Merry Christmas!

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

~~ Luke 2:8-14, New King James Version

Good Gardening Soil

Question: What is the best gardening soil for a large garden bed?

We bought mushroom manure three years ago for about $35 per yard, plus a small delivery fee. The company dumped it in front our house, and we used our wheelbarrows to move it where we wanted. I wasn’t sure at first because I had read conflicting information, but it was the best looking soil, compost, and mulch mix for the lowest price. It turned out to be amazing for all of our flowers, herbs, and vegetables. We had a huge difference in growth and production between the plants that got mushroom manure and the ones that didn’t. It also looked great! I highly recommend it.

A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All

For a few months now I’ve been reading “Of Two Minds” by Charles Hugh Smith. He seems to have good ideas about what is going on with the economy, politics, and the culture in general. Not only that, but he has ideas about solutions. In the last week or so I read his book “A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All: The Future Belongs to Work That Is Meaningful“. I don’t agree with everything, but I think he has some very good, practical ideas that can be implemented in a variety of ways in families, schools, workplaces, and new organizations. It is exciting to have some ideas to work towards that really might make things better for people, the size and scale remaining to be seen.

The Solid Rock

Edward Mote, 1834

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

Source: Timeless Truths – The Solid Rock

To God Be the Glory

Frances J. Crosby, 1865

To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

Source: Timeless Truths – To God Be the Glory

Back to Eden

We first watched “Back to Eden” by Paul Gautschi three years ago. It really resonated with us! Paul encourages a no-till, organic, non-GMO garden, with a covering of mushroom manure compost and wood chips. We were already doing most of those things, but the last two were new to us. We gave it a try, and realized immediately the benefits he describes. The weeds became easy to pull because the soil was loose. Our plants grew really well and produced fruits and vegetables abundantly. We didn’t have to water as often because the wood chips held moisture.

Naturally, it takes time to build a great garden, and after three years, we have realized a few things. Firstly, Paul mentions digging up thistles, and we should have done that as well as dug up the dandelions and wild grasses. No amount of paper or wood chips stopped those weeds, and even if we didn’t pull everything, we should have been more diligent than we were to prepare the area. Secondly, our plants that grew the best were already started in pots of good soil or perennials, and we did have to apply fertilizer to help them get established. Paul notes in the video that that is to be expected at first. A lot of seeds have not germinated, even though I’ve tried not to plant them in the wood chips. Finally, we still water quite a bit compared to the implication in the video, but I assume that is to be expected for now as well.

Overall, however, the benefits are greater than the difficulties. We will continue adding mushroom manure and wood chips, and learning how to make our garden better each year. It is amazing how much food we are able to grow in a small space with minimal time and effort. I encourage you to watch the video, and I hope you enjoy it too!