June 10, 2008

This Shepherd is in the Fields

Blackberries are coming in (I picked a gallon of the bounteous beauties this morning and simply had to quit because time was ticking and my back had started aching). The plum tree is patiently waiting to be relieved of its burden of fruit (I can almost hear the limbs sigh with relief each time I pull a ripened plum). Crookneck squash are growing at a breakneck pace. The bell and cayenne peppers are profusely proffering their produce. The grapes are hanging with luscious beauty. The honey bees are happily working while they wait for the corn to tassel. And this Shepherd is enjoying this season of productivity like never before.

You'll pardon me if I don't post quite so often. I'll be busily soaking up the marvelous colors and savoring the unmatched flavors of food fresh from the garden. Should I have a rainy afternoon, or a sweltering sunny day that runs me away from pursuing the produce I will take a few photos and post some good notes for you.

I must tell you that this is a teachable season for me as well. Jesus instructed his followers to "consider the lilies." I watching, listening, and learning. There are lessons that just can't be learned in a hurry. There are moments of the miraculous that only show themselves by careful observation. I'm learning and experiencing some of these life lessons. A couple of examples...

1. Weeds always grow. Inattention for even a short while produces an undesirable crop of weeds. Weeds also steal life giving nutrients. Left in the garden they result in less productive plants.
2. Humility is necessary. It is impossible to grow a garden without getting down in the dirt.
3. There is joy in the harvest. When the produce comes the labor is forgotten.

Excuse me while I go and fix a fresh tomato sandwich (Salmonella free!).


Paul Thompson said...

John, this doesn't even sound like we live in the same country. It's 55 degrees here today (that's the high) and the only thing in my garden with blooms are my strawberries. My yellow squash... maybe mid July; my peppers... maybe August; my tomatoes... I'll have to take my chances at the grocery store all year most likely.

Enjoy your garden, I'm going home to put a sweat shirt on and pull some weeds (they grow without any attention from me.)

Lucy Arin said...

Must be nice to live in a gardening zone other than Zone 5!

Like Paul, my peppers, tomatoes, and cukes will not be ready for eating until late August. My salad mix, however, is ready and yummy, and I have an overabundance of it!