Monday, October 15, 2012

Reflection of Miracles

It has been cold and rainy as winter approaches this October.  Now is a good time to look back and reflect on garden this past year.  I have entitled this post "Reflection of Miracles" as indeed there has been many marvelous and wonderful things God has provided this past year.

Miraculous Harvests
Enough to Process
 It is indeed a miracle to go from tiny seeds to a bountiful harvest.  God blessed us with an abundance of produce.  Enough to process by freezing, canning and drying.  Shannon has come a long way from being afraid to can, to canning our own produce this year.  (Shannon here, I had this fear of the canner blowing its top and canning jars stuck in the ceiling.  Yes, I know that my vision of catastrophe is nigh unto impossible but that was my very active imagination's worst case scenario if I messed up.)

Miracle Watermelon 
One of the amazing tales is of our Miracle Watermelon.  Several things had to happen for this miracle.  The expansive plants grew from a few stray seeds, probably spit off our deck to the edge of our patio below which was put in this year.  They survived the grass being removed and the ground disturbed when we put in our new Goji plants.  As the melon plants started to grow, they were getting into the Goji plants and I wanted to pull them so they wouldn't crowd them out but Shannon did not.  After a discussion, we decided to leave the plants. (Shannon here: This may have been the biggest part of the miracle, Timothy let me leave them to just see what might happen.)  My experience with watermelon in the garden was always very poor with small melons and mediocre taste.  Well as you can see in the lower left corner of the picture above the plant had nearly taken over the entire Goji paddock.  To my surprise there were some rather large melons growing on the vines.  Not sure when to pick them, we did some research and have found the best indicator is when the little curly tail, the tendril closest to the melon, dries out. (See lower right of picture above.)  The biggest melon we pulled was nearly 28 lbs!  It was some of the best tasting melon I can remember and everyone who tried it said it was very good.

Miracle Gojis
 The Goji plants we started from seed this year actually bore a small number of berries.  This might not seem that spectacular, but it was to me as I hadn't expected anything for 3 years from everything I read about them.  Oh, and they tasted good too.

Miracles of Beauty
This collage contains only a few of the things of beauty found in the garden this year.  The richness of the purple morning glories are amazing.  Although we had only one apple on our small tree because of the late frost, it was the biggest and best tasting our tree has ever produced that I know of.  And of course I must include Shannon, found here with watering cans in hand.  Isn't she cute! :)  (Shannon:  Aww... blush)

Miracles of Oddity
Some of the things grown and found in the garden where of interest and amusement.  Upper left is the inside of a bell pepper that contained no seeds.  Lower left is a muskmelon that did not fully develop, paint on eyes and it might look like a face with hair.  Lower right is a bi-colored bell pepper.  Upper right is one of many interesting creatures we found in the garden this year.  This fuzzy caterpillar, which appeared to not have eyes, would stretch and reach as far as it could, using its long fuzzy hair as feelers to know if an object was nearby for which it would then grab hold and continue its search for its food, which was grass and weeds.  (Shannon: Thus the reason it did not come to a quick end under Timothy's no pest left undead policy.  Timothy has just informed me that his normal policy is kill first, ask questions later.)

Miracle of Convenience
Here is an idea we were trying this year, growing lettuce in hanging baskets.  Convenient for picking at table height, or when it is getting cold and / or rainy out, just grab the whole basket and bring it inside for harvesting.  Shannon really enjoys the staying warm part!

Mystery Miracle of Life
 This last picture is definitely a small miracle.  This is the bottom of our black rain barrel I was recently in the process of emptying and storing for winter.  I started with an empty, dry barrel in the spring with a fine screen over the top to keep mosquitoes out.  I have since filled and emptied this barrel many times over the summer with either rain water collected from the roof or with water from our hand pump.  How did it get in here and how did it survive and grow to a few inches?  Amazing.  He was transported to Shannon's large pond for his new home.

Many miracles, blessings and a good year in the garden.  Thank you Heavenly Father.