. . . fill the earth and subdue it . . .
The original idea
For a long time now I've been meaning to post about our vegetable garden. We decided to grow a vegetable garden after discussing the potential environmental impact of having a larger than usual family. Obviously we don't have any children yet, but we do hope and pray that God will bless us children. During our engagement we discussed the wasteful nature of modern society, and agreed that we did not want to raise a clan of relentless consumers. The modern household is often solely a place of consumption, rather than a place of production. People come home to consume the pre-packaged meals they purchased at the supermarket or take away, and watch the TV shows and movies that someone has produced for them. We want to turn our household into a place of production.
The spiritual motivation
Our vegetable garden as one way we can fulfill the Creation Mandate to steward the earth. We moved into a home with raised beds that had already been put in place. All we had to do was dig the earth and plant. We are subduing the earth God has given us in our own yard, rather than draining agricultural land. We are making use of what we have been given to grow healthier food which is very convenient to use . . . just walk out the door and pluck a few leaves! God placed Adam and Eve in a garden, and I have a feeling that he always intended people to grow things. You can see this in the way that even city dwellers like to grow a plant or two. There is something in the way that we were created as God's image bearers that makes us wants to cultivate the earth and make it bring forth good things.
And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Genesis 1:29
We have been very pleased with the results of our vegetable garden. So far we have harvested snow peas, beetroot (Dave's favourite), lettuce, carrots, celery, zucchini, coriander, basil, silver beet, and baby spinach. The garden gives us a lot of pleasure, even though it is also hard work. We love to go out and look at how the plants are growing, and it is often the first place we head to in the morning - even before we eat! I busy myself working out how to use all that we grow.
I have gained inspiration from my mother's vegetable garden, which is filled with an abundance of good things. I had to laugh when I went around there yesterday and saw her rows of lettuce, silver beet, beetroot, and other vegetables . . . when there are only two living there now! My mother's vegetable garden allows her to be very generous in giving away food, which is a wonderful thing to be able to do. Mum's garden was the place that started our discussions about growing our own food.
The Girotti family also have an inspirational vegetable patch. It looks amazing! When I saw this, my thought was "I hope our garden looks like that someday".
The garden is a wonderful place to think about Jesus' parables of reaping and sowing. It is also a good place to think of the wonderful prayer "The Deeps" and of "roots of grace spreading far and wide".