Bible gardeners, I am so excited to introduce you to a special book published recently, Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden, Planting and Tending Small Fruit Trees and Berries in Gardens and Containers, by Christy Wilhelmi. Since many plants of the Bible are fruit trees, this book helps us grasp a better working knowledge of what is possible in transforming our yards into Scriptural orchards. A pomegranate container-planted on your patio or a fig tree filling your summer fruit basket are delicious ways to “be fruitful” and gain a more intimate understanding of God and His Word.
Since the author writes from her home in southern California, Wilhelmi wins us over to fruiting plants from a climate similar to the Holy Land. Gorgeous photography of apples, apricots, grapevines, olives, along with figs and pomegranates, fill the pages of this hands-on book. An organic gardener, Wilhelmi highlights many organic practices in planting and caring for fruit trees in step-by-step detail. The following are my favorite highlights gleaned from this summer reading.
Overall, Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden invites us to venture out and create a fruit-filled forest beyond the backdoor. Wilhelmi’s voice is a perfect blend of coaxing and confirming inner desires gardeners have to try new things, and to see what might happen from puttering and experimenting with fruiting plants. She supports our curiosity with just the right encouragement, based on practical research and years of her own productive experience.
Mistakes are learning opportunities, and failures open the door to something new.Christy Wilhelmi, Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden, page 68
She reassures while leading us in our own “pleasing to the eye and good for food” endeavors, moving us with the same undercurrent of adventure expressed by the garden lovers in the Bible’s most revealing, fruited scenery:
Let’s rise with the morning and go to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, If their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. Song of Songs 7:12 VOICE
Come, dear lover— let’s tramp through the countryside. Let’s sleep at some wayside inn, then rise early and listen to bird-song. Let’s look for wildflowers in bloom, blackberry bushes blossoming white, Fruit trees adorned with cascading flowers. And there I’ll give myself to you, my love to your love! Song of Songs 7:12 The Message
While wild for the opportunities, Wilhelmi writes in earnest, giving clear explanation to the elusive practices of tending fruit-bearing plants. She defines such terms as chill hours, soil food web, and multi-fruit trees, and gives step-by-step guidance for processes like proper planting, grafting, and brewing compost tea. She teaches that one of the keys to a home-sized, “be fruitful” garden is pruning, keeping trees formed and shaped so that harvesting fruit is in easy reach. She imparts plenty of direction and courage to make the cuts.
Mini fruit gardens make the most of whatever space is available.Christy Wilhelmi, Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden, page 9
The book sets us on a watchful way to a delicious adventure with an easy-to-read approach, ready to take advantage of our opportunities, no matter their size.
Don’t be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good. Ephesians 5:16 TLB
So watch your step. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Ephesians 5:15-16 The Message
I appreciate all the training and know-how that Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden records. While my own writing and resources introduce gardeners to the Bible fruit trees, Wilhelmi comes through with more thorough teaching and explicit horticultural technique. Furthermore, she compiled a list of pests and diseases we may encounter while cultivating our Scriptural orchard. Enjoy her YouTube tips and tutorials as well; she has made every effort to help us pursue the wonder of God’s command: Be Fruitful.
Homegrown fruits are precious and worth every ounce of effort. Now, go forth and be fruitful!Christy Wilhelmi, Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden, page 183
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it… Genesis 1:28 BRG
Happy Summer Reading!
Meet the author virtually – Christy Wilhelmi joined other GardenComm authors in our association’s debut Book Party this spring, sponsored by National Garden Bureau. Follow this link to watch and learn from her personally and hear behind the scenes stories of writing Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden.
Christy Wilhelmi is creator of Gardenerd, www.gardenerd.com, for people who have a healthy sense of humor about their obsession with organic gardening, and who have a thirst for knowledge. Link here to buy her book Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden, Planting and Tending Small Fruit Trees and Berries in Gardens and Containers
For more on fruit trees and their significance in the Bible, read devotions from the Bearing Fruit series in God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, beginning on page a-34
Find more information on growing fruit from the Bible in the Plant Guide under 7 Species, Edible Shrubs & Vines, and Edible Trees
Photo Credits: ©Shelley S. Cramm
BRG denotes Scriptures taken from the Blue Red and Gold Letter Edition™ Copyright © 2012 BRG Bible Ministries. Used by Permission. All rights reserved. BRG Bible is a Registered Trademark in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office #4145648 and provided by BRG Bible Ministries, El Dorado, Arkansas. Visit www.brgbible.com/
The Message denotes Scripture quotations taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries.
TLB denotes Scripture quotations taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. The Living Bible, TLB, and the The Living Bible logo are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers.
VOICE denotes Scripture quotations taken from The Voice™. Copyright © 2012 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.