Saturday, February 11, 2017

Tried and True or What’s New—Carolyn R. Wilker

In my household, tried and true is a good thing for many reasons. Whatever works, we keep on with it, whether it’s a particular way of planting or making a pot of soup. Whether it’s a way of building something or a system for filing important papers. Sometimes, though, it’s good to break out of a rut, if one could call it that, and try something new.

The philosopher in Ecclesiastes declares that generations come and go, that the sun rises and sets and confirms that “There is nothing new under the sun.” (v. 1:9c, NIV) While those things regarding creation remain the same, if the philosopher were here, I might argue that there are new things under the sun. Maybe not the way the water flows to the sea or the return of seasons, or the wind blowing as it does. It’s good to have some things that remain consistent. But there are new ways of doing many things.

            In our time, we have telecommunications systems that the philosopher could never have dreamed of. We have Go Bus, Go Train, printing presses that are much more efficient than the first presses invented. Our way of sharing ideas is different, with internet and Smart Phones and the iPad, for example. Perhaps the ideas are limited, but the way of expressing them can be quite varied.

Several years ago, I got tired of my garden not producing in our sandy soil, no matter what I did or how hard I worked and watered it. Some plants did alright and others failed. 

A friend shared an idea on her Facebook page that she found on some other social media sharing place. A raised bed, in which we could add better soil, would be less stress on the back leaning down to plant, and we could put netting over to keep the small animals out so the plants get a chance to grow. I thought the idea was brilliant and I was able to get my husband—who likes tried and true the best—on board. That was March. In May, when it was time to get things planted, he completed the raised beds and we put them in place and filled them with new and better soil, with a lot of help from family members and a neighbour. Thus we began a new way of gardening.

Since then I’ve learned about Square Foot Gardening, an idea that the raised bed was built on. There were learning curves with this kind of gardening, for example how close could I plant the seeds or seedlings so they have room to grow and aren’t crowded. It’s been a successful venture even if my tomato plants grew through the netting. And it’s been fun, too, for my grandchildren to help me plant and water.

 And here’s where I’m glad for what doesn’t change, that the rain falls from the sky to water the plants, the water we collect from the downspouts into our rain barrel that’s the best kind of water for the plants—warm and soft.  Also I'm grateful that the seeds grow as they are intended to, and the sun shines, and that God, the creator, is in charge of all that. We just have to be good stewards and take care of what we have, using it wisely.

Carolyn Wilker is a writer and editor from southwestern Ontario, Canada


Peter Black said...

I enjoyed this, Carolyn. Raise gardens are certainly becoming popular nowadays. Those look like sizable installations your hubby has put together. We have sandy soil, which has benefits (e.g. good drainage) and banes as well. The cutie in the pics is a charmer! ~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Hello Peter,

Sandy soil is good for some plants but not all of them. The cuties are my two oldest grandchildren. Thank you for your kind comments.

fudge4ever said...

Hi Carolyn, I discovered square foot gardening a few years ago as well. What a difference it has made! I am no longer the messy gardener - weeds are a trivial concern at best. However, I had to learn lessons the hard way too, such as not planting zucchini in the same box as my cucumbers - I should have known they would take over the entire box! And corn did not do well in a box either. I love the raised beds and look forward to gardening again this spring....hmmmm, what should I plant?
Thanks for sharing Carolyn - and yes, there are some tried and true that always work - thanks to the Lord for His constant goodness t us!
Pam Mytroen

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