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Agriculture in Our Schools: Making It Work

John Dysinger


John Dysinger

Bountiful Blessings Farm




  • February 8, 2018
    4:45 PM
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Dear Heavenly Father I just pray that whatever is said in this presentation could be to your honor and glory I pray that you would speak through me that you would guide my mind that I would not say things that I shouldn't but I will say those things you want me to so we thank you for doing this and for being with us here today in Jesus' name amen. OK So we want to really dive into this because this is going to be more practical and as I said. You know you can only get so practical in an hour but I think it will hopefully leave you with some tools to take with you so first of all I feel it's really really important to study for yourself to come under your own conviction on this you know I think the worst reason to get into agriculture on not the worst trees and but in my mind one reason that I hear a lot of administers getting into it is because well the times coming when we can't buy or sell and we need to be able to grow our own food. Now that's true I mean that's a very valid point but it's kind of a fear based motive and I don't think God ideally works on a fear based motive the reason I believe you need to have a garden is because that's where God created us to live and work in that is where he is most easily able to walk and talk with us To me that's the reason for a garden. So read what the Bible has to say about you know God's plan for man did that change when sin came into the world. I mean it got harder but God sent forth Adam from the garden to do what till the ground he didn't say well you're off the hook you don't have to be a farmer or gardener anymore. Read what the Spirit of Prophecy has to say about agriculture again I would just encourage you. To study and the reason why I say this at the beginning is. Because you're going to have lots of challenges I can promise you that you want to move before and by conviction in principle you know we. I also have I well I guess I did bring it down I don't promote this is months because it feels like self promotion but the Lord led us a few years ago really led my wife I just helped with editing and stuff but led us to write down our testimony of God leading us into farming. And it was so hard at the beginning that my wife had people tell her I don't know how you why you're still doing this if I were you I would have quit long ago but my wife said Would you really if you knew God had told you to do this how can you quit when God we know God led us to agriculture but that's my point here if we didn't have that conviction we would have quit long ago because Man it's hard. In this is the key here and it seems so obvious but it took me years to figure this out you know one of one thousand eight I was wrestling with the Lord saying Lord why is this so hard. You called us to do this but it seems like everything we do. Looks like failure what's going on here what are you doing to us you know just really wrestling with the Lord and then it was like this light bulb moment well of course it's going to be hard because this is God's original plan for man and who doesn't want you in the garden the devil is going to do everything he can to keep you out of the garden so there will be days when you will be out there by faith and sheer will power because you don't want to be out there because it's discouraging but by faith you press forward knowing that God has lessons to teach you from it so to me this is important without this. Chances are you're not going to stick with it so now on to the to the really nuts and bolts here I want to encourage you to start with the soil. That is a very big subject that I feel like I'm just scratching the surface of it's very deep and very intricate and you need a really good chemistry mind to be able to understand it you know there's three main sciences to soil you know there's the chemistry side of it there's the biology side there's literally millions of. Little microbes and stuff in the soil that should be working for you and then there's the physics side of it and that's the one that I feel like is really hardly understood the whole energy electricity in the soil. That almost sounds you know New Age or something but it's true I mean Mrs White talks about it. Very complicated but what I'm going to tell you right now is rather then being hung up by trying to understand it all just go get US soil test and if you don't know how to take a soil sample you know it's a simple if you don't have a probe a soil sampling probe just take a shovel and kind of make a V. in the ground about six inches deep and then you take your shovel and slice off a piece of the side so you're getting kind of a cross-section from the side of that V. and you put it in a clean bucket make sure it's not like galvanized or something that's going to mess up the sample clean plastic bucket take depending on the size of your area take eight ten different samples from from random you know picture of it mix them together and then send them to Kinsey labs with thirty six dollars now. We've got to somehow on this because my stuff is usually too fresh to get on a. Flash Drive you know they asked for this two weeks ago and it's like I want to make sure it's fresh. Anyway I have it on this flash drive so if you have a way to get it from here or I will also Well they have a copy but I've even changed some things since yesterday so. I make no apologies on that I don't you know I I don't ever preach the same thing or teach the same thing twice because I want to make sure I'm doing. What the Lord wants me to do. That's great I was hoping somebody with more knowledge than I you know that's one thing I like to say about farming that one of the best things about it is you don't have to be. A techie person it's so wonderful so what I'm suggesting now there are many places you can send your soil samples off but Kinsey lab. Follows the methods of William Albrecht's and William Albrecht from many admin is who studied his material they feel like he was a true scientist and. So yeah I don't want to spend too much time on this so anyway