Saturday, August 6, 2011
"Don't plough your land; you are destroying your soil", I tell people who come to our kiosk at the Ugandan national agriculture show.
I wait for their surprised look -- sometimes the new idea doesn't register until I start elaborating on the reasons why turning their soil with a plough or even with a hoe will lead to it's demise.
I explain," By inverting your soil with a plough or hoe you break the soil into small particles which will easily be eroded, compacted by the impact of the heavy tropical rains we receive and clog the pore spaces that are supposed to naturally occur in a fertile soil". I move on to the next point but very quickly someone in the small audience looking at our display says" Wait a minute -- back up! You said that ploughing is BAD? What do you mean??" I gladly continue my explanation which includes pointing out the fertile soils in forests and native grasslands that are unturned and have been producing a bountiful diversity of plant life for thousands of years. It gives me an opportunity to explain and contrast mankind's ways with God's ways in nature -- a natural and logical lead to contrast God's ways with ours; I discuss how, without God, we use, abuse and destroy almost anything for selfish gain yet, as stewards of what God has given us to take care of we should be caring for and protecting all that God has given us. He will ask for an accounting for all we have been given at the end of time.
Currently, with Farming God's Way in Uganda, we have a short timespan during which we can introduce these revolutionary and exciting ideas of minimal tillage with the gospel of the Kingdom of God. I have found that when a new crop is introduced with a growing methodology it becomes a huge success with those who decide to grow that crop. In a similar way I believe we have the same opportunity to introduce this new (actually ancient) way of farming with a methodology which incorporates the idea of trying to imitate what God does in nature and follow what He tells us to do in His Word. We have a chance to bring an agriculture revolution along with a spiritual revolution -- the most exciting prospect in agriculture missions!!