05 May 2011

A prayer for planting

Father in heaven,

This is our food and our drink, and it is all yours.
And we ask now, help it grow and that nothing would happen to it.
May the animals not take the seeds, not the blackbirds or the blue jays.

We know you give us this food, and also food for these animals too.
In your Word it says this.
We know you created the animals and birds
and that you give them food also.

We ask, by the goodness of God,
that our corn grow over the mountains and valleys.

We don't have the power,
you have the power,
and all is in your hands.

- Domingo Coc Ico, Se'mesche', Alta Verapaz, Guatemala


John and I have been in our new house for almost two weeks now and are slowly unpacking. We are repainting and refinishing our hearts out, but there is one aspect of our new life as homeowners that I am very excited about: having a backyard!

Alright, so it's not much right now... but I see potential and am on my way to fulfilling it!

Last spring I took a class called "Shalom" at school and, as they say, it changed my life. The class impacted me in many ways, and specifically in the area of ecology. I went from being a person who believed in caring about the earth because it was "a good thing to do," to being someone with a deep and steadfast biblical conviction about my God-ordained role in caring for the earth.

Since that time, John and I have been slowly and surely looking for ways to make good changes in our lifestyle. We started buying our meat from a local farm (where we know the animals were humanely raised), we try to eat vegetarian more often, we switched to eco-friendly cleaning products (probably the easiest change), we just bought a High Efficiency washer, and now: I'm going to try my hand at vegetable gardening!

When I first started toying with the idea of gardening I felt a bit overwhelmed. I'm more of an indoor person and I'm not big on getting dirty, so gardening seemed like a pretty big challenge. Then I remembered a local urban vegetable garden that John and I used to walk by in our old neighbourhood. Their beds seemed so orderly and manageable. If I could have a garden like that, I was ready to take on the challenge!

Enter google. A few searches later and I had discovered "square foot vegetable gardening:" a method of gardening that uses square/rectangular boxed beds to intensively plant a garden.

As you saw in the above backyard photo, I don't have my beds built yet, but this afternoon I took the first step toward growing my garden: I planted my seeds!

Don't tell anyone, but I had to take the easy way out and get one of these starter kits:

... because last summer I tried to grow cilantro in a flower pot and failed terribly. Like I-only-grew-three-lousy-sprigs-of-cilantro-even-though-I-planted-four-pots-full kind of terrible. Seeds + dirt = I can't do it. But seeds + little packaged soil pods + a detailed instruction manual = YES I CAN!

So this afternoon I grabbed hold of my confidence, my starter kit, and my watering can and got to work.

As you can see on the starter kit package, I'll be growing 12 things: radishes, lettuce, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkin, green beans, peppers, cilantro, beafsteak tomatoes, sweetie tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Step one: open the kit and read the instructions.

Step two: place the little soil pots in the "green-house" and water.

Step three: run out of water. Get more water.

Step four: open seed packs and admire them. Hard to believe these tiny little babies will become my summer lunch!

Step five: plant the seeds.

Step six: cover, pray A Prayer for Planting, and watch them grow!

In two weeks they will have all germinated. According to the directions.
Another couple weeks and it will be time to plant outside!

Stay tuned for my "we built our gardening beds!" post in a few weeks.


  1. Love this green thumb of yours, Jill! And may I add that gardening requires something else God-glorifying and creation-loving from you: attention to your land. Watch the sun in your yard, watch the shadows, be attentive to what your little garden needs - not just from you, but from its sisters the earth, wind and sun. God bless your eagerness to cultivate!

  2. I expect to be eating tomatoes the next time we visit (may 22)