Did you know that the tiny creatures living in the soil are beneficial to plants?
We learned about the ecosystem within the soil from our partner in Zimbabwe, Foundations for Farming (FfF).
FfF has been teaching impoverished and marginalised farmers to look at the God’s creation at a micro level—there are lots of organic matter in soil, such as snails, ants, earthworms, and bacterium that improve soil fertility, and as they move, they help create channels for better infiltration of water and air. However, ploughing and digging in conventional farming often hamper their growth, which in turn hardens the soil over time and ultimately leads to the loss of water and nutrients.
Mulching is the act of covering the soil to provide long-term protection to its ecology. It is done by covering the soil with dead grass and leaves or crop residue from the previous farming cycle to trap moisture while reducing evaporation, enhancing infilration. The mulch maintains soil temperature and humidity, decreasing weed germination, while creating a suitable environment for creeping creatures and other microorganism to grow. FfF calls the mulches “God’s blanket” that greatly improves the yield for farmers.
And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
(Genesis 1:11-12, 24-27, 29-30; ESV)
Our partner’s training showed the farmers how one should learn to live in harmony with the land instead of abusing it for his/her own interests. If we could start appreciating and taking care of the land in its entirety, including small organisms within, and restoring the ecology of the land without excessive human intervention, then both men and all Creation could possibly resume to the state that God will see it is good.
How do we view other creatures created by God? We’re used to getting rid of every last bug we saw, as our perception of good deviated from that of God’s since sin entered the world, and so we became enemy with the rest of God’s Creation.
Starting today, let us choose to look at other creation in God’s way by doing any of the followings:
1. Research the common insects found in Hong Kong and their roles in nature.
2. As farmers use dead leaves to mulch and protect their farms, could you think of new ways to use a discarded item?
We encourage you to take ownership of the problem and donate to CEDAR and its partners in Asia and Africa who faithfully bring about the reconciliation of the land through eco-friendly agricultural projects.
Dear Heavenly Father, You have shown us Your profoundness by silently maintaining all creations and the universe. We as Your humble creation, ask for Your guidance as we reflect on our position towards our environment and other created things. Deliver us from the arrogance and pride that led us into the willful squandering of resources. As You provide us food, You also provide every creature on earth their food. Teach us to treat ourselves, the land, and all of creation with dignity.
We pray that You would give Your perfect wisdom to the staff and students of FfF, and strengthen them with faith to live a different life to care for your creation despite living in a world that upholds efficiency, performances, modernisation, and capitalism. We pray that others would glorify You, our awesome creator, as they witness these brothers and sisters’ examples and fruits in following your ways. Amen.