Sunday, July 15, 2012

Trial and Error

This year I took a shot at a garden. I have never tried anything like this fact, most living things (besides pets and people) wither when I just look at them. With plenty of space, good friends with a rototiller, and a pioneering spirit, I embarked on a new adventure (one of many!).

I kept telling myself "if you get only ONE vegetable, consider yourself successful!" Well, I DID get a vegetable! My first "fruit of my labor" was a cherry tomato. Now I must confess, it came from a "starter plant" from Wedel's. The little devil on my left shoulder said "It doesn't count" yet I enjoyed it very much!

Soon, we saw huge plants! Nothing growing on them....but HUGE plants nonetheless. I had no idea that squash leaves were so ginormous.

Next up: we waited. 

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, a new veggie presented itself: Green pepper! It still felt like cheating because it also came from a starter plant from Wedel's.

Finally...we had SQUASH! Cut little budding squashies! And then zucchini! Almost as cute as the squash. And we had planted them ourselves (my sister-in-law Debbie helped me with the planting process...thank you Deb!).

So you would think I would feel pretty good at this point. But my head was telling me "Kerrie, you only have three green peppers, three cherry tomatoes and some budding squash and zucchini!"

Next up: Weeds. And grass. LOTS of weeds and grass. So much that I had trouble finding the things we planted! And so, like a good little gardener, I pulled and pulled and pulled this weekend. Piles upon piles of weeds and grass are now around the outside of my garden (with some select, juicy grass tossed to the horses).

At this point I'm thinking "Really? All this work...tilling, planting, weeding, waiting, watering, and watching for THIS?" My next thought: "Thank you farmers who do this for a living, for I certainly could not." (quick prayer said for farmers).

As I weeded the zucchini, I found myself among a very unwanted pest - grubs. Gross looking white slimy things. Lots of them. And they had eaten the root/base of my zucchini!!!! How DARE they?! Sigh...two out of three zucchini plants down. One was left struggling to supply life to its dangling zucchini offspring who were wearing brown, wilted flower hats.

Are you still following me? At this point, I am discouraged. I always like to feel that my time is well spent. I invest a lot of time in my kids, my husband, my home, my church and my animals. And as a result, I think I have some pretty good relationships and surroundings. Well, I am not feeling like the time invested in my garden is providing the expected return. So, as I do with most happenings around here, I look for the lesson. I am tossing around found a few possibilities.

1) There are some things in life in which we invest time an energy which will never reap a strong harvest (at least not in our eyes or during our time on earth) because the experience is meant for our growth and for God's glory. 1 Corinthians 10:31
2) Some failures are successes because they teach us lessons (just ask Thomas Edison)
3) The process may be more important than the goal (aren't most things this way?)
4) Patience is a virtue....the greatest harvest may be yet to come. Hebrews 6:12
5) Sometimes you just don't get what you expect. Change your expectations or change your direction....don't just sit around and complain.

Whatever the lesson is today, I am enjoying some steamed zucchini (the first and last of my garden) and squash. Eating in the moment.  Perhaps tomorrow will bring some new tomatoes and even some melon. Yum!