When I first started thinking about putting in a garden this year, way back towards the first of the year, I was a little apprehensive. This isn’t my first time at the rodeo, after all.  I tried to garden the very first year we moved here, and didn’t do well. It was a traditional garden, laid out in rows, and we had just cleared the property before we moved in. There were snakes everywhere, and I was terrified I was going to run into one of them.  I didn’t realize how much weeding and watering it would take, and I didn’t really know what I was doing.  The garden produced a few tomatoes and eggplants, but the chickens ate all the eggplants. I considered it to be a huge failure.

Then a year or two ago, I decided I wanted a garden, and when my sister in law and her husband decided that they wanted a garden too, my father in law tilled a shared garden for us between our two houses.  There were a couple of disagreements that made me uncomfortable, (And I still had a huge fear of snakes) and I just about abandoned the whole thing.  I wasn’t going to fight over a garden with people I have to live next door to for probably the rest of my life.

So when I started the garden this year, I was a little afraid that I was going to be flakey again, do all this work, and then not have anything to show for it. I decided I was going to do the lasagna bed method, and I was really anticipating that I was going to get laughed at. Especially if it didn’t work,

It worked.

Here you can see most of the tomatoes in all their glory. Chad and I made these supports using saplings from the woods. I just need this to be as cost effect as possible, and buying stakes wasn’t going to be cost effective. I think they look quite charming and rustic. And they do the job, which is all I need them to do.

I would say, so far, that lasagna bed gardening is very successful. Of course, I still have a ways to go. I still have to harvest and put up all those tomatoes (I had 54 plants at one point, but a couple have been lost along the way do to user error. I didn’t get things staked up soon enough, but that’s another story) My friend

and enabler, Tina, kept giving me tomato plants, and I kept planting them.  When she ran out of tomato plants, I planted cucumbers in the little space I had left.  We have been lucky, I think, this year, in that it has rained about every three or four days.  I have only had to go out and physically water the garden twice that I can think of.  I’m sure that’s coming though.  Hot and dry are always on the way in Oklahoma.

So, what changed? Why am I able to weed and work around the garden this year, despite the still highly irrational fear of snakes? Why am I able to keep it going this year when in previous years I didn’t work nearly so hard on the garden.  I think there are a couple of answers to that.

One, this garden is much nearer the house. When I go out to water and feed the rabbits, or take them ice bottles when it gets warmer, it only makes sense to walk around the garden, pinch off a few suckers on the tomato plants, pull a few weeds.  I can get sidetracked and spend an hour or two out there easily.  Two, it hasn’t been as warm.  You aren’t pushed back into the house by a blast of furnace hot air every time you open the back door.  Three, with gas and grocery prices being as high as they are, we are going to need every bit of produce I can coax from this garden. In fact, I’m still planting something where ever I find room.  I planted  bush beans between the cucumber plants, I plant lettuce in the shadows of the tomatoes (okay, that didn’t work too well, but I tried)  I plant successive batches of lettuce as I harvest one bunch, although it’s gotten a little too hot for that.

Mostly though, as with everything else in this life, it has to be a God thing. Early on, as I was reading my Bible, God kept leading me to verses  that dealt with working the land, and God providing for us through the work of our hands, and I knew this was what I needed to do this year.  It used to be that every family in the country had a family garden, and produced a lot of their own food.  So why did I feel like the only way God could provide for my family was through my husbands job?  I was being foolish, to think He could only provide through money.  So I planted the garden, I prayed for God to bless it, and then I kept praying.  And He has been good! He has let me experience the joy of watching this garden grow, in finding the first tomato blossom, the first tomato! In picking green beans off plants that grow right up to my clothes line, (I didn’t plant enough green beans, though, I should have planted much much more) in watching the cucumber plants explode like the fireworks on the Fourth of July.  I have had so much fun doing this, it has to be a God thing!

I’m still watching for the snakes though!