Ever since I started gardening, I have become obsessed with the weather, especially since I started a few plants a little early in the season. The gardening forecast is now my browser’s homepage and I check it faithfully to know when to cover my plants with the frost shield or give them extra water.
I am determined not to kill everything this time. Mostly because Jack was skeptical about my ability to keep anything alive that can’t bark at me when it’s hungry.
(So far, no barking vegetables, but I will keep you posted if anything new develops on that front.)
The fastest way to get me to commit to something is for anybody that I happen to be married to to say “Are you reeeeaaallllyyyy sure you can do this?” with that “remember all those times you screwed this up before and you KNOW this is a big investment right?” tone, because then I get all “Of COURSE I can do this! What, you think because I’m a girl I can’t use a drill or understand soil pH or farm the land as my ancestors did? I’LL SHOW YOU, BUDDY!”
(I’m pretty sure that my parents gifted me a sometimes delusional level of confidence in their effort to instill self-esteem because I AM FARMER, HEAR ME ROAR!!)
Anyway, I have been paying attention. Caring and covering and babying and fertilizing and watering and backing-off-on-the-watering-because-woah-I-was-watering-too-much and pruning in an effort to prove the boy who is always right, wrong.
Most of all, I have been learning. Reading books and Googling and asking questions, and a lot of times, just observing. It’s my first year vegetable gardening, so I’m taking in information. And something I have been paying attention to lately is stress.
One of the things my mom and I learned at a garden show (oh yes, I went to a garden show) was to ruffle tomato plants a little every so often, and that will make them grow stronger in the long run. I have also noticed that the hot-then-cool-then-warm-then-cold weird Texas spring weather has had a generally positive affect on the growth of my plants.
Every time life has thrown something hard at these baby veggies, I have worried that they may not be able to take it.
But they have. And they have grown stronger for it. The tomatoes I ruffle are developing thick vines and beginning to fruit. The kale I chop off every so often to snack on comes back bigger and fuller each time. The basil that withstood a very chilly night last night… Well, that one is not a great example.
It makes me think of life, and the hard things we have to deal with. I’m not a big fan of the idea that “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle,” because to be honest, I don’t feel like I can handle much on my own, and I don’t believe all the difficult things come from God. That just because he uses heartache for His glory means he caused the heartache in the first place. No, I don’t buy that at all.
But I am definitely learning that God doesn’t give me more than HE can handle and that He’s going to grow me through it.
Sometimes He ruffles my leaves or prunes my branches to make me grow stronger in the long run. Sometimes He allows a strong wind to sway me a little because He knows can stand up to it. And sometimes he covers me when the temperature drops too low for me to handle on my own.
After all, we have a Master Gardener taking care of us.