Showing Restraint

SeedsYesterday was a happy day. 🙂

I finally got to play in the dirt.

I’m not sure why it took so long to get my seeds started this year – but they are done now and sitting pretty in the sun room.

I check them every hour or so – just in case they sprouted already.

You should be proud of me – I actually showed great restraint in my planting.

Well – at least as far as tomatoes go.

I only planted thirty-six instead of my usual 50-60. But now I’m wondering if that’s enough? Maybe I should have planted more?

No worries about peppers though. I’ve planted seven different kinds. Five sweet varieties and two hot.

I guess I’m kind of obsessed with peppers right now.

And not just me! Jan ate a new variety over the weekend that he loved so much he spent a few hours researching it.

He finally found seeds in Ohio and bought me some.

He’s wonderful like that!

Now I just need to wait for them to come so I can plant them.

And for everything to grow.

And the ground to warm up.

And the Amish greenhouse to open so I can buy more plants and more seeds!

So I can plant more things!

I told you I was showing great restraint this year. 😉

PS: The seeds haven’t sprouted yet – I just checked again.

A Garden Search and Rescue

My garden – as our Amish neighbor’s would say – had “gotten away from us.”

T’was a mess.

I guess that’s no surprise considering a late frost – then lots of rain – and graduation – and then more rain and even some hail.

At least it’s planted – well most of it – thanks to my husband who added “help my frazzled wife plant the garden” to his endless list of projects this spring.

This week’s goal was to perform a garden search and rescue. Our mission – to find the vegetables and rescue them from the weeds.

The tomatoes and peppers were easy. They were well mulched and somewhat protected, so they are still looking good. We even have a blossom or two!

tomato

We discovered the first planting of corn and green beans – except for the last third of a row of beans that went AWOL.  Must have washed away. We replanted.

The peas were pretty entrenched in grass and weeds. When we finally freed them, they rewarded us with several blossoms.

The onions and radishes looked pretty good, when we finally found them. And we were able to salvage some of the lettuce, but the spinach was pretty beaten up by the hail.

radish

(Note – it doesn’t seem fair that the weeds right next to the spinach escaped hail damage – while the spinach plants were ripped to shreds. Just saying.)

But in all the hills of summer squash, spaghetti squash and zucchini that we planted just before graduation – there are only 4 plants.  The rest of the seeds must of washed away. They’re probably in Missouri by now.

And then there’s the 140 cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower plants.

neglected cabbage

The poor things were mired in mud, beaten by hail, and over taken by weeds. They were in definite need of rescue.

It was a massive job.

A week full of muddy “character-building” hard work that our children should someday thank us for.

But we did it.

This mission is complete.

And Even More Extreme Planting…

Since we are into extreme planting these days (remember the 500 trees) – why not extend that to the garden planting?!

DSC_0097
I guess if one buys hundreds of packets of seeds during winter snow storms, and then starts hundreds of tiny seeds in the grey days of early March, one should expect to plant many, many seedlings.

And so I did.

The 2 kinds of cauliflower, 2 kinds of broccoli, and 3 kinds of cabbage are in the ground.

Over 140 plants.

That is no joke. Jan counted them.

I’m either an overachiever or certifiably insane.

Or…maybe we just love cauliflower and broccoli.

At any rate, I should have enough cabbage to make sauerkraut for an entire German hamlet.

That is – if they actually grow.

And the bunnies don’t find them.

And the pigs don’t get out.

And the cabbage moths don’t infest them.

And the rains come.

And the creek don’t rise.

Okay – I’m certifiable.

It Worked!

Do you remember my crazy “early-February there is snow on the ground” attempt at planting my sale bulbs that should have been planted in October?

You know – the 400 bulbs we put on the ground and covered with the frozen blocks of top soil we got on clearance?

Yep – that crazy idea.

Would you believe –

tulip

It worked!

Well – kind of.

I didn’t get 400 beautiful flowers – not even a hundred.

Okay – barely 25.

But the ones that came are beautiful.

And it makes me happy.

Maybe I’m not so crazy after all.

Wait…don’t answer that.

 

Sowing Seeds Part 2

DSC_0097Buddy and I have been watching our flats of seeds very carefully to see any signs of life.

The broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and eggplant came up quickly, followed by the tomatoes.

But the entire flat of peppers remained barren.

There was no change.

A niggling of concern entered my mind.

Another week passed.

No sprouts.

Concern turned to worry as I envisioned an entire year without jalapeno and fresh peppers.

Every day we studied the dirt filled holes searching for any signs of life.

Finally – today – we saw our first tiny sprout.

And then another, and another.

Such a relief.

I was powerless to make those seeds sprout.

I had done all I could do. I planted. I watered. I kept them warm. And I waited.

It’s the waiting that’s hard.

God understands.

He said in Mark 4: 26-29 – “…This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

“All by itself the soil produces grain.”

I can’t break open each seed and force the spouts out.

I can’t pull each sprout into a stalk or create a head.

I cannot create or ripen one piece of fruit.

But I can plant.

I can prepare the soil.

I can water.

And I can wait.

Because the soil itself will produce the grain.

Everyday we have the opportunity to sow seeds of kindness, of love, of grace, of forgiveness.

But we cannot make those seeds sprout.

Or grow.

Or produce fruit.

Sometimes we want to dig in the soil a little and see if there’s any life. We want to force growth, create change.

But we are powerless.

We plant the seed.

And wait.