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Then God said: Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. And so it happened: Genesis 1:11

As the warm weather is ushered in, my being becomes one with God's gift: this beautiful earth (Psalm 115:16). My ritual response unfolds gradually as I am provoked by the smells, sounds, and sights of the spring season. My hands crave the feeling of dirt under my nails and its scent in my nose. The heat of the sun and gentle breezes envelop me. Out come the pots, the gloves, and the seeds.

The benefits of growing vegetables, fruits,

and herbs are numerous. Home gardening contributes to the reduction of environmentally harmful farming and business practices. Homegrown foods do not require extensive pesticides and fertilizers; plastic packaging and fuel-driven transportation are not required to deliver the bounty to your table. Plants, shrubs, and trees help to clean the air of pollutants, reduce soil erosion and minimize chemical runoff into waterways. The flowers are fragrant, colorful, and beautiful, and the taste of the produce is unmatched.

Gardening nourishes me with sprouts of joy, serenity, and peace. I become a curious child at His feet when I marvel at the transformation of tiny seeds into an abundance of blossoms and vegetables. I feel assured of His promises that, as the seed is transformed, my corruptible body will be released to an incorruptible body (1 Corinthians 15:42).

There are teachable moments, the nourishing seeds in the gardening process, that my grandchildren can witness. They learn that foods do not grow in the grocery store. I can use the model of the seed planted in the earth to explain how the Seed of God (Jesus) was planted here on earth, and when He rose, He bore fruit in us, God's Church.

The earth brought forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree that bears fruit with its see in it. God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:12

Author: Jackie Greenfield, Church of the Incarnation, Washington DC

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