The Steward’s Garden seeks to equip Believers (and any who are interested) with the knowledge and tools necessary to carry out what was Mankind’s original mission, to work in and take care of Creation (Genesis 2:15). In fact, Man’s work was (and still is) so integral to God’s plan for the earth that trees and shrubs did not reproduce until man was placed in the garden. (A comparison of Genesis 1:11-13 and Genesis 2:4-15 indicates that the initial trees, shrubs, and plants that God created were fully mature, but none had naturally reproduced because He wanted Man to play a role cultivation). What a noble calling!
When Man chose himself over God, however (Genesis 3), our mandate quickly became more toilsome. (Yes, we have Adam to thank for weeds, powdery mildew, and aphids). The toil now associated with our first task has not necessarily deprived it of all its pleasure, however. Ask anyone who gardens and they’ll tell you that sweet peas off the vine, a carrot right from the ground, or a bowl full of ripe cherry tomatoes is worth every minute of toil.
Why is that? I think there are a couple of reasons. First, gardening is one of the few activities in modern times that still offers a tangible (and tasty) reward for work. Which is more rewarding, sitting at a computer for eight hours responding to faceless emails, or spending a few hours in the garden to reap a harvest that feeds your family and neighbors? More than this tangible reward, however, I believe that we derive pleasure from the toil of gardening because we innately know it is why we were created.
Now, as strange as it may seem to us, some people hate to work in the garden! (I know, crazy, right?). They hate the smell and feel of dirt, they hate pulling weeds, dealing with bugs, and sweating in the summer sun. Does that mean that these folks aren’t fulfilling their Divine purpose? Nope. Notice I said “hate to work in the garden.” It’s not gardening (our first, pre-sin task) they hate, it’s the work (post-sin effect) associated with it. I would argue (though I have no proof) that everyone derives pleasure from a garden, whether it’s working in one or enjoy its fruits. Even the most ardent anti-garden activist out there (I guess that’s a thing) would be hard-pressed not to find a dahlia beautiful or a fresh picked peach the most delicious summer treat.
So what’s the point to all this? Is everyone supposed to quit their job and start homesteading? What about people in urban areas? How are they supposed to garden? While homesteading and urban gardening will be the subjects of future posts, suffice it say, for the time being, that I’m not advocating for an all-in homesteader mentality here. For some people that may work, but for the vast majority of us, it’s just not an option. What I am saying, is that if God has entrusted you with even a little land (or even a few pots), you have a responsibility to make the most of it and I hope that this site will serve as a means to help you take care of your patch of Creation.