I have a beautiful plant that a friend gave me a couple years ago. It started out as only two branches, and while one branch thrived, the other became weak and small. When I asked my mom how to treat the sick branch, she informed me that I must cut the longer branch and replant it because its roots were choking the smaller branch.
That terrified me! What if I lost the entire plant?
At the time, I would rather have had one long, beautiful branch than no plant at all. In the end, I followed her advice and now I have a beautiful, full plant that I prune often.
Essentially, what looked healthy on the outside was actually very sick under the soil. John 15:2 extols:
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesso that it will be even more fruitful.
“Prune” in that verse is the Greek word Kathairo, which means pure, clean, without stain, and without spot. To kathairo is to cleanse from filth, purify, and remove defilement or imperfections. It may seem like an oxymoron, but in order to truly grow, we must constantly prune away dead leaves and cut back overgrown branches. We must be willing to cut out all that God reveals as impure in our life if we want to truly grow in Him.
Who are you allowing to do your gardening? 1 Corinthians 15:33 teaches us that “bad company corrupts good character”. Do not allow just anyone to do your pruning; the only suitable gardener is God.
This weekend was BEAUTIFUL in Nashville! So much so, that instead of just driving by Home Depot, I decided I must stop in to find lettuce plants to start my 2011 garden.
I know, I know…I’m a glutton for punishment after my $30 organic tomato gardening adventure last year that only resulted in 4 measly green tomatoes after months and months of TLC.
But the sun was shining, the weather was crisp, and I just couldn’t help myself! So I found some bibb lettuce and green leaf lettuce (along with a green pepper and cucumber plant) that were each on sale for only $1.68 each and VOILA! you have the masterpiece below:
Only time will tell what this year yields, but I appreciate any prayers and green thumb wishes you could send my way! If nothing else, it just goes to show that even in an apartment, you can grow your own vegetables!
Ever since moving to Tennessee, I was determined to have a home garden. However, this can be quite difficult when living in an apartment (and even more so when I’ve never gardened before, that is, aside from a few herbs and such).
So when I wanted home grown tomatoes, I went to my local depot store to ask advice for my tomato garden. I picked up a couple tomato plants, some organic soil and a few herbs to surround it.
Much to my surprise, the tomato plants grew so quickly that I soon had to return to purchase some wire cones to help stabilize them.
While I wasn’t completely diligent over the summer when it came to watering and tending my garden, I did spend a lot of time trying to cultivate these elusive plants.
Still, despite their plant growth, they produced no fruit…
That is until last month. I got so excited to discover my first tomato pop up in October! I went away for the weekend and returned home to discover three more! My hard work and $30 investment was finally paying off. Sure, at about $8.50 each (not including labor cost), these were expensive tomatoes, but at least it wasn’t for nothing.
*Enter freeze warning*
Me: “If plants freeze, do they die?”
Compassionate yet chuckling husband, “Uh…yeah.” (I think there was a “Duh” in there somewhere, but I pretended not to hear that part)
So I was forced to pick my precious plants well before their time. Here’s what I ended up with:
For those of you in Nashville, Cheekwood art & gardens is offering FREE admission this weekend! We haven’t been yet because admission is typically $10, but my mom is to town today for a visit and I’m so excited to be able to take her and the kids, especially with this FABULOUS weather we’ve been having!
I’ve also heard they have a wonderful children’s program on Saturday from 10a-12p, in addition to the 65 scarecrows on the grounds and the “Washington to Warhol” exhibit going on right now. Visit www.cheekwood.org for more details. Thanks, Ms. Cheap, for the info!
It’s summertime! Which means different schedules, fun in the sun and family vacations! As our own family prepares for a road trip next week, I’ve been wondering how we can make sure to keep up healthy eating habits even though our daily routine will go out the window.
Even when you’re being thrifty, you can still eat healthy. Make it a point to eat foods as God intended and in their natural state. I found an article from Earth’s Best that I want to share with you about helping you and your family eat healthy through the summer months:
Vacation is a wonderful opportunity for healthy eating. Not only are meal times more relaxed and less pressured, there is the undeniable, overwhelming abundance of fresh foods, dripping with summer goodness and nutrition just waiting to be enjoyed. With more time for eating, there can be less reliance on fast foods and more time to prepare and eat whole, natural foods. And, because kids like it simple, you can relay on the naturally rich flavors of fresh foods simply prepared.
Healthy eating habits are developed, not born. Making a practice of buying and serving mostly fresh, organic, and minimally processed foods will help your child grow a preference for those foods. Vacation time is an opportunity for you to reinforce those preferences. These practices can help:
- Make frequent trips with your kids to the local farmer’s market. Shopping for food becomes a fun outing when you go to an open-air market where fresh foods are the highlight. Let your kids participate in the choices.
- Build your meal around fresh vegetables and fruits. Instead of focusing summer meals on grilled meats, plan around the vegetables. For example, quarter and grill some sweet peppers, slice and grill zucchini basted with a favorite marinade or barbeque sauce, and serve with a small skewer of chicken or firm fish on the side.
- Grow a garden. Children will find joy and delight in actually being encouraged to dig in the dirt. There are even bigger rewards in watching seeds sprout. Closeness to the foods you eat supports a preference for those foods. Kid friendly crops that are easy and fast to grow include cucumbers, lettuce, radishes, beans and carrots.
- Make mealtime fun and relaxing. Have lots of picnics, even if just in the back yard. A picnic is a good place to begin serving fruit for dessert. Dine out on the picnic table, even for breakfast. New foods are better accepted in a relaxing atmosphere.
- Grill healthier choices. Instead of fatty hot dogs and burgers, try salmon burgers or veggie burgers. Try grilled fruit for dessert as a healthier sweet. Fruit is basically made up of water and sugar and by grilling it you can concentrate the flavors by reducing the water and caramelizing the natural sugars. To keep them from sticking to the grill brush with a tiny bit of butter.
- Be aware of the calories in summer foods, and make lower calorie and fat choices. Potato salad, laden with mayo, has loads of calories that most kids don’t need. Instead, try a corn salad with red pepper bits and a bit of oil and vinegar. Instead of an ice cream cone, make some juice pops in your own freezer.
- Don’t mistake thirst for hunger. If your child complains of hunger other than at meal or snack time, consider offering water first. Frequently thirst is mistaken for hunger.
- Allow for some indiscretions, such as at the state fair, or once in a while when the ice-cream truck comes around. With an otherwise healthy diet, there’s room for treats.