Saturday, September 10, 2011

Encouragement for the Weary Gardener or Farmer

Back in July of this year, I really contemplated giving up the garden. I thought I would admit defeat, and throw in the towel.

I had been working in the garden every day, most of the time at least twice a day. I sowed. I watered. I weeded. I picked bugs off by hand. I refrained from using pesticides. I refrained from using chemical fertilizers. I prayed. I composted.(And, really, sometimes I found that to be really gross   Vertigo Smiley I read every book I could get from the library (about 40 of them).

But with all this effort, and time, sweat and toil, I only harvested 5 cherry tomatoes and ZERO slicing tomatoes out of 23 tomato plants of different varieties (because they all contracted a disease carried by whiteflies and died). I harvested 5 eggplants total. I harvested at most 10 green beans at a time, about 10 times. I harvested 5 green peppers, and 5 hot peppers.

To be honest, I did harvest 58 jars of pears, but I had nothing to do with that harvest. The tree was well-established before I was even born, and much before we ever bought the property. I also harvested a jar of dried basil, half a jar of dried oregano, and a jar of dried lemon balm (for winter teas).

So, all in all, I began to feel that this whole gardening thing was not worth the effort. Maybe I should go back to flowers. I never seemed to have any trouble growing flowers. Or maybe I should just give up altogether.

That's where I was when I got the following encouragements from scriptures.

I found it amazing that scripture speaks directly to the exact problem I was having. Sometimes you succeed, and sometimes you fail, but keep sowing. You don't know whether this will succeed or that will, or both will do equally well. (That would be a harvest I would like to see.)

Sow your seed in the morning and at evening do not let your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that,  or whether both will do equally well.  Ecclesiastes 11: 6

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. James 5: 7-8

Also, it was amazing to me to notice that the James scripture specifically connects waiting for harvest to waiting for the Lord's return. I had never noticed that before. I will not give up looking for my Lord. And I will be patient and stand firm with the garden, too.

So my encouragement to you is the same one that I received. Don't give up. Keep trying. Try something new if this isn't working. You will eventually learn this. You will eventually harvest something. Just keep trying and  keep learning. Add your failures to your education and you will eventually succeed. The only real failure is quitting.


  1. Nice post. I get frustrated too with my garden, and it is normally around July or August when the weather is just too hot. I have felt rejuvenated this past week. I enjoyed reading your post because I just posted on my blog about how many scriptures are tied to gardening. I have learned it is better to try and fail at something than to never try at all. I know it sounds corny, but it is true.

  2. Thanks, Kris. I have felt rejuvenated this past week too, but it has been much cooler, too. I think that helps.