Pumpkins. Harvested from a vine or a can?

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“On the drive home from our morning’s errands we even passed a pumpkin field where an old man and a younger one worked together to harvest their crop, passing up the orange globes and stacking them on the truck bed to haul to market. We’d driven right into a Norman Rockwell painting.

Every dog has its day, and even the lowly squash finally gets its month. We may revile zucchini in July, but in October we crown its portly orange cousin the King Cucurbit and Doorstop Supreme. In Italy I had nursed a growing dread that my own country’s food lore had gone over entirely to the cellophane side. Now my heart was buoyed. Here was an actual, healthy, native North American vegetable, non shrink-wrapped, locally grown and in season, sitting in state on everybody’s porch.

The little devil on my shoulder whispered, “Oh yeah? You think people actually know it’s edible?”

The angel on the other shoulder declared “Yeah” (too smugly for an angel, probably), the very next morning. For I opened our local paper to the food section and found a colorful two-page spread under the headline “Pumpkin Possibilities.” Pumpkin Curry Soup, Pumpkin Satay! The food writer urged us to think past pie and really dig into this vitamin-rich vegetable. I was excited. We’d grown three kinds of pumpkins that were now lodged in our root cellar and piled on the back steps. I was planning a special meal for a family gathering on the weekend. I turned a page to find the recipes.

As I looked them over, Devil turned to Angel and kicked butt. Every single recipe started with the same ingredient: “1 can (15 oz) pumpkin.”

From the book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver

Do you know where your vegetables come from?  Did you know that there are small farmers who grow seasonal fruits and vegetables that you can buy called CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture)?  In Kingsolver’s piece above the newspaper article purported to be seasonal, and possibly support the pumpkin harvest of the community.  How did they miss the mark?  How might we be missing opportunities today to support the farmer’s of our own community?

Photo of a typical CSA box

Photo of a typical CSA box

Born to Farming

Antonio Garza, farmer.  photo by Debbie Cunningham

Antonio Garza, farmer. photo by Debbie Cunningham

The Man Born to Farming

by Wendell Berry

The grower of trees, the gardener, the man born to farming,
whose hands reach into the ground and sprout,
to him the soil is a divine drug.
He enters into death
yearly, and comes back rejoicing.
He has seen the light lie down
in the dung heap, and rise again in the corn.
His thought passes along the row ends like a mole.
What miraculous seed has he swallowed
that the unending sentence of his love flows out of his mouth
like a vine clinging in the sunlight, and like water
descending in the dark?


Gardening and Godliness

A field of red poppies in France.  Photo by Corey Amaro

A field of red poppies in France. Photo by Corey Amaro

“I think gardening is nearer to godliness than theology.  True gardeners are both iconographers and theologians insofar as these activities are the fruit of prayer ‘without ceasing.’ Likewise, true gardeners never cease to garden, not even in their sleep, because gardening is not just something they do.  It is how they live.”

-Vigen Gerona, from The Fragrance of God

Is there a way in which your practice of faith is “never ceasing?”  How is it that you “live”.  What would it look like for you to “grow in faith” today?

Weeding or planting?

Soil Born Farm

Soil Born Farm

” In my world, gardening consists of a desperate scramble to remove marauding foliage before it engulfs the house. PLANT something? When? I suppose It might help if I were diligent. But I’m more of a diva gardener, awaiting the muse’s call. Conditions must be perfect — not too hot or cold or wet or buggy — or I simply cannot set foot on the leafy stage.

But occasionally, the stars do align and I head bravely into the yard, where it’s a more like a mad game of Tetris than the meditative, blissful communion with our plant brethren I see in magazines. The only thing I want is for weeds to disappear. Preferably whole sections at a time with a nice, satisfying poof. In the rare moments I do get ahead of the game, I still can’t plant anything because… HERE THEY COME AGAIN.

If gardening is like Tetris, then July is level 93. Weeds sprout faster than hands can move and if you fumble for even a minute, the yard will COMPLETELY FILL UP TO THE TOP and it will be GAME OVER.

By Eva Moon  

If you imagined that practicing your faith is like tending a garden…do you spend more time weeding or planting?  What is something that threatens to choke your faith?  How much diligence does it really take to keep your faith free from sprouting weeds?