April 17, 2015


My name is Armila (or, as some say, “Farmila”), and I’m the new garden manager. Folks here keep telling me that “I have big shoes to fill.” (Those of you who know Zach, the former garden manager, will get the joke…he’s about 6’8”…) Zach did a wonderful job while he was here, and I’ve already picked his brain and learned a lot from him.  I hope to learn a lot more throughout this garden season!


Please join us, the Alliance Garden crew, on our journey of learning to be better stewards, growing stuff (including plants and ourselves), uplifting our community, and doing our best to bring Christ’s kingdom here to earth—to Marion, Indiana and beyond.


A few days ago, I took a field walk to assess the state of the garden and determine what my springtime prep tasks should be. Things were looking good: the strawberries were leafing out, the raspberry canes needed to be pruned, a couple perennial herbs are showing their tiny, green heads, and I even saw a few tiny asparagus stalks poking up out of the ground. 

Like I mentioned, the raspberries were in need of pruning. Armed with my clippers, I set out to decide which canes should stay and which should be eliminated. All the canes were producing leaves, so any that I cut inevitably had leaves and, if left, potentially could have produced a little fruit.  As I was cutting, I found myself telling the plants "I know I'm cutting canes that already have leaves, and I also realize this may hurt; you might even feel a little exposed when I finish. But just wait for a few months and you'll see that the remaining canes will produce good fruit. So even if it doesn't look or feel good now, I promise I'm doing this for your good and because I care. "

 In the midst of my scratched-up arms and dirt-stained knees, God gave me a garden lesson: his process of working with me is very similar to the way I was pruning the raspberries. At times, it seems severe and painful when God calls us to surrender junk in our lives that we want to keep (but that will hamper production of good fruit in our lives). However, he only removes the parts of us that are detrimental. Still, I've been guilty of resisting God's pruning of me just as the raspberries tried to deter me with their thorns.  I just need to keep reminding myself that God is the wisest and most experienced gardener; I can entrust my life to his clippers. 



Thanks for visiting the blog! If you want to be in contact with the garden via a non-digital format, please stop by our gardens (one on 38th St and the other on 46th)!


- Armila

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