Let’s get started

Fun easy plants for anyone to grow

Anytime I talk to someone about growing their first vegetables I always recommend greenbeans, cucumbers, yellow summer squash, zucchini and pumpkins These are so easy to grow from seed and it’s important to be successful the first time because it will encourage you to try something new the next year. If you like tomatoes as I do, just go to your local nursery and find a plant. Next year you can try tomatoes from seed, they are super easy but you have to get started in March and we’re already in May.

20150625_112233Green beans: If you have a fence line or lattice area this is a great place for beans. A pole type bean (Kentucky Wonder) means they will climb like a vine and it is not only nutritious but beautiful. They are simple to start from seed and don’t need much attention except to guide them into the fence instead of on the ground.

Cucumbers: These are like beans in that they are a vine also. Someone might tell you that you need 2 different kinds of cucumbers, a pickling and a table. I disagree. The National Pickling cucumber is delicious as a table cucumber so just grow one for now and if you decide later you want try something else then go for it! This has a double bonus because if you have tons then you can try your hand at pickling, which is much easier than you might think.

Yellow Squash or Zucchini: My father in law had a saying… “what do you have when you plant 2 zucchini plants?… 1 to many!” He was right of course! Every pot luck has some sort of zucchini dish starting around July and all the way thru October around here. These two plants are marvelously easy to grow and there are so many fun ways to prepare them that you’ll enjoy it year after year.

2013-10-19 15.51.05Pumpkins: This one needs space but if you have it, go for it. It’s is so much fun to watch the first freeze reveal the enormous treasures hiding under the expanse of greenery! It’s hard to look for them during the season because the leaves and vines are prickly so just let them go and enjoy the surprise in October! This squash is so easy to cook and store for future pie, bread and baby food that you’ll feel like a pro the very first year!

20150625_112209Tomatoes: Contrary to most opinions, I think tomatoes are easy…. If you know the tricks! Tomatoes are of a tropical background and knowing this helps guide you to healthy tomatoes. Around here we have what we call high dessert weather. It’s extremely warm during the day and freezing cold night. A trick my father law taught my husband, who thankful taught me this; to control the drastic drops in temperature, add a wall water around your new plant. I use old milk jugs or 2 liter bottles. The water will slowly warm up during the day and slowly cool off during the night. Essentially creating a more leveled out temperature which encourages the tomatoes to grow.

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So it is Spring…

Nectarine BlossomsLet’s get started! It’s spring and it is a great time to start something growing. Truly no matter where you live, how much space you have or how much time you have, you can grow something.

We don’t have to live on hundreds of acres or be an expert to learn something from growing. Some of you out there have been gardening a while and might have sage flowers blooming already, or perhaps you have tomatoes growing in your window like I do, or maybe your really a pro and have a greenhouse full of fun plants ready to go outside. Maybe though, this is your first year and you’re looking around and wondering what could you really try this year? Don’t worry! I’ll give you some good places to start and you’ll have something in no time!

Before we do that, I’d like to talk about what spring is… For me, Spring is a “morning”. Winter is a time of “night”. During winter not much grows that is seen, it rests, or in the case of most deciduous plants it grows roots. This is an extremely important time for plants and for us spiritually. If we spend all our time on our outward appearance, we become weak in our roots. If we become weak in our roots, when the storm comes, we are torn up and washed away. However, this is Spring and it’s when we come up from our roots and show what we have learned during our winter! We burst forth with blossoms of praise to the Lord! Genesis 40:10 “it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes.”

Palms 30:5 says ” For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning!” Isn’t interesting that is doesn’t say we have joy always?! There is a time for weeping or for God’s anger, but then there is the promise of joy. For some of you who live in snowy area’s you are very aware of the joy that comes with spring! You stare out at the bleak snow and wait in full expectation of a colorful spring. We must go thru our trials and tribulations of winter in our life building our roots and expecting wholeheartedly that God will give you spring after.

