The State College area is fortunate to have a number of options for those who want to purchase fresh, local produce in the summer and early fall months. There is a farmer’s market somewhere in the region 6 days each week (and there are two some days). I enjoy visiting the markets, looking at and choosing veggies and fruits, picking what I’d like to eat for the week. This year, I am trying a more structured approach. Like many others who live in small towns or urban centers, this summer my family has joined community supported agriculture (CSA). Also known as farm share, we and other community members purchase a “share” of the season’s harvest from a local farmer early in the year and receive a share of what they produced through the growing season. This way, we share the risks of farming with the farmers and they have cash to purchase seeds and cover other costs early in the season. And we get a weekly delivery of what is ready to eat. While our CSA gives us some choice in what we receive each week, we also receive things I might not have picked up at the market myself. I’m looking at you, salad turnips.
Early in the season, greens are the primary thing ready to be harvested, so our bag from the farm has been packed with various kinds of lettuce, cabbage and other greens. I was surprised at how much we received, even that first week. There have been times it was hard to find space in the refrigerator for the bok choy, kale, spinach, leaf lettuce, saalanova, parsley and other fresh produce. My lunchtime salads have been much more varied than usual and simply delicious.
Often, when we gather for worship, one of the prayer petitions I offer is about abundance. I offer thanks for the vastness and richness of God’s creation. Often, I am thinking about harvests like my farm share, or fields of farm crops, while other times I am thinking about fast flowing water, flocks of birds, beautiful desert vistas, or the crashing waves of the ocean. That’s always where my mind first goes, but after a moment, I begin to remember all kinds of abundance in my life.
In moments where our activities and days may feel constrained, where is abundance in your life? Where do you have access to the wide and varied richness of what God creates? Abundance of creation is not only in my farm share bag, or National Geographic photos. God’s abundance is also found in the different people in our lives, the kinds of music we listen to, the books we read, the technology we use, the podcasts we download, the movies we watch, the conversations we have, the topics we study, the ideas we explore, the things we create, the relationships we have, .
May you discover the rich and vast abundance of God’s creation in new ways.
May you find the abundance that surrounds you each day.
May it bring you joy.