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Posts Tagged ‘urban homestead’

Welcome to my latest subscribers!  I see one of you is very interested in food topics, so I hope you like this post too.  I was writing it in my mind just as your comment came to my inbox, so this was great timing.

I learn so much about LIFE  in the often frustrating process of growing things.  For many years I have off and on tried my hand at gardening.  I love it, but have never been terribly successful.  This year I had high hopes because for the first time I could build proper raised beds with an added soil mix.  No more wondering about soil Ph or the grass growing in faster than the seedlings.  I believed my past failures stemmed from a lack of proper preparation.

Well.  Not so much.  Even though our family hopes to someday produce as much of our own food as possible, it looks more like the tooth fairy has better odds of showing up in this house than a bountiful harvest.

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Radishes harvested previously. Couldn’t bring myself to photograph today’s results.

This morning I did some tinkering with some of my plants and picked a tiny handful of ripe green beans.  What to do?  Not enough for a meal.  Don’t want to throw them away or compost the precious fruit of my toil.  Along with the beans I pulled some under-developed, woody-rooted radishes, some onions that may or may not ever form bulbs (still holding onto hope there), and all the kale I had planted too close to the chard.  I pulled a couple carrots to see their progress.  They looked about the same as the radishes, and we planted them both over three months ago.  I have many theories about this sad little garden, as I look over the chain-link fence where my neighbor’s squash plants exploded as soon as she planted them and now sport bright yellow blooms.  I trust we will figure it out and learn much in the process.  I have read plenty of books – but it’s so different than actually growing things.  Or… not growing them.

On the way back from my garden I also walk past the compost pile where some potatoes plants took off on their own along with some type of squash or melon.  I didn’t plant anything there on purpose and I haven’t watered it one time, but it’s all growing much better than my garden.

I brought in my little harvest that seemed good for nothing and nearly did toss it all into the compost to be the food for the next try.  But I remembered I had soup bones ready to make some good bone broth.  Now it’s all chopped and simmering in my pot till bedtime at least, and filling the house with a cozy aroma on a rainy day.  Every bit of nutrition from my little plants will be drawn into the broth in a concentrated liquid full of calcium and healthy fats from my father’s grass-fed beef that will help our bodies absorb the fat-soluble vitamins.  It doesn’t matter now that they were tough or too small, or too few.  I added fresh lemon juice to coax more calcium from the bones and the results create a base for soups and sauces that nothing in the grocery store can hold a candle to.  I have never made broth with all the veggies coming from my own garden, so this is a small victory.

Do you ever feel you have nothing to offer?  Do you feel like everyone else’s life is something to boast about and yours is a disappointment?  An embarrassment even?  Life is full of regrets, failures, and opportunities to feel inferior and worthless.  But where there is life – there is hope.  Jesus told parables about making the best of what little we have been given.  With Him, a little mustard seed can grow into a great tree!  And those things the world considers “trash” and thrown in a pile to rot, can even bring a harvest greater than those who have been carefully cultivated.  (Yes, had to work that in.)  Just thought I would share the encouragement of the Lord today.  It was what I needed to be reminded of too.

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