Thriving Native Grasses Result In Full Aquifers

Here are some points that I just love about this video

~ Mr David Bamberger purchased this property when it was in terrible shape:  overgrown with brush, there was absolutely no water, and just all around useless.  He begins to plant native grasses and remove the overgrowth of certain trees & brush.  And almost immediately he begins to see an incredible restoration!

~ Aquifer Impact!  There is now water where once this land was incredibly dry.  And it happened relatively fast, too!  Only 2 .5 years after restoration began and water began to flow.  46 years prior to this video there was NO WATER, not even a well driller could drill 500′ and find water.  Cavernous limestone was under the surface, created to hold water.  I can think of another hill country in a nation’s heartland that is made of cavernous limestone and is currently being restored in some measure, where water has not been easy to come by.  Mr David Bamberger’s explanation of how native grasses brought about full water reservoirs was excellent!

~ Working with nature and not against it, taking cues from the natural order of things and learning to understand what is natural and what is unnatural, and choosing to partner with nature (the created order that Hashem established) to guard and preserve and nurture the land to bring about abundant life.

~  Ask yourself the same question that Mr David Bamberger did:  “What’s my duty as a steward of this [land]?”  You may not own property, or you might own thousands of acres, or hectares, of land.  Stewardship doesn’t require ownership.  Every human on earth shares a certain responsibility to care for the land under his or her feet.  What is *your* duty as a steward of the land you use?

Covering

As I’ve been observing how things are growing this year I am often reminded of the concept of covering.  With both the Back To Eden gardening methods and  holistic & restorative agricultural practices there has been a steady stream of complementary messages.  One message is that “nature abhors naked soil”.

If nature is how we describe and relate to creation and the structure & order Hashem created our world to thrive within, then we understand that nature abhoring naked soil has a deeper principle.

When soil is left uncovered it sprouts weeds, opportunistic little plants that seem to come from nowhere. They thrive in the uncovered and disturbed soil.  Some of these weeds have no good use and can be toxic.  Yet many that sprout up in healthy yet disturbed soil have a multitude of beneficial uses.  Nature is trying to quickly cover and restore the uncovered soil by sprouting “weeds” where the grass has been killed or removed.  The purpose of these “weeds” is to quickly provide a covering for the soil and maintain life. Continue reading

How Does Faith Inform Farming?

In today’s world it’s common for people to separate various aspects of their life, their whole.  But this isn’t natural, and in fact it’s rather difficult to do completely.  A holistic world view is actually quite natural, it’s unnatural to divide everything into “unrelated” segments.

At The Tikkun Homestead our faith definitely informs our farming practices from the livestock we raise to how we treat them to how we plant in the garden.  We raise only animal species that are considered acceptable for consumption (Leviticus 11), we treat them with dignity afforded to every living creature (Proverbs 12:10), we mark each firstborn male for a special purpose and do not work him or keep him for breeding purposes (Exodus 34:19), we tithe on our agricultural income (Leviticus 27:30ff), we manage our garden carefully (Deuteronomy 22:9), and more.  Continue reading

Holistic

Holistic: 

  • adj.     Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.
  • adj.     Concerned with wholes rather than analysis or separation into parts: holistic medicine; holistic ecology.

For a little while “holistic” was a $20 word, a fancy word and concept that people liked to use so they sound well-educated.  Today it is both a word and a concept that average people are fairly familiar with.  We find holistic modalities in every area of life today as we begin to better understand that nothing is independent from everything else.  From what modern science is learning, and what observers have noted for millennia, is that all of creation operates as a whole unit of systems composed of multiple smaller whole units and that there are reliable patterns to the way things go when they hum along to produce desirable outcomes.

I appreciated these quotes from the book Holistic Management: A Common Sense Revolution To Restore Our Environment:  “… the world is composed of patterns – of matter, energy, and life – that function as wholes whose qualities cannot be predicted by studying any aspect in isolation. We would know very little about water, for instance, by making an exhaustive study of hydrogen or oxygen, even though every molecule of water is composed of both. … We now realize that no whole, be it a family, a business, a community, or a nation, can be managed without looking inward to the lesser wholes that combine to form it, and outward to the greater wholes of which it is a member.”  Continue reading

Tikkun Olam, The Redemption & The Garden

There is a teaching that says that when the redemption comes all will be restored to the state things were in when Adam and Eve were in the garden.  This teaching has deeply affected me and how I view things.  I wanted to try to share a bit of that here, as it helps to explain the perspective this blog is coming from.  Tikkun Olam means “restoring the world” and below I’ll share some thoughts about one aspect of this concept.

In the beginning when HaShem was busy creating all that is, He brought things forth in a particular order and He was pleased with how they turned out.  At the end of the sixth day we read, “And G-d saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”  Very good!  Meod tov!  We also read:  “HaShem took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”  Very good.  He was satisfied with His creation and He rested.

What I want to look at with you is the duty to which Adam and Eve were fulfill:  to work and to keep the garden.  This sounds delightful to those of us who are gardeners and nature lovers.  But what are we to make of it? Continue reading