Sunday, May 20, 2012

How does your garden grow?

This spring, my roommate and I wanted to do more with our patio than in years past. We found an online store called "The Growbox" that guaranteed better patio gardens. We bought a few of these boxes, found some vegetable plants and are hoping that we will reap a bounty of fruit from our labors. I haven't been really good at updating my blog, so I'm a little behind. But I wanted to do a little series on how this garden is growing and how I'm feeling while daily working in our porch garden.

We planted tomato plants, a cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, green pole beans and a small strawberry plant. We have some a little herb garden growing as well, from seedlings that we got at a Relief Society activity. This grow box system had "nutrient patches" that were placed on top of the soil. The plants roots actually drop down into a bottom box that we keep full of water. As long as we keep that water box full, the plants grow. Even though we've been dealing with some May gray here in San Diego, it hasn't been bad and the plants have soaked in about 6 hours of sun a day.

It took us the afternoon to fill the boxes and plant our garden. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. I reflected back on my high school summers and spending them out in Utah on my mom's aunt and uncles farm. They have a large cherry farm. For a few weeks during the summer, they harvest the cherries. It was the most physically demanding work I have ever done. My first summer I worked the days during harvest, driving tractors out to the trees and different orchards. My next two summers, I worked the night shift. For 3 weeks, I'd go out to the orchards about 10pm and work till about 8am. Go home and then sleep and then go back out in the afternoon for a little bit of work in the apple trees, go back in for dinner, take a nap then go back out to work at 10pm to start my shift again. But there's something to be said and valued from physical labor. You have tangible results. I sometimes don't like sitting at a desk job all day. I read and study new legal rules, take in paperwork and put out paperwork. But I love the feeling and results from physical work and going to bed physically tired. So while this little garden is not that physically demanding, it does require daily care and attention. This principle of daily attention can work so well with our spiritual nature as well.

Today in church, Elder Callister shared a story of a parent asking a music teacher, how often her daughter needed to practice the cello, did she really need to practice every day. No, the teacher replied, she doesn't need to practice every day. The teacher asked how often the child ate? Every day is the answer. So the teacher said the child should practice just as often as she eats then. If we need to eat daily, we should provide sustenance to our spiritual bodies daily too. Our garden needs daily attention, to check the water, to make sure the tomato plants are staying in their cage, to pull off dead leaves and thin out the yellow squash. I need to pay attention to my spirit with the same daily care.  So I'm going to try to keep the updates on the garden coming, and use the analogy in my life as well.


Alex said...

How's the patio garden coming along?