Farming like Scarlett O’Hara

Scarlett, a “hello spring” ponytail really does wonders for a gal’s attitude. Just sayin’ girlfriend…

One can only hope for a morning as perfect this spring Kansas morning.  Warm rays of the sun, who had gone on vacation this last week, decided it was time to come home.  A whisper of a south breeze was motivation to put my hair in my “hello-spring’  ponytail as Cliff and I made our way out to the Gyp Hills to do a little farmin’.

We town folk are blessed to have a wonderful spot to retreat when life screams that we need some solitude.  I caught myself picking up a handful of deep rich earth and quoting in my best Irish brogue “Clifford Scarlett O’Hara, land is the only thing that counts.  It’s the only thing worth fighting for.  It’s the only thing worth dying for!”  I don’t believe that quote for a second,  but I can understand Gerald O’Hara’s passion.  There is just something cathartic about getting dirty and watching little plants come to life.  (Besides, it’s in my DNA to whip out a Gone With the Wind quote every little whipstitch, so I jumped on this perfect opportunity.)   Thank goodness Clifford Scarlett couldn’t hear me above the tractor motor as he worked into the garden spot what we call ‘The Black Gold.’

The Black Gold comes from a horse trainer’s stall barn down the road.  It is a mix of the finest of horse poo and wood chips, aged to perfection.  It’s beginning starts by being piled in a mountain at the site far from any form of civilization.  The reason-it stinks to high heaven.  Then it’s allowed to sit, cook in the sun, and break down for at least a year before its magical forces are called on to feed hundreds vegetable plants.  They flourish.  My mouth was watering just thinking of the bounty we will reap.

I cut up potatoes, planting them ‘with their eyes up so they can see their way to the sun’ as Farmer Cliff advised.  Meanwhile he is working the rest of the garden behind me, turning the Black Gold into the soil over and over again.   I finish with the spuds and start laying out a row for the onions.  I find myself sitting in the soft earth, blended to perfection.  As I sift the soil, I think of the poo I create in my life.  No matter how I try to cover it up, my sin is smelly stuff!  Nothing will cut the stench until God gets involved.  Allowing me to feel the heat through the messes, He makes sure to ‘cook’  the impurities out of me.  Just like the poo (post-breakdown process) the proverbial aroma is forgotten and good comes forth.   When spread around, it becomes encouragement and nourishment for others, who are unsuccessfully trying to clean up their messes on their own.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord.  Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they shall be like wool.  If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.”  Isaiah 1:18.  

I like that it says “willing and obedient.’  He didn’t say we had to be perfect.  He’s got that covered.

For after all “tomorrow is another day.”

(picture credit:


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