Seven years ago, my husband, Jose, and I decided to start a home garden. We were impressed by the Lord to embark on this journey to try to produce most of what we consume. It has been quite a ride and our garden has seen great success over the last two years. Gardening has become our passion. This summer, during the Southwest Region Conference Virtual Camp Meetings, we shared a testimony about our experience with gardening and country living. Jose and I were taken aback by the response.
Text and Facebook messages from church members who had been motivated to start their own home gardens began pouring in. Others, who had had a garden for some time, reached out to us to share their experience. It was exciting to connect with brothers and sisters who were encouraged to start their own journey, as well as those who are already doing it.
One online friend got excited and started with something easy for the beginner gardener—radishes and beets. Although she was discouraged to discover that some animal had feasted on her root vegetables this summer, her perseverance and patience produced her first harvest of beetroots and radishes this fall. Another person shared that after throwing some pumpkin seeds in the yard and making no effort to maintain it, she came to harvest several pumpkins. Among other messages and calls, we were asked what growing methods we use, how we make the compost and how we resolve certain problems.
Connecting with Others
The flood of responses laid a burden on Jose’s and my heart to create a personal ministry through which a virtual community could connect new and experienced gardeners to share their experiences and exchange ideas and methods. We planted the seed and the ministry has begun to grow.
Our online community meets through a Facebook Group called “Tiempo de Siembra - Sowing Time.” Our main vision is encouraging families to establish and eat from their own gardens. We believe God has a beautiful plan for each family to be able to rely on their gardens for much of their food.
Before sin, God placed the first couple in a garden where He assigned them the work and responsibility of working and eating from the earth. In addition to benefits to their health and physical well-being, the garden became the home of Adam and Eve. There, they also gained spiritual benefits, because it was the place where they met with God, and exercised faith in Him by eating from the tree of life.
Of all the activities that man can undertake today, having a garden provides maximum benefits: 1. Cultivating the earth helps regenerate it so that it produces more; 2. Working the garden allows us to exercise arm muscles, as well as upper and center torso, abdomen and legs; 3. Planning and applying principles, harvesting and preserving helps exercise the brain and mind; 4. We produce healthy foods, free of pesticides and modified organisms; 5. We do not have to rely entirely on commercial agriculture for our fresh produce; 6. We learn spiritual lessons expressed in the wonders of nature and the laws that govern God’s world.
A home garden is vital for families who want to live and eat healthily. Establishing one is possible on front and back patios, roofs, walls and even in pots. It only takes intention and planning, simple calculations to know how much to sow and basic knowledge of methods and their region, etc. After practice, care and perseverance, any family can declare victory in their garden!
We would love to connect with you and connect you to other gardeners. These photos are of our new friends and their crops. Join our community as we journey on this road together through conversations, tips, workshops and training.
To view our testimony and join our group, visit us at Facebook.com/groups/TiempodeSiembra.SowingTime
By Leslie Soupet, Southwest Region Conference Executive Administrative Assistant and Gardening Enthusiast