Sunday 20 November 2016
In Australia, technically summer is just two weeks away! And yet in our microclimate, we are still experiencing the chilling winds of winter, grey dank days, and foggy mornings where the dew drips out of the trees!
Hmmm, yes, my body and mind are struggling with the cold, windy, grey days. So this morning I was humbled to receive an email from Jonathan Gray in New Zealand and he reminded me, "...it is nice to have everything warming up and the beauties of flowers everywhere lifting our spirits and calling out praise to our dear Lord." He was kindly replying to an email.
And how true, for though the spring weather this year, 2016, is generally cold, grey and windy with rain (good for the soil and the water tanks) there have indeed been blossoms, and birdsong to lift the heart, and turn the thoughts to the wonders of creation, and the path which leads to a home we have not yet seen! (That's heaven and the earth made new!)
Jonathan Gray, if you do not know, is a prolific writer, presenter and publisher of Bible related archaeology, hidden discoveries (fascinating) and his most recent collection of DVD's dealing with the world right now, the fulfilling of Bible prophecy, and especially God's great love for all people. Yes, even you. All of Jonathan's publications - hard copy books, e books and DVD's - can be purchased on his website www.beforeus.com
You can also sign up for a free newsletter, and we enjoy finding nuggets of astounding information, which expand our minds.
Meanwhile, we have been experimenting with germination techniques in this new place, and continue to remind ourselves that each new place is a unique growing environment. After all, I tell myself, we have established vegetable gardens in eight different environments, spanning three different countries since 1995.
Providing at least some of our own food is highly important to me, and over the years as more and more shocking facts have been revealed about the dangers of eating conventionally grown vegetables, I find myself even more earnest and fervent about growing food. I am not a marvellous grower, yet I believe this is the right way. God's way.
The spring germination techniques we used in the North Island of New Zealand and on the warm side of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria, Australia simply have not worked on the cold side of the Great Dividing Range. In those warmer, more sheltered microclimates we were able to germinate seeds indoors on sunny windowsills and/or small heat mats (about the size of an A4 sheet of paper) for about 3-4 weeks and then put them outdoors, covered with plastic in one way or another, to continue growing sturdily until the prepared soil in the garden beds warmed enough to plant seedlings into.
In fact, the germination techniques which are working in this new place are very similar to germinating seeds in the Highlands of Scotland!
After two false starts this is what we did during this September:
- Converted glassed in porch to a "glass house".
- Found an old outdoor table on the farm and set up large DIY heat mat on the old table.
- Used two table like trolleys for additional space.
- Teenage son donated his bedroom column heater (electric) to the "glass house" and declared he enjoyed having a cold room to study in!
- Set up weather station - outdoor and indoor sensor - in the glass house to determine air temperature and temperature of DIY heat mat.
(We were aiming for 20 degrees to germinate seeds such as tomato, capsicum, chilli, pumpkin, zucchini [courgette], squash and melon.)
I can hardly express my joy when the first successful batch of tomato seeds germinated in the makeshift glass house! Watering needs to be done daily, and on the rare sunny day, the glass house must be ventilated just like a real glass house or polytunnel (igloo/growhouse)
So yet again, God has taught me that victory is ever the more sweet after defeat! Just as each blue sky, calm, sunny day is relished with joy after a run of grey, cold, windy wet days! And how precious each seventh day Sabbath is after a busy, tiring week.