I just say for now send it to him but on the material you'll get one where other. Is a sheet that you just print off and it will you'll notice it says to Whitmire McConnell and it has his address and you'll be thinking wait a minute why am I sending this to Whitmore McConnell The point is Whitmore McConnell is an Adventist agronomist who studied Albrecht and Kinsey Neal Kinsey who was kind of a disciple of William Albrecht he studied the method and knows it really really well and because it's so complicated I just have him interpret all my soil samples so his name is on there you'll send it with thirty six dollars to Kinsey labs they will. Do the actual soil testing and then they will send the results to wit Maher McConnell. And he and you'll need to communicate with him and I guess that's what I didn't do is give his contect No it's on that sheet so yeah you'll have his contact information he won't send you recommendations and then you have to pay him twenty five dollars for the recommendations so it ends up costing sixty one dollars which. You know if it's a little home garden that might sound like a lot but it's really it's I mean it's worth it my experience is anything I've ever invested in the soil I feel like I have gotten back plus more. OK What kind of turnaround time now you can just send to Kinsey labs and they will send back recommendations but that can take a long time a month or more and usually you know if you're wanting it the next day kind of thing. Whitmarsh is much faster then Kinsey labs I would say you should definitely have it within a couple weeks now there's so much we could talk about but ideally you take your samples at the same time of year. Often fall as the recommended time because then you can put on amendments and have them kind of work in over the winter but the point is you want to be consistent with the time because soil does change through the course of the year depending on things so we can't go into that more for now but. That's my recommendations and then he'll just tell you these are the things you need to put on in these quantities that's pretty simple I can say we did it heritage and I was very pleased with the results I think our fertility has been good for the first year you know many times if your soil is really out of whack it can take you know three years or more before you really start getting it balance it's not going to happen overnight OK so now let's number two stick with proven methods that work so this is where I'm going to talk just a little bit more about. These guys Eliot Coleman the new organic grower is considered a classic I guess it's kind of a modern classic it was it was published in one thousand nine hundred ninety five but this this was you know this in the Spirit of Prophecy was how I started farming literally this was the book I had. You know some information is getting a little dated but most gardening information is pretty timeless So this is a wonderful place to start but he also wrote this is the only book really out there on winter growing and since this is what I'm really recommending for schools you need this book and basically this book kind of goes along with this book he says this is everything I've learned since I wrote this on on winter gardening so they kind of go together the winter harvest handbook in the newer Gannett grower again for those who weren't here last time he's in Maine growing in unheated hoop houses by the way this picture is of heritage this fall in one of their greenhouses. OK So start with Elliott then J.M. forty a Johm or time forty eight came along. His book The market gardener was published in English I got a French copy man it was a real incentive to learn French. Trying to figure out what he was saying this was. Copyrighted two thousand and fourteen so this is only four years old but this book has truly revolutionize the market gardening world this guy's young you know I don't know he's probably in his late thirty's now from Quebec He's making one hundred fifty thousand on an acre and a half working marketing six months of the year so that was you know I mean I tell you some of these other guys are making more than that but that's year round this is only six months of the year and only with the B.C.S. which is kind of a two wheeled tractor walking tractor they call them and so a lot of young people got really turned on to this wow this is great all I need is an acre and a half of land and I can make a living now of course you understand when I throw around numbers that's gross. Net across the board with small farms is usually right around forty to fifty percent once you really get a stablished it may go a little above fifty percent but that's kind of we discount on fifty percent of gross for net. So J.M. for in he says it in his book you know I'm I'm standing on Elliott shoulders I read Elliott's book I follow his methods but he's added some new twists and some new tools. In this picture there's some buck choice some Chinese cabbage some scallions some. Swiss chard and kale and callers and actually some beats here. There's a lot you can grow in the winter then along came Curtis Stone It's kind of interesting these two young farmers J.M. forty in Kurdistan are both Canadians Curtis is from British Columbia Columbia Colona British Columbia he wrote this book the urban farmer and he's the one that farming people's yards. Quarter acre. Making one hundred thousand dollars And again I am sensitive about throwing out those numbers because as I said in the last session I don't think schools should go into it to make money I think they should go into it because God said we need to do this but I throw around the numbers just to try to. To get away from this idea that you can't make money farming because it's just patently untrue you can make money farming. So again Curtis Stone the urban farmer he is he has really capitalized on technology and he has a blog a video blog whatever you call him logs on You Tube At least I think he puts out more than one a week I just watched his latest one it actually was that one one of my son's tools. But he has hundreds I mean it's like a college degree on you too on farming Curtis Stone. It's amazing. And then Conor Crick more came along Connors not as young as some