“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” –John 15:1-2
One of my earliest memories as a child is following grandpa through the garden as he tilled between the rows with a push cultivator. My grandpa and my dad taught me everything I know about gardening. Growing up on a small farm in a small West Virginia community had an enormous impact on my life. Gardening is a great way to teach children lessons that will continue to grow throughout their lives.
In life you have to start right. Whether raising a child or raising a garden, you have to create a place for them to grow and flourish. Plants need a nurturing home. That is why we till the garden, add lime to adjust the pH, and add compost to give little seedlings the best start possible. Once the roots are established, that little sprout will grow into a healthy, vigorous plant with the proper care.
I learned that gardening takes discipline, responsibility, and patience. If you work hard, remove weeds, nourish with fertilizer, train young vines, and give your plants plenty of water, you will succeed. Gardening will give you a harvest equal to the amount of effort you are willing to put into your garden.
“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.” –John Ruskin
It was in the garden that I first observed nature up close. Watching ants construct their little cities, bees buzzing around blossoms, and plucking off potato bugs … that job also taught patience. Looking back, it is no surprise that I majored in biology and technology education. I have always been fascinated by the miracle and mysteries of the world around us.
Gardening connects us to nature. It teaches us right from wrong in a very real and tangible way. I remember losing a crop of freshly transplanted tomato plants when I was a teenager because I was “too tired” to water that hot summer day. Gardening takes responsibility. It is a microcosm of parenting. We should always strive to be the best gardeners we can.
Thanks Dad and Grandpa,
John R. Morgan