“Unlike your favorite painting or sentimental vase, a landscape is alive and constantly changing.” –Author Unknown
As it has become autumn on the calendar and in the weather, the garden has changed in production and appearance. The cool days and even cooler nights has made it difficult for the plants to absorb enough nutrients to stay healthy. Add wet weather or excessive dew that doesn’t dry up quickly cause of lack of sunshine, mold and other disease can settle into the plants.
Tomato plants are heat loving plants. Mine has stopped putting out new fruit and the leaves have turned brown and dropped off. The same has happened with the purple hull peas. My pole beans and peppers are confused though. A lot of the pole bean vine has turned brown and dropped leaves. But then we had a week of hot weather again. Guess what – new flowers appeared and even new sprouts came up from the ground. Did you know that pole beans can produce right up to the frost date? The pepper plants reacted similarly, new flowers and veggies growing.
To extend your vegetable garden, one could plant crops suited for cooler climates. Some of those would include broccoli, greens, cabbage, radishes, beets, pumpkins, and numerous others. I personally do not plant for a fall garden. I can’t have the roughage (that most of those vegetables have) due to my Crohn’s Disease. So as the fall season begins so does the ending of my vegetable garden for the year.
The Bible verse says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, ‘To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.’ Now that the garden isn’t needing a lot of attention, look around and see where you are needed next. Just because the visible growing season may be coming to an end, doesn’t mean life isn’t still growing. Rely on God through all your seasons.
“Gardening is medicine that does not need a prescription… and has no limit on dosage.” –Unknown
I bet that title got your attention and you are wondering how an allergy of mine can increase the amount of plants in my garden. Well, I am allergic to the spice called pepper. It now can be found in a ton of foods, sauces, and even powdered mixtures. I no longer have the convenience of eating out a most restaurants or picking up already made foods from the store. I can’t eat a lot of items on a buffet or pick up a pizza for dinner. I can’t even pick up a bottle of barbecue sauce to go on chicken for a quick meal or have ranch dressing unless I mix it from scratch. I joke with family that I would have more available food choices if I was gluten intolerant (thankfully I am not).
So with fixing practically everything from scratch, I need a lot of whole foods or minimally processed ones. I have learned to make my own pizza sauce and pasta sauce. Which taste so much better than jarred versions! I have started really enjoying fried bell peppers. By the way, bell peppers are a different plant species from the pepper plants that are spicy or used to make black pepper. I enjoy my food a lot more than I use to by seasoning it from individual spices instead of mixes (which is huge seeing as eating was always just another chore to do when it hurt to eat with Crohn’s disease for so many years).
My garden has grown from 14 tomato plants to 50 tomato plants in 3 years! This was the first year I has success with growing them from seeds. I even gave away about a dozen of them. I cook with tomatoes, process them into sauces, can them up for later use, and even freeze some. My bell peppers or sweet peppers has also grown from 4 plants to 28! I freeze them and cook with them all year long. I can’t wait to see what amount of harvest God will bless me with this year.
“The body heals with play, the mind heals with laughter, and the spirit heals with joy.” –Proverb
What comes to your mind when someone says they are going to play with dirt? For me, I think back to childhood when I would play in the creek bed, dig for peanuts in the garden, and make mud pies with pretend chocolate milk in my cafe at Grandma’s house. For my boys, it has been moving dirt with toy dump trucks, digging out trenches to make streams and waterfalls, and various construction zones. It is about using your imagination to make a simple item that is in our everyday life into a memory that will last a lifetime.
Now as an adult, the phrase ‘dirt work’ can encompass various meanings. It can mean to simply move dirt from one location to another by means of large construction equipment like clearing land for a new building or development. It can mean under ground work for that building. It can also mean to work with landscaping, preparing an area for a garden, or even installing a pool. Anyway, I believe most of the people in those fields enjoy their ‘dirt work.’
Working with dirt has been proven to make a person healthier. Weather it is having a few potted plants inside your home, a flower or vegetable garden, or a big farm. Your body and soul will thank you. The pure act of gardening will reduce stress hormones and blood pressure, engage your senses, and strengthen your immune system. It will focus your mind on the present conditions around you, grow your mind as you learn new things on how to tend to those plants, and gain accountability for taking care of those plants. Outdoor gardening can get you moving more to stretch muscles while tending to the plants, to enjoy more sunshine which in turn will calm oneself, to become more observant, and possibly become more adventurous. All those things can release happy feelings in a person. I know it has been a joy for me to have a garden. It has helped me stay active and enjoy the pleasures of the coming harvest.
God says to acknowledge his presence in your work and he will bless your efforts. Show appreciation for God’s ability to give us what we need. He is with us as we work, giving us the necessary energy to do so. Now that should make any soul happy.