Lets touch on the grand ol’ subject of composting. I almost cringe at the subject. Not because it isn’t important, but because the gardening industry has truly made this subject way more complicated than need be. I’ve done it, picked the right spot, put up a fence or a dug a hole or designated THAT spot in some way and started throwing scraps there. I’ve considered the multi hundred dollar spinning machine or fancy “smell proof bins” Each idea has some sort of smell, turning, watering and moving of the soil! Seriously… who can afford it or has time for all that?
Compost where you are going to plant… oh yes! I said it! Raise your hand if you have ever seen the BEST plants come up in your compost and just not have the heart to pull them?! This year, pick a new place you’d like to do something with NEXT year.
Build the bed or designate it etc and then start layering in the goodness. Turn your existing soil over, then throw scraps, and weeds etc in and cover with straw and another layer of dirt. Straw and dirt keeps the birds, mice and smell down.
Keep layering and watering all year till your bed is full. Use the soil readily available. If you have chickens add a layer of the poop you have to clean out of the coop. If you really want to guarantee success, layer in worms. Let it sit all winter. In spring don’t turn it just plant something easy like Kentucky Wonder pole beans in the last top layer of soil. They are not easily upset and add benefits to your soil as they grow. At the end of that season turn everything over with a shovel and revel in your beautiful healthy soil!
Why do we add organic matter to our soil?
Because something must die for something else to live.
Isn’t it amazing that God says so much about soil in the Bible? What about the parable of the seed and sower? Does it not describe the different kinds of soil we have? I think the only one missing is waterlogged soil. So why does organic matter help EVERY scenario? I’ll tell you. Organic is an adjective that is defined as “of, relating to, or derived from living matter”. You must have something alive and it must die for something to live.
Science says “life is derived from life”. There are only 2 times in the history of science that scientists deny this. First is the creation of the universe. How did so much life come from nothing? Second is the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus for payment of our sin thereby giving us….. life! Just because science denies these doesn’t mean they are false. Even science (which by the way is the process of observation and documentation by definition) proves Jesus. Any time we observe something in this world and document it correctly your going to find Jesus.
Science says organic matter in soil decomposes and the process of decomposition adds vitamins minerals and benefits to soil. How then do we apply this to our garden? It’s incredibly simple. Put something alive in the dirt to die and decompose.
How do we apply this to ourselves? How do we become good ground for the Jesus’ life to grow and produce fruit in us? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be rocky, or weedy or hard. The key is to die to ourselves.
What does that really mean though? If you’ve been a believer for any amount of time you’ve heard this saying. It comes from Galatians 2:20 (I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me) and many other scriptures. It means we let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice, and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:13).
Let me give you a personal example. My earthly father was a troubled veteran. He was not a good father or husband. I grew up learning to hold bitterness against him. As the Lord worked on my heart over the years I forgave him and helped him move from NY to NM to live with us. How is this dying to myself? He ridiculed my every decision, my family and my Jesus and each day I had to forgive him a fresh. My flesh wanted to rise up and declare how much better a person I was. Only I could not do that because I wasn’t. He had never accepted Jesus and when I was without Jesus I was no better. The ME in me is still no better. Jesus is the better life in me. I had to refuse my fleshy response. As I have walked thru this will Jesus, my heart has softened, my soul has been encouraged and my life has produced fruit.
If dirt could talk it probably would say that it doesn’t like being broken, turned upside down, added to and put to work. In the end though, just as we do…. it would see the benefit, feel the accomplishment and hear the words “well done my good and faithful servant”.