With Thanksgiving only a few days away, one thing that we must recognize and voice thanks for is abundance. No doubt, 2020 has had its challenges, but so have other years throughout history. As Americans, we have been tremendously blessed with abundance.
My husband and I were talking the other day, and we both think that this has been one of the best gardening years that we have ever had. God has blessed our efforts, and we have been able to preserve and share a lot of food and herbs.
If you garden year-round as we do, the gardening season slows down in the later months but it’s never really over. Right now, we are growing and harvesting greens. Winter came early this year, and the damaging ice storm stopped all outside production, but the raised beds in the hoop house are going strong!
My favorite leafy greens to grow are spinach and romaine lettuce. Those dark green leaves love the cooler temperatures, and they are crisp and sweet right out of the ground.
In the summer, when it’s hot outside, fresh salads always sound so good. But, in central Oklahoma, greens are out of season then and not readily available. I have learned to enjoy fall and winter salads when the lettuces, spinach, kale and other leafy vegetables are abundant. Eating and drinking through the seasons is a learned practice but one that is well worth the effort.
For those of you who might want to consider growing leafy greens here are few helpful tips:
- Greens are a cool season crop. In central Oklahoma (Zone 7) they need to be grown in the fall or early spring. If you attempt to grow during our warm months, they will bolt quickly and taste bitter.
- Greens enjoy plenty of space and water. You can sew your seeds abundantly but make sure that you thin them out a bit and give your plants plenty of room to grow. Don’t be stingy with your water! You don’t want to overwater and keep them soggy but they do enjoy regular, consistent watering.
- Greens like nutrient-rich soil. Make sure that you’ve prepared for them a spot to grow that has had some good compost or other soil-building matter added to ensure success. If you feed them, they will in turn feed you!
- Choose the right varieties. This can be the difference in your success or lack thereof. If you need help with selecting varieties, Oklahoma State University offers fact sheets that can guide you. Here’s a link.
During the summer when berries, tomatoes, okra and peppers are abundant, that’s what we find ourselves eating. But, during the fall, when mostly root vegetables and greens are available, that is what is on our plates. Out of the abundance of what is growing in our garden is what we eat.
The same is true in our Christian walk. If our lives are filled with goodness then out of the abundance we bear good fruit. On the flip side, if our lives are filled with evil then out of the abundance evil abounds.
Luke 6:45 says it like this, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Do you realize that your heart is a storehouse for good and evil and it’s not a secret closet? Everyone can clearly see what you are storing up just by listening to the words that you speak.
Brothers and sisters, let us fill our hearts with thankfulness and our minds with gratitude. Let us stay in God’s Word until it permeates our lives. Let us eagerly surrender to the Holy Spirit and see others as more important than ourselves.
Let us fill the storehouses of our hearts with goodness until they are overflowing. Let us understand that the most important task before us is to advance the Gospel.
Heavenly Father, please let our lives glorify You out of abundance.