Hey OATS team, how does your garden grow?

I went up to the Ag field yesterday. That’s what I’ve decided to call the before-named Aquaponics area, because they’re diversifying into other types of organic agriculture. (And it’s more descriptive than calling it George.)

It’s been a while since I have been up there. We have a pretty big campus, and I have spent much of my spare time lately working on my own kitchen garden.

The field is a plateau, backed by the north wall of the canyon, and has a spectacular view of the pine-forested south wall. When I am there, I have a feeling of peace and quiet, like it’s just me, God and nature.

The Oosties and the Thompsons are doing a fabulous job turning a sun-baked field of transplanted dirt (read rock) into beds of soft, sowable soil. Last year, they broke heavy machinery trying to dig post holes to put in a fence. That’s hard dirt. Today, we pulled weeds and got whole roots out. That, my friends is a green-thumbed miracle.

They are at the early stages right now, putting in rows of kitchen compost and leaf compost, divided by rows of wood-chip-covered cardboard, to keep the weeds down. Robin is sowing peas and spinach and Dan is building what I’ll dub a compost silo.

Maybe I’m just a gardening geek, but this makes me excited. I can’t wait to see the produce, and more than that, to see the ideas multiplied in people and places, and taken to those most in need. Hunger is not a necessary evil. It is a challenge we can take on, and win.

imageRobin is planting seed on the beds, and covering it with leaf compost. They’re using an organic no-dig method to preserve the microbial balance of the soil.
imageDan and Carl use a layering process of leaf compost, kitchen compost and grasses, with an aerating tube down the center to make a compost silo that breaks down the organic matter within a couple of weeks.

About the Author:

Writer, editor, translator, teacher, artist. Not necessarily in that order. I'm married to Carlos and have three amazing boys. We've been with YWAM since the 90s and have served in the US & Latin America.


  1. Don Bauer March 31, 2015 at 7:08 am - Reply

    Excellent project! Would a Mission Builder be able to get involved?

    • Regan April 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      Absolutely! We’d love to have you. I’ve let our Mission builder liaison know. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at mbuild (at) ywamchico (dot) com. God bless! We hope to meet you soon.

Leave A Comment