Tales of a Midwest Lutheran on the East Coast

Monday, October 22, 2012

Why my balcony garden was not a failure

... even though all I got out of my plants were a few green beans, decent chives, teeny basil, and a misshapen green pepper that I am trying to coax along until it frosts. No tomatoes (from two plants) no cherry tomatoes (two almost ripened, then fell off), and no peas.

And yet, I don't really consider that to be a failure, at least not a complete one.

There were a few things that I couldn't account for - the torrential rains, then baking sun, then torrential rains again. And the July squirrel attack.

A few things I could have done better - I tended to underestimate the pot size needed for most of what I planted. And I didn't fertilize at all when I should have.

Not only was this a learning experience that hopefully will help me next year, but it is also good for our God-given earth. A few weeks ago, we invited a local expert on climate change to speak at our adult forum time on a Sunday morning. She not only spoke about the things that we as a species are doing to mess up our planet, but she also talked about what we can do to help. Even our littlest choices, if made consistently, can at least help slow the damage that we have done.

Living in the suburbs, I have seen first-hand how our lifestyles can wreck havoc on our environment. I have been stuck in rush hour traffic many-a time and thought about all those vehicles with one person inside, and also felt guilty myself, as I drive home from church. Granted, at least I don't have an hour or more commute like many people, but I do my fair share of driving, and thus polluting. In order to get around out here, a car (usually one car per person) is required, because nothing is within easy walking distance of anything else (and frankly I would be terrified to cross most roads around here - much less bike them). We have built our society on convenience and individuality, and I fall into that just as much as the next person.

But I'm trying. I try to bundle as many trips to the same strip mall as I can so that I only have to go there once a week. I pack a meal with containers that I can wash when I have a late night meeting. And I planted a failed garden on my porch that did nothing but take just a little bit of CO2 from the air and replaced it with just a little bit more oxygen.

The earth is God's gift to us. And this is a gift that should not go into the trash.

Psalm 24:1-2 

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
   the world, and those who live in it; 
for he has founded it on the seas,
   and established it on the rivers. 

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