Harvest Blog

Gardening with Allen: Gardening teaches the Law of the Harvest

The Law of the Harvest is one of the most important laws we can learn for ourselves and teach to our children. Many people who flounder through life have never learned this law of nature.

Farmers and ranchers know this law very intimately because it is right in front of them every day. But gardening is an equally good teacher. The Law of the Harvest can be defined very simply as “you harvest what you plant.” But gardeners know there are many steps between planting and harvest. In following these steps, we learn many other important principles along the way.

The first step is to select plants which are adapted to the climate, soil and light conditions in a particular location in your garden or landscape. Vegetable gardeners soon learn that most vegetables require full sunlight to thrive. They also do best with rich, well-drained soil. Efforts made to improve existing soil are rewarded with success.

Vegetables require regular care to provide the water, nutrients, and lack of competition from weeds and other pests.

One of the best applications of these principles is in marriage. Selecting a partner who matches our own background, interests, goals, and principles is vital to marital success. Marriages also require regular care and light from each partner to develop a happy relationship. The weeds of argument, infidelity, inattention, and lack of communication can destroy a marriage. Nutrients like smiles, hugs, concern, and thoughtful acts will also make a marriage thrive.

Of course, these same principles apply to all aspects of life such as work. Wouldn’t you like to have a co-worker, employee or supervisor who has learned these principles and applies them at work.

I learned that the best way to teach children these principles was to give them a small area which was completely theirs. I would help and advise, but leave the decisions and responsibility to the child. If the child became discouraged by weeds, I would work beside him to help (but not do it for him).

I found that working together with a child is one of the best ways to nurture a relationship. Children’s response to “would you help me?” is much better when you have responded to similar requests from them.

But what if the child loses interest and the gardening project fails from lack of regular attention? Doesn’t that teach a lesson also? However, noticing and praising even the smallest successes in his/her garden will go a long way toward nurturing interest. That is the “sugar attracts more flies than vinegar” principle.

I gave one section of a vegetable garden to my creative daughter. She decided to plant flowers rather than vegetables. Her garden was the prettiest part of the yard for several years.

I’ve learned something myself from writing this. Now I know why my gardening friends are such nice people. If you make gardening a hobby, your friends will find you are a happier, nicer person also.

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