Several years ago, I built a 2,000 square foot greenhouse on our land so we could grow food for our family all winter long. We had gardened successfully on the same spot in prior years. Greenhouse gardening was new to us. It took a while to figure out what to grow and how to grow it in the winter season, but last winter we determined to fill it with cold tolerant vegetables and not heat it at all other than the free solar daytime heat. We knew it would have too much capacity for us to use, so we invited other Villagers to share in the work and the produce. We dined all winter long on fresh cabbage, carrots, kale, spinach, beets, lettuce, radishes, onions, broccoli and cauliflower. We worked together in the greenhouse and later making sauerkraut from the bumper crop of cabbages. Delicious. But the best payoff was in relationships.
I want to share an email that my wife, Becky, just received from Judy (cc to me).
It gladdened my heart to see the fruits of sharing. Sharing:
- Transforms relationships.
- Demonstrates trust and love.
- Stimulates generosity in return.
The Bible teaches,
“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” Ecclesiastes 11:1
When I was a child, I used to wonder, “so who wants soggy bread?” 🙂
Here’s the answer:
I finished filling my kraut-bucket with cabbage today, and wanted to say thank you for sharing the produce from your greenhouse. Although we spent a few hours there planting/thinning/weeding, our reward has been greater than effort expended. Not to mention that it is your greenhouse, your seed, your water…
I’ve been wondering how you determine what is fair when it comes to sharing the fruits of our labors. I don’t want you to feel that we are taking too much advantage of a good thing!
My concern is that things not go to waste because there isn’t time or energy to harvest what was planted. I am willing to help you put up the vegetables–as an additional ‘payment’ for what we receive. For example, I’ll chop your cabbage and bottle it (you provide the jars); the finished product is yours. Maybe I can help get the last of the beets bottled… I know you have MANY other things that could be occupying your time.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know what I–and Tom–can do to best help keep things moving along!
Thank you Becky and Judy and Tom and George for your example to us all.