of these other guys but he has never sink farm and you can go on his website and he's also actually starting to do more more. Youtube stuff but this guy is taking it to the next level we visited him. A year and a half ago he's up in the Adirondacks of. Of New York actually it's not the Adirondacks it's the Catskill Mountains. Incredible farm just pristine I mean you have to search to find a we and that's an exaggeration unbelievable he's got systems in place he never leaves a bed empty for more than a day in other words a crop comes out in the morning and the bed is replanted by nightfall it is just he was a computer systems analyst in New York. And he's only been farming for like seven years and now he's teaching all these old timers like me you know because he's just got that analysts mind and he says this is the way you know you got to have a system for everything and he's the one he's making over three hundred fifty thousand dollars on an acre and I have noticed all these are acre and a half that's like Macs and all of them are shrinking they're trying to do less and less because they make more money the less they do. Then one more I would mention BEN HARTMAN the lean farm this was revolutionary as well and I tell you there's books coming out all the time this is this is like the market gardening world is exploding. But this book is subtitled How to manage minimize waste increase efficiency and maximize value and profits with less work that sounds interesting right. This book has really revolutionized our farm because it makes you rethink how you do everything as far as efficiency and you know they might of course none of these are well actually I think BEN HARTMAN is a Christian I'm pretty sure he is the others aren't even Christian good people good people but. You know I believe our goal is to increase efficiency not so we can make more money necessarily lots of money but it's so we can have time for ministry so we're not just tied to our farm. So I wish I could point you to administering books but right now we're still learning from the heathens. Although I say that tongue in cheek you know we still your best teacher is the Lord you know you go to the garden and you say Lord what do I do about this. And he will show you but when it comes to just basic methods you know these guys have proved this system works why not use it I mean I don't see anything in it that goes against any council we've got. Now there may be some disagreement with but. Well let me just say outright you know there are some who feel that you need to deep plough because Mrs White talks about working in the soil deeply ploughed deeply. Might take. Is that the plows were all they had back then and what she was talking about was working the soil deeply I don't think that means you have to plow deeply. You know it's like. Each girl should learn how to harness a horse well what's the principle there you know so anyway that's the way I view it I know there are others who have a more literal view and we're in dialogue and I'm not going to disagree with them but I at this point I don't see that that means literal plowing because everybody will tell you modern science will tell you Well I don't want to go any further than that. OK use simple specialized tools this is one of the great beauties of this Connor Crick more as I said last session you know earning I mean probably the highest earning farm in the country per acre you know two hundred some thousand dollars per acre he's doesn't even have a B.C.S. Well he has one but he doesn't use it all he use this is hand tools you know Gone are the days that you have to buy big expensive equipment so we're going to look at just a few of them some of the main ones now this is something that most small farmers don't use it's called a soil blocker I use it because I think it fits best with. With no problem. You know Mrs White talks she talks about how we should not have one root fiber misplaced you remember that quote Have you read that quote you know I feel like this in fact almost everybody will agree with you that this makes the healthiest transplants. On the tour we did we visited all the top farm I mean you know we visited Eliot's farm we visited. Conor Crick more we visit J.M.S. farm we visited been Hartman's farm. The best transplants that I saw were on Elliot's farm and he's the one that uses soil blogs so I. The reason a lot of farmers don't use this is because they say it's not fast enough it's slow or you know if you get a standard plug tray you just you know work the soil and you're ready to go but I do feel like this is faster when it comes to transplanting because you're not trying to get those plugs out sometimes that's easy as it looks this man you just you can grab all twenty of them in one hand and I mean you just they're really hard you can just drop them you know. Anyway I don't want to try to convince you on this this is just in my opinion makes the best transfer and it's simple That's what I love about you don't have to have this stack of plastic plug trays that you you know so I mean we do have to you have to have a simple plastic tray that you put these in so basically it just works you get your potting mix wetter than normal and you just push this in you know you may have to it's called charging it you get it and tell you see the water seeping out of the top that way you know it's full and then you just pick it up put it in your tray. Pop them out. You're done. And. Yeah so so the theory of this well two things number one. Block has a lot more volume than that cone you know most of the plug trays have much less oil so you know it could be argued well soil costs money potting soil costs money so why not use as little as possible but you know this comes back to where you have to bring spiritual principles in these are these are babies here you know what what are we counseled to do with young children you want to give him the best environment possible so I think it's worth paying a little more for more soil volume for a stronger healthier root ball so you know there's no sides to the container it's just soil blocks what that does is it's air pruning. The roots go to the edge and it's like oh there's nothing there I'll just stay right here so you still have to