Harvest. The word has so much meaning. For us, today, it was literally a harvest. You see, we started a small garden this year. We planted it back during Spring Break. I had wanted a garden for a while. I grew up with one and grew up doing all the things that go along with having a garden. But I had forgotten so much!
We live in a part of the world that has super hot summers and lots of nutrient-lacking, hard-to-work ground. Add to it that I didn’t know a single thing about planting and tending a garden in Texas and I always missed the planting time. This year, though, I was bound and determined that I wouldn’t miss it. So, I ordered seeds back in February while most people in America were still battling snow and blizzards and ice. We had them on hand when it warmed up less than a month later, and remembering how many time I had waited for “that last cold front” to come through, I decided not to wait this time. Boy, am I glad I didn’t wait. We plated a raised garden in the back with beans, peas, basil, oregano, onion, carrots, broccoli, and spinach. In the front, we put some strawberry plants.
We have been eating fresh spinach, straight from the garden into salads, pastas, and other things, for several weeks now. We have picked a few strawberries every couple of days for a few weeks now. We have watched the peas and beans grow and flower. We have watched the lettuce sprout and be eaten by something. (I suspected grasshoppers and snails but haven’t been able to prove that until today.) We are watching the leaves grow huge on the broccoli and the heads start to form. We have watched the carrot tops come up but haven’t had carrots to pull up yet. The onions, oregano, and basil are not growing well. I am disappointed but considering this is a first go, I am actually very happy.
It has been a pretty long process. Most day the girls are excited to pull out the hoses and water or pull weeds and grass. Some days, though, they have said “why do I need to go water?” And “do I have to pull this grass out?” Today, though, they saw why. I sent L out to pick strawberries to put in her daddy’s lunch to take to work with him. She brought in about 12. We went out to just pick a few leaves of the spinach because I could tell they were getting too big. While we were setting the pea plants upright again (found out that next time I need to cage them or put a trellis out for them to climb on -oops), L noticed that there was a pea pod. We looked at it and I told her it was read to pick. So, she got a lesson in picking peas. She picked enough to have for dinner. In the process, we noticed there were lots of beans ready. E got the lesson for picking beans. She got a lot. J and I snipped the spinach.
After we brought it all in, E noticed how many beans there were. She asked to share our harvest with a neighbor down the road. Of course, I said yes! I am so proud to have her think of someone else. We could have frozen the extras for later but how much better to share our blessings.
As we were harvesting today, the word kept running through my mind. I worry, especially with all the questions we are getting about our choice to homeschool. I worry about what kind of harvest we will be seeing in the future with our kids. I worry about whether this is the right choice. And then, God reminds me. The joy I saw in them learning all this reminds me. The joy E had in taking the beans to our neighbor reminded me. You see, most days we don’t have time to do this much together. They spent so much time at school, we don’t teach them these basic lessons and joys. Today, as I worked alongside my children, harvesting the results of time and sharing that harvest, I remembered that the results of the harvest from this choice will come. It will be a while. In the days to come, we will have to tend the garden, water, watch, pull the weeds, and wait. And, I have to remember the joy that God provides as we work along side one another. At Home.