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    Dominion Musings

    June 28, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    First and foremost, man was created to have dominion over the earth. Tend the garden, that sort of thing. Due to the curse upon the land, toil was introduced. My backyard is particularly good at growing weeds. However, we are learning to also grow plants that have more value. These are my useful plants, grown not for their beauty, but for food. In fact, the plants I have grown for beauty are currently deceased and I do not see an imminent resurrection in their future.

    Last night, my son came in, red in the face. He was sweating from Backyard Toil. He and my husband have worked tirelessly in the flower beds, clearing out the weeds, making room for Useful Plants. (They do this while the toddler repeatedly hurls herself head-down on the slide and then complains that she bumps her head.) E. told me that he was sweaty from the work, and he was so proud of that. A garden is good for more than food.

    Last night, we hilled our pumpkins. The children helped, and they each got to plant a seed. Next week, we will hill one more. Pumpkins need so much space, but we love them. E. has a dream of having a fruit stand in the front yard and selling pumpkins to the neighbors. He is anticipating a future that is hard to imagine, because right now all we have are two dirt hills with eight feet of vacant land around them.

    Gardens are a good lesson in patience, now that I think of it. Did you know that it takes a hundred and twenty days to get to the pumpkin harvest once the seed has been planted? I certainly had no idea, and if my father hadn’t drawn this to our attention, we might never have planted on time. But now we have two dirt hills {soon to be three} and the anticipation of pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, and a fruit stand.

    What is a seed but hope for the future?

    Of course, there is also the harvest. The zucchini is producing more than we can handle. This has been benefitting our next-door neighbor a bit. The sunflower is climbing tall, and we are about to research how to harvest the seeds. The watermelon is still going to be a while, and so is the corn, but we can see them getting bigger and stronger every day.

    The strawberries, on the other hand, look like they are hanging on for dear life.

    And then there is my Beautiful Plant, which is not too beautiful, as I explained in the beginning. The first day of the summer that we hit one hundred degrees, this plant looked a bit hesitant. Then, I sent my son out to give it some extra water. Only he became distracted by the killdeers, which seemed to need chasing, and he never did it. And I didn’t know. And that was the end of Beautiful Plant.

    We are thinking about transplanting some geraniums into the pots. They are quite a bit tougher.

    And this is the end of my garden musings. I never thought of myself as the gardening type. I watched in amusement in early college when Rebecca tenderly nursed her African violet. She used to feed it and water it and put special light on it, and I thought, all that for a plant? And now, here we are, hoing and watering and hilling and feeding and loving {almost} every second.

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