A farm is the best thing ever. Or at least living on and running one is. In my humble opinion, of course. This lifestyle provides many joys: seeing newborn baby calves, having chickens follow you to beg for seeds, harvesting eggs, growing vegetables, and too many more to list here.
We constantly think of new ways to grow the farm. One of our latest ideas is to add beekeeping to our list of adventures. I wanted the perfect environment for my bees to thrive. And what do bees love more than anything? Wildflowers.
I was on a mission. Grow wildflowers for the bees. Sounds simple enough, right? I researched the flowers honeybees like the most, shopped for the perfect retailer, and bought a wide variety of seeds. And then, I created “the bucket.”
What is “the bucket,” you may ask? My husband wondered as well. It is a concoction of various wildflower seeds, sunflower seeds, bean seeds, luffa seeds, and any other seed I could think of to toss into the bucket.
By the time I had added all the varieties I could think of and afford, I had filled a large, five-gallon container. The gathering process took me a good part of my early spring.
Next, I needed the perfect conditions to plant my seeds. For this, I needed a volunteer from the audience. My husband gets “volunteered” a lot. I asked my husband to plow a large strip of land in my orchard. So off he went, plowing, tilling, and preparing the soil to provide the perfect conditions for my tiny seeds.
After we’d prepared the orchard bed, I filled a seed spreader and walked up and down that long strip of freshly tilled earth. It takes quite a few trips, back and forth, to cover a half-acre strip of land with the contents of a five-gallon bucket. Let’s just say that I got my 10,000 steps in that day.
Next, we had to decide whether we needed to cover the seeds that I had just broadcast on top of the soil. It took a bit of discussion. You can’t put a husband-and-wife farm team together and immediately agree on all courses of action. Decisions require “discussion.” If your spouse is a farmer, you’ll understand. To make a long story short, let’s just say we decided to “lightly till” the seeds into the top layer of soil. So, he did this, and we walked away.
If you have ever grown anything, you know what comes next. We checked back a few days later to see how things were developing. Nothing. Probably too soon. So, we waited another week and checked again. Just a couple of things had popped up, but not much. Hmm. Wait two more weeks and look once more. Grass. Grass was growing up in our new soil, along with just a smattering of other items that we had planted. How disappointing.
We continued to check for a couple more weeks and then gave up. I had lost the seeds versus weeds battle. The grass in the orchard reclaimed the field, with very few plants we’d sown coming up. Utter failure.
But you know what? We’re new to farming, and we’ve learned a lot through our mistakes. Next time, we won’t till the seeds into the soil.
Time moved on and fall arrived in Georgia. I remembered a few luffa seeds had taken off, so I wanted to see if I would get any the luffas from the plants. We drove back to the orchard to see what was available to harvest. That’s when we saw it.
Wildflowers. So many colors and varieties that they had transformed the orchard into a wonderland. Not all had died. They merely waited for the right time. And they were everywhere. You could see the curvature of the cultivated area in the colors displayed. Gorgeous.
When I think of analogies for this, I think of all the time and work some people put into various ventures. We may work hard at some tasks for a long time before we get any results. Writing books, creating artwork, sharing the gospel, and teaching others what you know sometimes seems like fruitless activities.
We may feel as if we’ve failed because we don’t see what we expect. But that doesn’t always mean we haven’t accomplished our goal. Sometimes, it takes time to see the result. The fruit of our labors might be down the road. Don’t give up. Keep on trying. One day, you’ll receive your reward.
Have any thoughts to share on this? I’d love to hear from you.