worry about timing to some degree because if you leave them in there for too long they'll just get paralyzed and they'll take a week or so before they go out but if you get them at the right time and you put them in the ground man they just go to town where is in a container there's what you call root shock you know transplant shock the plants are like whoa what's all this air you know I'm used to being in this little container so that's the soil blocker it comes in different sizes you can get a home scale version that's just five you know for doing five at a time this is called the inch and a half block or this is what we do all our lettuce and things that usually are in the soil for I mean in the greenhouse for three weeks or less there's also a two inch block or that is a little bigger rather than twenty blocks it makes twelve we have a six inch blocker which just makes six figure blocks we transplant all or corn now it has made a huge difference we have a perfect stand of corn no skips or misses no birds pulling out the seeds. Just put four seeds in action I said six since I meant three inch they're six three inch blocks. I don't want to I could spend a lot of time talking about this broad forks so this this is the way we do our deep ploughing this is a broad fork this is the wide one so it's its size perfectly for a thirty inch bed if your soil is a little harder you'll want to go with a little narrower one cause it's just a little hard to work with here but this oil is really hard. But basically if your soil is good you shouldn't have to do more than just push on it and then you just pull it back a little bit until you see this the ground cracking and your air raiding it from the bottom up kind of you're just loosing an air raiding it and then you just move it back sit six inches or so do it again and just work down the bed that way this is not for initial soil working if you're working up a new plot you'll probably need either some big mechanical thing I really don't recommend rototiller ZX and that's a whole different subject but. Even just a good strong standard digging fork for usually work to loosen it the first time then one it's once it's loose as long as you're not walking on your beds. It's not going to come packed again at least not like it was. Yeah and I should go back. And just say with these stick with proven methods that work you know when I when I say that I'm really talking about the thirty inch beds now they do vary on the width of the pathways you know that's kind of a personal preference and depends on in greenhouses most pathways are only a foot wide because that's prized land there but outside J.M. has an eighteen inch pathway. Ellie it has a twelve inch pathway you know so I mean little variances but all the same tool they use the same tools they use the same size bed. OK bed preparation rake. Again so this kind of comes back to why the thirty inch. Wide bed this is actually an Austrian hay rake but it just happens to fit perfectly on a thirty inch bed so for your final preparing It's wonderful for you know marking I mean you can kind of as you rake you know OK that's my thirty inch bed. So it works well for that but then it also doubles as a nifty little. Bed marker this is just standard PEX pipe. You know different plantings have different spacings we actually we need to redo this but one of our premises after reading the lean farm they helped us color code all this and we've got a chart and so all they have to do is look at the chart OK let us is red red on blue you know so that means red down this way and blue for a cross so you just go down your bed like this. And you mark your rows and then sometimes the same spacing is across you go back like this. And you've got a grid and depending on the spacing you're after you know you either plant on the on the corners or sometimes you plant in the middle depending on. Any way just sample. Appropriate technology that can speed up you know rather than you being out there with a ruler trying to figure it out and string you know this is so much faster. Stirrup and colinear hose you how are you going to keep the weeds down this here is one of my favorites Elliot Coleman designed this it's designed so the blade is is perfectly lined up with the soil you're standing up right like sweeping sweeping the garden you just do little movements like this around the plant and you know you cultivate before the weeds are really showing that's the key you know if they're bigger than that you've waited too long. And you've made a lot of work for yourself it's called the colinear hoe these are all Elliott is a tool consultant and designer with Johnnies So these are all available from Johnny's selected seeds. But you know hoeing used to be like this you know and that's hard on your back and it's extremely inefficient because where's the hope most of the time it's in the air. And you know all the energy of bringing it up this is all the time in contact with the soil and it's just you know. It's fun as he says it's like waltzing in the garden. The colinear hole is your partner. So it's simple tools like that this is the stirrup to hoe this is so this is used in your beds where the soil is loose. This does not work on the pathways I I like to say I have never in twenty years well actually more than twenty years because I had one of these before we started farming never broken one but our apprentices have broken quite a few. The minute you go like this you know and to get out that stubborn we are going to break it because it's not designed for that it's designed for just slightly stirring the soil so if you do have those bigger we needs or in the pathway where you're compacting it by walking on it this is the tool of choice now you can buy similar things sometimes called a hula hoe. Stirrup hoe is the name you have any ideas why it would be called ister ho. Replaceable blade these are Swiss tools actually made in Switzerland. So this one does require you to bend over the colinear hole you're having your thumbs up like this with this when you've got your thumbs down to give a little more power but notice where the whoa is at all times it's cutting on the push and the pole it's one hundred percent efficient as compared to you know this kind of