May I suggest….
A gardener’s journal… or a summer log… a season’s log…
I’m making one of these so that I can keep a running log of what’s going on in the garden — and what’s *supposed* to be going on ~wink~ in the garden.
As an example… my entries are including what’s being picked now, what I need to do as far as clean-up, storage, etc., etc. I’m dividing a simple notebook into sections — a section for an overview of our yard/garden (what’s planted where) and a basic timeline for maintenance. In this way, I can see when something was planted, if it’s in an optimal place, when it was fertilized and when it will need to be done again.
It also alerts me to what needs to be pruned this autumn and what can wait for springtime — I think I’ll make a note of the results of prior year’s pruning — especially if we made significant changes or did more drastic cutting.
As I make a note of vine fruits or tree fruits and their initial ripening date or length of harvest, I can better plan for food preservation — as an example, I can note when we first pick the strawberries or raspberries, when the black berries were ready and when the Italian prunes will be ready. As I see the squirrels gathering and running off with the hazelnuts, I’ve made a note of the date and in this way, I can better plan for getting the buckets ready and the nuts picked up. Since this is not a new activity to me and I’ve never really taken the harvest all that seriously, I’ve always just watched for the squirrels — but now I’m thinking it’d be wise to be a better steward of these trees and so, having the log will help me to keep better track of harvest dates. Who knows? I just might start keeping track of just how many buckets of walnuts and hazelnuts we actually gather. Until now, the amount has been generally quantified: a bunch or a whole bunch. We’ve tended to figure them in terms of prior years — more than last year or not as many as last year. While that seems to have been sufficient, I’d still like to have a better idea so that I can measure how well the different pruning styles have affected or will affect the next season’s yield.
I think that one of the most important reasons I want to maintain this gardener’s journal is so that I will be more accountable or more responsible with the bounty I’ve been given. I read something some time ago… a mother talking with her daughter describing someone’s character and it went something like this: ” they’re the kind of people who let blackberries die on the vine.” Now that may not seem like all that big a deal — perhaps unimportant, really, but I read that with some measure of conviction bcz I’ve allowed blackberries and many, many other things to just die on the vine. I don’t want to be the kind of woman who lets fruit die on the vine. I don’t want to waste opportunities or waste what I’ve been given. Wasted seasons… the fruit of a season dying on the vine. God gave me a great blessing as I let that mother’s comment sink down in my ears… to my shame, I remember many seasons where fruit was left on the vine to fall to the ground. And, so… in light of this, in light of God’s great love, grace, mercy and kindness, I endeavour to, from this day, so far as it depends on me, to be careful with what He’s given me to tend.
Has God given me fruit, a harvest, a bounty… that I’ve let die on the vine? What can I learn and change? Have I been careful with what He’s allowed me to grow? Have I cultivated, pruned, watered, weeded and tended well to the garden the Lord has given me? What can I do today? How can I best plan for and invest in this and the coming season? I repent, I rejoice, I seek and find my answers in the Master Gardener’s Journal and I take another step today…