28 September 2009

God did it again...

Yes, God watered my garden again! This time literally within 2 hours after I planted my first vegetables in my brand new raised bed vegetable garden!

But first I have to share with you my emotional connection with and the dreams I had for this vegetable garden.

My story starts decades ago when I was about 6 years old. My parents lived in Bloemfontein in the city, but both grew up on farms just outside Bloemfontein (Free Sate), in Bainsvlei. During this time my grandpa on my mother’s side divided his farm into six, one for each of his children. My dad, longing to go back to the farm, moved us to the farm. My mom didn’t want to live on a farm though, but my dad convinced her to move back, by building her the house of her dreams on the farm. A huge kitchen, with lots of cupboards, spacey bedrooms, an on suite bathroom, it wasn’t the norm in those days. Large windows for letting in lots of sunshine. I can still remember (remember I was only 6 years old) how my dad instructed the architect to let the house face in exactly the right direction, to allow lots of sun in the winter, to give the house a warm atmosphere during the freezing cold winter and only a little sun in the summer, so it could be cool and pleasant in the terrible heat of the Free State!

My dad worked five days a week, building steam trains, but every spare moment he had, he was living his dream on the farm… planting vegetables! He planted rows and rows of vegetables; carrots, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, spinach, cucumbers, strawberries, rhubarb and sold it weekly on the town market. Those days the vegetable market was especially for supermarkets and restaurants and happened on a Wednesday morning. So, every Tuesday night at six o’clock the truck, heavily loaded with the healthiest and most beautiful vegetables would head for the market. We had to unload the vegetables ourselves, at our allocated bay. The vegetables had to be displayed in the most attractive way to attract the buyers. Since my dad didn’t have a son and I was the older of his two daughters, dad and I had to unload and pack the vegetables. These were very special times, which I cherish even more now that he went on to heaven, this October it will be seven years.

Over the years I longed to have my own vegetable garden! After Christo and I got married, it took us a few years to settle, moving from Bloemfontein in the Free State to Durbanville in the Western Cape and then we rented for several years, every time having an excuse NOT to start a vegetable garden. I did try to grow a few herbs in pots though.

Then 5years ago, the house we rented at that stage, was sold and we had to move for the fourth time in six years. I was three months pregnant by the time we had to be out of the house. The previous rented house was also sold at the end of our lease and I was also pregnant. This time I cried out to the Lord: “Please Lord, I need your approval for this. I don’t mind to move every 18 months to 2 years, but then I wanted to know it is the best you intended for me and it is part of Your plan for my life”. Over the past few years we lost everything due to Christo’s business going south. At that stage we didn’t have any debt, but we also didn’t have much and was pregnant with our fifth child. I wanted to make sure the enemy was not stealing God’s first prize from me. During this time it happened that we received a financial gift that would enable us to pay the deposit on a house. But still a loan had to be approved by the bank and this is where I cried out to the Lord. I’ve asked God to clearly direct our path and I will be at peace with His directions! If it wasn’t His desire for us to own our own house I will accept it, but I also knew I am the daughter of the King of the Universe and I knew I could lay before my Dad my heart’s desire – to own my own house, not move again, where I can raise my children… and have my own vegetable garden!

While I was seeking God’s directions and searching His Word, He one day clearly gave me a promise through 2 Samuel 7:9-11. This was one of those rear occasions where, although the passage was specifically for Israel, I could sense God meant it for me personally:
“And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house.”

This was powerful! With these verses engraved in our hearts we went out and applied for a loan to buy a house with a beautiful rose garden in the front yard. Needless to say the loan was approved and six weeks later we moved into our own house.

Now I could start my vegetable garden, right? Wrong! I was four months pregnant, exhausted after the move and not having a good pregnancy. There was no way for me to lay out a vegetable garden. Then seven months after Andrew’s birth, I was pregnant again! This time I had an even worse pregnancy. Between David and Daniel we once tried a vegetable garden, only to discover vegetables don’t like clay soil, the carrots didn’t even sprout! I laid aside this one desire of my heart, although I couldn’t understand why God fulfilled all the parts of the promise in 2 Samuel 7:9-11, except the one ‘He will plant us’.

Wow, are you still with me? Such a long intro!

