In Jan 2017, we were very blessed to host Brian Smith from AgriStewards and Vatanak, who conducted farming training using Farming God’s Way at PKH Trang. Teacher Deborah, Brother Souvuth, Brother Ngoun Y, Sokha Buntheurn and around 10 students/staff from PKH Trang attended the training, together with Ds Bessie, Ena and Adeline from Singapore. We were also joined by a few local and expatriate Christians who heard about the training via a local Christian community email.
On the first day, Brian gave us a detailed lecture on the background and principles of Farming God’s Way which consists of 3 interconnected spheres; Biblical, Technology and Management. We learnt that the soil should not be ploughed and the importance of looking after the health of the soil which includes no burning, practising rotation and covering the soil with mulch which FGW calls God’s Blanket.
We then went on to the practical session on the second day when we planted a 6m x 6m test garden of cucumber, long beans and watermelon. Each step was precisely planned, measured, performed with minimal wastage and adhering to the requirement of high standards. At the four corners of the plot, Brian instructed us to mark each corner with a permanent peg with a bible verse written on it, staking God’s claim on the land. And above all of this, there was prayer and joyful singing of worship songs throughout the preparation of the land and during planting. The training continued in the afternoon on composting and management.
Sokha Bunthoeurn writing 1 Peter 1:5 on the first leg.
It was an eye-opening experience for all of us to learn how God already has mechanisms in place that allow fauna, flora and soil to co-exist with high levels of productivity and minimal environmental degradation. God has indeed provided sufficiency in all things.
We are very grateful to Brian and Vatanak for conducting the training, and we hope to reach out to the surrounding villagers with Farming God’s Way as a tool to empower them to break out from poverty.
AgriStewards is an American organisation founded with the vision of teaching sustainable farming techniques using Farming God’s Way to help individuals, families and their communities meet the basic needs of life through farming.
Farming God’s Way (“FGW”) is a Godly solution to the food security and poverty crisis for the rural poor. FGW has a proven track record of success since 1984 where these practises were pioneered in Zimbabwe by Brian Oldreive. It has since been used by churches and NGOs throughout Africa and has now been extended to Mexico, Nepal, US and UK.
FGW is a biblical-based method of conservation and sustainable farming with 3 main interconnected spheres:
- Acknowledge God and God alone
- Consider your ways
- Understanding God’s all-sufficiency
- What you sow is what you will reap
- Bring the tithes and offerings to God
- Stake your claim
- On time
- To high standards
- With minimal wastage
- No ploughing
- 100% mulch covers (which FGW refers to as God’s blanket)
- Practising rotations
Trang children singing praises to our Lord as we began preparing the garden.
The students at Trang working together to wheel the heavy bags of wood ash to the test garden site.
Hands on experience of preparing the soil for the new seeds, under the guidance of Brian Smith.
And finally, God’s ‘Blanket’ covering the newly planted seeds in the test garden.
For more information about FGW, please visit their website via this link.