October 07, 2011

..but a tiny seed

i love this little garden.  initially it required a lot of care and patience to prepare it for the seeds.  when we started working on the plot of land, we needed to pull up grass and remove many rocks.  it was full of concrete pieces leftover from the construction of the water container foundation that was built adjacent to it.  the main activity of preparing the soil was taking food scraps from the kitchen and burrying it in the soil.  the kids enjoyed the burrying part the most. :)  i would later mix it up thoroughly, trying to spread it out while constantly removing concrete pieces and more rocks.  it took a lot of work to till the soil and continue working with it until it was ready to plant the seeds.

we had been saving local seeds: tomato, peppers, beans, watermelon & cucumber.  we chose a sprouted potato, too.  after the seeds were planted and the soil was bare, the kids wondered what was happening and how long it would take to see signs of their growth.  this required such patience.  we continued to water the soil, trusting that this was helping give 'birth' to the seedlings.  once they appeared through the soil we were happy and hopeful that this soil would support the growth of more plants.
i now wanted to try a little sheet mulching and plant some pea pods above it.  i dug out the soil, put lots of food scraps, covered them with some layers of cardboard, and then replaced the soil over that.  it's not the ultimate way to sheet mulch, but i still like the idea of it decomposing and gradually lending to rich, organic soil.  after the seedlings were growing, i chose another little area of the garden to sheet mulch as well.  i'm already looking forward to when this harvest is finished so we can retill the soil and cover all of the areas with sheet mulching.

the other day was the moment for which the kids had been waiting!  the bean pods were ready to be harvested -- they were jumping with excitement to show me, taking pride in all of the watering and care they had shown the plants in order to bring forth this 'fruit'.  i was so happy for them.  we cooked them that evening but the outer skin was very fibrous so we popped the beans in our mouths and enjoyed them on their own.  without mentioning anything about organic food, i felt in my heart while eating them that this food has the best nutrients and energy because it was grown here..and with that invisible component: love.

the kids in the neighborhood used to water the seedlings until school began.  now that the tutoring is underway and children's classes are beginning, i'll naturally incorporate growing seeds into the activities and lessons.  it is the perfect analogy for life.  we begin as tiny 'seeds'.  we require a lot of care and patience and proper nourishment.  we undergo tests or forces which challenge our development, all of which make us stronger ultimately.  and then we mature and bear forth fruits -- though for us the fruits of life are our children, acquired faith and knowledge, and deeds of servitude to the human race.  i've always enjoyed singing the kids' version of the prayer-song: "I am, O my God, but a tiny seed, which Thou hast sown in the soil of Thy love, and caused to spring forth by the hands of Thy bounty.."  i am constantly striving to educate children to see each other as little plants. :)

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