Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Garden Harvest

We live in times where we almost completely rely on others to provide for us. In a world like that, it is hard to think that we can rely on God and He will provide. That man is not to be trusted as he will always fail you, but God will NEVER fail you! Each year, Joe and I have tried to have a garden and although we did, we didn't have the kind of space before to REALLY have a garden! This year, God blessed us with the space and ability to have a rather large garden. When planted everything from seeds. Nothing (except a few tomato plants) was planted as plants. We direct sowed each plant with faith that we would reap a harvest. As we were beginning this process, we "stumbled" upon Matthew 6:25-34------

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

At first when you have a beautifully tilled garden with perfect an straight row free of weeds and grass and freshly planted seeds, you think, "There is NO WAY ON EARTH these tiny, itty, bitty seeds are going to come up let alone be anything worth all of this time and effort." After a few weeks, you have little seedlings that you wonder if they will produce a harvest. God reminds us that when we relinquish our worry and fears and focus on Him to provide for us, we will be provided for in an abundance.

I kid you not when I say that we have the BIGGEST plants of some varieties that we have EVER had!!! Squash is what's in season for us right now and in abundance to say the least! On Saturday, I picked at least 20 very large squash. Last night, during rain, I picked two armfuls of zucchini squash. And there is more to be picked today! God is supplying not only for our needs, but he is blessing us to be a blessing to others. We have been sharing our garden with friends, neighbors, co-workers...anyone who wants fruits and veggies that are homegrown without the use of harmful junk! Here are some pics of the garden::

I made these two recipes and thought I would share for those of you who might have an abundance of squash like we do or would just like to make some! The zucchini bread recipe is the BEST I have ever had! I could literally live on it!

Squash Casserole:
Olive oil
3 lg. onions, chopped
2 lbs zucchini, sliced
2lbs yellow squash, sliced
2 t. sea salt
1t. black pepper
1/4t. ground nutmeg
2T. flour
1c. hot organic milk
3/4c. bread crumbs
3/4c. cheese (gruyere is preferred but I used sharp cheddar cause it's what I had)

--Put some olive oil in large saute pan and saute onions until clear looking. Add in squash and cover for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in flour, add milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes until it makes a sauce. Pour into baking dish. Mix breadcrumbs and cheese together and sprinkle on top of mixtures. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Zucchini Bread:
* 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 1/2 cups organic sugar
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 4 eggs, beaten
* 1/3 cup water
* 2 cups grated zucchini, strained from all water
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.

This recipe also makes AMAZING muffins!!! Jayden loves to eat mini ones as a snack and it's a really healthy recipe if followed as above, it's a good way to sneak veggies into your children. Adding carrots would also be great!!!

To add as just an extra bonus that God is totally meeting us each and every day where our needs and faith are, last night as I picked my tow armfuls of squash and was wondering what I was going to do with it all and how tired I was going to be of it in a couple weeks, He revealed the most amazing and beautiful rainbow I had ever seen! It was incredible and like it was there just for me. I took pictures but it was so close to me that I had to take it in two sections. It was incredible!!! It was like God was just telling me again to stop worrying and have faith. Surrender unto Him and He will supply! The rainbow is His promise...Once, I was in an airplane and saw a rainbow when leaving Tampa, Fl. and it is a complete circle. For those of you who don't know, as I didn't until then. From the sky, it hovers right on the ground in a circle. What we see from the ground is the arch of the rainbow but what's on the ground is the rest of it. Which then reminded me of the promise a ring is in a wedding ceremony. It's a symbol of love that never ends...Just as God's promise is with the rainbow! How awesome is the power of God???? If we could only slow down long enough to see what He's placed right before us to marvel in!

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