This marks our third year as urban gardeners, tilling soil, shoveling manure, and turning our food scraps into compost. Each year we learn more. Challenges? How to get the tomatoes to actually grow; how much water is too much water?; fungus; grubs; and just generally how to keep stuff alive and get a good harvest from our plants.
Here's some pictures of the beginning...
[Cool weather crops that will see the end of their season in another month]
lettuce with a name I can't pronounce
and we're growing a LOT of it!
red kale, graciously given to us from the GrowMemphis folks who had too many seedlings
to plant in their own gardens
actually, it has purple tones instead of red; so pretty, nonetheless
(Jeff likes to make "kale chips", thanks for Michelle Forlines. Just bake the leaves in the oven!)
this cilantro plant was a surprise
We've been gathering up bits of gardening wisdom every chance we get. Farmers from the Urban Farms outdoor market; friends whose brains are very science-y and know what nutrients come from what plant and what should NOT be planted in that same spot, lest those certain nutrients be too much for that second plant to handle. (see? too science-y for me already.)
tomato plants we couldn't fit in the garden (they found a good home.)
bell peppers, leaning from the big Memphis storms
And we're so thankful. Even after these 3 years, where there's evidence of change in us, more commitment, we still rely so much on the wisdom of others. But really, we rely on the miracle of life, the order of Creation, God's attentiveness to all that is real Life.
"Gardening, in other words, will teach us to trust less
in our own might and to rely more on the grace of God.
As every gardener knows, we are not the ones who control life.
We can only prepare the way, through humble attention to the demands of
weather, plant and insect life, topography, etc. and then
let the grace and power of God take over.
[from p. 145, "Mark 10: Care for the Plot of God's Earth..."
in School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism]