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a new garden bed

Harvey and I built a new raised bed in the garden this afternoon. A small one. It isn't quite finished—it still needs to be topped off with dirt—but it already looks good, like it was always meant to be there. Because, in fact, it was. One of my faults may be my lack of haste in getting things done (ask Leah about that!) but that doesn't mean I've forgotten about them; I'm just waiting until the time is right. It's a long game we're playing here, and the garden is building according to a plan I've been thinking about for years.

Not that I have the whole thing settled in my mind, how I want it to be when at some future date I can call it "done". Adjustments need to be made on an ongoing basis. But I spend a lot of time gazing at what we've got so far and considering what else might be done, and then I sit on the ideas for a year or two until I have the combination of time, materials, and motivation needed to get them done.

It's like the rose of sharon I planted the first year we lived in this house. "Why'd you plant it out there in the middle of that little hill?" Leah asked me, quite justifiably. She didn't know that plans were percolating in my brain to make that plant the centerpiece of a rock wall holding up a sort of patio around the back of the house, to be constructed with rocks, dirt, and plants that I hoped to obtain later. Eventually those were indeed obtained, and we got something like this:

flowers and grass

lush growth in July

That photo is from a couple years ago; things have continued to develop since then. But you see that it kind of fits together.

The new bed is one that I first thought of two years ago. Back then I had put in another bed and thought that one more would really help define a path and formalize the organization of that end of the garden. Last year I used the space to mulch grass clippings, which killed the grass and prepared the ground nicely, so it was a matter of less than an hour to dig it today. And now we have another 16 square feet of growing area!

I have a lot of slow-developing plans like that in my life. One of them is for the garden itself—the farm, as we're starting to call it. Our sermon today was about how we need to bear fruit so we're not cursed like the poor fig tree, and I've been inspired to think that we might bear figurative fruit at the same time as we harvest the literal sort. Not that our garden is in any way exceptional, of course, but we're working on making it central to our lives in ways that I hope will impress and inspire people, plus giving us tasty treats to offer them! The chickens will be a big step in that process.

There's a long way to go. But I hope that someday—a couple years hence—our little farm will be an outreach and an encouragement and will bear fruit unto the Lord in ways that we can only kind of partially see right now. Like I said, it's the long game.

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