Apr 112013
 

email-header2013-04-11

spinachSeveral passages of scripture came to mind while I was harvesting a large order of spinach yesterday. The Lord has blessed our spring harvest of the overwintered crops exceedingly abundantly beyond what I would have thought! Yes, some of the overwintered crops are beginning to show a few signs of bolting, but this spring’s plantings are about ready to take over where the first will leave off!
So many places throughout scripture there are parallels of both spiritual and physical agriculture practices. Paul was writing about a gift the Corinthians were preparing to give to the saints in Jerusalem and he said, “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written,
‘HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR,
HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.’
Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;” 2 Corinthians 9:6-10Starting in verse 10, it is the Lord who provides the seed in the first place that we may have it to sow. Once we have the seed it is our choice what to do with it. In the physical, if we hold on to it for a later time, eventually that seed will grow old and won’t germinate to produce a crop any longer. However, if we sow generously that seed will reproduce and make a harvest! It is similar in the spiritual where we need to scatter the seed that the Lord has given us by using our gifts which the Lord bestows on us…spiritual gifts, the gift of time, talents, abilities, money etc.

The wisest man that ever lived (King Solomon) said it well, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—” Ecclesiastes 3:1 So, as the Lord leads let us sow where He desires us to sow the seed which He’s given to us.

Coupled with the thought of sowing came another thought which Paul wrote to the Corinthian church prior to 2 Corinthians. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:6,7. Paul is referring to the spiritual aspect of his planting the seed of the word of God and Apollos coming along to water that seed, but the Lord being the one causing the word to germinate and grow so it can produce fruit in that person’s life.

Once again as I was looking at the gorgeous, huge spinach leaves I was holding in my hand, freshly harvested, the thought came to mind, I can plant that tiny seed, I water the seed and try to keep all the conditions favorable for it to grow, but it is the Lord who causes it to grow. There have been several times I thought I had everything just about perfect for seeds to germinate and for one reason or another they never did germinate properly. Although I do everything in my power to promote that seed to germinate it is the Lord who causes it to germinate, grow and flourish as a plant.

Linked with this thought of the Lord causing the plants to grow is a warning which was brought to my attention recently. The Lord gave this warning to the Israelites as He was ready to lead them into the promised land. “‘Otherwise, you may say in your heart, “My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.” But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.'” Deuteronomy 8:17-18

The Lord is so good and has blessed us richly already this spring. I praise His name and thank Him for His loving-kindness, mercies and compassion.


Wow! Things are really changing fast around here now! It seems everything is popping up, out, around and through with new growth and spring hues of flowering colors and greenery! G-Jean and Jena even got the mower out and did the first full blown yard mowing this past week! It is so beautiful to watch the Lord cause things to come back with new life and colors after all the winter’s drab browns and grays.

Nice surprise! With a few sun shiny days the hoop house produce seemed to explode with new growth spurts! We did not use all the spinach, kale, green onions and Swiss chard to fill our large order this week so will have some available this coming Friday (tomorrow), April 12th! Also, by the following Tuesday and Friday the 16th and 19th I anticipate that the mustard greens (both red and green) will be ready for harvest. There may also be small amounts of young greens mixes, asparagus and arugula ready too!

Yumm!!! Cupid loves her grazing time on our cover crop of wheat!

Yumm!!! Cupid loves her grazing time on our cover crop of wheat!

It was a blessing to receive a little rain over the course of several days last week, but it kept cool, cloudy and damp just enough to keep us from getting out in the garden much. I had gotten so far behind in some paper work though that it was somewhat of a blessing to have an opportunity to catch up a little bit without feeling so bad about wasting a beautiful sunny day staying inside!

We had a surprise this week when our new strawberry plants showed up about half to a full week earlier than we’d anticipated them! The soil was right on the edge of being to wet to plant them and with the recent rain showers I anticipate it will probably be next week before the soil dries out enough.G-Jean wrapped the strawberry plants in damp newspaper so they will stay moist until we can transplant them.

G-Jean and I took the short window of opportunity at the end of last week and beginning of this week to set out several transplants! Two varieties of kale and three varieties of broccoli, four varieties of cabbage, spinach, mustard greens and Swiss chard were all transplanted in to the garden outside.

One rainy day G-Jean and I took advantage of the damp outdoor weather and planted several flats with seeds. Tomatoes and basil were the main crops we seeded, but we also planted several types of flowers as well. Currently the peppers (planted a couple weeks ago) tomatoes, basil and several flowers are ready for transplanting! There are literally hundreds of plants ready to transplant and Lord willing we’ll be able to do them all still yet this week!

I want to thank each one of you who has supported us through prayers, orders, words of encouragement, volunteer help and other avenues you’ve used to help us. It is a blessing to meet new people and thank you for spreading the word about our farm.

ladybug

Our friends the lady bugs are out and on the move! The cover crop of wheat is simply loaded with adult lady bugs!

 

peach blossoms

The young peach trees in the orchard began blooming this week and the first early plum blooms have pretty much faded away.

Dad and Jena tore into the “White Subie” and were able to get the timing kit put in. They found out why the “birdy” kept singing under the hood occasionally too! A roller bearing had shelled all the ball bearings out! With everything put back together Dad and I took it for a test drive but found there is another problem with it somewhere…sigh. Still need to finish diagnosing what this problem is…
Can you tell there was a stubborn bolt that needed to come out?

2013-04-06_103

The asparagus has been slow coming up with only a few warm, sunny days to really get it up good. Also, due to the drought and my neglect to get the soil amended this last year it has caused the spear size to be more of the “average” size instead of the large like we usually have. Lord willing next week it will be growing good enough we can sell some.

asparagus

Better go for now, but may you have a blessed week!
Farmer Joshua and the Mitchell Crew