Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why grow a veggie garden?

. . . fill the earth and subdue it . . .
Genesis 1:28

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

The results

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.

More inspiration

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".


  1. Another good post! I too love growing things although where we live is not conducive to growing many veggies...(not enough land)I have grown tomatoes in the past and basil and my oldest daughter planted chives in 1996 and they still give us a wonderful additon to potato salad and baked potatoes in the summer! I tend to grow flowers....much luck to you with the veggies...sounds like you are off to a great start. We have 9 inches of snow on the is my youngest daughter's 9th birthday and it is also our longest nite of the year...I am kinda "envying" you the green I see in your pic!

  2. Thanks, Faith, for your encouragment.

    It is amazing what you can grow in a small space. I have a wonderful book that explains how you can grow many veggies in pots. You may like to look into it sometime!

    Herbs are some of the best things to grow, at they are so handy to have! They cost a lot to buy fresh.

    It is fun to hear about your snowy day! I hope your daughter's birthday is wonderful.

  3. HI Sherrin: when you get a chance could you let me know the title and author of the book you mention? that would be great...believe it or not some of my fave books to read besides hiking guides are books about gardens, growing things, etc. Especially in the blah days of Feb and Mar (well blah for us NYer's anyways!) Merry CHRISTmas!

  4. Woohoo! great to read about your veggie patch. Wow, i'm so impressed that you are harvesting all those things, you two have been busy!

    Any ventures into composting? I would love to see a post entirely devoted to your compost and it's spiritual side.

    Composting is a very Godly activity :)

  5. Hello Faith,

    the book I love is "The Kitchen Gardener: A practical guide to growing vegetables in Australia and New Zealand." I'm not sure if it would be available in the USA, but if it is it would be well worth reading as it has plenty of general information.

    Oh, and I'd love to know what kind of flowers you grow? It is wonderful to grow flowers, as it is such a blessing to have them in the house or give them away.

    Hi Yvonne, you tease :). You can write a guest post on the spiritual side of composting if you want. We are working on a compost bin, and put many of our scraps in there, but have not yet produced useable compost. Perhaps we will have to consult you. The fact that we don't know how long we'll be in this house is a factor, as it is not work putting a lot of effort into compost yet. Dave has been turning it though.

  6. Sherrin ~ we all loved this post since we love gardening! Thank you for your kind words about our garden. Right now in the dead of winter it's not quite so lovely! It was fun seeing Dave picking beets! I am thrilled that already you are doing such a great job producing your own food. You'll learn a bit more about gardening each year you do it. Have fun!