Born Again Dirt: Book Review

Born Again Dirt: Farming to the Glory of God by Noah Sanders was published a few months ago, and I devoured it immediately. I don’t consider myself a writer, and so it has taken me a while to review it. (Sounds like a strange thing to say for someone with a blog, but my posts are more a chronicle of what I do, that don’t require a lot of writing skill). But the book is frequently on my mind, and I thought it valuable enough to force myself to do it.

Noah is young, in his early 20′s, I presume, and is himself thinking out how to farm in a way that gives glory to God. He does this without dogma or legalism, although that is not to say that he is without opinion. He makes good observations regarding one’s worldview and how that affects one’s method of farming. (Noah defines farming as “a piece of land – regardless of size – that an individual is responsible for.”)

For example, industrial farming  reflects a worldview “whose ultimate source of wisdom is science”. He sees this method as fruitful, but not sustainable. And, Noah says, environmental agriculture reflects a worldview that worships nature; this method is sustainable, but not fruitful. He wanted his farming methods to reflect his biblical worldview. His dirt needed to be “born again”.

He concludes that the biblical worldview of farming is to be “sustainably fruitful”. I wholeheartedly agree that God desires our farming methods to be both fruitful and sustainable. Environmentalism, and perhaps some farming methods of the past have been unfruitful. But I’m not sure that I see the present organic farming movement as just sustainable, and not fruitful. When I think of organic farmers like Michael Phillips in New Hampshire, Eliott Coleman in Maine, Sepp Holzer in Austria, and Joel Salatin in Virginia, I see both the face of modern day organic farming and much fruitfulness.

Noah says much that I have believed, but have only recently heard other Christian writers say (ie. Joel Salatin). But he has also opened my eyes to new ideas. This young man is a breath of fresh air! I don’t know of another book on farming/gardening that has both practical, how-to information and shows us that God cares about our hearts as we farm. He says, “If we want to glorify God we must be Christian farmers, not just farmers who are Christians.” He takes 1 Corinthians 10:31 seriously and believes that “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” includes farming.

In order to be better stewards of our land, Noah recommends walking our property with the Owner. He suggests that we give the Lord a tour and an accounting of how we have cared for His possessions. During this tour, he suggests that we repent of failures, and talk to God about problems we are experiencing.

Praying in my garden comes very naturally to me. Perhaps all that kneeling is just conducive to prayer? But, I have to tell you, I never once thought to show God around my yard, or even talk to him about that area that is flooded after a rain and bone dry the rest of the time. Or about the slugs that are eating my broccoli. But now I find myself asking Him if and where we should plant apple trees, or how to protect our garden from forecasted hail. Honestly, the book, to me, is worth the price for that one piece of advice alone.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Comments

  1. Laureen Naylor says

    wow…i am very interested in reading this book!!!! i have “liked” Born Again Dirt, on FB, and have already “liked” your learningandyearning blog!!! Thanks for this chance!!!

  2. says

    I would love to read this. I have never thought about showing my Heavenly Father around our property either. Think I’ll do that tomorrow.

    I liked both FBorn Again Dirt and learningandyearning on Facebook.

    Thank you for the chance to win this.

  3. Shelley Oswald says

    I’ve liked learning and yearning on FB. I’m very excited about reading the book Born-again Dirt. I’ve also enjoyed all of your articles so far.

  4. leah says

    Morning Susie!

    ok – I am “in” for 4 entries! hehehe I loved his blog – was just going to scan – and then found myself reading 3 of his blogs in a row. Another blog to add to my list of favorites! hehehe

    his method reminds me of Paul Gautschi’s in Back to Eden! I love their concept of walking with the LORD in their gardens. Very cool!

    Regardless if I win the contest or not… I will be reading this book! hehehe
    Le :)

  5. Debbie says

    I liked both on Facebook. I already subscribe to Yearning and Learning and I also left a comment on Noah’s blog! I sure hope I win!

  6. says

    Thanks for linking. I will be reading this. Have you watched “Back To Eden” online? My husband and I really enjoyed it.

    Bobbie

  7. says

    I liked you and B.A.D on FB (under Real Food Freaks). I love this book already. I watched Back to Eden and this sounds similar to the idea there. Thanks for the review. I am excited to read this book!

  8. says

    Count me in for all 4!! I ‘liked’ you on facebook, along with B.A.D. I also subscribed to your blog and left a comment for Noah. Regardless of winning I plan on getting a hold of this book.

    Blessings,
    Kerri

  9. says

    Hello and thank you for the introduction to a new blog! The book sounds wonderful. I have followed both of you on Facebook and left a comment on Noah’s blog. Can’t wait to read more.

  10. Rachelle says

    After looking around for a few minutes I also signed up for your e-mail updates. Ican’t wait to read this book.

  11. says

    Thanks for the chance to win a great giveaway! The book sounds awesome. I love the concept of giving a ‘tour’ around your property to the One who entrusted it to us in the first place. Neat.

    1. I have “entered” all four ways. I have already “liked” Learning and Yearning on Facebook. (LOVE, btw)
    2. I have “liked” “Born Again Dirt” on Facebook.
    3. Signed up on your email list to receive your posts! (Which I was glad to know of, didn’t realize that was there before…so super excited about that.)
    4. I also left a comment on Noah’s blog.

    Thanks for writing the review. Your writing is fabulous. Your blog is the place to go when one needs a good dose of inspiration.

  12. Bethie says

    I just discovered your blog this morning…so, so cool. I had heard of this book last week so I hope that by signing up to follow your blog by email, I am now in your drawing. I don’t do Facebook. I am going to go to the author’s blog and leave a comment there too. I love your list of recommended books as I have many of the same. I hope to add Born Again Dirt as we too are farmers.
    Blessings and peace,
    Beth

  13. Bethie says

    Thank you for sharing the link to author Noah Sanders’ site. His blog is so cool. I left a comment and more than that, I left blessed to see such wisdom from a young man. It is encouraging to see God raising up young men and women who are living with grace.
    Blessings and peace,
    Beth

  14. says

    I liked “Born Again Dirt” on Facebook. The book sounds interesting and after I post this I’m off to explore your blog. Thanks!

  15. says

    I liked both the facebook pages… I have been looking forward to reading this book for some time, but others in my pile have been demanding my attention (reading The Holistic Gardener right now by the aforementioned Mr. Phillips- amazing book) I’ve commented on Born Again Dirt in the past… not sure if you were looking for new comments only. Anyway, thank you for the opportunity by hosting such a wonderful giveaway.

  16. Lois Welsch says

    I enjoyed your review so much! The book sounds wonderful, and I love the idea of taking a walk around my property with God, as well! Our lot was owned by former farmers from back east who prepared different areas for desert gardening that we utilized the first few years we lived here, and I have been inspired by your blog to start again next fall! Thanks for sharing, Susan.

  17. says

    I also commented on Noah’s blog. I enjoyed reading his article and am excited to read his book whether by winning it here or by getting my hands on it at a later date.

  18. says

    Good morning! This book looks awesome! I love gardening, and I often find myself in prayer as I tend to the plants. Something about digging in the dirt and tending the plants and flowers draws me into the presence of God. I liked your blog on facebook!

  19. Lisa Priest says

    Liked Born Again Dirt and Learning and Yearning. I also signed up for your email blog. I am excited about reading this book, as gardening is my passion, and I do connect the serenity I receive from it with God.

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