The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
~Dorothy Frances Gurney, "Garden Thoughts"
I spent Easter Sunday near God's heart, out in the garden.
The local Quaker Meeting is more than an hour's drive away, so we do not attend: it's just impossible to justify the commute. Instead, we 'Isolated Friends' have our own quiet ways here at home. This morning after breakfast I read the Easter story to the kids from one of the Bible story books, and we talked about the various symbols of Easter and what they mean. Then everyone went off hunting for eggs and chocolate.
I did send them outside to hunt for real eggs too - we got eight eggs today! The chickens were definitely feeling the joy of Easter.
The rest of the day I spent out in the garden. The Reluctant Farmer fired up the bobcat and pushed mostly-composted dirt into the dips and gaps of the as-yet-unplanted section of the garden, then drove over it all several times to help level things out (the earth mover had gone through this area when the septic field was laid, and quite a few large divots were left behind). The Boy helped out by getting rid of all the bits of baling twine, fetching cold water, and sitting in the lawn chair supervising the action (his spring allergies are really knocking him for a loop this year).
A few scoops of really nice finished compost were set aside for the tomato beds, but there isn't enough that's properly cooked for us to create all the beds we need. However, the mostly-cooked organic matter we added today will make a good base for the 'lasagna beds' we will be creating in the next few weeks, and it'll finish composting down in place underneath the new garden beds. Even if we need to import a few bales of peat/soil mix for this year, which I think is probably unavoidable at this point, we should (God willing) produce more than enough to make our money back - and all of this infrastructure preparation is an investment for the future. This year, we are once again planting in the soil that was imported *last* year, too. It'll need to be topped up with some good compost, but we have just enough of our own to feed it. It'll be nice when we're caught up with the composting cycle.
The large compost heap from last year has now been fully turned, and it should cook down into beautiful soil by the end of summer, meaning that we'll be able to top up the garden with it come fall if all goes well.
Yes, in the garden we work with the Creator to bring forth good things from the earth. Watching seedlings turn into plants and plants turn into food is one of life's amazing experiences. Eating a meal gathered entirely from your own yard is even more incredible ... I can't wait. :)