Green Acres – Where God’s Nurturing Comes to Fruition


“Green Acres is the place to be. Farm living is the life for me!”

Everyone reading this may not remember the 1960’s TV show “Green Acres”, and it’s possible some others wish they didn’t remember it. (It’s still in re-runs over forty years later). It was a corny comedy about a New York lawyer and his wife who moved to a run-down farm. Oliver Wendell Douglas’ dream was to be a farmer. He wanted to do something productive with his hands and hard work.

The comedy came from Mr. Douglas’ trials and tribulations as he pursued that dream. At times, when others questioned why he didn’t give up, he launched into a speech about what it all means as “you plant the seeds in the ground, wait with anticipation, watch the plants shooting up to the sky (or “shoosting” as his Hungarian wife, Lisa, said), and water and care for them until you enjoy the harvest of your labor.” Oliver just wanted to nurture something and have it come to fruition.

I admit to having had varying levels of “Green Acres Syndrome” through much of my life (wanting to be a farmer, while not knowing much about it). At this point, though, I do know enough to realize it’s hard work, that sometimes pays and sometimes doesn’t. I’m thankful for my regular salary, having a small tractor to bush-hog our old pasture every now and then, and having a few raised beds in the garden to raise a “crop” or two.

While the “Mr. Douglas” plans have waned, I can say the basics of the syndrome remain. It’s still a thrill to go through the process of planting, waiting, watching, watering and feeding, and then enjoying your harvest. I’m thankful my wife, Sharon, still gets a kick out of seeing her nearly 60 year-old husband coming toward the house like a little kid to show her my handful of tomatoes or carrots. What a blessing as the nurturing comes to fruition!

I guess the purpose of nurturing anything is to have a positive effect – to help it mature. The Apostle Peter wrote of the process of nurturing our faith: 

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV

The verses before these explain that while we work on this process, it’s God Who gives us His power and His promises that enable us. God is nurturing us through it. As our faith grows and blossoms (through His help) it matures into that greatest of all things – love. And we know that God gets a kick out of seeing His children show Him the fruits of their work – as we love Him and love one another. What a blessing when God’s nurturing comes to fruition!     

His (God’s) delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. Psalms 147:10-11 ESV

33 thoughts on “Green Acres – Where God’s Nurturing Comes to Fruition

  1. I’m “nearly 60” too and remember that show well. 🙂
    It’s always a joy when we feel God is nourishing us and we’re growing. Trouble is, we tend to want to shoot out more one way–towards our own inclinations:)–than becoming a well proportioned plant. Then we feel God’s pruning clippers. Ouch!

  2. Fun post, Bill. I’m afraid I’ll now be singing the theme song all day. Thanks alot! (No, really.)

    Loved the idea of nurturing through growing things. My writing is like that–sometimes it takes a whole lot of nurturing (and years) before they they ever bloom; much less can be harvested. For me, the results–even though they’re intangible words–end up with something tangible that can be held and hopefully be useful for others.

    • “Land spreadin’ out so far and wide, keep Manhattan just give me that countryside!” (You’re very welcome Carol)
      As I was considering what to write, “writing” was on my list of things we need to nurture.

  3. Boy did you bring back memories! I recall watching the Tonight show when Eva Gabor came on to talk about her new show called Green Acres. I loved their cast of of wacky characters…Eb, Alph & Ralph, the Real Estate agent whose name I can’t remember, Arnold the Pig and his “parents.” They had a change in management at CBS and in one fell swoop they canceled all the “Corny Farm Shows” like Green Acres, Beverly Hillbillies, etc. Those shows are stillin reruns; they’re replacements are long forgotten. I agree with Carol. I’ll be humming that song, “Fa-a-rm living that’s the life for me!…” all day. Good Luck on this year’s crop.

  4. I have a simple raised bed garden and even when I don’t work it I just take a look almost every day. I like giving away the fruits and veggies. In addition it’s something the kids and I can do together to bring us closer.

  5. Bill, you struck few cords with me this morning. First the TV show, then gardening. I love planting and seeing things grow. I am not sure which I love more planting the seeds, bulbs or seedlings or just putting my hands in the dirt. Then comes the anticipation, hoping the picture I had in my mind matches the result. I am always surprised that the result is more than I imagined. Peace and Blessings

  6. I’m nowhere near 60, but I remember Green Acres. My brothers and I used to watch it, Beverly Hillbillies and Gilligan’s Island all the time. I can still sing the theme song – but I won’t.

    Terrific post, Bill. We writers and creative types can relate especially vividly to the concept of nourishing something and watching it come to fruition. That’s what we all do with our stories, poems, blogs, etc. – we plant those little word seeds and try to help them grow into something that will bless others.

    As for actual plants, unless it’s a pothos, I’m likely to kill it. I’ll stick with growing my blogs and books. 😉

    • Thank you Traci – I think the show must have been in reruns constantly over the decades. That’s a great phrase of “planting the little word seeds”. It does take nurturing for them to grow and produce something that blesses others.

  7. I don’t remember watching Green Acres so I took a look on you tube. it made me laugh.
    a little nurturing brings great rewards.

  8. Green Acres… that is an oldie (that I remember too!!)… lol… do you remember the telephone operator? She was a hoot!

    I can see God’s love at work in your “garden”… through the picture you’ve shared and in your inspiring words 🙂

  9. Hi Bill. Great post. Nurturing anything, whether it be a farm, a child, or a dream, takes much toil and sacrifice. Thanks for inspiring me to keep nurturing those things that God has entrusted to my care.

  10. Great post! (Sorry I’m so late on this – it’s been a very busy week.)

    I love your statement, “I guess the purpose of nurturing anything is to have a positive effect – to help it mature.” I needed to hear that today. Thanks. 🙂

  11. I’m not familiar with this show, but it reminds me of a British comedy (also before my time) called The Good Life, about a couple who decided to try their hand a self-sufficiency right in the middle of the suburbs of London.

    I started trying to grow a few vegies in the backyard after we moved into our current house, as a way of saving a few dollars. It is surprisingly rewarding when you get to harvest and eat stuff that you have nurtured through its growth.

    I really like the picture of our faith being nurtured.

  12. Pingback: Nurture | The Collings Zone

  13. I loved this post (made me feel like I was coming home), and I definitely remember that show, as does my husband. A few years ago, he constantly hummmed the theme to let me know he was ready to move to the country.

    Like you, I suffer from farmer’s syndrome and many other dromes. 🙂 Too bad that you, Sharon, my husband, and I couldn’t sit down and eat some homegrown tomato sandwiches together.

    • Thanks Deborah – glad you enjoyed it. That would be nice to share some sandwiches! I did pick my first zucchini yesterday, so I told Sharon the gardening season is officially a success.

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