Back to Eden: Barrenness to Abundance

This is the start of our 3rd year on this property.

Lately I had been really discouraged about all the things we need to do, and the things we haven’t been able to accomplish (goats, windows, roof, doors, floors, kitchen, bathrooms, etc…)

But then, I happened across an old picture of the place before we moved in.

Before (spring 2016)

After (spring 2018)
Before (spring 2016)

We’ve planted a total of 15 fruit and nut trees, 15 fruit and nut bushes. We’ve built two swales, one of which is also a large hugelkultur bed (150’x 5′) we’ve built a 15 chicken capacity coop and run, and built a 5 terraced Back to Eden hillside garden. Our soil quality has gone from orangey Tennessee clay and rocky limestone to rich, loamy, earthworm filled soil.

Limestone and clay in the hugelkultur swale

Fruit trees at the swale (fall 2018)
Soil before
Soil after (fall 2018)

And I look back at all this, and see the time we invested, and the hard physical labor we put in, and I’m reminded of these Scriptures:

“For who despises the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10)


“It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is still young.” (Lamentations 3:27)


“There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 CSB)

Every year, it just keeps getting better and better. We’ve brought life and health and beauty to this place…or rather, God has used us to bring life and health and beauty to this place.

Yes, we still have a ton of stuff we want to accomplish here. And yes, we’ve had losses and setbacks, and mistakes. But God is good and He has been faithful. He has blessed our efforts in everything where we sought His Kingdom first. When we tried to push forward without His guidance, he frustrated our plans. And thank God for that, because I’m terrible about pushing for too much too soon.

God gets all the glory. Without His guidance and provision, none of this would have been possible. So I’m not going to despise the days of small beginnings, because they’re necessary, and anything worth having takes time and effort.

7 thoughts on “Back to Eden: Barrenness to Abundance

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