When You Garden You Grow

“Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce.” Proverbs 3:9

Here on the urban homestead, our connection with the land and caretakers of creation we celebrate the blessings of First Fruits.

A Backyard Analogy

“Most simply stated, “First-Fruits Giving” can be likened to picking the very first ripe, red, juicy, Jersey tomato of the season off your vine and offering…  to the (Creator) who brought it forth from seed, with praise and thanksgiving for all the harvests of the past and with a sure confidence and faith that before the season is over, your vine will yield an abundant crop.”  — New Jersey Synod Resource 4 Development Team 2003

Gardening is not a solo job – you rely on a realm beyond your understanding and faith that hard work will bring forth results.   But there’s more to that than dirty fingernails and sore backs.   It’s about giving back and we implement that practice by “tithing” our first fruits, returning them to the soil from which they came.

Gardening brings us a certain appreciation of our place here on earth, rooting us to the fact that “by the sweat of our brow” we “reap what we sow”


  1. Gary Arnold says:

    Tithing has nothing to do with firstfruits.

    In Nehemiah 10:37 we learn that the firstfruits were taken to the temple for the priests, and the tithes were taken to the Levites who lived in the Levitical cities. Therefore, it has been established that firstfruits have nothing to do with the tithe. Firstfruits is not a tenth, it is the first. A tithe is a tenth.

  2. Mercye says:

    What an inspiration – the picture of the first fruits and the scripture.

  3. Bobby Rodriguez says:

    I have thought about this very issue recently. I was not sure how to actually “tithe” the produce. I was thinking of just turning it into my compost pile. How do you guys return it to the soil?


  4. 1916home says:

    Sounds good to me!

  5. Sally says:

    How lovely.

  6. Sarah says:

    It’s wonderful to see others realize that it is not their “power” that created the vegetation, it truly is a gift! We can care for it, and water it, love it, protect it… but in the end, it is NOT up to us whether that plant produces a harvest or not.

    May God bless you for your faithfulness!

    • Cc says:

      I bring my first fruits to the Pastor and his family. What he doesn’t want, he lays out for the congregation to pick from. It’s a little different than in old Testament times, but I have peace about the decision. I also bring extra produce to the congregation. We have a first fruits table, that is set up in summer time. Older folks on SS, really love it. You can’t go wrong by blessing others. Many Blessings to you all. C

      • Anais says:

        @Cc: That’s a wonderful way of sharing first fruits. Thank YOU for sharing this story with us. Many blessings to you too, it’s wonderful how you are touching so many folks in your community through such an offering.

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