I can vividly remember the start of our annual vegetable garden years ago. I wish that there was a more inspiring story to tell, but the truth is that my father-in-law wanted our youngest to have a garden. I am embarrassed to say that at the time, my husband and I thought of a garden as just one more thing in an already overwhelming list of things to do. Our collective sentiment as my FIL headed out to pour his blood, sweat, and (near) tears into a small plot of our backyard was, “Really??!! Do you have to??!!”
Fast-forwarding several years, we have come around, and now we realize that the garden, at least for us, represents far more than a simple something-to-do for our plugged-in preteen. Our garden is…
1) a practical way to increase the amount of whole, raw foods in our diet
2) a way to get outside and breathe some fresh air
3) an opportunity to see the bounty that we can create with God’s help
4) a way to bless others with the first fruits of our garden
So we begin. Dad (my husband) faithfully tilled the land and prepared it for this year’s harvest–hopefully. We have had enough rain across the state to officially end our drought status, so this job was not as difficult this year, and the cloud cover, signifying the onslaught of more rain, made it more pleasant to be outside.
And…what good would Dad’s preparation be without Dad’s little helper, the initial motivation for the garden in the first place?
She even used her time on the computer to make signs! We chose the paths of least resistance, i.e., those veggies with which we have had major success in the past, like okra, peppers, eggplant, and cucumbers. But we also took a risk with a cantaloupe plant. Also, I was so encouraged by my success with the sage plant I am growing in a container until I decided to purchase a few herbs for the backyard–basil, peppermint, and yes, more sage.
Though I took no selfies, I did help–some. At any rate, after a weekend of toil, voila! We now have a garden.
Earlier today, my husband and I were talking about the rain, all of the associated flooding, and the beginnings of our annual garden. My FIL is now a very sick man. Maybe that is, indeed, the inspiration that came from our very uninspiring beginnings. What felt like a burden to us years ago is now a living, thriving, and dynamic memory of him, and a legacy that will hopefully be passed down through several generations.