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Harvest and Homeschooling Thoughts

Once again we are blessed with an abundance from the garden—everything from broccoli, tomatoes, and cabbage to melons, raspberries, and pears. Earlier we ate lettuce and cherries. Soon we will start picking squashes, kale, and leeks.

summer salad greens

We are so grateful for all this organic food and also for the strength and ability to tend our garden. Although there seems to be less energy for the harvesting, we are doing our best. Or, to be fair, with the children all having part time jobs on top of everything else, it’s mostly me trying to do my best.

Working mostly on my own represents a new season of life for me. I’m learning what is and is not possible now and what will be realistic in the very near future when the kids all have full time commitments outside the home. I had never really thought about it, but the rapidly approaching end of homeschooling also signals the end of family gardening.

I had been considering buying a few tons of mushroom compost this fall since we have not had adequate compost of our own for a few years, but that would involve a commitment to this huge garden which, without the kids’ help, may not be possible to maintain. These are things to think about.

But, leaving that for another time, we are noticing that this is an unusual year. We have the best melon crop we’ve ever had, and the second best pear crop. But the pears seemed to be late, and the fall raspberries are a full month late. Perhaps lateness was due to the very wet spring and the dry summer? It has also been fairly cool this summer and we’ve rarely needed to use air conditioning—but melons, which did so well, are usually a warm-weather crop. On the other hand, we’ve never had such puny squash plants or such a tiny squash crop, and squashes and melons are in the same plant family. Gardening always involves mysteries, and these are puzzling indeed.

Looking back over a decade and a half of gardening with the children, I am grateful for the time we were able to work together. Each of the children has learned a lot and they have benefited in many ways, including financially, from that knowledge. One of them even had a gardening business one summer. Another one attributes her stamina during a Mediterranean archeological dig to the time spend digging in the dirt in our garden. And working with my children outside, participating with God in growing food, has given memories I will always treasure despite the occasional grumpiness and complaining.

We have grown a lot of food over the years but we have also harvested a lot more, and I am grateful.

May God bless all the planting and weeding and tending we do as homeschooling moms—and as gardeners—and may he give a good harvest.

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,

and establish the work of our hands upon us;

yes, establish the work of our hands! (Psalm 90: 17)

For, as Psalm 127 points out, without God’s blessing all we do is useless.



  1. Jennifer Hoots says:

    Hi friend!
    Your bounty sure looks beautiful. I am at the end of having my kids at home. Each day is a day closer to sending my baby to university next fall. I struggle with missing who I was and figuring out who I am! I know next fall will be really hard so I am trying to do some work now on answering that question. God’s blessings be on you and yours!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Yes, that is a very difficult set of questions at the end of a ‘career’ as intense as homeschooling. Sometimes things just kind of become obvious, but other times it takes an enormous amount of soul searching.

      I’ve enjoyed going through the kids’ career type courses, like this one from Vicki Tillman http://anniekateshomeschoolreviews.com/2016/04/review-career-exploration-by-vicki-tillman/

      I am currently reading a book by Emily Freeman called The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions. You might find it helpful.

      You might also like Ruth Soukup’s latest, Do It Scared (reviewed here: http://anniekateshomeschoolreviews.com/2019/05/review-do-it-scared-by-ruth-soukup/)

      In any case, it is comforting to know that our heavenly Father holds us close and guides everything in the very best possible way, for us and our families. May he be with you and your family in everything!

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