Years ago, my husband and I both quit our jobs and moved to live and work at a Bible camp on the prairie of North Dakota. In the end, we knew it wasn’t a good fit for us, and we left and returned to the Twin Cities in MN.
While there were lots of things that I don’t miss one bit, there were lots of things that I loved. The local coffee shop, which felt like home. Our sweet little house, donated to the camp and charming with old wood floors, great windows, and an irreplaceable mud room. A few great friends. But the best part was actually living at camp. We would literally let Nysse the dog out in the morning and she would play outside all day, until we put her back in before campfire. The lake was right there, and views of the sweeping prairie were plentiful. We took walks in the early evening, when the sky faded into twilight hues over the waves of the lake. The view from our house included the lake, the long road into camp, and an overview of the garden.

I do not have a green thumb. Growing up, we had a small garden built in our backyard. We grew tomatoes, beans and broccoli. I’m sure there was more but I was little. All I knew was that in order to eat broccoli, you needed cheese sauce, and I was very concerned as to where that cheese sauce would be planted. =) The camp garden was ginormous. We grew several varieties of potatoes and beans, peppers, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, squash, cauliflower, brocccoli, zucchini, and pumpkins. I got to help with the caretaking of the plot, and it was wondrous! To think – growing food!

Like I said, growing things was not my specialty. I was in a state of shock the whole season that I could help food to come from seeds. The garden was there to teach campers that food doesn’t just pop into the grocery – that it comes from God, and we need to take care of and be grateful for His creation. It totally taught me that too.

My season in the garden taught me a few other things:

  • Patience. With people and plants and myself.
  • Onions that you pluck are sweeter.
  • Kids think purple potatoes are the bomb, ’cause they are.
  • Harvesting is a wildly fulfilling experience.
  • Hoeing and shoveling and mulching is really, really good therapy.
  • Running outside in the rain to protect the baby tomatoes is not weird.
  • Neither is taking pictures of the plants and posting them on Facebook for the other gardener while she’s out of town. =)
  • Eating squash casserole weekly doesn’t get old when the squash is fresh.
  • Veggies really do taste better when you’ve planted them and watered them and watched them grow.
  • Veggies take time.
  • Veggies take effort.
  • Veggies take nurturing, love, weeding, decisiveness, patience, care, and cultivating.
  • Veggies don’t just happen (except for squash. They seem to multiply all on their own.)

Good things don’t just happen either. And if they do, we bow our heads in thanks.

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