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  • Writer's pictureMeg Grimm

More Than Weeds, Greater Than Gardens

Updated: Sep 26, 2018

Chronicles & Confessions of the Veggie Patch

An unfolding adventure tale of amateur vegetable gardening, peasant style.-With detailed steps for establishing your own organic vegetable garden.

Series Post 2

I watched with bated breath as Max sliced the black shroud of death down the middle. Had it done its task?

He peeled back the thick plastic. Clusters of saw-toothed spears stared up at me with battled but tenacious gazes.

It was rough at times, the green dandelion leaves seemed to say, but we don’t go easy.

I sighed as I fetched the trowel. So much for laziness.

After all my research and planning, I was still going to have to fight weeds. I dreaded the undertaking because I really wasn’t sure how meticulous I needed to be. How much harm could they do? I also didn’t want to waste a bunch of time fretting over it.

I had never noticed weeds before last week, but now every sprouting dandelion in the yard was like another taunting adversary. At least there were only a few of them in the garden bed.

As I hacked at the dirt, I could hardly believe how deep the weed roots had traveled in such a short time, and how tightly they had latched themselves into the soil. I accidentally maimed a few without getting the very last bit of root. Some I tried yanking, but the same thing happened. I grew frustrated with my almost-but-not-quite job, knowing what it might mean for the future, but it seemed impossible to do better.

Even the dandelions in the cracks of the driveway that I had sprayed with vinegar last week were not exactly dead. I spritzed them again.

Mom would laugh at me the next day when she stopped by after church. “You think you aren’t going to have weeds?”

Weeds. What were weeds anyway? I looked down at the creepy, fat entities baking on the sidewalk. They were like alien creatures. I got the heebie jeebies just touching them. To think that under every sunlit dandelion blossom was this thick, pallid trachea that expanded deep into the earth.

This is what God means, I thought.

Just that morning, God had instructed me to get rid of a certain product I was using for natural health because it had once been an idol to me and, as a result, a bondage in some ways.

“Can I sell what I have left or maybe give to someone else?” I had asked, thinking there was no sense throwing away hundreds of dollars’ worth of product that could be beneficial to someone else.

“No,” answered the Lord. “The idol must be completely destroyed.”

I was willing to do it, especially now that I had found out about the occult ties to the product and had also realized that Pantheistic views were slipped into the marketing. Not that a Christian couldn’t use the product with a clear conscious, but I had not. I had unwittingly learned the propaganda and passed it on to others without a second thought. I had been deceived.

Just like these pretty dandelions hiding ugly roots, I mused. The truth was that if I did not manage to cut out the evil by the roots, there would still be something small, seemingly insignificant, that would begin to grow again.

The trouble with weeds, I was quickly learning, was that taking them out by the roots after they were thick and deep was nearly hopeless. If weeds truly couldn’t be prevented, they at least needed to be dealt with right away. Left to grow, they would steal the nutrition from the plants meant to be growing and thriving in my garden.

Similarly, it would not be difficult to make the changes God was requiring in my life if I obeyed Him fully and destroyed the root of evil that had lurked unnoticed, disguised as a pretty blossom. I would let go of my idolized product forever, but what seeds had it already spread to other’s lives around me? And how much time and money had I wasted to nourish a weedy idol that could have been spent on God’s kingdom?

“Damage has been done that you cannot undo,” the Lord had told me. “In life, weeds from the enemy will keep coming. They will be sly, camouflaged and powerful. They are sent only to steal, kill and destroy. But you must learn to recognize them and tear them out before they do.”

The Bible is riddled with plant analogies. “Don’t let a poisonous root of bitterness grow up!” – I recalled one warning from the writer of Hebrews.

For the first time in my life, I had experienced an agriculture analogy for myself. It suddenly seemed funny to me how people think the Bible is outdated in its approach since not everyone farms their land anymore. Here I was spending only my second hour in all my life on a gardening project, and the Lord had quickened my spirit and boosted my understanding of a lesson.

The experience reminded me of a friend of mine. Nancy always seemed to "hear" God’s voice every day while I struggled to catch a glimpse of Him even occasionally. She learned to look for Him in all her circumstances and expected to find Him. He would affirm lessons for her all the time during her yard work. It's His creation, why not?

I briefly imagined God as a Dad wearing overalls covered with fresh dirt and brimming with excitement to finally show his two young children the amazing things he had been doing outside. Previously, they weren’t interested, but He couldn’t be more pleased to see them come out now. He had been wanting to teach them the ways of His creation for a long time. They were going to learn and grow so much, if they would be patient and stick with Him, and listen.

But God didn’t stop that morning with using weeds for showing me an unforgettable analogy. There was more He wanted to do now that Max and I had emerged from behind closed doors.

The neighbor was out working, so we were able to flag him down and ask if we could purchase some hay that we would use for mulch. He gave us a big bagful free of charge. We’d had very little interaction with him to this point, but now we were blessed by his generosity, and we believed God would repay him.

Another man who lives up the road was out looking for work. Max paid him to weed wack. The man was young and repeatedly told Max about some life trauma he had experienced. We hoped to invite him to church if we saw him again.

Finally, a large, slobbering, chocolate-colored dog came bounding into our yard at one point while we were working. He had no collar, and we couldn’t tell where he had come from. I gave him some water, and he mostly stayed by us. After a while, his owners drove down the road calling for him. He ran and jumped into their truck. I hoped that our being outside that morning had decreased his chances of getting hit on the road before he was reunited with his family.

I recalled in my reading about vegetable gardening that writers mention a social aspect of gardening that naturally occurs, but I had thought nothing of it. That was not one of my purposes for learning to do this, and I hardly expected it. Yet, it was unmistakable to me how much God moved in our time out of doors.

Christians are familiar with the phrase, “Grow where you’re planted,” and we often think in terms of careers and family. Perhaps God also places us in our neighborhoods for the same reason. There’s work to be done. The harvest is plentiful. Grab that plowshare and get outside!

(Confession #6 - I have no idea what a plowshare is.)

So, while Max and I had carried out the coffin table (our garden box constructed of pallet boards), layered it with some river stones on the bottom, then yard soil, and finally a homemade potting soil mix (found in Post 1), we were not just preparing our garden soil for planting next weekend. We were embarking on an experience that I now understand is probably going to change our lives.

May we all pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. (Matthew 9:18)

Next up: Choosing what to grow and planting!

Till then, I’m becoming more and more excited to be

Peasantly Yours,

Meg Grimm

Meg is a writer, dreamer, church secretary and member of her church council. When she is not working in ministry, she spends her days creating new plans, uncovering secrets of the historic past and trying to snatch as much free time as she can to pen her book ideas. Meg is a newly-wed, age undisclosed, who is committed to living a natural lifestyle according to what she understands from God’s Word. She drags everyone that she can along for the ride, especially her husband and pets.

#gardening #organic #weeding

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