What is it that is so appealing about gardening? They ask. Why can’t you just go to the store for a tomato? Isn’t it time consuming? Isn’t it hard with children?
Truth is, yes, it may be easier to buy a tomato from the store… and corn, and okra, and eggs. But for all we gain in convenience, what have we lost?
I probably began working in the garden and raising chickens simply because I loved being outside. I never expected to gain as much as I have, and I’ll just say it’s been so much more than a homegrown tomato and a farm fresh egg.
Gardening has given us a deeper appreciation for the earth and it’s resources, and has allowed for many discipleship opportunities in our own family. We are learning together… and the lessons extend beyond the soil.
In scripture, we see so many parables about seeds, trees, sowing, reaping, planting and harvest, the pruning, the fruit… and it’s a beautiful thing to watch these parables brought to life as you work with your hands.
Maybe that’s why it is so wonderful to be in the garden. There is a depth to the soil that can not be measured. There are words there that can’t be spoken.
There is beauty unimaginable.
There is much to observe, to nurture, and to protect.
It provides us with a quiet place to reflect and give thanks.
There is working together, waiting together, observing together, and delighting in the harvest together.
And yes, it’s work. Gardens large and small are just paths to be walked, full of twists and turns, with one step forward and two steps back. But, it’s not just about the tomatoes.
There is food for the body, mind, and soul in the garden.
And you can’t buy that at Walmart.
“I should understand the land, not as a commodity, an inert fact to be taken for granted, but as an ultimate value, enduring and alive, useful and beautiful and mysterious and formidable and comforting, beneficent and terribly demanding, worthy of the best of man’s attention and care… [My father] insisted that I learn to do the hand labor that the land required, knowing–and saying again and again–that the ability to do such work is the source of a confidence and an independence of character that can come no other way, not by money, not by education.” – Wendell Berry