I am breaking some new ground on the blog today!! Time to talk GARDENS!
If you ask me what the ten things in life are that get me most excited, included in the top ten would be gardening! I am not always sure why, but I love gardening. I haven’t delved into my gardening skills yet here on the blog, but with spring just around the corner, it was time to plant our seedlings.
I think we may be a week behind, but it’s time to plant seedlings here in central Illinois.
My family and I live in a subdivision in a suburb of rather large city. We only have about a third of an acre. My parents, on the other hand, live on about six acres of land about three and a half miles from there.
We have the best set up ever. Peter and I didn’t want hours and hours of yard work, and we wanted a home with minimal upkeep. So when we bought our house four years ago, we intentionally bought a reasonable sized home with minimal yard work. We miss living rural but knew this would be best for our young family for this time.
Thankfully my overly generous parents let us have the best and biggest garden ever at their house. Since they live so close, it works out really well for us.
Over the last three or four years, the garden continues to get bigger and bigger. And I think I get more and more excited every year.
Today Peter and I planted seeds for almost 75 tomato plants and 75 pepper plants. And I couldn’t be happier about it. Gardening is a LOT of work (and sometimes a bit overwhelming), but the rewards are worth it.
Here’s a few thoughts on why we love to garden:
1. Growing our own food is so satisfying for me. I take great joy in harvesting the produce. Then as fall nears, we spend lots of time canning and freezing our produce.
2. The healthy side of me likes having home grown and ‘ripened fully on the vine’ produce. I can’t talk about anything scientifically (because I have no idea about all the technicalities), but there is something delicious and extra sweet about a tomato fully ripened on its vine.
3. When you plant a big garden, there is almost always lots and lots to give away. This is fun. It’s a great opportunity to send an email to three or four friends and ask who wants to come pick strawberries on Saturday morning. 🙂
4. Planting a garden is an opportunity to look at God as the Creator. His work is amazing and the detail He planned for each little seedling, bud, flower, and fruit is unimaginable. I am privileged to see this firsthand.
5. Gardening takes time, work, and effort. Working hard and persevering when the work grows monotonous makes the reward greater. Do you know what I mean? The garden is a great opportunity to work hard and see the work pay off (usually…unless your garden gets flooded out…like last year…I wanted to cry…but I can’t make the garden an idol…moving on…). The boys can help too! They will see the harvest they can reap if they put time and discipline into understanding how to take care of a garden.
6. Everyone can help with the garden. In our family, everyone seems to have their place. My dad tills the garden every year. Some years he hauls manure home and unloads it on the garden. My mom loves to plant. She loves to plant so much that we usually have way more than we can take care of. Peter and I tend to do a lot of the upkeep. We do lots of weeding and tilling between rows as needed.
7. The garden is a place where the boys can help and see change and progress. Case is learning to help weed the landscaping, and I’m sure he will help in the garden too. Plus, the garden is one huge science lab for the kids. I don’t have to explain to the boys that a seed becomes a seedling, then a plant, then a flower, and then produces a fruit. They get to see it first hand for themselves.
8. Gardening happens outside. I can’t tell you why, but being outside is good for me and it’s good for the boys. Life seems to go better when we take advantage of the beautiful days God gives us.
Share with me! Are you a gardener? What do you love most about it?