April:
Healthy Soil--Healthy Garden, Healthy Soul

Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown." When he said this, he called out, "Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear." (Luke 8:8)

April's Action item is
HEALTHY SOIL--HEALTHY GARDEN, HEALTHY SOUL
 

Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute, says, “the thin layer of topsoil that covers much of the Earth’s surface is the foundation of civilization.” Around the world, however, much of our soil is seriously degraded. If soil fertility is not restored, world hunger is likely to increase significantly. Regenerative agriculture, which increases organic matter, fertility, texture, water retention, and vital organisms in the soil on farms around the world, is showing promise for improving plant health, nutrition, and productivity. These approaches can be duplicated in backyard and community gardens enabling individuals and churches to help restore God’s Earth. Healthy soil practices replenish our earth, and healthy soul practices involving soil can replenish our souls.

 

Gardens are frequently named as important places for people’s spiritual practice of connecting with God as they dig around in the soil. The act of intentionality and presence needed to successfully grow plants, vegetables, flowers, all living things, can help bring our attention to God’s grace and God’s movement in this world. As we get our hands dirty to grow things, we can pay attention to the ways we can honor God by adopting practices that bring health back to our soil.

Resources:

Article: Gillihan, S. (2020). Why Are Gardens So Good For the Soul?


Article: Walton, J. (2018). Regenerative Agriculture Heals Soils & Reverses Climate Change.  

 

Article: Kiss the Ground. (September 20, 2017). An Introduction to Regenerative Agriculture.

Blog: Sigel, C. (February 8, 2017). Plant blueberry bushes outside the fence

Video: Archuleta, R. (2012, May 18). Soil Health. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UfnbiBo-Ds.

 

Video: Best Learning Videos For Kids, Peekaboo Kidz. 2017. Layers Of Soil - The Dr. Binocs Show.

Website Resource: University of Minnesota Extension. Six Tips for Healthy Soil in Your Garden.

Website Resource: University of Minnesota, Minnesota Office For Soil Health, Working Toward Healthy Farms and EcoSystems.

Website Resource: University of Minnesota Soil Testing Laboratory. Get a Soil Test and Make the Most of your Garden. http://soiltest.cfans.umn.edu/

 

Restoring God's Earth is used with permission from Zero Waste Church, www.zerowastechurch.org. Some content has been modified by Crown of Glory. 

Tips 

Week 1

  • Learn about container gardening and/or build a raised garden bed. 

  • Compost your organic waste and use it in your garden. (Watch for more tips about composting in July.)

  • Buy compost from local suppliers.
     

Week 2

  • Shop at a farmers’ market and buy locally grown food in season.

  • Remove weeds by hand, not chemicals.

Week 3

  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  Three Rivers Park District

  • Enhance garden soil by using organic fertilizers or compost.
     

Week 4

  • Volunteer at a community garden or farmers’ market. 

  • Mulch your garden with shredded leaves and avoid tilling your garden.

  • Start a community garden at your school.