People seem impressed when they venture into our backyard. We understand that it is a pretty uncommon occurrence for most young adults to entertain a garden/urban farm as we try to, but then again, most of our peers are living in apartments anyway.
Many people assume that creating and maintaining our garden takes a lot of work and would be too much of a commitment for the regular person. However, the fact of the matter is, it isn't that hard. When it comes to anything that is worth doing, all it takes is consistency. Perhaps, this is the real issue folks have when they decide to plant or not to plant. Consistency does fall in line with commitment and commitment seems to be a bad word these days.
Commitment isn't some scary creature that ties you forever to one place, person or thing. It is a desire to see something through and experience the fruit of that labor, that decision, that relationship. Commitment is a promise to experience the goodness that comes from it. It is being consistent in your love and care for whatever or whoever it is. This is how you grow fruit, how you experience goodness that will enhance your life.
The consistency required for our garden has happened like this: We have built the beds in spurts, three hours for three beds plus hauling the compost in for the soil (just to give you an idea). We have 6 beds now and many pots supporting herbs, peppers, berries, and tomatoes around the yard. To build the beds just takes an afternoon. Once the beds are built and the soil is in, the rest is simple maintenance. Some weeding, watering, tying back plants that grow really quickly, and harvesting. All of this can be done in about 20 minutes a day. This is probably less time than the average person spends checking their facebook daily. We are not talking about a lot of time for a big ol' harvest.
How do you begin? What is takes it simple- you have to plan ahead and you have to stick to it. That's all. I planned what plants I wanted to have the summer garden and I bought the seeds. Then I sprouted them and planted them in the garden. Once they were in the garden, I watered them, fertilized them, made sure pests were not eating them and I harvesting the food that their lives have offered.
Joel and I are continually amazed by how simple maintaining a garden really is. We spend about 20 minutes in the morning gathering veggies and making sure everything is nicely maintained and about 20 minutes in the evenings watering them (if it has not rained that day). What comes out of the garden is astounding! For the little effort we put in, the fruit is incredible!
We have both found that having a garden truly has deepened our faith and pulled us into even closer union with our Creator. "God blesses our most feeble attempts." I read this in the Message version of the Bible once and it has always stuck with me. Having a garden is just like having a relationship with the living God.
It takes consistency. Consistent communication with God. Consistent listening, meditating and nourishing your soul. We aren't talking about lots of time, 20 minutes a day can change your life and the fruit from these attempts is astounding.
The abundance of that harvest is glorious and all your feeble attempts turn into cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants and squash. Eggs and zucchini, beans and peppers. A freezer full of food that will nourish your body and soul long after the plants have died at the end of the season. What's even more exciting is that the fruits of these efforts also provide a surplus of fruit for you to share with others that will enhance and nourish their lives just as it has your own.
This garden is a small reminder of the love of God, the joy that consistency can bring out of this divine relationship, and the fruit that will continue to nourish you long after the seeds are planted and the prayers have been prayed. Enjoy the harvest!