The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central Daylight Time.
Wednesdays Romans 1-5 in Greek

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

which works as too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Monday, May 29, 2017

The List of Creation Farmers Grows - Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin moves his cows, chickens, and pigs to balance
the food input and the fertilizer output.
The video below goes into great
detail about his methods, based on God's Creation.

Queen Elizabeth's private gardens use no
man-made toxins. They are productive and teeming with
wildlife of all kinds.

The Salatin Farm - Polyface
 The Salatins have historic ties to Bob Jones University,
where Joel graduated, but now they attract a lot of the new
generation's interest in pure food and honest farming practices.

The Polyface Story

In 1961, William and Lucille Salatin moved their young family to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, purchasing the most worn-out, eroded, abused farm in the area near Staunton. Using nature as a pattern, they and their children began the healing and innovation that now supports three generations.
Disregarding conventional wisdom, the Salatins planted trees, built huge compost piles, dug ponds, moved cows daily with portable electric fencing, and invented portable sheltering systems to produce all their animals on perennial prairie polycultures.
Today the farm arguably represents America’s premier non-industrial food production oasis. Believing that the Creator’s design is still the best pattern for the biological world, the Salatin family invites like-minded folks to join in the farm’s mission: to develop emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises and facilitate their duplication throughout the world.
Where have the butterflies gone?
We kill them to get rid of mosquitoes,
but the mosquitoes never go away.
Painting by Norma Boeckler

Building the Soil
When I began serious gardening in the 1980s, in Midland, I had the run of the Midland Public Library, which included the Rodale Books on organic gardening. I also read the scientific books on agriculture, decomposition, and soil structure. Nothing is quite so complex and interesting as the various soils of the United States and how they formed.
Everyone seems to know that the fertility of the Great Plains came from the perennial prairie grasses enriching the soil and the enormous herds of bison moving across them and fertilizing them. However, modern farming has been depleting the soil built up with grasses and mobile grazing.
Joel Salatin farms the way I garden, aiming at Every Day Low Costs, EDLC, a watchword at Walmart. Sam Walton believed in pushing the price down to draw in more customers, to increase volume and lower prices even more.
If I can buy a two-year bare root rose for $6, then why pay $24 for something similar? If I can renew the soil from the leaves thrown away by my neighbors, why should I buy the chemical fertilizer they seem so anxious to use.
One of the best weed suppressors is Buckwheat. A five-pound bag goes a long way and costs what a bag of herbicide would cost, or better yet (sic) - a bag of chemical fertilizer plus weed killer. Buckwheat removes weeds by competition, but it also improves the soil and attracts pollinators. 
Salatin uses chickens to eat his pests, and I use the local birds, beneficial bugs, and toads.

Birds eat Beautyberries late in the season,
but the plant decorates the garden all summer.

Here are some upcoming chores:

  1. I am digging up the remains of a once-productive KnockOut rose and replacing it with a Beautyberry plant from the backyard. This introduces more variety in the rose garden, especially with plants that are unusual and fun to show off.
  2. The latest thunderstorm gave me rainwater to distribute for special plants and those that need a little boost, such as the Crepe Myrtle twigs.
  3. Piles of grass and clover from the lawnmower will be tucked around the Butterfly Bush for extra food energy.
  4. A bird planted a Boston Ivy vine by sitting on one of my stumps. Transplanting it to the Wild Garden will give that area a vine that grows well in the shade because it reaches for sunlight. Planted in sunlight, it barely moves.
Crepe Myrtles are weed-like in their growth,
but remain ugly without pruning, watering, and feeding.
The Mother of All Myrtles gets a little pruning all the time,
extra water, and plenty of organic food at the base.

Some recent insights to implement:
  • Every living root adds energy to the soil and represents 75% of the organic matter that will go into the soil. Therefore, land without plants is not improving as much as it could with some kind of cover crop.
  • The rose garden will be more productive and friendly to beneficial insects with the mulch supporting Buckwheat rather than low-growing weeds like Bermuda grass. Mulch is like a vacuum - something will fill the emptiness.
  • Dutch White Clover and Wild Strawberries are good companion plants for the roses too, because they are low-growing, invasive, and beneficial. 
  • Water infiltration is far more important than the amount of rainfall. Deeply rooted plants will take the rainfall downward for storage in the soil. 

Creation Gardening Ironic Humor
  1. Chemical gardeners save eggshells for their calcium, which do not decompose, and kill Dandelions, which pull up calcium from the soil. Chemical fertilizers, weed killers, and pesticides kill earthworms, which are the only creature able to manufacture usable calcium for the soil.
  2. Crazy people gather free autumn leaves from their neighbors. Wise recyclers buy leaf bags from Walmart, spend hours raking up leaves, so they can get rid of a major source of carbon for their soil.
  3. Neat landscapers get rid of all yard trash, including overwintering stalks, leaves, and brush-piles. Creation Gardeners listen as the neatnicks marvel over perfect roses that were never fertilized by man, sprayed for fungi, or gassed with pesticides.
  4. Gardeners will push their massive mowers back into the garage after the latest breakdown, wondering why their quirky neighbor only spends a few dollars on a rake and some mulch. 
  5. Every yard boasts 90-100% lawn, which demands water and all kinds of treatments to match the cover of the Scotts Lawn and Garden catalog covers. But nobody gives a clump of sod for Mother's Day or a bag of grass, newly cut, to a friend. They spend $50 a bunch for roses, as little as $10 at Walmart, but those roses dry up faster than a Phoenix clothesline.

Our Rose Ministry
We have a problem. Mrs. Ichabod and I love to watch roses bloom, so that means pruning them almost daily, sometimes watering them. They need little care beyond that. Pruning makes them grow even more fruitful, John 15:1-10.

To solve the pruning problem, I cut the best roses for the altar, for neighbors, for all the doctors we visit, for the entire block on Mother's Day, for the cancer support group, for anyone who has an interest in enjoying them. Hinting broadly that we had more roses than vases, we obtained a long shelf full of vases, from the smallest to the largest needed. Besides that drink cups serve well.

Our neighbor visits the cemetery almost every day, because he recently lost his mother and his step-father. He and his brother took care of them until the end. They love having roses to leave at the cemetery, so I drop off a cup-vase full of them any time.

Many are bowled over by the roses, and several of our doctors are confessing Christians, not afraid to name the Name. So we give away Creation Gardening all the time. In fact, there is a waiting line for the next shipment of 10 full-color booklets. LI sees the same diabetic specialist and said, "I was there just after you two were, and she was seriously disturbed by the quality of your roses."

 Creation Gardening - By Him Were All Things Made.
Amazon and Kindle.