Fresh Lima Beans… Wow!

Last week we picked the lima beans from the garden. I had never eaten fresh lima beans before. I hear them mentioned online in relation to farmer’s markets, but I’ve never seen them at the farmer’s markets either. Anyway, we brought them back in the watering can. Baby tried to eat them (she’s teething) and I made a valiant effort to keep her from doing so. (Raw lima beans are not good to eat!).

I shelled them, and boiled them. Then I cooked them with fried onion, a sliced plum tomato, and some basil and Parmesan cheese. Baby and I ate them. Wow, were they delicious. I’m definitely planning on planting more next year!

Abundant Rain, A Blessing From Allah

Alhamdillah, my garden is doing amazing. I just ate my first chili pepper from it today. I attribute this to Allah blessing it and giving it the proper conditions to thrive, especially timely and abundant rain. I have watered my garden (which needs to have 3 or 4 watering cans of water hauled more than 100 ft.) only 2 or 3 times since I planted. Shortly after I planted, I made dua and asked Allah to bless this garden and give us success with it, and the results have been amazing. The rain came in timely intervals, and the plants seemed to spring up and bear flowers and fruit overnight.

I was reading a translation of the Quran and came across, “Ask Allah for forgiveness, and He will send you rain in abundance.” Abundance of rain is one of the blessings of Allah and something he gives to the believers, although I’m certainly not saying that He doesn’t give it to others as well or that the believers don’t experience droughts.

I didn’t ask Allah for forgiveness any more than I usually do. Probably I should have. What I did ask for was success with this garden. Some people would only ask for the important things, success in the akhirah and guidance and such things as that. After all, if we take our blessings in this world… I was inspired by something I saw written for children, which encouraged them to ask for everything that they wanted without limit because Allah is the most generous and has no limit. In other words, He can give us more than we can imagine or even ask for. I want success with the garden, why not ask Allah for it? Who else could give it?

I know all too well that the success of this garden is due to Allah. At any time, Allah could send a hail and wipe all of it out. I could be left with nothing, where now my thriving plants are heavy with promise.

Gardening with Baby

I always tell Baby she is helping Mommy. Today she helped Mommy weed the garden. Pretty much all the seeds we had planted have come up: zucchini, lima beans, radishes, cucumber, and cress. We bought our eggplant, tomatoes, and chilies from a nursery this year. We have only had to water the garden twice. Other than that, Allah has watered it with timely rain (definitely much appreciated).

Baby sat in Mommy’s arms and watched, Mommy pull up weeds. Then we came back to the house and she watched me dead head flowers. She reached out her chubby, little baby hand and plucked a perfectly good petunia, tried to shove it in her mouth. Mommy wasn’t so sure petunias were good for eating, so now she’s wearing it in her hair.

Your Baby Is Your Seed

I often feel like I’m not getting things accomplished, that I am too idle. There are so many things that I want to do, and it seems like if I just got the chance to work on them they’d be done, very quickly. Things really do take longer with a baby. Sometimes 3, 4, or 5 times longer ┬áthan it seems like they should. I have to take a step back and realize that it is okay just to be, to sit and hold my baby or play, just be with her because that’s what she needs from me right now.

I wanted to plant a garden this year. It’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity for a real garden. My sister was talking in the winter about starting eggplant and tomato indoors from seed. My home is fairly small; I don’t really know that I have the space for that, and it would annoy my husband. I said, “I don’t have the time or the energy for that this year with a newborn baby,” and my neighbor said to the baby, “You are Mommy’s seed.”008

The garden is a 6 X 10 foot plot out in the field. I planned to put some eggplant, chilies, and tomatoes in pots up by my porch. I wanted to plant zucchini, lima beans, peas, radishes, cucumbers, turnips, and spinach out in the plot, but I needed some help getting it ready. We had to pull up the sod with a fork, and there are a ton of woodchucks out there, so we need to put in a fence with an L shaped bottom. It seems like it should have been possible to do all of this within a week, but it has been 5 or 6 weeks at least, and I’ve given up on planting the peas, radishes, and other cold weather crops. My neighbor suggested that I could plant them in late summer for a fall crop.

Just an example of why it is taking so long: This evening I put the baby in her carriage, grabbed the 50 foot roll of chicken wire, and carried them all out to the field. That’s where I ran into trouble because it is really a two person job. I cannot unroll the chicken wire, hold it into place and attach it to the posts all on my own. My husband very specifically told the landlord that he wanted nothing to do with the garden. My sister, who was very excited about having a garden is only here to help maybe once or twice a week, and I feel I am basically expected to do it all on my own (with a baby) if I want it done. I gave up for this evening. I need some help holding the chicken wire in place or some help with the baby. I planned to attempt this yesterday, but I fell and twisted my ankle, and when I went to lift the roll of chicken wire, I thought could really use some help with this.

For my porch, I planned to put two hanging baskets, flower boxes, a glider and two chairs. This is actually coming along, almost done. You can see the glider, chairs, and hanging baskets are in place. Yesterday I bought impatiens for the flower boxes, but I still need potting soil to fill them. I know we aren’t supposed to buy impatiens, but they are the only flower that is shade tolerant that I can afford enough of to fill flower boxes. The landlord actually came a couple of days ago to put up chain for my hanging baskets. My tuberous begonia has yet to go outdoors. So inshallah by tomorrow I can get the potting soil and finish setting up the porch, and maybe my sister will help me with the fencing or maybe I will figure out how to do it by myself.

So anyway, I have to keep in mind when I feel like I’m not doing much that my baby is the important thing. She is my seed.