Dad dumped some compost onto the soil.
“What are you doing, Dad?” Caleb asked.
“I’m getting the soil prepared for our garden.”
“Why do we need a garden?” Caleb asked. “Can’t we just buy food at the store?”
“Yes, but the prophets have counseled us to plant a garden, and I want to obey,” Dad said.
Dad and Caleb worked to prepare the soil. Finally, the garden was ready to plant.
On Saturday the whole family planted seeds in their garden. There were beans, corn, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and pumpkins.
Every morning, Caleb walked around the garden looking for weeds. Before picking each weed he asked Dad to make sure it wasn’t a seedling.
Then one day, Dad announced that the first plant had popped up. Caleb ran out to the garden. When he saw the tiny leaves peeking out of the ground, he couldn’t hide his disappointment.
“What’s the matter, Caleb?” Dad asked.
“I guess I just thought it would be bigger.”
“Don’t worry. It will grow,” Dad said.
Dad was right. Every day the plant grew a little bigger. Then more plants popped up. Soon the whole garden was filled with plants.
One morning Caleb noticed a plant growing right next to the yellow squash. It looked different than the squash plant.
“Hey, Dad, what’s this plant over here?”
Dad came over. “I don’t know. It doesn’t look like a squash. We’ll just have to wait and find out.”
Whenever Caleb was in the garden, he checked on the mystery plant. Before long, he noticed a green ball on the vine. Excitedly, he showed Dad.
“Looks like it might be some kind of melon,” Dad said. “That’s strange. We didn’t plant any melons.”
Each week the ball got bigger and bigger, and soon it started to turn a tan color.
“I think that’s a cantaloupe, Caleb,” Dad said one day. “It must have grown from some seeds that were in the compost.”
Caleb could hardly wait for the melon to grow. He loved cantaloupe.
Soon the garden was producing food for the family. Caleb enjoyed helping with the harvest. Mom bottled many of the fruits and vegetables, and they gave extras to neighbors.
“Caleb, would you go pick a yellow squash for dinner tonight?” Mom asked one evening.
“Sure, Mom!” Caleb ran to the garden. As he gently moved the cantaloupe so he could pick the biggest yellow squash, the cantaloupe fell off the vine. Caleb went to find Dad.
“Dad, I didn’t mean to, but the cantaloupe broke off the vine when I moved it,” Caleb said.
“That’s OK,” Dad said. “That probably means it’s ready to be picked.”
Caleb grinned. “Really? You mean it’s done?”
Dad laughed. “Let’s taste it and find out!”
Caleb brought the cantaloupe into the kitchen, and Dad cut off two slices.
“I guess this cantaloupe is one way Heavenly Father is blessing us for following the prophet,” Dad said.
Caleb looked at the colorful pile of produce on the counter that was waiting to be bottled. “Heavenly Father has blessed us a lot!” he said.
They both smiled as they took their first bite of cantaloupe. It was delicious!
“Have your own experience in planting a garden. … Our labors will continue to bring forth more abundant harvest each year as we follow the Lord’s law of the harvest.” 6
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“The Law of the Harvest,” New Era, Oct. 1980, 4.
Illustration by Brad Teare