Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why I Garden

One of the great passions in my life is gardening.  Everything about the process reminds me of the rhythm of life that was placed in us by God.  From the beginning of time, planning, planting, harvesting and resting ebb and flow in a sweet cycle.  Genesis 2: 5-7 begins this story: 
before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground;  but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 
 A little further in this chapter, man is charged with his task.  We tend to get sidetracked by verse 16 - the warning about not eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil - but the task is what is so interesting to me personally:
Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.  
Perfect submission means we continue the task first assigned.  Genesis 3:17-19 gives direction for farming after sin was committed:

“ Cursed is the ground for your sake;
      In toil you shall eat
of it
      All the days of your life.
  Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
      And you shall eat the herb of the field.
 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
      Till you return to the ground,
      For out of it you were taken;
      For dust you
      And to dust you shall return.”

I just don't see this as a bad thing.  It is what it is.  We were directed to garden... then to keep gardening.... just a little harder.  Personally, I love gardening and much of it is connected to my love of Christ.  I do my part and He does his.  
So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.  1 Cor 3:7
This year two other compelling reasons are driving me to step it up in the garden.  One is my general cynical world view.  Financially, our country appears to be headed off of a cliff... full speed ahead.. throttle wide open.... the abyss signs ignored.  Here in California... well, do I really need to list out the issues that California has?  Anyway, inflation appears to be in our future and it is the desire of our family to produce more than we consume this year... and set some aside for high food prices (inflation).

Second is my absolute revulsion of genetically modified foods.  They are evil beyond belief.  Genetically Modified Organism's (GMO's) are in almost all processed foods.  They are also in much produce in the grocery store.  If it is labeled "organic" you should be OK, but we are just going to go with heirloom seeds.  The process then will continue; grow and harvest and prepare and eat as much as we can from our own little piece of ground that we are stewards of.

Isiah 17:9-11  reminds me of GMO's and where we are today as a nation.  Personally, I would rather be an observer and not a participant.  I have been wondering if God, who can see the beginning and the end of all things, was warning us about these evil seeds, which look perfect on the outside.... but bring terrible destruction in the end.  Many times you do not even know where the evil came from.

In that day his strong cities will be as a forsaken bough
      And an uppermost branch,
      Which they left because of the children of Israel;
      And there will be desolation.
       10 Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation,
      And have not been mindful of the Rock of your stronghold,
      Therefore you will plant pleasant plants
      And set out foreign seedlings;
       11 In the day you will make your plant to grow,
      And in the morning you will make your seed to flourish;
But the harvest will be a heap of ruins
      In the day of grief and desperate sorrow.   

So... I am compelled this year to be a good steward.  I would like to list out what I am doing, but wanted to get my philosophy out there.  Specifics can then follow.  Some of the things I like to talk about:

  • Organic Gardening
  • Making a raised bed garden
  • What type of seed and plants for what type of garden
  • Fertilizer
  • Weeding, watering, planting, harvesting and preparing
  • Milk Cows
  • Meat Cows
  • Chickens for meat and eggs
  • Pasture and fencing
  • Kids in the garden
Anyway, today I am continuing to work on seed starting, planning and hunting for a small milk cow.

Be blessed today!