Thursday, March 6, 2008

Fields of Dreams?

From Noel:

While Talitha was getting her hair braided (don't miss the post just previous to this one), I was attending a workshop, Farming God's Way presented by Care of Creation staff.
During the morning, twenty-one farmers first conversed about the difference in yields over the last 30 years. The farmers harvested an average of 19.6 bags of corn/acre in 1977 and in 2007 it was only an average of 6.5 bags. The land is depleted by erosion, irregular rains, pests, etc. All of these are connected in various ways to the vast deforestation--no root system to hold the water, no nesting places for birds who eat the pests, and the loss of the moisture provided by trees that contributes to rainfall.
Then they heard from Craig and his coworker, Francis, the biblical foundation for taking care of God's creation. Though farmers are considered the bottom of the heap here, they are working in God's image, God who was the first farmer (Gen. 2:8-9).
After lunch Craig and Francis gave instruction in the method of Farming God's Way. One of the first questions was this: With your dead cornstalks is it more important to feed your cow or your soil? The instinct is to feed the hungry cow. But every year your cow gets hungrier because you have fewer cornstalks. If the cornstalks become mulch to enrich the soil and hold moisture, both your cow and you eat better next year. The method involves tilling the soil only once, at the beginning. After that the farmer keeps the ground covered and just digs seed holes.
Well, I could go on. There was 3 hours of great biblical and practical information. We ended by visiting the demonstration farm, where corn and beans were just harvested. The farmers felt the coolness of the mulched soil and were amazed at the height of the corn stalks and the amount of yield.
Pray that they will be convinced to try something new. They are from 10 different churches and as many different communities, so there won't necessarily be supportive neighbors when they don't do what's always been done.
Pray that God will prosper the work of the Care of Creation staff with many "fields of dreams."


Molly said...

Wow, such a gift Care of Creation is giving to these farmers! I love this kind of problem-solving work.

Anonymous said...

Hi Noel and Talitha,
We have been keeping updated through your blog. Thank you! We had no idea that you two were going until a couple of days before you left. What a wonderful opportunity for you both. Talitha, your hair is beautiful. We can't wait to see you. We would love to get together and hear about your trip and see pictures. I had wanted to blog sooner, but as always life in the Haas home remains exciting. Jacob got 3 shots on Monday as part of his routine well check. As we were leaving the clinic, we got into the elevator and Jacob fainted. He just got woozy from the shots. Unfortunately he fell on a metal bar that ran around the perimeter of the floor of the elevator and had to be rushed by ambulance to Children's where he received 22 stitches above his left eye. It was not a fun day, but God was so faithful in many ways, too many to count. There is another little Haas story for you. I am thankful Talitha that your shots were uneventful:)
We will continue to pray for you. I will have Elizabeth blog tomorrow.

Love to you both,
Heather/Mrs. Haas