Song of Solomon 7:12 says “Let us get up early to the vineyards; Let us see if the vine has budded, Whether the grape blossoms are open, And the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love.” Solomon was talking to his bride and it is a picture of Jesus talking to us, His Bride. We only recently planted fruit trees but when the weather starts to break, it’s the first thing I want to do! I run outside in early morning and checked trees for buds. I was checking to see if they survived winter and are ready to produce fruit. Did you know Jesus waits eagerly for your winter weather to break, running to you expecting to see buds of faith that will burst out in praise of Him? He does!

That is the picture in Song of Solomon. Several times he takes his bride to check for fruit. Check it out sometime, it will fill you with love for the Lord to see how eagerly He tends to you, gently, earnestly gardening you. Gardening is hard, dirty work, but the outcome is always worth it. To Him, you are worth it.

Some of you are coming out of a winter and this spring is full of praise. However, for those of you who are still in winter spiritually, go outside and watch something grow, check for buds or enjoy a blossom and know deep down, your winter is going to end. There will be a time for praise. A glorious colorful spring of joy for you is coming, praise the Lord for the promise and hold tight to it.

Amen

For a list of great starter plants as promised in this blog go to “Lets get started”

In the beginning….

DSCN7782Do you ever wonder why your drawn to grow something? Do you marvel at beautiful landscaping and question why it is beautiful to you? Maybe you never do, maybe you enjoy these things and never worry about why. If so, is it possible to hear or read someone’s reasons and believe them for yourself? Yes. What do we do then? Never question and never believe anyone’s answers, or dig deeper and get an answer that is truth? I’m going to dig deeper….. want to come?

The beginning of the answer is in the beginning of life. God says in Genesis, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Then He worked on a few things, some He called good, some He didn’t and in verses 11-12 you find; “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” God saw it was good!

Ok, so you ask “I’m not God, what’s that got to do with me?” I’ll tell you! “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”. He didn’t stop there, that wasn’t the whole point, it gets better! Not only were we created like Him and therefore enjoy the things He enjoys, we were given the things He created and charged with them. Genesis 1:28-29 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them(us), Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” This is exciting! After He says all this and charged us with this duty, He says “and God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good”. Did you catch that? He said VERY good.

This is fantastic news to me. When we are drawn to grow something or enjoy something growing around us, it is because we were designed to. Jesus said this (John 14:21) “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” It was a commandment to go, be fruitful, multiply, subdue, and replenish the earth and as we do so the Lord will make Himself known to us and we can grow in our relationship with Him. This concept is important because this is the goal, to know our God intimately and to become more and more the bride He desires us to be.

Let me be clear, gardening and growing is NOT the only way to obtain this relationship. It is one of many ways, of many commandments, and even many facets to the scriptures I’ve laid out for you, that bring us close to the side of Jesus. However, it’s important to know now why you are drawn to it so that when you hear others reasons, you may stand firm on the cornerstone which is Jesus and not be swayed to the worship of His creation but to the worship of Him!

Amen

Creation for the Created

DSCN6797We can all agree that the world around us is a beautiful place, but can we all agree what it’s for, how it works and what our responsibility to it is? Probably not. This is where Jesus and what He says in the bible are critical in finding agreement and purpose in this beautiful creation.

Over the last few years the Lord has led my family and I on a journey of growing both plants and animals for the purpose of becoming a producer not just a consumer.  During this journey I began to see Jesus in everything I was doing. I began to understand some parables I never understood before, and realize a much deeper connection to who Jesus is, who we are and what He did for us.

The bible says “For by him were all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17). The more I dive into the cultivating of this earth the more I see this truth!

The Lord revealed to me that there are more of us out there wanting to grow and harvest but are swimming in pool of information that while it is good for learning how to do this, we are drowning in a culture of worshiping creation and NOT the Creator.  He showed me that it was time to fill a need for information with the correct purpose behind it.

Then what can you expect from me? I have been charged to write a weekly commentary answering questions about how to grow things, why we grow heirlooms, how to have chickens and other livestock, basic projects etc.  You can expect me to pray diligently about subjects in this area that are close to the Lord’s heart and relay them.  Also, you can contact me about any questions you may have and I will do my best to pray and either answer them for you or point you in the right direction.

I’m so excited to start on this journey with you! It’s going to be fun and we are going to grow in Jesus while we grow something around us!

Jeanine