Have you ever grown asparagus? This is my second year. It’s the kind of vegetable that takes several seasons to mature before you get the hearty stalks you find at the grocery store or farmer’s market. When you plant asparagus, you’re in it for the long haul, but if you can hang in there and be patient, you’ll have fresh homegrown asparagus each year for a decade, sometimes longer!
It’s such a strange plant to me. As spring progresses Mike and I start looking for it to sprout up in the garden, every day with a little disappointment and a tiny bit of, I hope it comes back. Suddenly one evening we look again, and there it is - already 4-5” out of the ground. We start following the lines around the garden looking for the others we planted, and again, reassure ourselves the others will come along, we’re sure, sort of, I hope so. And just like the first one we found, the next evening we look and there they are, 1, 2, 3, oh now 4 - all around 5” tall. How did we not see those just yesterday? I looked again this morning and saw one more.
Sometimes things spring up out of the ground that surprise us - one of the things I love about gardening and one of the many things I love about God. He’s always working, nurturing, and growing roots below the surface. Just because we don’t see doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
I planted some seeds at the beginning of March and have moved the tender baby plants to our front porch - they need to be protected and nurtured a little longer before they go out to the garden. Last year I planted a number of things knowing they wouldn’t really flourish until this year. Irises for example - they transplant really well, and while they don't appear to be growing after they've been moved, they are busy establishing roots.
You have to wait until the following year for them to bloom. Other things like my hanging baskets I kept alive over the winter and will add to them to freshen them up for the summer.
That describes what’s been happening with Butterfly Way. A bit like the asparagus, it seemed to ‘suddenly' pop out of the ground! But these ideas, dreams, and goals have been in the works for three years now (arguably longer). My apprenticeship was like my front porch, nurturing and protecting new growth that wasn’t quite ready to stand up to the elements. Moving here almost two years ago transplanted my family into a new community - it takes time for plants and people to bloom. Other things we brought with us and have carried through the winter months, like our long-time relationships that have changed slightly to reflect a new season.
I’m so grateful to New Ventures, Vox Alliance Church, and the Central Canadian District for supporting environments where God can grow new things, where there is room for discovery and surprise! And space and time to allow things to grow in their time.
Speaking of growing! We are about to begin PHASE ONE of development! This is very exciting, as early as next week I will be calling Home Depot and ordering lumber! For Phase One, we are going to build a tent platform and fully equip this camping site so we can immediately host some guests who don’t mind tenting it. We want to create a space that is comfortable, private, and safe. While this is a little more on the roughin’ it side, we want to provide some tools and equipment to make packing for a camping trip a little lighter. I will be putting a call out for volunteers soon, but if you have some carpentry skills and can donate some time, please let me know!
Happy gardening everyone!