Friday, September 13, 2013

Reaping What They've Sewn

If you know my dad very well, you would know that he is a master gardener.
After a long day of work, he comes home and gardens outside until it is too dark to see what he is doing.
Rota-tilling, planting, weeding, watering, weeding
and eventually enjoying the fruits of his labors.
This year our own little ZZ would anxiously wait for Grandpa to get home to go out and "help" water the garden.

This year my dad grew an extra huge garden.
Pumpkins,
Onions,
Bell Peppers, 
Jalapeños,
Lots and Lots of Tomatoes,
And corn.
Every year my dad contemplates planting corn.
It's just a lot of extra work keeping the weeds from overgrowing the delicate seedlings.

About a month ago my dad walked into the house.
His face was pale.  He somberly asked me if we had had a wind storm.  
I had nodded and said it got kind of crazy.
My dad's corn was just about ready to be harvested.
The windstorm knocked a bunch of it over and broke the stalks.

Luckily a lot of it still survived and were were able to get plenty to stuff our freezer.
We had an awesome FHE  
picking and husking the corn from my dad's garden.
 Yah-Yah and I were there too...
For days afterwards ZZ would ask to go out and take care of the 'trees'.

Sergio has been asking for corn for the last several years to make Argentine humitas.
He spent one of his days off picking, husking, and de-corning cobs.
Then passing it through a blender.
I picked this beaut out of the garden.

ZZ helped me scrub it down.
It was as big as our sink.
I scooped the seeds, peeled it, broke it down, and graded it. 
Then Sergio worked his magic.
We ended up with something that looked like this.
With a little cheese and some ground peppers we were in heaven.
And since Sergio is the one that was in charge, 
and was sure that the recommended serving size wasn't going to be enough, 
we now have enough Humita in our fridge for 1 year of food storage.
It was totally worth it, since he has been craving humita since last fall.
Hopefully he will get his fill and not need any more for a year or so.

Yesterday my mom started on the tomatoes.
With a little more help than she probably wanted. 
ZZ loved helping.
So far mom has made tomato sauce,
a little tomato juice,
and a bunch of cans of spaghetti sauce.
It looks and tastes wonderful.

The lessons that can be learned from having a garden are endless.
I love the 'reap what you sew' lesson.
The choices we make now always have consequences.
Sometimes they are immediate, but usually they take time before we see the results of what we have done.

What kind of a garden am I planting?

What will be my fruits?

What am I doing today that will affect how my children grow and what they will become?

I know from my father's example that it takes an enormous amount of work to make sure that the weeds don't take over what you have planted.

How am I going to protect them from the weeds that are so common today?

Even after everything that we do, there are still circumstances that we are completely out of control of the outcome.  There would have been no way for my dad to protect his corn from the wind.
At the time it seemed like we might not have corn.
A few weeks later he still harvested more than we could possibly eat.

I asked my mom yesterday why she thinks that my dad eats a fresh tomato sandwich every day.
My mom said that they are one his favorite things and he eats them every year.
I agree.  I think they are one of his favorite things.
Not because tomato sandwiches are the very best food ever, as much as there is nothing like having the opportunity to really enjoy what you have spent so much time working for.

Equally important is how will I use the fruits that are already available in my life?
Like my mom has taught me, year after year, you take what you get, you cook it, season it and make the very most of what you have been given to be able to preserve it and later you enjoy it when those fruits are no longer available.
I hope that I can take everything that my parents have taught me, preserve them and pass those things on to my children to use when someday they might not be around or available.
I'm so grateful for my parents and family 
and all they have taught me, 
and for their wonderful parents and family that taught them.
I'm grateful for this years harvest 
and it's not even over yet.
I'm grateful for the farmers who pray 
for their crops in church, 
and the profound impact that their 
faith has on me every year.
I will be forever grateful for the 
lessons that I am learning from 
watching, waiting and working for the fruits of our labors.

1 comment:

Lene said...

beautiful post!

I miss all of you so much...