I feel kinda bad for all the farm girl type people who come to my blog, and feel jipped that there aren’t loads of pictures of cute animals, and amazing tips on how to take care of plants. There may not be even one post about farming or gardening on this blog! If any searchers find this blog, what a dead end it must be! Hello! Dud!
Well, today I am going to change that, by sharing with you how much I love to garden.
A boy in high school saw that down to earth, country girl in me and nick named me “Farm-Girl.” And he was right, but I wouldn’t know it till I was an adult woman. Even in high school when I watched my family out in the garden, I did chores inside rather than get all dirty in the garden…sure I pulled my share of weeds and hauled rocks, but I didn’t know the joy of guiding life into fruition.
Then my parents separated when I was in my 30’s and I had five beautiful children. This sure foundation of family and in my religion, eternal family, really threw a rift into our family. The roots of our family were being yanked out, and all of the relationships had strain between them, and due to this instability and the results of differing coping strategies, colliding feelings and words and unspoken resentments tumbled out unrestrained, or words spoken behind backs created walls and indirect waves of hurt that put me in a place of complete disrobement.
That was the year I decided to try out planting tomatoes from seed. Sure, I also bought my share of tomato plants since mine were all so small, but even their small starts brought an abundance of tomatoes in time, and the prayers and work bringing them to that point was so therapeutic as I saw God answer those prayers and help me in those seemingly unimportant endeavors. What resulted was a miracle. Just about every plant I put in that garden, grew and grew and grew. My tomato plants were far taller than me, of course I am slight of height to put it sweetly.
When I went to a particular greenhouse nursery, I noticed what amazingly thick stocks their tomatoes had so I asked what they did. They couldn’t give me their fertilizer blend, but they recommended a fertilizer that was close to it, “Tomato Tone.” I have had amazing results with Tomato Tone, and Garden Tone.
I loved gardening, every moment of it, planting little seeds with hope and watching what diligence, patience and nourishing a garden did, green and life and deliciousness, and health, sprung all about! I even loved the satisfaction of pulling out weeds and tackling with tenacity opposition. Being in the fresh air and sun was so wonderful, especially as I got pregnant with my sixth and the morning sickness literally left out there in the beautiful mud and green, even amongst Minnesota mosquitoes and humidity, I was in heaven in my garden..
As I watched my plants respond to my true love and care, I knew that I also had value as a person and that I could bring delight, nurturing, joy and growth to those around me in whose circles I walked. This was a message straight from heaven that penetrated my heart and caused me tears of hope and joy as I felt my worth to God was more than just kind love for the pathetic, but that I was to Him wonderful to those around me.
In so many ways, I was emotionally burned to the ground, but walking amongst the green growth resulting from my influence and efforts, I had hope.
Fast forward a few years, and after my miscarriages I did not want to do anything, I did not want to garden least of all..how overwhelming did that sound? But a dear lady really in tune with God, asked if they could disc my garden. She was persistent and still I didn’t want to do it, but we bought a few basil plants, for which I felt like I could handle. One day, my Hoppity begged me to come out to the garden and plant our basil. She really dragged me out there literally.
All the sudden, I was with life, and earth, and all my sweet children and the spring breeze and we were all working together. It was so beautiful, and happy, and we all commented what a dear dear day it was, and how we could feel the Spirit of the Lord.
Infact it was so lovley that I couldn’t stop there, and pretty soon as my little boys wanted to plant more, because we were all having so much fun, we were planting pumpkin after pumpkin. The next few days they came out with me, my two boys and we had a system. We dug a deep hole, we planted our bums down in the dirt, and we planted those seeds. Their sweet fat toddler fingers patted the earth, and we moved to the next spot.
Funny thing is, I prayed for a miracle, God had taken my little babies in His will but i asked Him, could I have a lovely crop of pumpkins? I found out all the other people in our area didn’t grow their watermelons and pumpkins because they rotted But we started our patch so late that we planted post rain overdose and then God gave so many Indian Summer days that they ripened quite well; I had a beautiful abundant patch of pumpkins.
Then God gave me the chance to share and connect with my pumpkins, to my community. We were called in our church group to head up a Halloween party. One of the ladies had the idea for a pumpkin walk, which I thought ought against, but still went along with it. I ended up painting pumpkins with new friends and sharing my harvest with many. It was really neat having friends come over to pick pumpkins with us in those beautiful Indian summer days.
Well, fast forward again, and this year my family dynamics changed once more with unexpected reminders of the past. Though I was barely pregnant and knew that my baby would be due just at harvest time, I craved like no other growing things. This family trial hit me unexpectedly, and though I markedly needed help from family, friends and others, I also had the green life budding around me in the newness of my little starts of plants, bathing me in ambition, consistency, hope, giving, love, just when I needed these things.
Today I pulled weeds in the front garden as my little son sang me songs about bumblebees and told me jokes that weren’t funny but were truly funny to me. He’d belt out to the world in an off tune voice and I would smile from my toes as the sun shone on me, and I reposed in the dirt on my bum, weeding at a gentler pose.
Oh the physical work out felt thrilling when I moved on to our vegetable garden…I did yoga poses with my legs holding my muscles in as I stood, and squatted to weed and I felt strong and healthy; as I watered my freshly planted garden with its’ myriad of little plants, “waking up” as we call it. This little phrase is what I and the children exclaim every time we see a plant pop its head out and start its beautiful miraculous creation. This comes from a little primary children’s church song, “Little seeds lay fast asleep, in a row, in a row, and they wake up towards the sun, and begin to grow…”
Oh I love being in the garden alone, I love being in the garden with my family. I love love love to garden, the physical work gives me endorphins and the fresh sun, air and wind, and even uncomfortable nature elements give me stamina and joy, freshness, rejuvenation and life. I work out my thoughts there, I sing and dance there, and sometimes, I just boringly count as I water, but still, even that is calming. There are so many parallels to life to be drawn there.
These are the moments when the Farm-girl, awoke in me.