Then a few weeks ago I saw a link on another blog to a vegetable gardening blog. I knew the author of the blog through the home schooling community, and I started reading her postings. I was intrigued by her raised bed vegetable garden, but didn’t want to go through all the excitement to be disappointed again and put it out of my mind. The next Saturday, with no expectation I told Christo about the vegetable garden blog and the interesting raised bed idea. Immediately he grabbed the idea and started to investigate the possibilities.

Within a few days it was clear my dream was coming true!! I’m going to have a vegetable garden!

This is how my vegetable garden had developed over the last two weeks. Thanks to my wonderful husband, who put in a lot of planning, physical effort and finances and my very strong eldest son!

The piece of backyard that has full sun the whole day. Ideal for our vegetable garden, but untidy and crowded by neglected trees and bushes.

Christo, CJ and Josua are taking out the trees and bushes.

Christo and CJ are building the first two raised beds and two of the three compost containers.

CJ is preparing the ground for the first raised bed, with our clay soil, peanut shells (for drainage) and horse manure.

We are planting the first organic vegetables – lettuce, tomatoes, parsley and basil.

Me putting toilet rolls around the stems of the little plants to prevent cutworm getting to the plants.

My vegetable garden on Sunday morning, after God watered it with the best water I could ask for – rain!

I can only add to the Amen of Eph. 30:20-21
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen”

Thank you Lord, you blessed me more than I could ask or think off!


Sonja said...

Linnie,dit was nou so interessant! Ek hou van die bedding idee en die toiletrolletjies-wat n slim plan! EK hoop julle geniet julle groente sommer baie!

Petra said...

Yummy! A rental home is the big thing standing in our way of a vegetable garden as well, but I will be patient.

Huisvrou said...

Kleigrond - nou sus, wat moet ek sê van ons turf..... Heerlike pikswart turf. Fantastiese voedingswaarde, maar die wortel en bol-plante soek dit niks.

Wat is die skakel van daardie webwerf waar jy die groente-inligting gekry het?? Kan dalk net raad kry vir my ook.

Wonderlike getuienis, dankie dat jy dit met ons deel.

Linnie said...

Ja Marelize, dit is interessant, diè wat weet, sê klei en dan nou turf ook, het wonderlike voedingswaarde as ons net by die dreinasie kan verby kom.
Raad wat ek by Ludwig Taschner van die rose gekry het, vir dreinasie is peanut doppe (dis glo makliker bekombaar in jul geweste as hier in die Wes Kaap). Dit is baie hoog in vesel, dit neem lank om af te breek in die grond en gee daardie ekstra 'spasie' in die grond om die klei 'los te maak' - wat presies is wat jy wil hê. Dus het ek vier sakke doppe by my rose en in die twee groente beddings ingewerk. En ek is op 'n waglys vir 'n nuwe besending doppe, sodra Ludwig rose inkry (hul moet dit afry van Gauteng).
Ek het ook op Wendy se groente tuin blat gevra wat sy voorstel en sy het my 'n uitgebreide antwoord gestuur. Gaan loer gerus by http://its-our-life-for-six.blogspot.com/2009/09/organic-pest-control.html
Haar webblad is http://www.simple-green-living.com/
Ek sal iewers in die volgende twee tot drie weke vertel van my Bokashi kompos emmers, wat ek gebruik om kompos voor te berei. Ek is nie baie gretig om 'n 'wurm plaas' te begin nie. Diè word dan met elke nuwe plant in die bedding ingewerk.
En so sal ons op 'n natuurlike manier die aarde tem soos God ons opdrag gegee het in Gen 1!
Sterkte en laat weet hoe gaan dit.

Kelly-Anne Gray said...

We are also planting vegetables! We have planted a few seeds as well as seedlings. It is lovely when you see a shoot appear! So far our rocket and onions have come up!

Wendy said...

This is lovely Linnie, well done. I am honored that I played a part in any little way.

Bless you

Linnie said...

Hi Wendy, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate it so much!
Lots of love

Sharon said...

Linnie, you are doing a fantastic job - Well Done!

Linnie said...

Hi Sharon
Thank you so much for stopping by! Hope your horse manure work miracles!
Have a blessed weekend.

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