon. I thought I had lost all my cantaloupes to some creature that liked those plants but not watermelon ones, but I guess my lack of controlling the weeds in the watermelon patch worked to my advantage. The cantaloupe started growing back in the midst of the weeds, effectively hiding. Hopefully I’ll get some cantaloupes soon!
On the left are my okra plants, which are finally producing very well. I have to pick them every day and I get about 8-10 per day. I’m planning on eating them fresh (’cause you can’t top fresh southern-fried okra) and freezing them to eat all winter. On the right are my new cucumber plants. I learned that the other cucumbers I had were not the pickling variety, so I planted these to make pickles and relish. So far they are growing fast!
One thing I have noticed about myself lately…. I find myself longing for winter! This garden has been a lot of work! I’ve been very pleased at how productive it has been considering I have had no idea what I was doing.
I’ve also figured out my favorite part of gardening: canning! There’s nothing more satisfying! Except, maybe, that first bite of cold watermelon. 🙂