The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Sources: Books for Creation Gardening
The most basic book for organic gardening concerns the soil, since everything on land depends on the health of the soil. In the past, the soil was often discussed in terms of its various components and the creatures that lived underneath the surface. But recently, an astonishing work has moved far beyond that to treat the interaction of microbial soil life and its effect on the plants. The book is:
Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition, by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis, available on Amazon and Kindle. Hereafter cited as Teaming with Microbes.
Many people grow alarmed at the number and appetites of insect pests, aphids wrecking a blooming cycle of roses or asparagus beetles devouring asparagus that should be gathering strength for spring spears. Jessica Walliser has written a brilliant, fascinating book on the use of beneficial bugs, how to allow them to feed on pests and take up residence as guardians of the garden. She examines the growth of plants that attract and protect beneficial creatures and shows how they show up for the damage and raise their useful children nearby, to keep predation at low levels.
Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control, by Jessica Walliser, available on Amazon and Kindle. Hereafter cited as Beneficial Bugs.
Gardeners gain from a three-dimension view that includes all the elements of our surroundings. By chance I came across A Blessing of Toads, by Sharon Lovejoy, which reveals her life-long love of gardening, her hours of observation, her drawings, and her knowledge of birds, insects, soil, plants, and toads.
Sharon Lovejoy, A Blessing of Toads: A Guide to Living with Nature. Available on Amazon and Kindle. Hereafter cited as Blessing of Toads.
We are blessed by an artist-in-residence as well. Norma A. Boeckler has provided artwork for this book and many others, as well as having her own line of books on Amazon and Kindle. Her Amazon and Kindle books include:
The Augsburg Confession
The Art of Norma Boeckler
A Treasury of Inspirational Quotes
Her author’s page is found here:
Additional Books To Read
The Grace Dow Library in Midland was my Harvard and Yale in gardening. The most useful publisher was Rodale Press, a pioneer in the organic approach. Their books are detailed and practical.
Since the Internet is our new, enlarged library, a key term to use is “the soil food web,” a perspective that avoids toxins and sees life as completely connected.
Joseph A. Cocannouer. Weeds Guardians of the Soil. 1950. These plants are ideal for renewing the soil, in many different ways.
Wilfred Shewell-Cooper. Compost Gardening. He used vast compost bins to mulch his gardens.
Charles Darwin The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Earthworms, With Observations of Their Habits. 1881. He missed the boat about their use in soil, spending 40 years observing their ability to raise its level and cover boulders.
Edward Faulkner, Plowman’s Folly. 1943. Using green manure instead of churning up the soil.
Albert Howard, An Agricultural Testament, 1943. He promoted compost to renew the soil.
Ruth Stout. How To Have a Green Thumb without an Aching Back. 1961. Sister of Rex Stout, she pioneered mulching to feed the soil and suppress weeds.
Gregory L. Jackson, The Wormhaven Gardening Book. 1996. Available on Lulu.com