The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

From Rhinestone Cowboy to Carbon Cowboy.
Plants and Beneficial Creatures Have Spiritual Gifts

Be a hero in your garden.

My parents grew up on their family farms, and we often visited farms for extended family visits. My happiest memories are from staying at Howard and Grace Noel's farm, where I did some chores and got treated like a grandchild.



The era of chemical gardening and farming is moving toward natural - or Creation agriculture. No one seems to use the term Creation, but they do talk about:

  • Carbon Cowboys
  • Regenerative Farming
  • Organic food
  • Teaming with Microbes
  • No-till.
Logs make great borders, adding food centers
for beneficial creatures like toads and birds,
slowly rotting into the soil.

This new approach to growing food - or flowers - concentrates on one thing - how the soil gains or loses its health. I shared some plants with staff at our dentist's office. The dentist's wife was momentarily upset that I got "dirt" on the main desk. I was going to say, "Soil, not dirt," but I let the opportunity go. No gardener would confuse soil with dirt.

Everyone is still stuck on spraying to have good roses. When Mrs. Ichabod brought in a new bunch of roses to her cancer support group, one woman said, "Doesn't he spray a lot?" The answer was - "No, never."

The change from rhinestone cowboy to carbon carboy is dramatic -

  1. Insects, spiders, and birds take care of insect pests.
  2. Organic matter quickly becomes a blessing in the soil.
  3. Costs are lowered to almost nothing, if wisdom prevails.

The soil teems with life, especially earthworms, and becomes fertile, or more fertile, or astonishingly fertile -

If man's agricultural solutions worked - monoculture, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides - then we would not have failing farms, sick animals, and weed-choked gardens. The farmers have said, the more they followed chemical methods, the greater their total production and the lower their net profits. Two reasons for this are - the cost of all the chemicals plus the cost of treating sick animals.




The leaf-shredding speaker above has good tips about leaves being good and coffee grounds being fabulous, but I disagree about the need to shred leaves and form compost piles that are mixed.  Of course, some people need a harmless hobby, so I would not take him away from vacuuming his yard, shredding his leaves, and stirring his compost. I let the leaves alone, because they rot just fine over the winter and early spring, and I add as many bags as possible to the front and back yard.

I was grabbing leaf-bags from the curb when Little Ichabod was young enough to hide in the back seat and say, "Why can't my dad be normal?"

Aha, I was way ahead of everyone. Soon LI's offspring will visit and no longer say, "This looks like a cemetery," but "Ooooh. Look at all the roses." Even later they will read about gardeners who use logs, stumps, and wood mulch to enhance the soil.

As the speaker said, almost all food garbage is lacking in nitrogen and other helpful soil chemicals. The exception - coffee grounds. I put coffee grounds on the plants that need extra help, simply dropping the grounds on top. Soil creatures take care of the mixing.

Another result of my YouTube research was a bit about the number of plants on a given stretch of land. They are discovering that a wide variety of plants will do a much better job, especially with cover crops. Even now, many farmers grow soybeans and corn, corn and soybeans. They use one crop only a cover crop to let the soil recover its nitrogen and carbon.

The pioneers in cover cropping are creating mixes with as many as 20 plants together, which generates a quite a universe for insects and soil improvement. This lets the divine engineering of Creation do its work.

One plant will improve nitrogen in the soil while growing food for cattle. Another will improve the phosphorus in the soil and a different kind of nutrition for the herd.

I find it amusing that so many people put eggshells out, which will decompose as fast as granite. But they kill or pull out the Dandelion herb, which does pull up usable calcium for the soil.



The plant and insect populations are engineered by God to have different needs at different times. Therefore, a diversity of planting will promote a stronger and more active beneficial population. Paul would call these spiritual gifts.

1 Corinthians 12 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

Strangely enough, people ignore their own gifts and covet the gifts of others. As in Creation, God has spread special abilities around so that no one has a monopoly and no one is lacking in having spiritual gifts.