Sunday, May 31, 2009

Planting mindful of what you plant!

I thought I'd share with you how we plant seeds.  This year, as in years past, the boys have started almost everything from seed in the greenhouse.  However, there are some things that don't transplant well so we seed these things directly into the ground.  We use an Earthway Seeder.

Earthway seeder

This nifty machine, digs the trench, drops the seed and covers it back up as you walk it down your row.  It will also mark your next row if you want it to....and you can set the depth you want your seed planted.

It comes with different plates that go inside the hopper so it can handle many different size seeds.

All you have to do is pick your plate according to seed size, fill the hopper with your seed and take a stroll down your garden aisle.

This is the seed "hopper".  You can see the white disk on the right side.  We picked the "bean" disc.  Each disc is clearly marked as to which seeds it can hold.  The white disc spins, picking up seeds and dropping them through the channel and into the ground.  All you have to do is fill the hopper with your seed, as we did here.

Beans about to be planted!

It is simple to use, requires no repairs and makes planting a quick and easy job!  I am thankful for this gift from a dear friend who no longer grows a big garden.

Planting time is also a wonderful time to remind my boys of the lessons of reaping and sowing.  We are planting beans...we will harvest beans.  We ALWAYS harvest what we have planted in the garden.  This lesson, of course, works the same in the spiritual realm.

If we sow dishonesty, discord, impatience, vengeance, contentiousness and so on then we will surely reap those harvests as well.  When my boys don't like some aspect of their life, whether it be a relationship or something else, it is always good to go back and see...."did I sow something in the past to reap this harvest?".

It isn't that our Father doesn't love us or is mean, angry or is simply that there are spiritual laws that function in our lives.  Our Father clearly warns us that what we sow, we will reap.  We must be mindful that we are sowing the proper spiritual seeds if we want to reap a bountiful spiritual harvest of lovely things.

It is a good reminder for me as well!

Happy planting!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Catching my breath...

We've been going non-stop for weeks now.   I'm sorry for my was not intentional.   We have had, and continue to have, ongoing Internet problems.  Although I am paying for high speed cable, it appears that the majority of the time we are receiving dial -up service. The problem, as I see it, is that Comcast has bought up all of the local providers, has no competition and therefor has no reason to provide the service that they once did.  The technicians keep coming, I keep calling and no one seems to be able to fix the problem.

This will give you some idea of what we've been up to lately..

First...the promised picture of Elijah's three-legged milking is getting a workout!

Elijah's first piece of "furniture"!

The boys were busy for several days planting potatoes - three varieties this year!  Red Norlings, Yukon Gold and they are digging the trenches...and trying to keep them straight!

Digging trenches

Taking turns dropping the potatoes in the ground.

Planting spuds!

The finished job - just needing to be covered!

Planting spuds!

We separated sections with a row of bush beans - they are flowering now and we'll have fresh beans soon - pictures to come!

We are finishing up our schooling this week (although we have some light summer learning planned) and have been spending every spare moment in the garden or greenhouse.  This year my younger boys, Elijah and Josiah, have "taken over" the farm.  This is their heart's farm this land so what better way to start than under Mama's watchful eye?  They are doing a fabulous job!  I don't think our garden has ever looked better.

Our agreement was that I would front the cost of seeds and amendments,  they would make the decisions on what to buy, they would run the greenhouse under my tutelage, they would do the majority of the garden work although the rest of the family will pitch in and help as much as possible, and they would keep any money earned and pay back the cost of seeds and amendments.  In other words, my 11 year old and soon-to-be-16 year old now have their own "official" business.

They attended their first farmer's market last weekend and did very well selling their surplus garden plants.  I think the "cuteness" factor helps!  It was amusing to me that most people asked them if they "really" did all the work.  The assumption was that I was the worker and had them there as the "sellers".  People were astounded to find out that this is the work of their own hands.

My hope is that the next 3 years will give both of them, but especially Josiah, the experience and knowledge they need to run a business, learn the accounting aspects of that business, deal with public relations, enjoy successes and handle failures with grace.  In three years, when Josiah graduates from high school, I hope that he will be prepared to make this his full time business and that he will be successful at it.  Right now he doesn't have to worry about supporting himself doing this....he gets to experience the "high wire" with a safety net, so to speak :)  This will also help him decide if he really wants to be a farmer.

We are having talks about how to handle money, how to invest back into his business, how to (and how much to) pay himself and his brother.  Of course, all of these things are great life lessons, school lessons and farm lessons and the neat thing is that it is so easy to teach it all based on the Word of our Father.

The benefit to me, hopefully, is that each year I can be a little less involved in the greenhouse/garden aspects of the farm (except for canning, dehydrating etc.) and watch my boys continue to take steps to their own independence.

I am praying that they are encouraged and successful in this walk...that they are a witness to their customers and fellow vendors at the market and that they continue to see the hand of their Father in all that they do as they continue to seek His face and His will for their lives.


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