We are becoming more and more serious about gardening as each day passes. A month or two ago, we decided that one of our eventual goals was for our garden to completely sustain our vegetable needs. If all goes well, perhaps trips to the grocery store will be for meats and other animal products only (we would still have to buy grains, oils, etc. in bulk though).
This would mean that we'd have to submit our eating habits and desires to the seasons. We live in USDA hardiness zone 7B, which means we will not be able to have typical summer produce year-round. That would be foodstuffs like tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, and cucumbers, which are some of the things that are growing in our garden right now. Just my luck that those are some of my favorite fruits and vegetables. I've never had a great liking for most of the typical winter veggies like cabbage, turnips, and broccoli. But if we want to be self-sufficient in our produce needs, I am going to have to learn to like these things. Likewise, we are going to have to learn to go without our favorite fresh summer produce in the colder months.
We are going to voluntarily refrain from the urge to get tomatoes in the dead of Georgia winter. We have given much thought and consideration to long term produce storage, and have been buying seeds of varieties that keep well. We are also planning on buying a pressure canner, and we have a chest freezer and dehydrator as well. We are planning on setting up a root "cellar" in the garage or somewhere in the house. The fact is, though, that we are just going to have to accept that we won't be able to have fresh, straight-from-the-backyard tomato basil soup all year round.
Last week, Harmony and I recognized that God might be using our desire for a sustaining garden to teach us a lesson in submission. There are seasons in life where we want this... or we want that... or feel like we really need this. I want red juicy tomatoes and sweet red bell peppers all year round, but cannot have them. We hope that our garden will produce enough so that we will have plenty of vegetables to can and freeze. But we can't be certain. We hope the Lord will bless our harvest abundantly, but He might not. Perhaps God wants us to eat lots of cabbage, turnips, and winter squash this year.
Before we got married, we had our own plans for what life would be like right now. In some variety of our plans, I wouldn't have time to be writing this blog post because I'd be chasing a toddler around, with possibly another baby on the way. In another variety, I might be catching up on sleep lost from midnight care of a few-month-old infant (read about what could have been). This is not the way life has gone for us though; in fact, sometimes it seems like the children are being given to everyone except us. Countless times have we prayed for God to give us the blessing of children, but almost always accompanying those prayers are prayers for God to help us be willing to submit to His (possibly contrary) will.