The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

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email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Back to Nature - Acknowledging Creation

 Gabe Brown found that crop failures improved his soil.


Two readers are just as interested in the new/old growing methods as I am. Caution - I have seen on YouTube videos that the pioneering growers are looked upon with suspicion by the man-made chemicals farmers.

 Salatin's mobile chicken house,
which follows the cattle, which are moved daily.

 Salatin manages the resources around him,
basing his work on God's Creation.


Stars of the new methods are:

  • Gabe Brown, with his emphasis on cover crops and the absence of plowing.
  • Joel Salatin, who has rejected chemicals and toxins in favor of cover crops, grazing, and letting animals be treated humanely.
Both have a number of YouTube videos explaining their work. Salatin's best book is The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer.

I just bought the Kindle book - The Soil Will Save us.

These people have discovered what Rodale found many decades ago, that organic or Creation agriculture boosts the nutrition of plants and animals, the health of those who eat organically grown food.

I can hear my father's voice at the dinner table: "Chicken has no flavor anymore. They come from factories. Tomatoes taste like water." Our neighbor had a garden devoted to tomatoes, so we had sacks of fresh tomatoes with real taste. 

The chemical experts have scared people away from enjoying gardens. Every growing center has sacks of fertilizer and pesticides to use. My refutation of that approach is - "Have you ever taken a deep breath on those aisles? It is sickening." Many agree.

Most gardening books pass on the myths of the past, to make matters worse. A massive picture book will dismiss compost, leaves, and mulch in favor of extensive discussions on which NPK fertilizer to use. They are frightened to death about the damage potential of mulch and manure! I suspect that many books are simply sales brochures for the old order.

I got into organic gardening because my mother was developing her garden that way, way back when the oldest among you were struggling with trikes and dolls. Also, I saw the price of fertilizers and pesticides, truly a conversion experience.



The more I studied, starting with the Rodale books, the more I saw the perfect harmony of organic gardening and health, Creation and the entire Bible. Take away Creation by the Word - and the Scriptures are mostly gone, reduced to a Jefferson Bible of aphorisms, which is so much safer than the original version.

The US Constitution did not establish the separation of Church and Garden, but the modern minds of the Great Depression did. The more we were herded into socialism, now assumed to be ideal, the more we were embarrassed to give God credit for anything but bad news. 

"Why does God allow cancer?" is not as significant as "Why does God allow idiots to rule?" The second question is the big one.

Autumn Leaves
One discussion involved a gardener who gets tons of coffee grounds, absent a local supply of leaves. Just to point out a simple fact - our backyard has had 120 bags of leaves spread across the gardens in the last two years. Most of them are decomposed into the soil, adding carbon for the soil fungus, minerals for everything.

He wrote: I will consider the buckwheat. We did grow peas this spring and when the heat got to them, we cut the plants off at ground level and left the plant matter as a mulch and the roots to release their nitrogen into the soil. The more I learn about this stuff, the more sense it makes and the more I want to work to improve the soil, which is the foundation for a good garden. 


Above, I referenced "magic" in regards to leaves in the garden, but, it is not "magic", it is design; it is God's handiwork right before our eyes. And yet, like the fools we are, we deny what is irrefutably evident. Lord, have mercy!

Like the physician we visited yesterday, I see the plant cells for what they are under a microscope, not a blob but a collection of highly engineered chemical nano-factories, doing their work superbly. The work of drawing water from the soil and evaporating it into the air is just one part of plant engineering we take for granted. Stand in our shaded Wild Garden and experience the cool, refreshing air on the muggiest day. The tree air-conditioning units are working quietly, not simply to shade but also to provide evaporative cooling. I do not rake their leaves away or burn them, but deliver more leaves by the Town-Car-load.



Our attorney is busy with his agricultural plans. We discussed Gabe Brown and cover crops - and using autumn leaves to provide an ideal blanket for tender crops like roses and grapes. I never lost a rose to cold in New Ulm, because I enclosed the rose garden in chicken-wire and filled it four-feet deep with leaves. Most of them were absorbed into the soil by time the rose were ready to bud again.

Is this an accident? - A pile of leaves is an ideal, breathing and insulating blanket, with a lot of dead air spaces to protect the plants. And yet we can buy styrofoam cones to do the same thing that God provides for free. I would not wrap any plant in styrofoam for the winter.

Disagree? Off with your head!


Selective Diversity versus True Diversity
The current fad is selective diversity, with "selective" omitted. The idea is to empower the activist minorities while staging the takeover as diversity, so much more sensitive and democratic. That is why public education and most of higher education is monoculture, where original thought is condemned in the harshest terms. I told one class, "If you want diversity, why not treat the disabled as equals in higher education?" The billionaire's assistant was in the class and beamed at me. Her husband moved about in a wheelchair, unknown to me.



Garden and farm diversity mean letting God's Creation mix a bit, perhaps a lot. Previously I aimed at a rose garden that was exclusively roses. That makes sense to most people.

Getting up to speed on beneficial insects meant giving space for those plants favored by pest-eating insects and spiders. The ordinary Shasta Daisy became - "Oh, Shasta Daisy! Must have!" Borage for herbal enjoyment became Borage! - for building up the beneficial population. 

Roses are the reason. I see the faces of people getting a vase of perfect roses. What did I do? Almost nothing. The beneficial insects - many overlapping species - are lying in wait to devour rose pests or to lay their eggs on/in/near pests. Junior hatches, only to find himself inside a warm, fresh nutritious meal. At the worst, he is near the food. The more the plant cries out for help, the more eggs are laid. 

How do I know this to be true? The beneficial insects hover around the flowers in the vase, which sits on a stump or the hood of the car. The insects show up in church, too, because the roses go into a vase of water just before the service. 

Spray poisons for aphids? No, I let the insects and spiders do their work. I have a little rose damage early, hardly any later in the summer.




Cover Cropping - Related to Diverse Planting
They have found that cover crops do far more for the soil than letting it lie fallow. The living roots feed the soil by turning rain and solar energy into soil food, whether it is called humus or carbon or organic matter.

A diverse planting feeds far more beneficial insects, as I have learned. The moment I had Shasta Daisies planted, the Tachinid fly appeared. Looking like a housefly, the Tachinid is a true warrior against pests. I saw them before, but they seemed especially drawn to the Daisy. 

We need one more iteration of the rose garden. I like that term, which computer people like to toss into a discussion. I am going to most things in place but make Hostas the cover crop between roses. Something is going to grow on the mulch, whether Bermuda grass or Buckwheat. I am thinking that a selection of Hosta would make great solar collectors, Hummingbird feeders, and weed blockers.