Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lessons from a Child: Our Family Garden

Have I mentioned we have a vegetable garden?  We have a small plot in the Lily Dale community garden area so we can grow food for our family. 

It is our space to nurture plants and experience the joy of reaping what we sow.  I agree with Gertrude Jekyll (a British horticulturist, garden designer, artist and writer):

"A garden is a grand teacher.
It teaches patience and
careful watchfulness;
it teaches industry and thrift;
above all
it teaches entire trust."

Tilling, planting, watering, nurturing, and weeding all take time and effort.  Waiting for the plants to grow over the course of two or three months takes patience and time.  While I do this, the children play and dig in the dirt too. 

My older son enjoys noticing the seedlings emerge from the soil, the white of the cauliflower peeking out among the leaves, the sweet pepper growing bigger on the plant, and the tender lettuce growing.  He is eagerly awaiting beets, green beans, and tomatoes.  Harvesting sugar snap peas is his favorite garden activity, although he tends to eat more than end up in his bucket. 

My younger son enjoys roaming around the garden with his plastic trowel in hand.  Occasionally we must shoo him away from a plant he is about to trample, usually the yellow squash, kale, and eggplant. 

Watching the stages of growth a plant goes through helps me and my children to understand our own life phases and stages of personal growth.  We are also having to trust that the plants will grow under our loving care and protection.  Weather, critters, and babies are all factors we can only attempt to control (and ultimately harmonize with).  *smile*

I know my children are learning to honor the process by witnessing it first hand as "vegetable farmers" growing food to sustain our family.  In years to come, I hope my children will remember this special time of growth and harvest in Our Family's Garden.

"The best place to find God is in a garden. 
You can dig for him there."
--- George Bernard Shaw


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Singing the tune of June

The month of June always goes by so fast for me.  June is jam packed with the normal work and family commitments, but it also has the added pressure of getting outdoor projects completed before the start of the summer Season here at Lily Dale.

This year, we have to paint the house exterior and the porch floor.  While my husband scrapes, caulks, primes and paints, I am his gopher while watching over our 2 children.  Fun times ;)  Chasing after a very mobile 1 year old AND various project supplies that are in the opposite direction is not easy.  Thankfully, my 5 year old helps from time to time.

Also, this year is the Woodchip Project at the Lily Dale Children's Acre.   In our effort to maintain the safety of the play areas, the Lily Dale Children's Committee (of which, I am the chairperson) entered into a labor intensive undertaking of moving a BIG mountain of playground woodchips.  Thankfully, we had the help of some community volunteers, a small group of student volunteers from Cassadaga Job Corps, and a tractor.

And this is just a sampling of what we are trying to organize and get done before the Season starts!

Yesterday, I saw a friend's shirt that states: "There is no Off-Season".  With all of the work to be done, it certainly feels like that! *smile*

The sounds of houses being repaired and renovated, bees visiting the flowers, and the general "chop wood and carry water" of everyday life resound.  My world is singing the tune of June. 

Hurry, scurry get things done.
Season has almost come.
Thoughts of "to do" lists fill the air.
Spruce, polish, mend, paint and repair.
Sounds of hammers, saws, and tools everywhere.
We do these projects because we care.
Hurry, scurry get things done.
Season has almost come.