Apart from a few snow peas and beans, and a tiny carrot plucked prematurely by an over-zealous Laddie, cucumbers have been our first real "harvest" -- grown from seed, no less (a monumental accomplishment for these novice gardeners)! I'm amazed how quickly these shot up. They have completely overtaken our make-shift trellis, and we've already collected two 10-inch cukes. There's another that will be ready shortly, and an abundance of babies that are just starting to mature. I never realized how spiky cucumbers and their vines are, and didn't know that the cucumbers forms behind the flower instead of "inside," like tomatoes and peppers.
We are learning so much from our garden this year -- for instance, the dogwoods that were leafless when we planned our garden are now providing too much shade for some parts of the garden. Also, I'd have planted the snow peas earlier, since they seem to already be suffering from the heat (we'll plant some more in the fall, though!). I like to be successful -- who doesn't?! -- so a few "failures" are disappointing. But I'm reminding myself that one does not become an expert gardener in one season, and next year we'll have so much more experience. And we'll be planting more! So, so much more. In the meantime, it's delightful to enjoy some of the fruits of our labors -- one of our tomatoes is finally ripening, and I can hardly wait to try it.
The Littles and I will be studying botany for the next school year, and I'm excited to channel their enthusiasm for our little garden plot into learning more of the details of God's magnificent designs. They eagerly watch the progress of our plants, and love to sample the herbs (Little Man offered me an "herb taco" today, consisting of rosemary rolled up in a mint leaf. Much as I love those herbs individually, I declined that particular combination... *wink*).
I marvel at how the little cucumber seeds we planted have not only turned into flourishing vines, but are producing multiple cucumbers of their own, each loaded with its own seeds that could be harvested and planted to produce more cucumbers (which would have more seeds, which could be harvested...). The way in which God has designed these plants, to provide food and also the means of growing more food, fills my heart with wonder and gratitude. He truly is Jehovah Jireh, the Provider (Gen. 22:14).