Waste Not

Several months ago, when we first started working on the Twelve Tribes of Israel Prayer Garden, I asked the Lord to send me someone who knew how to compost.  I realize that most folk don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the art–and science–of turning trash into garden gold, but I do.  I have tried starting a home compost pile a few times, but I always get distracted along the way and wind up with a pile of unproductive leaves and kitchen scraps!  So, when the Lord sent me two master composters in the form of Kenny and Andrea Tapp, I was absolutely delighted.  They took the chipped up debris from our initial garden clean-up, formed a windrow, and made countless trips to barns and pastures collecting manure.  Over the weeks and months, the Tapps have watered and  monitored the temperature of the windrow and incorporated even more organic matter into the pile.  One of my favorite things to do out in the garden is to lift up the top of the windrow and watch the steam escape from the decomposing pile of future garden compost!

Perhaps you have heard me say, more than once, that there is no such thing as waste in God’s economy.  When God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, He didn’t provide a place for a landfill.  Waste doesn’t occur in creation.  From dust we were made, and to dust we will return.  All that God created was designed to return to the earth, to recycle, and be reused.  A compost pile is a reminder of the circular nature of time.  We plow and plant in the spring, the earth brings forth harvest, and what’s left returns to the ground or the compost pile, not the landfill!  Then, when the natural processes of decomposition have done their job and the heat of the compost pile has eliminated harmful seeds, what remains returns to the garden to nourish another season of growth. What a picture of life in the Spirit!

As we continue our gardening adventure in the Israel Prayer Garden and the Beulah Acres Community Garden, composting will be emphasized and encouraged even more.  In fact, we are working on a video that will communicate how we can all enjoy the benefits of composting.  John Dickson is even writing a song about the subject!  You certainly won’t want to miss that.  And here are a few pictures of last Thursday’s windrow work in progress.

Shabbat Shalom!

3 responses to this post.

  1. I love hearing you talk about what you are thinking about, especially as it relates or is a result of your gardening adventures. The garden is my favorite place to work and play. I will send you a picture of how I recycle my garden bits.

    Many happy days, Barbara


  2. Posted by Betty Moore on July 2, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Pam, you are such a blessing! Just to read your articles, and listen to how you so clearly hear God speak His wisdom to you , never ceases to bless me!The garden is a master piece from the hand of the Great Gardner! The Garden of Eden. You are doing a part of restoring that Perfect garden.


  3. Posted by Connie Ellingson on July 18, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Compost is the gold in our garden and we’ve been composting for 26 years. We collect the neighbors grass clippings as well, layered in with leaves (when we can get them), and rotate 2 piles over a two year period. Smells pretty ripe at times. Coffee grounds, food scraps, vegetable tops, corn stalks, etc., all comprise the compost. We live in the suburbs of St. Paul and my husband was a SW Minnesota farmer. Nothing like fresh tomatoes, corn, peas, potatoes, beets, and beans! I am grateful for all the things I’ve learned about gardening.


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