thing so simple tools but you know we got heritage where did we get like six of these or something it comes with a whiter one and a narrower one. So you know it be hard to hurt yourself to read this I guess if you really try you could cut your toe or something. All these tools are from Johnny's. So obviously there's more tools we could go into but even with just a few of these basic ones you can get going now you know they have a wheel Hoe which is basically stir up the whole on steroids and you can you know you can really cover some ground with that thing so if you know if you have enough land and you're short on labor that's worth the few hundred dollars that it costs. But you know schools use the laborers as shortage. Just show you this the Jane Cedar. You know I have time to go into it too much but this is a Korean cedar and it's becoming the choice of choice for most market garden it doesn't work well in here because we're not in soil but it's changed Riven It's got little rollers inside here that. Have different size holes. For different size seeds it's very fast very accurate. See you've got these interchangeable rollers that it turns and it just drops the seed in a list so most of the carrots at. At Heritage never done it before in her life and you should see those St Rose. Have you ever sewed carrots by hand. You know the last thing you want to do on a market farm on a large scale groups is. Be thinning. You don't ever want to have to thin things you don't even want to get down on your hands and knees ideally as soon as you get on your hands and knees I tell our apprentices you've just. Lost any money you were going to make on that crop so. Home use there's that Yeah well see so that thing is going to cost you with three or four rollers it's going to cost you I think roughly around five hundred dollars so it's not something you would do at home there is an earth way cedar You've probably all seen knows it's largely plastic but it's better than seeding by hand it's a roughly around one hundred dollars for home use but it has its limitations. Ok grow crops that thrive in the cold This is also a heritage does that look good. That's their salad bar from. I guess it was the end of October so this is the key you're not trying to grow tomatoes in the summer. Sorry in the winter I'm trying to rush here. Carrots carrots are our number one seller in the winter because they get super sweet the cold in fact this goes with all greens the cold turns starches in the plant to sugars and it gets super sweet so we grow carrots my son who does the winter growing just harvested the last of them a week ago out of the fields after we'd had. You know those zero degree temperatures that's Fahrenheit some of you from your. Spin it man spinach is. KING In the winter spin and loves the cold. Let us another salad greens now these will need. A second layer of protection so basically what Eliot system is this two layers one is your plastic covering of your hoop house or whatever now if you've ever been to an unheated hoop house as soon as the sun goes down you discover something that the temperature inside and outside is literally a degree or two difference within a very short time you lose all that heat in the air but what that plastic does is it does a very good job of heating the soil in the daytime if the sun is out so what you're doing is warming that soil in the plants love it you know it's like spring and they're going to town and then in the afternoon before the sun goes down you poll this floating row cover does everyone know what floating row cover it I wonder if I have a picture hopefully I do anyway it's just dryer sheet fabric. In big pieces that's what I tell people. Without the scent you know. And you cover over the plants and then what that does it actually if it's going to freeze in there it's pretty neat because there's a year in the soil and then the plants are transpiring and so that moisture collects on that row cover and freezes and actually creates a little igloo there that traps that ground he so the plastic warms the soil the second thing the plastic does is keep the wind off the wind is one of the main killers in the winter so it keeps it still in there and then the row cover actually traps the heat simple simple but it works. And I can I know it works because we use it now when it gets cold or you start doubling or tripling the row cover. And I'm just trying to make sure I give Alyssa time because she's the case study here so I'll be available if you want to talk more afterwards we're going to have to keep brushing here kale another cooking Greens do great through the colds. And then I think I mentioned before about growing plant transplants for spring you know. This would require some heat in the spring but if you can get tomatoes and peppers and all those kind of things going it's a great way to earn some extra money in the spring there are other crops that fit into a school calendar strawberries in our area we plant them in September harvest them in April May and tell them under perfect for the school calendar. Here that actually is not a floating row cover but it kind of looks like a floating row cover that's insect protection so floating row covers. Multiple layers are helpful unheated hoop houses you don't need fancy fans and heaters and all of that. Fancy equipment we use what's called ten X. Sense of flex that's the trade name dear fencing it's a black mash we just drive an eight foot T. posts very simple fencing you know it's much cheaper than conventional fencing to keep deer out but it's one hundred percent effective if you use it properly and then the beauty is you can move it easily you know permanent fence. Requires constant maintenance whereas with this you just fence which you know the deer like and when they're when that crop is done you take the fence out OK we're almost through here plugged into a list that you should be getting ready. I mentioned administering cultural So CA Sion admin is AG dot org They have an annual conference and networking the Web site needs work but we're looking for volunteers. My market gardening resource list is on that drive it has all the books all the Internet resources it's all on there there's an incredible wealth of information out there