I went to a friends house on Sunday after work and we worked in her garden most of the remainder of the afternoon. The boys added chicken wire to her fence to keep her baby chicks within the safety area (2 of them had already become snacks for the dogs) and the women all worked at planting tomatoes and peppers. She says we are welcome to the harvest, but there are some items I just won’t be able to bring myself to eat because she has used railroad ties as her raised beds. There are other areas that she has used bricks and I will be able to partake of the harvest from those areas.
Anyway, it gave me the gardening itch. I have not successfully planted a garden in the last 2 years. In 2010 I tried the square foot garden and it just didn’t work out with the type of soil I had delivered and I gave up rather quickly. Then in 2011, the heat was so unbearable and record breaking hot, that though a few things started growing, they quickly died!!!!
Our lawn mower is in the shop and it may be a while before it’s ready...before I can pay for the repairs. So the grass is like knee high and I couldn’t find anyone to till the entire yard for me to let the grass start over and to fill the holes and make everything even again. So, I just looked out with sadness because I couldn’t garden.
But then, I began to pray!!!!
Don’t you know God cares about the things that are on your heart?! Even things you think are minuscule and unimportant. His Word says....casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
We all go through moments where we think God only cares and wants to hear about the big things in our lives that we cannot handle on our own, but surely He wants us to handle the little things we can do for ourselves. However, that is NOT true and contrary to what His Word says. We are to bring all things to Him in prayer and supplication.
So I did!!!
And Wham, He began to give me ideas and such rather quickly. My mother had lots of pots. I quit buying them and gave her all of mine when we moved out here on the land. I figured with all of this land, there would never be another reason for me to need flower pots. However, she saw things differently and continued to grow things in the ground and in pots! My sister told me she would never use the pots and that I could have them and so God began to show me visions of food growing from pots and the one, lonely, broken, wheelbarrow I had. I was able to purchase 2 bags of top soil, 2 bags of manure, and 1 bag of peat moss and I filled everything I had (thought I had...I discovered about 5 more pots on the side of the shed). Then I began to plant...7 asparagus roots, 6 tomato plants, and some basil, zucchini, and cucumber seeds. I hope to get some green beans and watermelon seeds soon. Let me tell you, I had the most fun playing in the dirt and getting my hands dirty. Then I began to look out and remind God of the greater vision He gave me. I can literally see it before me, but it will take the better part of 1 - 1 1/2 years for it to be what I see in my minds eye.
How could I even start with no money? He said “start with what you have”!!
Hmmmm, start with what I have? What do I have? I have chickens...which we are no longer eating the eggs or meat of. My son asked could he sell the eggs and I said sure. He’d need more hens though to make any kind of real profit and to be able to buy their feed. How will we get more hens Lord when everyone is charging $10 and up for them. And then one of our hens went broody....first time ever!!! Then a second hen went broody on us....again, first time ever!!! I have another one that is getting broody, but she has no eggs to set on, so we are hoping she’ll lay soon and set on a few! Ok Lord, that will take care of the more hens issue, but they won’t start laying for 4 months after they hatch. Still NOT an issue, it’s an increase and a blessing!!!
My dream is to literally cover these 2 acres with a new home, a pool, fruit trees and hundreds of raised garden beds...leaving VERY LITTLE grass to be mowed, thus no need for the riding mower, my son can use it strictly for cutting others lawns and making an income for himself. I hope to be able to donate to our local food pantry and women’s shelter, and begin a Pick Your Own business, not to mention the harvest I will have for my own household! I don’t want to have to go to the grocery store for much at all!!!
Ok, so we moved a little shed that was sitting on the side of our house and not being utilized, into the chicken yard. It was hard work, but so well worth it in the end. I plan to purchase nesting boxes in the future that will hold 12 hens, but it also comes with roosting poles for the remainder that aren’t setting on eggs. Well, if I’m going to be doing raised garden beds and trying to do it all natural, I need compost. Hmmm, it takes a long time to compost chicken poop. But rabbit poop is ready to use immediately. Hmmm, my friend just had two rabbits to have babies. Wondered if she’d let me have a boy from one and a girl from the other, that way they can breed later and we can have lots of rabbit poop for composting and gardening!!!! I asked, she said YES!!!!! They’ll be weened in about 4 weeks!
Ok, Lord, we’ve got the chickens situated, we’ve got chicken poop. Now we need a rabbit hutch and a compost bin. Lord I don’t have money for wood to build anything....Show me Lord, You gave the vision, show me!
I look out my back door and my eyes fall on an old small chicken coop my husband built when we had chicks. I say small but it’s about 4 ft high and 8 ft long. This would make a perfect starter compost bin. One side for chicken poop and other compost stuff the other side for rabbit poop and compost stuff. Hmmmmm, I need pallets to make a third bin for finished compost that is ready to use. My friend has that too....I can have them!!!!
WOW Lord!!! You are really working this out.
Ok, back to rabbit hutch, what will I do for that? I went to bed and literally woke up the next morning with another vision. I have peg boards in my shed that someone gave to us. At the time I had no clue what to do with them, but now I visualize a rabbit hutch and for my son a hamster hutch....ahhhhh we can use hamster poop in compost too with the rabbit poop!!! I began drawing! I can’t draw, but I drew a perfect rabbit hutch. Then I began to write down all that I would still have to buy and God began to show me things to use instead of what I had written down and it all came out to be much cheaper!!! In the end when I am finally done, the rabbit hutch will cost me all of $25, for chicken wire, hinges for the doors, and cable ties. That’s it. These same supplies my son can use on his hamster cage! Now how awesome is that?????
Ok, so rabbit hutch figured out...check
hamster cage figured out...check
compost bins figured out...check
chickens set up...check
wait a minute, I’m going to need a trellis for my cucumbers and zucchini and soon green beans...Ahhhhhhh I’ve got old posts that can be used and pieces of fencing that can be attached to posts and put in pots with veggies and they can grow up the trellis. YAYYYY but wait, this may get too top heavy and fall over. Fill 4 pots with the bottoms of the posts and cement and then elevate them on cinder blocks right in front of the living room window. Train plants to grow up it, the vines will cover the fencing, the cement will keep things anchored and they won’t topple over, and the covered trellis will shade the window from the late afternoon sun and keep the room a bit cooler!!!! I’ll lose my beautiful view for the summer, but it’ll be much cooler in the house and I’ll get my view back in the fall.
Can’t wait to see what else the Lord will do, but whatever it is, you can best believe it will be GREAT, AWESOME, MARVELOUS....and PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!