Trust and green beans

Trust and green beans

Have you noticed how life sometimes can be all marshmallows, donuts and chocolate cake? Everything goes smoothly and there are very few bumps in the road. Words and phrases like ‘blessings’ and ‘God is good’ easily flow from your tongue. It’s sunny season and everything is going well. Then at other times it seems to be broccoli, spinach and green beans. I actually like broccoli and spinach, but green beans just don’t tickle my fancy. What I’m getting at is that sometimes everything is veggies and no dessert. If feels like whatever can go wrong does go wrong and nothing you do makes the least bit of difference. Your speech is littered with words like ‘attacks’, ‘bad luck’ and ‘everything happens is threes’. Recognise it? That is how life seems to work. You might even think that God has forgotten you while everyone around you is going back for second and third portions of dessert, you are still stuck with the first plate of rapidly decaying green beans.
The good news is that God has not forgotten about you.
Deuteronomy 31:6, Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave of forsake you.
Isaiah 41:10, fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am you God; I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
While you are going through the hard times, God says that He is right there with you. He is strengthening you.
Psalm 46:1-3, God is our courage and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
These verses are speaking of much worse things than a plate full of veggies. To me it sounds like volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis. Disaster and destruction.
Psalm 23:4, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
God’s rod and staff speak to me about His commands and His ordinances. The rules we have been given to live by. We follow the rules and we know that God will come through for us. In the New Testament we have the example of Jesus. Jesus died for us so that we can be saved. We hold onto Him and we know that we are going to be saved. There is no doubt.
Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
We must not disregard the Old Testament and all the encouragement it gives. Everything works together as a whole toward our good.
I just want to come back to Isaiah 41:10 where it says God will strengthen us. Vegetables might not be everyone’s favourite food, but they are vital in every diet. We get so many essential vitamins, minerals and iron from vegetables that it will be very naive to think we can exclude them from our diet and still be healthy and have the same benefits as those who regularly eat them. The same goes for hard times. There’s a regularly quoted line that says, “you grow in the valleys, not on the mountain tops”. It is so, if we don’t go through the valleys of life and learn from them we are not going to grow in character or in faith. We need to experience hard times so that we can die to our own wants and start relying on God and start listening to, and following His voice.
Just think of that plate of veggies. If you don’t just eat the green beans and empty the plate, it’s going to be staring into your face for a long time. Let us just face the hard times the same way. Face them with the right attitude and with faith in God so that we can gain their benefits and get on with life.


I wrote about Spinach and Clover a while ago, and how clover wasn’t growing around the spinach, and it wasn’t.  My theory was that something in the spinach stopped the clover from growing near them.  Well, it rained again and I had a brand new crop of weeds, and my theory is busted!  There is clover growing right next to and around the spinach.


There’s the proof!!

As I’m watching my nice little theory float out of the window, it seems to me that very often we think we know the answers.  We have the proof and we can solve the problems life throws at us.  Until our theories as busted and everything we thought was a certain way isn’t anymore.  Our very foundations are shaken because things that we took for granted or built our lives around fall apart.  It could be because of illness, financial crisis or emotional issues.  There is always something that won’t work the way we planned it to.  That’s when our faith gets tested.  What do we really and truly believe in and stand on.  Do we have foundations that are strong enough not to crack?  Because human beings are really very fragile we can’t rely on our own strength and intellect to sort out every crisis that’s going to come our way.  I believe in God.  I believe that He sent his one and only son, Jesus Christ to die for me so that I can have eternal life.  I also know that when things go crashing down around me, He will be the one I can rely on. The only one.  I am not perfect and I can panic and doubt with the best of them, but when push comes to shove, I know where my faith lies.

Anyway, I have killed some weeds (organically) by using a mixture of vinegar, salt and dishwashing liquid.  I got someone to dig over the section of ground next to the piece I’ve already planted on.  I allowed the weeds to grow and last week I decided they were really flourishing, but they hadn’t produced seed yet.  I waited for a warm day and sprayed them quite early.  By the middle of the day they had stared to wilt and by the end of the day the leaves were already turning yellow.  I removed a strip of weeds from the edge of that patch and dug it over again.  I divided it into 6 sections and make little mounds that I planted mealies (maize) on.  I’m going to plant beans around them so that they can climb up the mealie stalks and then I’m going to plant squash around them to keep the soil cool and free from weeds.  I read that the indigenous people in America did it that way and called them the Three Sisters.  So we’ll see if it works in Africa too.


I had some very over ripe bananas that I dropped into holes that I dug between the mounds the mealies are planted on.  This is where I’m going to plant the squash seeds.

The other thing I’m really excited about is the apple seed that germinated.  I can envision the beautiful tree full of lovely apples. I also sowed some nasturtium seeds next to my cabbages.  Hopefully they are going to attract the bugs that would normally attack the cabbages. Like a decoy.


My apple seed

This week I’ll try and get rid of the rest of the weeds and see if I can get some beetroot and carrot seeds sown.  Have faith and keep smiling!


Spinach and clover

​I really need to write!! I haven’t written in more than a week and what’s inside of me wants to jump out onto the paper. 

After the lovely rains my vegetables have grown so much, but so have the weeds! Last Saturday I spent almost 2 hours just weeding. While I was waging war on the undesirable elements between my beautiful veges, I noticed something extremely interesting. Only certain weeds were growing between certain vegetables. There was no clover between the spinach. Not a single one. The clover was very luxuriant around the onions and also the garlic, but where the spinach started there was a straight line where the clover stopped. I wish I had taken a photo to prove it.

My theory is that elves came at night and stole all the clover … I wish!! If that was so I could train them to take out all the weeds. On a serious note, I suspect that spinach and clover are simply not compatible and cannot exist in a symbiotic relationship. In companion planting we see that certain plants grow well together and others don’t. 

These are the first peas that actually made it to the pot from my garden home!

It works that way with people too. Some people just don’t get along. There’s no apparent reason; the relationship simply does not work. I think when we realize that there are people who, despite our best efforts, we cannot get along with we should do what the clover does and keep away from them. I know that I should be saying you should show them love, and by all means do, just remember that not everybody will be your friend. 
Coming back to the spinach, I harvested my first leaves for spinach and feta pies. When I weighed them they came to 2,4 kg. Enough for quite a few pies and the first vegetables from my garden that get used for the shop. 

I’m going to share a recipe I made during the week. These snacks are excellent as an appetizer.

I gratted baby marrows (about 2 cups full and blotted up some of the moisture with a kitchen towel) added 2 beaten eggs, 1/3 cup of flour (I used gluten free) and salt. Mix it and press it into an oven pan that’s been lined with baking paper. Its less than 5mm thick. Bake for 25 minutes @ 180°C. Remove from the oven an sprinkle liberally with cheddar cheese. Replace in the oven just till the cheese melts. Cut into squares and serve. They’re really delicious. 

The baby marrow bake before it went into the oven.

Have a lovely weekend.