This past Sunday, we officially became a Creation Justice Church by formally adopting our Creation Justice Covenant. Here is Eric LeJeune, leading the congregation in the ceremony. A lovely way to observe Earth Day.
We also welcomed our friend Ken Freestone, one of the presenters for our upcoming Green Gardens gathering. If you would like to join us that evening, sign up in our Friendship Hall or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ken is sort of the Pied Piper of composting in West Michigan, which will be obvious from his comments on Sunday…
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My name is Ken Freestone and I am a Master Composter. No I don’t write music and I haven’t composed any songs.
I am proud to be certified through MSU Extension to demonstrate composting techniques, tools and details about how to compost. I have actually been composting since I was 10 years old in my Grandmother’s Garden, and been teaching passionately for the past 20 years.
Composting is the original recycling and incredibly simple to do as humans, and also part of an incredibly complex system that nature does all of the time, with little or no help needed from us humans.
Finding God in the Compost Pile
From Natural News
The compost pile is a paragon of death and renewal. Mixing organic waste and manure in a mound large enough to retain heat promotes decomposition and disinfection. The pile is turned early and often for uniformity and to avoid foul-smelling fermentation. In aerated piles, good organisms dominate and the smelly ones die. In large-scale commercial composting the heated pile also becomes inhospitable for Salmonella, E. coli and other manure pathogens. The recent infestations of spinach, onions, peanut butter and hamburger do not arise from organic farms where good compost is used, but rather from factory farms with filthy runoff problems that use sewer sludge or synthetic chemicals as fertilizer. Good compost promotes food quality. In a well-made compost pile, good bacteria defeat the bad ones, just like it should be. An abundance of friendly microbes defines the quality of finished compost, and the power of those microbes depends on their mineral content.
Compost is not just the key to sustainable agriculture, but also God’s will. It is the renewal of things, and the only tangible form of reincarnation. It is life’s resolve and death’s acceptance. What transpires in a compost pile is as awesome as in any religion, and its miracles are accessible. The God in the compost pile is worth dirtying one’s fingernails for. The fruit of its faith is in the fertility of the land, the salubrity and appeal of its produce, and ultimately in the balance of things. Eating fresh, hardy, local organic produce is spiritually gratifying, like returning to Eden. Understanding the wisdom of nature and respecting its mystery, through compost, brings us closer to the Oneness: Nature’s unifying principle.
I love how that encapsulates the beauty, the systemic approach and the complexity of compost.
I will share fun stories, simple techniques (even a 30 second composting lesson) and the beauty and complexity of dirt/soil/microorganisms and bugs.