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Mary Mary Quite Contrary

June 21, 2011

No silver bells or cockle shells here…

…but there is a pretty maid.

And if you’re wondering why Lulu looks as though she smelled some stinky cheese, it’s because she’s whining…

“Can we go to the pool now, Mom?”

But I had to get this photo as I was celebrating the first ripe offering from my meager garden this year.

And the garden is meager.

Nothing there but the six tomato plants.

And yet I’ve enjoyed fresh vegetables all season long. Spring onions and early peas. Cabbage and Irish potatoes. Squash and zucchini. Carrots and turnips. I could have even enjoyed some rutabagas if I knew exactly what a rutabaga was or how the heck to cook one.

All that bounty comes courtesy of…

And what a garden it is!

This field is lovingly tended by the members of my church, including my family. Every Saturday morning a large crew gathers to work and and to operate a mini farmer’s market in our church’s parking lot. The profits from the market are split 50/50…half is reinvested in the garden, and half is donated to our community food bank.

(Editors Note: Any gardener knows that a garden requires daily care…especially this time of year. Our garden is blessed by a few very committed gardeners who give unselfishly of their time and talents each day. You know who you are, and I pray you know the rest of us recognize your efforts and appreciate all that you do.)

When we gathered on that first planting day back in mid-February, our pastor led us in prayer. We prayed that God would bless the soil and its crops, that the work of our hands might be a blessing to others.

God surely heard and answered us. Despite the heat, despite the lack of rain, the garden has thrived and flourished. He blessed our garden, and He blessed us.

For not only has our garden grown, but we have as well.

Something about working next to someone, digging and planting, weeding and harvesting, brings you closer. Shared sweat is like compost for relationships.

So today I offer thanks to God…for the sun and the rain and the soil and the seed.

And I give thanks to all those sweaty people who’ve put such a bounty of fresh food on our table.

God bless you all!

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