Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blackberry Winter

     It is a good thing I am not depending on blogging to keep me fed, or I would be pretty hungry right now. My intentions to "get back at it"were good yet I find myself well into 2012 as I write my first blog for this year. Here in Kentucky we hardly had Winter and jumped right into Spring very early. I am so glad I took the time to plant bulbs at several different locations here on our new property last Fall. This Spring I have so enjoyed seeing all the Daffodils, Tulips and the Crocus peeking through the soil and later blooming so beautifully. Our place also has many, many Red Bud and Dogwood trees so this has been one of the most enjoyable Springs ever as I have taken the time just to soak in all the beauty. I am ever thankful to the Creator who has provided the lovely scenes of nature for us to enjoy.
     This year I started doing raised bed gardening, with help from my hubby, who built the beds. I love having fresh healthy veggies and  saving so much on food costs by growing my own. Yet, all the bending and weeding required with a regular garden just take more physically than I have ability to give these days. After doing some research in books on gardening and through internet search my first raised bed was started in March. I am happy to report it has been a success, so far. I have snow peas about ready to bloom, and lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli and green onions all preparing to be enjoyed in my salad bowl. It was a bit of work initally constructing the bed, working the soil beneath it and then filling it with rich topsoil and compost but it has already yielded dividends. I have pulled only 4 or 5 tiny weeds and the garden looks so neat and healthy.

     March was unusually warm this year many days in the 60's and 70's. By the first part of April the temperatures had soared into the 80's.  Last week the temperatures began to come down a bit and now have dropped into the low 30's! So the windows are closed again and the heat has been turned back on. As we took a stroll April 8th. we noticed that the blackberries are starting to bloom, a bit early it seems. Seeing those blooms, along with the drop in temperature, brought back memories of my dad telling me  it was "Blackberry Winter" when the weather would get cold about the time they bloomed in the spring. He said if I would watch the same thing happens every year. I must admit it does seem to happen that way. For sure this year that has been the case. I just hope all these blooms provide lots of delicious berries in a few weeks, yum. Looking forward to some Blackberry Cobbler.
     As soon as this spurt of cold weather passes I will forge ahead to the planting of my second garden bed, already built and hopefully get even another constructed and planted, too. I have seedlings started already of green pepper, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes and several herbs to season them with. A small strawberry patch will be planted, too. As you may have gathered I am excited about Spring and all the new life it brings.
     With my thoughts on planting I am reminded of how God has planted each of us here in this garden "Earth". In order for us to grow spiritually and be fruitful for him we must have tilled soil (a receptive spirit), have soil that is kept moist (regular time in God's Word),  provide lots of sunlight (fellowship with Christ, or Sonlight), and keep the weeds pulled (remove things from our life that hinder our Spiritual growth). As with a vegetable garden, this all requires much diligence. We must be aware that there are times of "spiritual drought" and try as one might those "weeds" do appear. However, we have the promise in Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." The Lord does not give up on us and will be faithful to keep working on us helping us grow and become fruitful. One day the harvest will come. I want to have a bountiful supply of delicious, healthy vegetables and fruits. Christ wants to find us mature with "... the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (or patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance (or moderation)... Galations 5:22,23
     I truly hope each of you, my readers, find much enjoyment in this most beautiful Spring. Also, may our God of grace and mercy prepare each of us for the harvest time which is to come.

17 days after planting