I always wished I lived on a farm! While some of my German ancestors WERE farmers, many were writers and inventors. I guess, on a small scale, I do a little of each of these things.
Owning a large piece of land where I can plant, as well as raise a few animals is still in my gut. I live in the Central Valley, California where urban meets rural, and the longer I am here, the more that desire deepens.
Over the years, I have tried my hand at backyard farming and have done moderately well. At least we ate everything we grew and had some left over to share!
Currently, “blessed” with all the animals that could not move with my children and grandchildren when they moved, I feel like I’m part of the way there. Six cats, two rabbits and now a pet chicken, serve as my “farm animals!” Even-so, I still want some goats!
Mint, rosemary, strawberries, blueberries, a few other herbs, squash and tomatoes neatly grow in my border plots and raised beds. The sides and middle of my backyard yard are tagged by immature trees: lemon tree, one avocado tree, and one apple tree. While not at all a monumental undertaking by any standard, all these are significant to me and a couple of my neighbors. Pesticide-free, I might add.
Years ago, when my first child was a baby, my husband and I inhabited a basement apartment with a low ceiling, a few windows, a front and a back door. I called it my hobbit hole. Rather dark and cool inside, the apartment seemed gloomy compared to beam of sunlight which splashed early morning light on the small walkway in front.
The house above us was rented out to another couple, but my parents allowed us to stay several months, rent-free. There was no lawn or yard, per-se. But I saw potential in the small, square patch of dirt that bordered the side entrance. I rolled up my sleeves and dug in!
I thought I had a ton of space …that is, until I didn’t. Heaped with toys and a blanket in large laundry basket, my small son in tow, I tackled the dirt. We moved from place to place together, while I began my hobbit-hole garden.
Rocks abounded everywhere! Perhaps a beautifully designed rock-garden might have been a better choice for me at the time. The large rocks were re-purposed as deco-borders, but the rest were good for nothing! They got tossed, along with all the nagging weeds that kept freely cropping up.
With my decision to plant a few seeds, I found that I really got more than I bargained for!
Sunlight. Well, I simply hadn’t considered how many hours of sunlight from which my plants would actually receive benefit. Then there was the quality of soil. Soil prep was a big deal! Drainage? Who knew? I thought all water went straight down.
What to plant and when, was eye-opening. Such naiveté, but I had to learn about timing and types of crops. If I wanted mine to flourish, I had to get some knowledge – fast!
I hadn’t considered planning. You mean I couldn’t just haphazardly flop my plants down, here and there in the soil, I actually needed a plan?
I ran smack-dab into my lack of knowledge … and planning. Some plants do not fair well planted next to each other. I learned the hard way that strawberries and squash cannot grow side by side. They require different soil types. The result was great squash and beautiful bright green berry leaves, but NO strawberries. Other plants got out of control and had to be restrained and trained with cages.
…and fertilizing? What was that? Different fertilizer for different plants? Oh, my head!
Tomato worms, snails and slugs on my lettuce, moths in the grass, yellow jacket nests in the eves of the house, other pests I had never seen……I was fighting a small war.
One thing I hadn’t really counted on was the wind. It whipped up a small storm, conveying debris and weed seeds, while sucking the moisture from my fledgling plants, That hurt ! Replacing things was expensive until I saw how to devised ways to protect my future food.
Later, I added some chickens to the mix and was quite pleased to find the bug population diminish.
Yes, I still don’t have a farm, but I utilize what I have. I plant my small plots of ground with more care. Since I prefer to make it organic, the pest war continues. Our “pet” chicken wandered into our yard on Valentines Day. No one in the neighborhood claimed her so she’s been with us ever since. Her job as pest-eradicator is fairly successful.
If I waited until I had a farm, I may never have learned some valuable life’s lessons.
Plant the plot God gave you. Learn all you can about how to make it work, grow, and prosper. You won’t have it forever.
Don’t give up. Abate the “weeds and pests” of life with the Word of God. You can count on it to work! It will help you protect and guard against crop failure.
There will be discouragement. Some things you try won’t work. Others will flourish. Don’t insist on planting what YOU want and expecting God for a miracle. Ask HIM what to plant. He will bless what he ordains.
Nothing is overnight. There are seasons for everything. Watch how you plant and where you plant. Restrain the undesirable. Be content and thankful.
The other man’s grass, garden, or farm isn’t greener or better – just different expressions of God’s assignments. Instead of fretting about what you wish you had, keep what you DO have with excellence. You may be in line to be trusted with more.
Above all, share. Share a lot! Share often. Spread around the goodness. It WILL abound and return to you.
Seed – time – harvest. It’s all in God’s plan and in His hand. Always check in with the master farmer. He knows every trick in the book for growing a good Life in the here-and-now!
Whether you have a hobbit-hole or a mansion, do what you hand finds to do – and do it with all your might! Leave the outcome to God.
This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”