One of my all time favorite hymns is “In the Garden,” and I often find myself humming the tune as I work in the UGrow garden at UKirk. The song opens with the line “I come to the garden alone,” and as I hummed that verse while gardening last week I couldn’t help but laugh. That day, like all the days I am in the garden for the foreseeable future, will be spent alone. That’s the world we’re all living in now, so I’ve been doing my best to adjust and adapt wherever possible. The garden has actually been a huge source of encouragement for me recently. It gives me an opportunity to get outside regularly, and I love that I don’t feel rushed or too overwhelmed to give the garden the care and attention it deserves.

As of this past week, the garden has radishes (one set was planted about a month ago and the other less than a week ago), spinach, beets, turnips, and two varieties of green beans. Lettuce will be in the ground soon, and tomatoes and peppers have been seeded and will go in the ground in a few weeks.
Waiting patiently has never been my strong suit, and I often get antsy when I read seed packages estimated grow times. Beets take about two months to mature, radishes take a little over a month, spinach won’t be ready for at least forty days, tomatoes take about fifty, and so on. In the past, thinking about not seeing the fruits of my labor (gardening pun very much intended) for weeks and weeks felt discouraging, but something about looking that far ahead is comforting right now. I may not know what the world will look like in a month, but I do know that right around that time the garden will be full of beets and turnips. Tiny green beans will begin popping up, green tomatoes will begin emerging, and it’ll be warm enough to think about planting corn and okra. (Lord willing…haha)

UGrow does look a little bit different during the time of Covid-19. We are not able to gather and work in the garden together as we had planned, but land is still being broken, seeds are being planted, weeds are still very much thriving, subsequent weeding is taking place, and veggies are growing. A month from now, I do not know what the world will look like. Maybe we will have more answers, maybe we will have less, maybe aliens will invade between now and then (never discount that possibility). Regardless of what the future holds, I’m finding some peace imagining the summer sun beating down on a garden full of ripe veggies in the little garden behind our beloved Ukirk house.

Margie Peeler
Missions Intern