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I thought I had reviewed this over a week ago I don't always read a book immediately Poor photocopied pages.

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I opened the nice hard cover I can read the words- but the book's pages a Icterogenic Ebooks Index. Home DMCA. Farming As A Spiritual Discipline. The exciting story will keep young readers interested and wanting to read more. We did everything we could to save them, spending 2 full days putting frost blankets on and off the plants, fighting high winds and our own ignorance.

Battling pest and disease, death came to almost fully ripe fruit and the plants that gave them birth in a hard freeze too early in the season to be expected.

Flourish Book Review: Farming as a Spiritual Discipline by Ragan Sutterfield

It is now three months later and the field has been replanted with potatoes and other vegetables. However, the dead and tilled tomatoes and tomatillos from before sprouted again by the hundreds. Creation itself had other plans. The fruit had fallen into the ground and died; moreover out of that death came hundreds of small plants growing wild on their own without our control. Though thinned out now, we left many growing in between rows, in rows and other places.

Ragan Sutterfield

There is a beauty to the wildness, a sense of awe and respect, a remembrance of death and a hope for new life. The steward is the manager or economist of the household.


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It is not about tithing some portion from the excess of wealth, but in self-sacrifice managing all of our resources, i. Understanding the rhythms of creation. God created the earth and its seasons.

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There is an appointed time kairos for everything, a time to plant and a time to uproot. One way of participating in the rhythmic flow of creation is by practicing Sabbath. Farming is hard and tireless work; there is always work to be done. Sabbath needs to be taken by the farmer and given to the land. By recognizing the rhythms of creation, we can better understand the rhythms of our own lives. Health is found in diversity.

Large-scale monocultures destroy the land. The only way to make monocultures work is by polluting the land with fertilizers and pesticides. With diversity there is health. Certain plants give back to the soil that which other plants take. A diversity of crops helps with insect control and natural fertilization. Large-scale mechanized farming compacts and erodes the soil and destroys the ability to provide quality healthy food.

In diversity there is life; in singularity, autonomy and monism of any kind, there is death. The farm should reflect the Creator and His creation, plurality in unity, diversity in harmony. Farming operations in the United States use more petroleum and petroleum-based products than almost any other industry. A biblical understanding of farming requires justice, compassion and stewardship. Soil is like a bank account.

A grass-fed cattle rancher near Tallahassee, FL told me that the number one thing to focus on when ranching, farming or gardening is the soil. He said that the soil is like a bank account; you have to make deposits if you want to make withdrawals. Without investing in the fertility of the soil by using cover crops, crop rotation, and caring with compost and mulch you will quickly see the effects on the plants. I want to take this thought one step further.

Adding chemical and salt-based synthetic fertilizers and herbicides is like the current Federal Reserve money printing habits in economic crisis. The only way out of unhealthy soil is to create and deposit synthetic solutions, which pollute the water table and further diminish the value of the garden, creating false fertility out of thin air.

The soil is now worthless and your entire garden is sick. Quick fixes coat the problem, but declining health comes as a result of it and leads to further destruction. Healthy soil is alive and moving. Only a teaspoon of good garden soil contains a billion bacteria, yards of fungal hyphae, thousands of protozoa, and a few dozen nematodes. Good soil will have up to 50 earthworms in a square foot, as well as macro and micro arthropods.

Healthy soil is diverse as a farm is diverse as the body of Christ is diverse. Unhealthy soil is pale, uniform and dead, arrived at by quick fixes and fast food fertilizer. The best way to add nutrients to the soil is through compost and protection with mulch. The garden should be covered with the appropriate mulches and given the appropriate natural fertilizers, like sugars, rock amendments and organic compost, consisting of greens, browns and nitrogen tailored to the needs of particular plants.

Even Jesus knew about fertilizer! Gardening is drudgery, especially pulling weeds. Crawling, bending and pulling with care, being stung by thorns and thistles like nettle weed of a cursed ground is a necessity for a productive garden. Tilling, hoeing and weeding is back-breaking work. The work never ends and the garden is in constant need of care. However, even beauty and healing can come from weeds.

Nettle weed, which is extremely painful, injects histamine into the skin - not a fun experience — but the weed can also used for relieving symptoms of arthritis. Can the mundane work of pulling weeds, doing household chores, cleaning chicken manure, and especially for my spouse, household and farm accounting be a spiritual practice? I think it can be. August 7, Actually, I found this yesterday!


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By singing songs and praising God while I working, I found great joy. Meditative psalms of praise in solitude and community transform my being vertically and connect me horizontally. That is, by finding joy in the Spirit, I find renewed compassion for the world. Shalom is found in communion with God, even in the boring and continual tasks of managing a household.

Spiritual Disciplines with Donald Whitney

The most important thing to remember is the farm is not a factory; it is a household economy, a way of life, a spiritual discipline. Farming incorporates roles of responsibility that require justice, compassion and stewardship. I am a father, husband, shepherd, pastor, teacher, community leader, missionary, businessman, gardener, veterinarian, artist, mechanic, carpenter and chef.

Bibliography Banks, Robert. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, Banks, Robert and R. Paul Stevens, eds. The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity. Downer Groves: IVP, Berry, Wendell. Berkeley: Counterpoint, Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community. New York: Pantheon Books, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture. San Francisco: Sierra Club, Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food. Berkley: Counterpoint, Doherty, Catherine. Apostolic Farming: Healing the Earth.

Ontario: Madonna House Publications,