Vegetable gardening can be fun, therapeutic, educational, and life sustaining. It can also be frustrating, disappointing, and disheartening.
Today, one of our local farm supplies hosted its annual outdoors day. The event is designed to demonstrate customer appreciation, with free food and prizes given away. Sales are run on all the garden plants and seed. It is a day designed to encourage aspiring gardeners of all kinds to get out and start playing in the dirt.
Like flower gardening, some vegetable gardeners seem to have an innate knack for raising beautiful and bountiful produce each year. It seems that they never have a failed crop. To these growers, gardening is a labor of love. They prepare the soil well in advance, provide the proper amount of plant food, educate themselves on disease and insect control, and work in the garden almost daily.
Other growers seem to never have a successful year. They like the idea of cultivating the soil, watching seeds germinate and sprout, and growing their own food, but they just don’t seem to have a knack for accomplishing their goal. There may be several reasons for the lack of success, but the main reason is that they are part-time hobby gardeners. Too many other activities pull their attention away from their vegetable plot. As a result, weeds, disease, insects, and varmints turn would-be produce into should-have-been produce.
Many of the members of this latter group either already have or are giving up on the idea of raising their own vegetables. The reasons I hear the most are: “It’s just so frustrating to put all that money, time, and effort into trying to produce your own food, only to have the insects kill your squash and cucumber plants, the deer or raccoons eat your corn, and the blight to dry up your tomato plants. You can actually buy the vegetables cheaper than you can raise them, so why try.”
I am one of this latter group and I have offered both of the above excuses for not raising a garden anymore. I have enjoyed gardening since Mama talked me into growing one as a 4-H project 45 years ago. But I don’t love it enough to give it my all. The lack of success is frustrating, disappointing, and disheartening. So now I just buy the cheap vegetables at the grocery store.
Spiritually, we are told to sow the seed of the kingdom. The seed is the word of God by which we are born again as we purify our souls in obeying the truth. (1 Peter 22-25) Jesus referred to sowing the seed as preaching the gospel. (Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15,16). He also referred to it as preaching repentance and remission of sins. (Luke 24:47).
We are not to worry about cost or success. We are simply to sow the seed, and do our best to water and cultivate it. (1 Corinthians 3:5-8).
Yet many times we do worry about the cost. Many times, we do worry about the results. Many times we begin to offer the same excuses which hobby gardeners offer for giving up on raising vegetables; “It’s just so frustrating to plant the seed, to water and cultivate it, to watch it grow with such promise, and then to see the cares of this world, the pleasures of this world, and the peer pressure of this world destroy the seed’s potential to produce. All that time. All that effort. All that money. Wasted. So why try?”
May we follow the example of the early disciples. May we go everywhere preaching the word. May we preach the word everywhere that we go. (Acts 8:4)
Do you wish to follow us