read the books watch the videos there's some great podcasts farmer to farmer podcast The information is there it's just a matter of tapping into it and then finally claim the promises when things are looking bad no devising a man has ever improved on this plan. If the land is cultivated it will with the blessing of God supplier necessities. He who taught Adam and Eve in Eden how to tend the garden desires to instruct men today if God be for us who can be against us he is he is in the garden waiting for you OK Alyssa like I say I'll be happy to answer questions What do you need here just. So heritage was kind enough to let us try to see if this would work in real life. And we were excited to have this opportunity to to try out a new agriculture program because there was a group of us for staff that had an initial vision to have total student involvement and also a bigger better hopefully on our culture program and so we came up with the proposal for our program and it was a lot of changes that involve Wolfers that and for the students it was a total schedule change for the students there vocational program hours changed it was a total schedule change for staff who picked up new things dropped different things to work around the new vocational program and some of us picked up a new hat then of course you can imagine all the changes that came with that and some of the changes that we did initially is we wanted total student involvement so beforehand we had some students who were in the Guard and they would take gardening class they would be working out in the garden for a little bit sometimes in the class sometimes outside but we saw the need for all students all grades all levels to be out in the garden and so we came up with an idea of having each class in the garden for one hour once a week and with the vocational program we ended up choosing two days a week Tuesday and Thursday and for example we have the seniors and the juniors on Tuesdays and in the morning they come into the garden for one hour that's one less hour that they do from their regular vacation time they come in for that one hour they're there in the garden working with the staff and learning and spending that time in agriculture and then in the afternoon for Also one hour the juniors come in and they simply just have one less hour of the regular vocational time they're there and the garden with us and besides that we wanted to give an opportunity to those students who really had an interest in gardening to you know become masters of this and so we have what we call master gardeners and at the registration at the beginning the school year we set up a booth and as students and parents came by we talked about what we were hoping to incorporate and we noted student interest we asked them you know is this something you'd be interested in doing as your vocational time that means all your work hours would be in an unguarded your vocation hours and so we noted the interest and then afterwards we interviewed the students individually to see how interested they were in this so that you know when we get somebody who just thought they were and then ended up not really being interested it but to actually get down to see who won it spend time in the garden and so we have one student from each grade level and these students and their vocational time is totally in the garden working with a staff learning as we learn and we teach them and then they in turn when their classmates come in the garden spend time there and they can work with us in teaching their classmates so not only is their staff instruction but you know the benefits of peer to peer instruction as though they're learning from their peers and they can help each other and they get the opportunity to teach what they've learned as well. And so that was that was really interesting as we we got that organizing together and we began with two greenhouses which as you can see in the beginning were quite the jungle there was a little bit of everything growing on them the greenhouse on the left was full of tomatoes you practically could not walk through it the greenhouse on the right had squash in a variety of things just going and it was kind of just growing and kind of left that way and so we start out with the jungle and we went with it we felt that the Lord was calling us to do this and you know when the Lord calls you to do something you know he will bless also and outside of we had outside fields part of this was in use already we have a dedicated couple our school who also helps agriculture and they were amusing part of the fields but. Someone Yeah they were there so yes that is their sole job and so they allowed us to use part of their field to experiment with him learn from many years and so we took the side of the field that unfortunately had a lot of erosion problems what you see here is after we took a tractor This is one instance where we did use some equipment we took a tractor and we chilled through this because of the field sloped down and all the water would run through this section of the field there is a lot of erosion and deep ruts and everything and so we had to take the tractor through it to fix that and if you notice we put in a drainage ditch to redirect the water so that the water would no longer flow through the field and it would be more usable and so that is one instance where we had to use equipment with what we were doing but otherwise we really haven't used any equipment at all except that one of the time where we had just a serious like hard dirt kind of thing and we used to tell or break that up but that was the beginning of our field outside so we had the opportunity to work inside the greenhouses and also outside the greenhouses both ways. But our soil definitely did need some help and we took soil samples we had those sent off and we ordered the appropriate soil amendments added that in and you can see there on the right hand side the boxes and bags of the stuff that we were adding to the soil. A lot of it was just spread directly on each. You know we use a chest mounted spreader and you put it in and if you turn. We just put it on the surface and so we added that both outside in the field and inside in the greenhouse and you can also see how we were