By LAURA LEE LEATHERS
Growing up on a small farm in Illinois, our family had a huge garden that kept us busy all summer. If you’re interested in starting a garden, the Bible should be your first resource. After all, time began in the garden.
In the beginning
On the third day,
“God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed,
and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind,
whose seed is in itself, on the earth;’ and it was so.”
– Genesis 1:11, NKJV
Then God tells us He has given man all these things for food, and that Adam was placed in the garden to tend and keep it. Imagine a gourmet blend of fruits and vegetables at your fingertips!
Chapter 3 gives an account of original sin. Everything changed! God cursed the land, and humanity has had to work hard to produce food since then (Genesis 3:17-19). The perfect environment was now full of thistles and weeds, pestilence and disease, and of course, deer.
A time to plant
Solomon wrote that there is a time to plant and a time to harvest (Ecclesiastes 3:2b). The Bible doesn’t give us a step-by-step planting guide, but it does mention items that we should plant (see below).
Now is the time to plant a garden. Section off a spot in your yard — or consider container gardening. For children, a kiddie pool works great; don’t forget to drill holes in the bottom. Let them choose their favorite foods. Give them the experience and pleasure of planting, and teach them the difference between the plant and a weed. Let them do the harvesting and cooking. Don’t be afraid to try new seed varieties. My parents let me order the children’s garden pack from the seed catalog when I was a child.
Resources for gardening information and ideas:
◼ Seed catalogs
◼ YouTube (“how-to” videos)
◼ Your county extension agent, or Mississippi State University’s Extension website
◼ MSU Extension’s Fall Flower & Garden Fest in Crystal Springs (October)
◼ Gardening groups (see sidebar)
During World Wars I and II, people were encouraged to plant “liberty” and “victory” gardens. When inflation soared at the end of the ’70s, people turned back to gardening. Over the past several years, due to inflation and broken supply chains, there seems to be a resurgence in homesteading, gardening, bee pollination and cut flower production.
Besides better-tasting food, gardening provides fellowship, exercise, education, and the fun of watching things grow and harvesting something you planted.
The garden near the cross
It’s important to note that not only do we need a gardening revival, planting seeds in the s-o-i-l; we each need a revival in our s-o-u-l-s, knowing Jesus and living by the Word. As we approach Easter, it is time to read about and remember the night of Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane.
At Gethsemane, Jesus spent time in intense prayer and deep agony as He anticipated the cross. He was then betrayed, arrested, and brought before the Sanhedrin and Pilate (Matthew 26, Mark 14, John 18:2).
After a mock trial, He willingly went to the cross to die, to make atonement for our sin. After His death, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus requested Jesus’ body. John’s gospel notes that they buried Him in a nearby tomb — in a garden (John 19:41).
But the grave could not hold Him (Romans 6:9-10). He’s alive!
Is it time for you to go to the garden and thank Jesus for all He has done? Have you indeed given your heart to Him? As you spend time in the garden, ask Him to renew and revive your soul.
I challenge you to plant a liberty (from sin) and victory (in Jesus) garden. When you share your produce, remember this is also an opportunity to share about what happened in the garden, on the cross, and in the tomb (John 14:6). He is alive indeed!
What to plant
Vegetables – cucumber, leek, onion, garlic
Herbs – aloe, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, frankincense, hyssop, marjoram, mint, myrrh, saffron, sage
Fruits – apple, fig, date, olive, grapes, almond, walnut, pomegranate, melons
Flowers – anemone, crocus, cyclamen, hyacinth, iris, narcissus, tulip
Gardening groups on Facebook
◼ The Gardener’s Workshop
◼ Mississippi Gardening
◼ Cut Flower Connections– Farmer to Buyer
◼ Garden Mama: Nellie Neal
◼ Mississippi Farmers Market Community
◼ Garden Answer
Favorite seed catalogs
◼ The Whole Seed Catalog by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – rareseeds.com
◼ Burpee Gardens – burpee.com
◼ Breck’s – brecks.com
◼ Johnny’s Selected Seeds – johnnyseeds.com
◼ Park Seed – parkseed.com
◼ David Austin Roses – davidaustinroses.com
With either a pen or a garden tool in her hand, Laura Lee focuses on her three passions: freelance writing, sharing and serving through hospitality, and cultivating Lady Laura’s Garden. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website, LauraLeeLeathers.com.