Letting Go

I ripped out our garden this week. You know, the one I was so excited about this year. And somehow, it felt good.

Seems like this is the homestead year of two things: the chicken, and letting go.

The dear, dear chickens (of which we have so many) would just not leave the garden alone this year. I built the frames to keep them out and they wriggled through anyway. It’s not like they don’t have an acre and a half of yard to roam, but I guess the garden was better. After the third or fourth time of replanting and trying to save it, I decided I was done.

Letting go of not just the garden, though. There are several situations in my life right now that God has brought in in order to teach me that I have to let go of my hold on control (tenuous though it may be): a dear friendship that for all appearances has failed, a struggling marriage to a spouse with severe anxiety and depression, facing the reality that my life and family are not what I thought they would be. The garden is a small thing.

Control is the antithesis of trust, and trust has always been the biggest issue of my walk with God; it was, I’m sad to say, due to my lack of trust in His plan for my future that I began to walk my own path instead of His as a teenager. He was with me still and I definitely see how He “works all things together for good,” but that doesn’t mean that He will let me stay in that immature state of not trusting Him now.

In order to trust God I have to let go — not just of my control, but my desires, my plans, even my dreams, in order to model my life after the Savior that laid down His own. That doesn’t mean that what God has in store isn’t more brilliant and beautiful than any I could dream up, for I’m learning that joy and peace are precious. Letting go also gives space to an area of my life to see how these things should take shape in it . . . without my controlling the process or the outcome.

Let go and … not leap.

Stay.

And trust Him.

C.S. Lewis is reputed to have said “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” I think that’s true, but the point I’m learning is that it’s not enough to just think something. We have to act on it. With that being said, Kenny and I both felt a weird little space after I took the garden out of the backyard . . . like releasing a breath of air we didn’t know we’d been holding. You know, it turns out we didn’t like the spot it was in anyway.

My Very Classy DIY Garden Bed Chicken Protector

See? It’s working already!

We’ve spent years (all of them) trying different methods of chicken containment and ways of keeping them out of the garden. We tried the chicken tractor method (spoiler: you have to have really flat ground — we never have), chicken fencing around the entire garden space (ironically, chickens just jump right over chicken fence), and keeping them in a designated chicken yard. None of them seemed to be quite right for our style.

Enter my big and bright idea

Of the two of us, Kenny is the one that is more creative when it comes to making things to solve problems, but he’s been loaded down with work stress lately and we’ve been lagging in our projects progress (ie, I got tired of waiting….necessity truly is the mother of invention). Ergo, I got busy.

It occurred to me that all of our failed attempts were “bigger” methods of either keeping chickens “out” or “in,” but since we’ve switched to the raised bed style of gardening, there’s so much flexibility and creativity that can be done with just a single bed — one reason I love this style! All I really need to do was keep them out of the bed until the plants are big enough that they can’t kill them, so (duh) I realized that a small hoop row cover used to extend the season would work just fine.

However, we didn’t have any hoop material and with this Corvid-19 business going on right now we’re holding onto our money a little tighter until he’s back to work full time. I’m a big believer in being #frugal and #usingwhatyouhave, so . . . what we did have was lots of leftover pvc from our greenhouse days. Modification, here we go.

It’s three sections — the permanent end caps, and the hoop portion that can come off for planting, tending, and storage. I’m thinking it will hang from the garage when it’s not being used.

I have to admit that I’m kinda proud of how it turned out. I don’t usually “make” things, so I feel a bit like a badass when I do. Of course, this is day one of completed project. We’ll re-evaluate at the end of the season. :-/

I was also so eager to get #springplanting that I didn’t even wait till it was finished to put the early seeds of peas, spinach, arugula, and lettuce, beets, and carrots in. Naturally I had the company of several chickens trying to eat the peas as I put them down, one dog that thinks it’s fun to run at full speed directly toward me, and my garden buddy cat trying to sit on my lap while I was kneeling. I had to designate a living scarecrow to assist, and then he got fired for being distracted and was replaced with Barefoot Girl. It really is true that you can’t get good help these days ….

#Gardenhacks just might be my new interest. How about you? Any cool hacks to share?