Is there a difference between a Farmer and a Gardener?

By Gloria Whyte

A farmer by definition is a person who cultivates the land. A gardener by definition is a person who cultivates seedlings and their offspring for growth and future transplantation. To cultivate means the preparation process of working the land/soil in order to raise crops/plants. So why do I care about a farmer or a gardener? Sounds as though the farmer and the gardener do the same thing, they both cultivate. But believe me there is a difference and it is a big one, the difference between the farmer and the gardener is what they cultivate, how they cultivate and what happens to what is cultivated.
Let us start with what they cultivate. Are you a crop or a plant? Is the person giving you guidance a farmer or a gardener?
Are you being raised for just a season or are you being raised to be transplanted. Crops are cultivated for consumption and plants are cultivated for growth and transplanting. Plants are raised to be transplanted into pots, moving from one size pot to another in order for their roots to have room to grow. Could this need to be transplanted be why Jesus is described as a potter? Maybe our pots have to be remade so that our plant’s roots can have all the room that is needed for us to grow to the size that was designed for us. Crops on the other hand are raised to be harvested and are not designed for their roots to grow.
Question: Does the farmer care about the roots of his crops? Yes to some degree he does. The farmer wants his crops to take root in the ground in order to grow but the crops roots cannot grow to deep. The farmer cannot allow a crop’s roots to get to the depth that will generate new growth or new life because that takes time and crops are just cultivated for a season. The relationship of time is the main difference between the farmer and the gardener. Another reason crops roots are shallow is so they can be easily harvested. Shallow or lacking depth can also describe the relationship between the farmer and the crop. Oh the farmer loves his crop because this is his work and his livelihood but there is no true relationship with his crops because they are with him for a short time. The gardener, however, can spend years on a plant loving it singing to it replanting it and watching it grow and generate new life. I remember when I first met my mother in law who by the way is a wonderful gardener I watched how she would prune her plants to remove dead areas, and how she would clip her plants and make new ones. Some of these clippings she gave me and to her credit I became a pretty good gardener. I watched how she would know just how much water to give and how she knew when it was time to transplant her plants into the next size pot. She told me that when a plant becomes root bound that the value of the plant’s life was in danger. She advised that a root bound plant was just as in danger of dying as a plant that was receiving no water. The system in the plant that allows the source of life to flow through the plant, the root system, if unable to stretch out and have room to get deeper into the soil would choke the plant to death. When plants are transplanted they are once again cultivated and given a chance at a new life and enriched with newly fertilized soil.
How do they cultivate: The tool of a gardener, when cultivating the soil is his hands and the tool of a farmer when cultivating is a plow. Image if you were soil how different you would feel being cultivated by a farmer compared to a gardener. As the soil of the gardener you would be touched by a hand, this hand would lovingly apply pressure to you in order to break and shape you into desired pieces , next the roots of the plant is placed into you and you are patted into shape. The hand is warm and gentle compared to the touch of a plow. A plow by definition is an agricultural implement used for cutting, lifting, turning over and partially pulverizing soil. What a difference between the two forms of cultivating.
Question: Are you cultivated by the touch of warmth and life or by the cutting touch of a cold machine? A gardener touches the living breathing plant, and a farmer touches a harvested soon to be decayed crop. Please understand that the harvested crop does have value and gives life in the source of food, but once harvested its life is over. But a plant on the other hand is a living breathing thing that if cared for by a loving gardener will grow, breathe and generate new life. My desire is to be a plant in the hands of a great gardener, what about you.
Lastly, what happens after cultivation: For the plant cultivating never stops. The plant will continue to grow and be transplanted into larger pots. The plant will be a thing of beauty generating new life and a sense of pride to its gardener. But the crop which is not grown for beauty but as a commodity is here for a short time and harvested for the farmer’s purpose, dies and is soon forgotten.
Question: Are you being cultivated for consumptions or to grow, be strong and generate life? Being planted by a gardener will ensure that you live. Being planted by a farmer will ensure that you are used for consumption. So who is cultivating you? Having a farmer cultivate, feed, or mentor you is not a bad thing just understand that with a farmer you grow for just a season and for the farmers reason. Farmers may know how to transplant but it is not a practice that is part of their duties. Farmers cultivate crops for a season and when the season is over the farmer has gained a value but the crop which was grown is now harvested. But a gardener is committed to cultivating a plant’s growth for a lifetime. The gardener understands what the plant needs to grow and he is not afraid to cultivate, feed or mentor. The gardener understands that the relationship between him and the plant is one of growth and time. The gardener is willing and committed to putting in the time, money and energy that is needed to make the growth come forth. Find yourself a gardener and get transplanted into a bigger pot with newly fertilized soil.

Thank you for reading ...
Gloria is my queen of more than 22 yrs...


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