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In the Garden I Find Peace

Seedling garden spring growthA few weeks ago, I planted seeds for tomatoes, leeks, onions, basil, parsley, peppers, and eggplant. I’m expecting to buy plants for most of those veggies and herbs at local plant sales when I give up hope on my seedlings at the beginning of May.

I’m not being pessimistic here, but realistic.

For the past decade, almost every year I have started seedlings indoors only to dump the leggy, dead plants into the compost heap. And yet, each spring I try again, modifying my approach just enough to be hopeful again.  I don’t have grow lamps or a green house, so I move trays around the kitchen, trying to find enough light to keep things growing.

The trays take up counter space, and probably drive my family a bit crazy. My husband and children are not interested in gardening, and my overzealous planting takes counter space that they would like to use for pouring cereal and making sandwiches.

In those trays, I see potential. I see blossoms in late June and red tomatoes by the end of July. I see onions and leeks next fall. I smell parsley and basil that I will pick just before I use it in a summer supper. I see…a garden!

The weather on this first day of April finally felt like spring here in New England. I went into the garden to empty some compost. We still have some snow and ice on the north-facing side of the fence and near the end of the driveway, but most of the snow has melted. As I walked around the yard, I discovered chives poking through the damp earth and cleaned the dead fronds from the asparagus row. I smiled to find a few spinach seedlings had sprouted in my (new this year) make-shift cold frame.

The sun, warm on my face, shone with the promise that spring indeed has sprung and the time for planting has come. I will be tidying, pruning, and planting for weeks to come, and with a little hope and a lot of prayer, some of my seedlings may actually make it to the garden this year.

Gardening is more than a hobby for me. Of course, I garden to grow healthy food for my family. More importantly, though, I garden because it gives me quiet time in creation with my Creator. In the garden, I find peace.

Heavenly Father, 

Thank you for the gift of creation. Thank you for the birds, bunnies, squirrels, and chipmunks that will disturb my plants and steal my produce. They help me to be humble–and pay my tithes of produce. Thank you for the butterflies and insects that pollinate our plants. Thank you for the rain and the sun that help our plants to grow. Thank you for strong arms and hands to tend the garden. Thank you for a bountiful harvest, if it be your will. Thank you for the opportunity to “work in the vineyard.”

Amen.


Karen Lynn Ford is a freelance writer who lives in New England with her husband and four children. She blogs at Living the Sweet Catholic Life.
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  • Christopher Fish

    you will have better results if you set the trays outside in full sun on any day when the temp is above 50 ( or for whatever part of the day it is) then bring them back in as needed. They get spindly from not getting bright enough light.

    • Karen Ford

      60-65 degrees for tomatoes on a day with no wind would be safer. I set the trays outside in the sun yesterday, and brought dead tomatoes back in late in the afternoon. The temps were in the 50s, but the wind was cold (though I had them close to the house as a wind block) and probably did them in. About 10 or 12 of the 36 might make it, but no worries here! I put fresh seeds in two varieties and added Brussels sprouts to the cells of the variety for which I didn’t have more seeds. I still have 6 or 7 weeks before the final frost date here in Southern New England, so we’ll see what happens!

  • Soliloquized

    And Lord, thank you for inspiring this wonderful article filled with trials and tribulations, patience, understand, and prayer. Many thanks to the author.

    • Karen Ford

      Thank you for your kind words!

  • goral

    I also find peas in my garden. While the Carolinas are on my mind, Georgia, Georgia, for that reason, is not.