Honestly, God’s Providence never ceases to amaze me.
So far, by His Grace, everything has gone along smoothly in getting our Back to Eden garden started.
From the seeds, to the water, to the newspapers, to the soil, to the covering… it’s just all fallen into place like it was meant to be.
Providence in the Seeds
When we decided to build a Back to Eden garden, the first thing we determined was to plant only open-pollinated heirloom variety seeds. We want to grow tried and true varieties that will keep producing as long as we collect and save the seeds from season to season. I did some research to find a supplier that offered quality seeds at prices I could afford, and found what we were looking for in Mozybeau Farms. My great Bucket-O-Seeds had all but a handful of fruits and vegetables that I wanted to grow, and then it had plenty more that I’d never even tasted, much less dreamed of growing.
And whaddya know!? Sid Ratliff, the Kentucky-based owner of Mozybeau Farms, turns out to have family that lives not too far from me here in coastal North Carolina. Small world!
The seeds his family sells appear to be high quality and they are germinating very nicely. I look forward to starting more seedlings over the weekend.
Providence in the Water
With Paul Gautschi’s great explanations about virtually every aspect of how to successfully have a Back to Eden garden in the FAQ section of the film’s website, I had never even given much consideration to how I would water my plants if they needed them in the summer. I had taken for granted that I’d just hook up a longer water hose to our outlet and use it to douse our crops under the summer sun when needed.
Thank the Lord for sending the right people our way at the right time. A cousin had heard me talking about my garden plans and told me to contact one of his other cousins (on his mother’s side of the family) to see if he could help me find a good source for my soil/compost mixture to go between the newspapers and wood chips. This cousin of his, Danny, has a landscaping business and was bound to have some useful information for this unique coastal area.
Sure enough, Danny came out nearly two weeks ago and gave me a mountain of advice about how to deal with a number of adverse conditions here on the island. Eventually, the question of what my plans were for irrigating my garden, or did I plan to water it at all or just hope that rain did the trick. I told him I’d be praying for enough rain throughout the summer, but that if need be, I could always just bring out the long water hose.
He said, “Whoa! You definitely do NOT want to use the island’s water on your vegetable garden. Way too much chlorine. You’ll kill your plants.”
He ultimately helped us figure out exactly how we could water our plants using the natural water resources right here. I was grateful — and relieved! — that his knowledge helped me to prevent a potential gardening catastrophe before it happened!
Providence in the Newspapers
Late yesterday afternoon, my son and I were in town and not too far from the local newspaper offices. There they have huge recycling bins that are often full of stacks of newspaper bundles available to anyone who wants them — that is if they haven’t already been emptied for recycling.
We were a little frustrated to pull into the parking lot, back up to the bins and then find them empty. I went up to the back door of the facility, which was right near the bins and asked when they might have more papers. A nice young man told us to come back Thursday morning early — before 8am — because by then they’d be full, but they’d be picked up for recycling around nine. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to make it Thursday morning because of a prior commitment, I resolved that we’d just have to wait and try again next week. Just then, another young man appeared asking, “What is it that they need?”
When I told him we were wanting some bundles of newspapers for recycling, he said, “I’ve got plenty in my van! I haven’t put them into the bins yet.”
He directed me to back up to his delivery van, which I did, then he helped me load up the back of my SUV again with newspapers.
And because God is not only gracious, but He also has a sense of humor, the last two stacks of newspapers were from another nearby town’s paper from two weeks ago featuring none other on the cover than local medical yoga therapist and songstress, Ginger Garner, a friend of mine for whom I just contributed my first guest piece for her blog today. The funniest part is, one of the budget tips in my article on her blog is about starting your own garden to grow your own organic vegetables.
Providence in the Soil
As it turns out, aside from the annoying wire grass that has been a plague on the patch that will be our garden, the soil is actually much better already than it was a couple of years ago. I’m guessing this is because of allowing our attempt at a garden from a couple of years ago to just die and go back into the ground, thereby nourishing the soil, and as we’ve mowed that area over the last couple of years, we used a mulching mower that just left the grass cuttings on the ground to go back and feed the soil.
Our landscaping connection, Danny, recommended putting black plastic down for a couple of weeks before going in with the newspapers, topsoil/compost mixture and wood chips, so we took his advice and are nearing the second week of the easy-bake oven for our lawn.
We’re hoping to take the plastic up this coming weekend and start putting down newspaper and at least some of the soil and wood chips covering.
Speaking of wood chips…
Providence in the Covering
Yesterday, I was delighted, of course, to receive my first pile of wood chips. I knew they would be delivered sometime soon, but didn’t know it would be yesterday. They came courtesy of our new friend, Danny — our cousin’s cousin and landscaping connection. As it turned out (there’s that Divine Providence again!), Danny knew a tree service guy who might be willing to bring us wood chips when he is working in our area. He called him up and asked him, and sure enough, he said he’d have at least one load for me this week.
Fast forward to yesterday, just as the tree service guy was done making his delivery and was about to pull out of our driveway, he hollered out the window, “Just let us know when you’re ready for some more.”
I told him to keep ‘em coming until we say, “Stop!”
We’re getting these chips for free, you know. Since there are some tree services in the area that would deliver chips for a fee, you can imagine how blessed I feel to be getting these fantastic chips at no cost. Since I’m on a tight budget, it helps to get things gratis whenever possible.
All in all, I’m encouraged. My son and I have prayed over our land. We prayed over our seeds. And we are praying for a garden that will be fruitful enough that we’ll have plenty to share with our neighbors and extended family. Because I never want to miss the chance to give God the glory He deserves, this post is just my way of saying, “Thank you!” to Him.