“Growing More Than Gardens,” Ensign, June 1997, 71
We began planting a garden many years ago after listening to President Spencer W. Kimball, during general conference, advise Church members to do so (see Ensign, May 1975, 4). Despite many ongoing challenges, some inconveniences, and occasional complaints by the children when it’s time to weed, we have found many positive benefits from following the prophet’s counsel.
We learned the importance of planning ahead. Those years when we took time to plan carefully, our garden produced more.
We became close to nature and saw the miracle of seeds. We learned to love food harvested fresh from the garden. We feasted on corn on the cob and new red potatoes. We made zucchini brownies and pumpkin cookies.
The children learned responsibility, good work habits, and lessons that would help them succeed in life. Plants must be nurtured to grow. Nurturing requires weeding and watering and sometimes sacrifice. Weeds are easier to manage if pulled each day.
We learned gardening skills. One year we killed our plants with too much fertilizer, and another year we didn’t water our garden enough. Sometimes snails ruined our plants.
The children developed self-confidence as they showed others the fruit of their work. When our son Joseph was in preschool, he planted a pumpkin seed in a milk carton. We transplanted his tiny pumpkin to the garden, where he nurtured it all summer. In the fall, he took a pumpkin to show his friends in school. His pumpkin became a jack-o’-lantern, then a pumpkin pie.
Our family learned about the law of the harvest. A successful garden requires planning and work. If we wanted fresh corn in August, we planted seeds in April.
Opportunities for sharing and service came to our family as we shared our bounty with neighbors and friends.
Our family grew closer together as we planted, weeded, and harvested together. In time we came to realize we were not just growing a garden, we were growing family traditions. Our obedience to the prophet’s counsel has produced a bounty of blessings in our lives.—Trisa L. Martin, Bountiful, Utah