March 7

Good morning!

Today’s scripture: MARK 4:1-9

1Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3“Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil.6And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” 9And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

  I love my vegetable garden beds.  In fact, that was one of the most important pieces of buying this house.  There had to be room for multiple vegetable garden beds.  I remember as a kiddo getting to plant a garden one or two seasons at the side of the house and being fascinated with the fact that you can grow food.  I think it is one of life’s big miracles.  Look! I can grow broccoli! How cool is that?

When I moved back to Oregon and lived in a house in Corvallis, I learned more about gardening.  The house that I moved into had a gorgeous raised bed that was ready to be planted.  I looked up what kind of plants we wanted and Kendra Sue (my roommate at the time) picked out the perfect gardening outfit complete with boots.  We were ready to go.  We had some great success in that garden bed and lots of fun figuring it all out.  Since then I have been sold on connecting with the earth in that way and the delicious outcome.  So satisfying!
When we looked at starting to garden in this house we started prepping the beds but didn’t really know the space yet.  We moved in in July, not the optimal time for doing much in the garden except continuing to add compost and a bit of filler dirt.  We layered our beds with the cardboard boxes left over from moving and put leaves on top and let them sit.  There was also a corner of the yard that was just a few bark chips and mostly weeds.  We decided that we could maybe do something with that space…just maybe. Then last summer we brought in a bit of sandy soil, not knowing much about it.  And then we just planted and planted.  We threw in seeds just to see if we could grow them.  We tried plants we wouldn’t have normally but we were curious.  We made mounds of dirt and planted squash plants all over the back corner and made a tube of mulch to plant potatoes in in the back corner.  We didn’t really know what would work and what wouldn’t but we figured it wouldn’t hurt to try.
We found out a lot about plants and this process.  First of all, the squash were awesome and really added to the back corner and did much of the work on getting rid of those weeds and adding to the area.  Turns out we always do really well on tomatoes but not so great on brussel sprouts. The bugs really went to town on the wee cabbages! The kale and spinach took off and when the spinach was done the carrots did wonderfully.  But our green beans were definitely in a poor area and did not do well.  They did not produce much and really didn’t take root well.  Our lettuce was ok but we could find a better location for it and the broccoli really needed to be thinned out more. I wasn’t ruthless enough.  Beets were great and its too bad I don’t like them (luckily Betty does).
Well, you get the picture…this is my modern day seed story.  And this year I know more so I can plan a bit more accordingly.  And we bought mushroom compost to really make those areas rich.  Our garden should really flourish this year with more knowledge, better landscape, and care.  That all starts right now in fact! While things in the yard are still kinda sleepy but starting to wake up, we are prepping away and pouring over seed catalogs and books. While we are in Lent, while the world still seems like wilderness, things are starting to get going.  The hints of spring remind us to wake up a bit more and find the good places where God will thrive.  We will prune away excess this season, prep our own areas of growth and try different things to see what thrives with us in God’s created world. Enjoy the prep and the anticipation!                                                                                                                                                                       
Prayer: Creator God, prep us for new things to grow and thrive.  Give us anticipation to contemplate what might be happening to us this season. Amen.
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