| Gardening is contagious. |
Here are some KnockOut roses.
My neighbor has a wonderful nursery - Almost Eden.
Last night began a long, slow rain that should last all day. A large front is moving up from the Gulf of Mexico, through Texas, and traveling onto the Midwest, ending on the East Coast.
These weather systems help us realize how water gathered by a single dam can become a threat to hundreds of thousands of people - like the crisis at the Oroville Dam in California. In 2005, various groups filed petitions to have the earthen spillways made into concrete because of the danger of erosion, now happening as predicted.
I love these rainy days because God is doing so much work with billions of creatures in the soil. Microscopic, beneficial fungal strands are connecting the most elaborate Local Area Network (LAN) anyone can imagine. In fact, no human expected anything so complicated a few years ago. There it was, under our feet.
Fungus tunnels through the soil, finer than human hair, seeking whom it may devour - wood chips, decaying animals, anything organic. The tip of the fungus has enormous power to penetrate wood and chemicals to dissolve and absorb the nutrition. What really astonishes me are the proteins used by the fungus to move chemicals through its skin. No moving parts - this fungus is not even certified as a plant. Nevertheless, the Creating Word designed fungus to use proteins specific for each kind of chemical transport.
| The leaves, mulch, and dead wood clumps|
are now a much larger pyramid of fungus, earthworm,
and soil food.
Their work feeds the Crepe Myrtle bush above.
The fungus is worried and anxious about many things, taking from various organic sources and serving multiple plants at once in this elaborate, microscopic, self-regulating LAN. If roots need more water, the fungus can deliver. When the plants demand prepared, ready-to-use nutrition, the fungus acts upon the chemical request. But one thing is needful - carbon. The fungus cannot manufactures its own carbon, so it must beg from the plant roots.
| Months of showy Crepe Myrtle blooms|
come from an autumn and winter of feeding the soil
through organic materials processed by God's creatures.
The roots are devious, because they must have what the fungus can deliver, so they give up spare carbon to keep the fungus alive and growing. Some plants can live without this fungal support around them and in them, but most achieve their best results teaming with fungus, as Jeff Lowenfels has described in a series of books.
Who created and engineered these teams to work together so well? When like-minded and cooperative humans decide to build a church or add onto their building, experts assume that this task will take two years and end up with mistakes, conflicts, finger-pointing, and regrets - even on dedication day. But these microscopic parts of God's Creation build and maintain this living LAN, which repairs itself when needed.
If Mr. Gardener gets a rototiller for Father's Day, conveniently in June, he cannot wait to tear through his future garden, flinging fungal strands everywhere, destroying earthworms, disturbing the layers of soil. As soon as he retires inside to clean up and congratulate himself, the fungal strands begin rebuilding the LAN and supporting all life, above and beneath. With luck, the belt will break on the rototiller and life will be peaceful for several weeks.
The rain is essential for this building of the soil, since all life requires hydration. But rain is the best kind, feeding all life at once and adding a gentle and natural fertilizer in the form of nitrogen compounds. Soil life goes into overdrive, because the microscopic networks expand to recycle the population explosion around them - bugs hatching, earthworms moving and dying, plant debris decaying on top of the soil, roots tunneling and dying.
The melting snow and falling rain always have an effect. The Spirit teaches this in the Word and Creation illustrates this truth from the beginning of time - God spoke the Word - Let there be light - and there was light.