Lettuce On Demand: Container Gardening 101
When what you need is close at hand, you will be more apt to reach for it and use it well. Nutritional food that's easy becomes convenient...and that does a body good.
I planted lettuce in shallow pots right on my deck earlier this spring. Now, in late spring--even before I've sown any seeds in my garden!--I have green, luscious leaves to consume anytime I want them...and oh, how I want them. Look at these beauties!
Whenever any of my family needs something fresh and quick and green for lunch or dinner, they just grab a pair of scissors and trim a few leaves to consume on the spot. Leaving the roots intact guarantees more leaves, always; they replenish themselves as they keep growing.
The life-giving properties of just-cut leafy greens are off the charts: look for a coming post on the benefits of eating ultra-fresh fruits and veggies (hint: they're made of energy, and it's still pulsing...) I'm a huge fan of local consumption, and it doesn't get more local than this.
The process of container gardening couldn't be simpler. Here's a short tutorial so you can start your own close-at-hand lettuce farm on your own deck!
shallow pots with drainage holes
potting soil (I use Miracle Grow brand)
seeds of choice
sun and water
Fill pots with soil.
I tamp it down by swishing the pot back a forth like a washing machine a few times to eliminate air holes and pack down the particles slightly, so I won't need to add more soil later after watering. The less disturbance after sowing the seeds, the better.
I made a spiral around on the surface, from the outside to the center. Since I had four pots, I used three packets of seed, and mixed a couple of kinds together in two pots for color and variety (hence the red and green you see in the mature plants on my countertop). Random is good; too much attention to detail and perfection sucks out the fun!
Dust the top with 1/8 inch of soil.
Top the seeds off with a light blanket and let them just be. They'll wake up soon!
I use a plastic watering jug that evenly distributes gentle streams as long as I don't overfill it. When first watering, I take care not to dump lots of water, since that would uncover my seeds.
This is the hardest part for me. I diligently watch and it always seems to take a long time before any action occurs, but then one morning, tiny evidence of awakening babies herald good things are happening!
How often is this the truth: we invest our time, attention and hope in a worthy cause and expect a quick return for our energy. One of my favorite quotes is "Humble yourselves, then, under God's mighty hand, so that He will lift you up in His own good time." (1 Peter 5:6) God knows when all of the elements are in the right place, at the right phase, and your heart is in the proper space of attitude for promotion. Wait in expectant hope, for the goodness of God is closely watching over everything involved, and His creative power is ready to burst forth blessings when it's time!
What joy becomes ours when we have been given the desires of our hearts! God is delighted to see the faces of His children happy about the gifts they've asked for, then received. He loves to hear the grateful praises of the ones who think to turn around and bless His heart with "thank you!" and "I love you!" when life takes a better turn. He adores sending us from glory to glory, strength to strength, joy to joy, ever further down the path of everlasting life. The seeds you have planted will burst forth with life; it is hidden in their nature. Sun and rain and time will birth what God Himself has designed for them to bear.
Wait, I say, wait upon the LORD! Be strong and let your heart take courage as you look to Him. Psalm 27:14
What are you desiring to see grow in your life? What new, life-giving, nutrient-rich activities or habits would enhance your walk down the path of eternity?
Can you make them easier to get to? Can you automate or make them more convenient somehow? What's in the way? Will it move if you rearrange things around?
Sit for a while and think about what you truly need to be healthy...better equipped...happier...wiser than you've been...and then ask: God, what would it take to make these good things part of my life? What steps would bring them within my close reach? How can I simplify and routinize what is good for me to do?
I hope you garden, both on your deck and in your life today. Here's to the glorious grandeur of God's creativity in action! Cheers!