beginning to measure we did the thirty inch rows with a small walkway between exactly remember the measurement for the walkway we measure the rows we brought forked it was on the tools that he mentioned here the broad fork and the rake we went over it with that to break up the soil to smooth it out and we had a student helping with helping us with some of that love is exciting they got to see the process from the beginning and move all of them along with us throughout it and the beds are not raised they are just in the ground like that. And we also use the soil block method to begin our seeding process while we're still working on some of the rows and getting the sole ready we began the seeding process so he's a small block maker too. Early school year September we've got the the seeds planted in the soil box and we did a variety of things we did a lot of greens kale collards spinach and we started lettuces we started beets Chinese cabbage Choi scallions munching and as we did those and this in the soil blocks we also did some direct seeding outside them we directed most of our most all of our carrots and we directed all of our carrots and we directed also some kale outside radishes and also some turnips outside. Yes we did use this the little planter. Planter Yes and that's where I got to use it for the first time and it was fun to see it got to use it to we got to do so inside the greenhouse as well and so they were able to get their time with it as well and the soil the soil blocks worked wonderfully the student had a lot of fun learning how to use a slow block maker and getting in there with their hands and storing up the soil and getting that way and that's why we had the student involvement in the garden also the master gardeners they were and they're learning how to use this I saw some of them I was and you know what the students all the time I was able to see some of them teaching their peers that I was exciting that's one thing once they learn it they're able to teach it to someone else so you know they're they're learning but then you know stuff is often remembered better through instruction and so I saw him teaching others and students would come in for the hour and learn how to direct implant So what's with the so that was exciting as well and you can see some of our Steve's being to grow here we're also doing soul perpetration in the greenhouse as I said we put him in minutes and the greenhouse broad forked raked in the greenhouse measure the Rose also in the greenhouse and. Inside we did kale the Greens lettuces a spent we did that inside the greenhouse and. We just had a fun process going through that and learning how to do all that the students again were and they're helping us. You know we use string to measure the rows and we put stakes at the end wrapped around going and so we use that to measure off the three intros and the walkways Deb it's simple simple stuff we didn't get fancy stuff. And then once our seeds were. Transplants we began the See that big enough when we transplanted them inside and outside and we had a fun little process that we had with that we get somebody in the front with the trial that would dig a hole and then somebody behind would come of the little transplant and then someone else behind that would come in covered all over and so we just worked on the row and and we had fun with our little process of going down with that you can also see in the right hand picture our dear friend saying that he was talking about we use that for the outside to keep the deer out from strawberries in the carrots and other goodies that we planted out there and that so far as worked I don't we haven't had any problem at all with that fencing and we can see also here we planted some strawberries and we put down the plastic cover to keep the soil warm for the strawberries and we spent many hours translating these things as a fun process and a time to get to know each other better in the students better and the students enjoy hanging out with each other in their class as they do this. And you can notice the growth and development and just an interesting story one of the senior students he came to me one time and he told me he's like you know when we first started all this like clearing everything out it was just the soil where measuring everything they the students have this where they say sketch where some things like sketchy are kind of strange or where to whatever he's like Man this was super sketch at first and he's like but now that I've seen growing like I was seeing that the stuff come up is cool now like I was things that happened like at first I wasn't sure about all this but I'm seeing stuff happen and he was super excited about that as so we definitely were able to see our transplants rapidly develop from little tiny seedlings to rapidly maturing vegetables and you can imagine the spiritual lessons that can be garnered from this process of transplanting and growing in and seeing things develop and God definitely blessed our efforts we prayed over our greenhouses and over our field our seeds for God's blessings and we may we may put in as much work as we want to would ultimately it's God who who blesses and so to him be all the glory. The small hoop on the inside that is I think a hoop for the for the other floating rule cover put it over on top of that. Yes simple wire hoops. That is not part of greenhouses just a wire little are. We did use some of that on the inside for cover Yes And on the outside and this picture you can see some of our students out in the garden we have the junior students on the left hand side senior students on the right and they had a fun time learning the different processes and spiritual lessons I heard several The students talking about the things that they learned and one of them was telling me about the different processes of we and you know how that's like say and we need to get it when it's small and manly gets hard it's so hard to pull up but you catch it when it's small it's a lot easier to to deal with and here they were harvesting greens for the cafeteria one of our goals with this I recall chal program was to provide for the cafeteria needs a lettuce some of the solid goods and we were able to do that we had the lettuce is the