After the disappointing harvest from last year's garden, I swore uphill & down that I wasn't going to do it again. Alot of work went into such skimpy results. I had determined that next summer I was going to keep my days free to do other things. I had plans of taking long hikes with bear or sitting on the porch painting elaborate works of art.
My resolve held until the seed catalogs started coming in around December. I started off by stacking the catalogs to the side and telling myself 'not this time'. The stack became larger as the weeks came & went. The cover pictures of the beautiful flowers & piles of abundant produce teased me into just glancing through a few of them. Before I knew it, I was dug in ~ comparing plants, seeds, and companies. Then my farmer brain started doing the math. With X amount of seeds, I could get Y amount of plants, resulting in Z amount of produce to be eaten fresh and the rest could be canned for next winter's use. If everything works out ~ I would have enough on hand to hold us through XYZ months, all for the low price of $$ and we couldn't possibly buy produce at the grocery for such a low amount. By now I've made lists of seeds to order, lists of other supplies needed, and graphs and charts displaying where each plant group is to be placed according to my companion planting notes. I've spent years pouring through gardening books and taking notes. I've studied the science of plants and their attraction to beneficial & harmful insects. And just when I get to thinking about how smart I've become ~ I go visit my mother-in-law.
In gardening terms, my mother-in-law plants everything according to where she's standing when it's time to put the plant in the ground. Around June she talks my father-in-law into tilling up a patch of yard and over the course of weeks, she finds a plant that she likes and just sticks it in the ground. If it grows ~ OK; and if it doesn't ~ that's OK too. The woman has the Jack & the beanstalk touch. If she's touched it ~ it's going to grow and produce abundantly. She can get more out of a three foot patch of yard than I can out of a full scale garden.
I might not have the natural touch, but I've got the dream! During the cold winter months, I daydream of my new garden. That daydreaming, the planning, the hope is what makes these long cold days bearable. To plant a seed is hope. When I start my seeds in a few weeks, that is an act of hope. Hope for an early spring, hope for a productive summer, and hope for an abundant fall.
I've got a farmer's heart. I love the smell of fresh plowed dirt. I'm intrigued by the design and function of the earthworms & insects. My favorite time of the day is just after daybreak when I wander through the garden with bear and stand amazed at the web of life that God has woven merely by speaking it into existence. I learn so much about my Creator by studying His creations.
With about two months left of winter, I'll continue to dig through the seed catalogs and change my mind dozens of times before I actually place the order. But, just daydreaming of the summer to come helps me make it through the dark dreary days of winter. Come to think of it ~ there might be a Spiritual lesson in there somewhere.
May the Lord bless you.