This summer has been the first year when I’ve really gotten to have my own garden space. In reality, I garden in 2 community gardens and at my parent’s house, but still, some of it is my space. I’ve planted the seeds, weeded, watered, tended….and now the harvest is in full swing.
I can’t explain the satisfaction when I go to the garden and find a few pie pumpkins, huge zucchinis, several cucumbers, onions, okra, carrots, and numerous tomatoes (among other things), all ripe for picking. And I love heading to work and handing out produce that I can’t possible use. At this point in the year, my freezer is full and I’m running out of jars to can with, so I am blessed to be able to share the harvest.
But the closer I get to the earth, the more I am convinced that this beautiful work of creation, our world, should be honored. With each beautiful moment I find in nature, I am convicted. And my belief in stewardship is confirmed.
In six days, God created this world. He filled it with wonders uncountable. Hidden deep in the earth, beneath the ocean water, high up in the skies, and far away on a mountaintop. We are surrounded by the beauty of creation, whether we live in an urban jungle or in the wilderness. If we only open our eyes, we will be pointed again and again to the Creator.
And I can’t justify wanton destruction of our planet. I can’t ignore an unsustainable food web and a growing population that is always hungry for more. And though I’m just one person, I can do my part to honor God’s creation. This year, He’s been showing me that again and again.
I can grow and preserve my own food. Already this year, between my mother and I, we have canned a few dozen pints of pickles, several dozen of pints and quarts of tomatoes, nearly 20 jars of pumpkin, a dozen jars of grape jelly, and several jars of Christmas pickles and marinara sauce. Our storage shelves are full, and we’ll keep canning until the garden gives its last bit of harvest. My freezer is filled to bursting with zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and berries. Knowing I can eat locally all winter gives me joy, and makes me appreciate some of our modern conveniences more.
It’s not just about money (but home canning does same some cash). It’s also about using the garden to feed myself year round. It’s about using my resources responsibly and becoming as self-sufficient as possible. It’s about returning to practices from the past that work and make sense.
If I can use produce from my garden throughout the year, rather than purchasing something grown thousands of miles away, I’m going to do it.
It’s about sustainability, which I believe is important for Christians to consider. Stewardship is a well-established tenant of Christianity, one which I believe we have a responsibility to uphold.
God created this world for us, one that’s full of wonders and intricate workmanship. One which I firmly believe we should protect for those who come after us. And so, I do my part to make a smaller impact on the planet. With the hope that future generations can enjoy the same wonders I have been blessed to enjoy.