spinach is we had Cole Robbie onions and different things that we were able to add to the salad bar and we were able to do that and so they are here doing that as well getting the greens you can see the Spanish there to getting it ready for the cafeteria. And that was some of the fruits of our labors we have a fully developed Swiss chard they're the kale collards radishes turnips the rushes in turnips are from the outside field and of course inside the greenhouse. Here's a picture of the outside field it really took off it looked beautiful. Radishes and turnips there. This was part of Planet September there earlier. August cares were a little bit earlier but of course have to be real not everything's a walk in the park we did face our own struggles. And as I saying that feel that we had problems with erosion we put the drainage ditch and but we noticed after a couple good hard rains that we needed some further water direction so you can see we dug a small trench down the side because it was still sort of trying to flow through the rows so we were able to redirect the water through that way and we also had some bugs for a while grasshoppers. But that disappeared with the cooler weather once again cooler the grasshoppers decided to head out or died or want to go something like that. But another problem that we eventually faced was the weather itself and when it got really cold we had a really cold spell for a while at least a heritage we got to a negative five and. Our lettuce and most of our outside crops that was due to some misunderstandings on our own and of course a learning curve this is our first year doing this so we're all learning together in this process. But we know what not to do next year. And hopefully as we continue we get better and better but the fun thing is we had our students with us and so they're learning as we go along you know they see the things that happen and they learn not only when they have their own gardens they know what to do when they they can learn as well Problem Solving the realities of garden and you have things you have to work through but the good thing is also that not all the crops are lost we still have the Greens onions the beat a lot of the things inside the greenhouse we're fine we did lose the lettuce inside the greenhouse but we did have some things that recovered so we're excited that that we still do have things and we have started seeding again so we're looking forward to more in the future as well but you notice all the rain we were able to have fun even with the rain and the mud we got the stands out there for a little while one evening to have a big mud fight and it was kind of funny you hear some at least I've heard some of the girls complain about the dirt this in the dirt that you were out here in the mice you can still put the dirt and and so on but we make the most of what we have. We're also able to use some accessories and additions in our greenhouses the school had seen that they weren't using So we were able to utilize that in the greenhouse with the hose as a washing stations that we could clean all the produce before it went up to the kitchen. Because you know sometimes when the kids find a worm or in a fit in the greens it's done for a while you are not getting the best but when it's clean beforehand and able to get that all processed ahead of time that's a lot easier Dolly for the kitchen you're not laying an extra burden on them but also the food is cleaner and looks nicer and more able to be utilized we were able to put in a pipe and because we were using regular water the school water for watering purposes and we had a well but we were able to get the pipe connected with the well so we're using well water so we weren't draining on any of the school water or in the drinking water and so we able to use well water to water our greenhouses with. And I fancy little tables over here we didn't have a budget for growing tables so we got creative and we use pallets and logs as a temporary solution to put our starts on and it's working for us currently so where you don't have it just get creative and it works. And this is exciting on our proposal for the program we had about a couple of years from now that we were going to be able to still produce and get it out into the community but the Lord tremendously blessed and we were able to begin selling produce ahead of schedule and we were able to build a small customer base through local churches home there's a local Adventist elementary school with several people who are very supportive. So we're able to build a small customer base through that also some local neighbors and we're starting small on the largest been blasting we have been able to provide some income for the school already and so that's exciting that we're ahead of schedule on that you can see on the left hand side the school has an annual event what they call international supper and a lot of people from the community come and we set up a bit if they're able to spread the word and also make a little money that evening we also were able to go into the community on a different event and hand out some flyers about our produce and reach out to the community that way and one thing was selling our produce that we're really excited about as we see it as an outreach opportunity for the kids because you know as you're reaching out to the community and to people around you that's an opportunity for the students to be able to use that as another outreach method so we're super excited about that so that's where we're at some of the things we face some of our experiences we have a lot of fun along the way I'm excited about it continuing and the kids so far really enjoyed it to my knowledge and I know they learned a lot I've had several kids come to me and just. You know sometimes you wonder like are they actually getting anything out of it and when Katie came up to me and talked to me for like forty five minutes about all the spiritual lessons you learn in the garden how is like. Like. This media was brought to you by audiotapes a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about what you first or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave Visit W W W dot. Org.


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