Tag Archives: farming

“It’s Complicated”: An Update on the Monarch Butterfly

Two months ago I posted a story here on the fate of the Monarch butterfly which many of you read and shared. This week we have an update from the New York Times that is worth reviewing briefly. There is good news and bad news, and, for me, a new sense of how complicated these things are. Many of us who are trying to help may not have been helping as much as we thought.

So listen up – this is important for the butterflies, and for us. Continue reading

Drought and famine (again)

 

Originally published July 18, 2011.  Farming God’s Way in Kenya is going strong today, continuing to provide “famine prevention” skills combined with discipleship training.

It has been a year of flood and drought.  This spring’s floods along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers are old news to most of us, as is the ongoing drought in Texas, which is breaking records set as long ago as 1917, long before the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s.   

 But nowhere in the world are things as bad as what is happening in East Africa, not far from where Craig and Tracy Sorley are serving in Kenya. 

 The Worst Drought in 60 Years

“Once More Into the Abyss”.   That’s how the Economist news magazine described the developing drought in Kenya and other East African countries a week or so ago:

BLOATED bellies with stick arms and legs; huge eyes staring out of skeletal heads; gaunt mothers trying to suckle babies on withered breasts. The world thought it might never see such scenes again. Famine in Africa, absent for many years, appeared to have gone the way of diseases for which we now have cures or vaccines. Continue reading

New Literature that’s worth reading: Tending to Eden by Scott Sabin

Originally published March 3, 2010.  Have you read Tending to Eden?

“Old Literature” is an occasional feature that highlights long-forgotten books, articles, speeches or poems that still speak to us today.  As it happens, there’s some new material that also deserves our attention.  Today, Tending to Eden by Scott Sabin, Director of Plant with Purpose (formerly Floresta).

Scott Sabin and I met about 7 years ago at a conference in Kenya.  He tells about that conference in his new book,Tending to Eden that was just released two weeks ago:

Edith and I took several pastors to a conference on creation care in Kenya.  I was one of the presenters, and in the course of my presentation I showed a slide of the devasted forests around Mt Kilimanjaro National Park.  Pastor Lyamuya approached me later and, with an embarassed smile, explained how convicting it was to see the photo from his own community.  “God entrusted it to us to take care of, and we aren’t doing our job.” Continue reading

Whales, spray cans and chickens: Sometimes we do things right!

The environmental movement has been criticized at times for being too negative and ‘alarmist’.   Now, you have to be fair to those of us who study these things closely. There is usually little to be positive about and plenty of things to be frightened of. I could tell you things that I seldom mention in a public lecture, things that never make the news but that would keep you up most nights and make your skin crawl (especially if you are raising a family right now). If there really is a fire in the theater, being an “alarmist” is an obligation, not a crime.

On the other hand, I will confess that it is tempting at times to spend so much time looking at the crisis that we can ignore legitimate good news. So, at least for today, let’s set the bad news aside, and review three legitimate “good news” stories: Continue reading

Farming God’s Way: A picture’s worth a lot of words…

Originally published October 17, 2011.  Care of Creation Kenya continues to collect data on their farming demonstration plots, and after 3.5 years, 27 trials with 5 different crops, they have found Farming God’s Way plots are 250% more productive than adjacent control plots.  Now that’s awesome!

Farming God’s Way is part of Care of Creation’s program in Kenya.  Essentially conservation no-till farming wrapped in a strong envelope of biblical teaching, the program consistently produces yields many times that produced with conventional farming techniques, even in – or better, especially in drought years like the one we’re in now, along with farmers who have a strong biblical framework for their farming work.  440% increased yield is nothing to sneeze at… but enough words!  Here’s a picture just received from Craig Sorley with his comments below:

From Craig:

Attached is a photo from the creation stewardship and farming God’s way workshop we held for 3 days last week with 30 farmers from Mai Mahiu and Ndeiya.  We harvested our onion crop with them.  The control plot produced 17.3kg of onions (as seen on the left of the photo) and the FGW plot produced 76.9 kg (as seen on the right).  The FGW plot produced 4.4 times greater yield!!!

Want to help Craig do more work like this?  Donate here!  (Select “Care of Creation Kenya Projects” in the drop-down list).

Click through for another picture…

Continue reading

Martha and the Monarch: Must we do it again?

“Martha,” the last known passenger pigeon. Photo by Carl Hansen, Smithsonian Institution, 1985 (click picture for source)

One hundred years ago last Monday, on September 1, 1914, with the Russian revolution in full swing, World War I raging in France, and in the midst of a thousand other events of note, a single, nondescript bird in a cage in a zoo in Cincinnati Ohio died. A century later, we remember the death of that bird. Why? Martha (Marta in some documents) was the last passenger pigeon still alive, and her passing marks one of the most dismal failures of humanity’s exercise of dominion over God’s creation in all of modern history.

The story of the passenger pigeon is well documented. In the mid-19th century, flocks of birds numbering in the billions streamed across the skies of North America. Huffpost provides one description of many:

At the time of the Civil War, the passenger pigeon was the most numerous bird in all of North America, probably even the world. There were as many as 5 billion birds flying the skies. They ranged throughout the eastern United States, parts of Montana and Texas and north well into Canada. Imagine looking up into the sky today and not being able to see the sun because a flock of birds was so numerous it blocked the light for hours and hours.

Continue reading