"Studying the intellectual and philosophical answers to the questions of life and the Bible is more meaningful when undertaken in a situation involving such activities as digging, planting, weeding, picking, caring for chickens, sawing wood, making shelves and furniture, cooking, sewing, painting walls, and so on." ~ p. 93
Basically this: doing "hidden art" stuff helps you understand spiritual truths.
Schaeffer notes repeatedly that gardening (this chapter's emphasis) is satisfying and fulfilling and thrilling and therapeutic. Those are all nice. She even says it's healing. (86)
But at the end of the chapter she makes a good argument that working in the soil with plants, bugs, seeds, and weeds broadens our understanding of spiritual truths. God uses many gardening/farming metaphors in Scripture to help us understand deep truths -- like how we must die to be resurrected, as a seed does. Or how sin encroaches in the soul and chokes out the spiritual life, like a weed or vine. I believe farmers have a better natural understanding of life and death, and the ramifications of both, better than we regular folks.
They live very closely with life and death, day in, day out, year in, year out. And I've said before that their farm is, to me, the most lovely place on earth. It's ART. For them it's hard work. To my eyes, it's art. They take huge risks, life on the knife-edge of ruin, trust in little plants and seeds ... to produce this complicated ART, as Schaeffer calls it.
We must always remember that God placed humans initially in a garden, a "paradise" (the king's garden, literally). We are created, Schaeffer says, to interact with the soil, the plants, the animals, to find our place in the garden. On a farm, the beauty of Eden, and the sadness of the fall into death, are juxtaposed so closely. People who live in big cities with concrete, plastic and metal tend to divorce their lives from both Eden, and daily death.
Seeing Eden each morning, and seeing death each day -- these things remind us of our place, our humanity, and who God is. A farm is the best place for this.
(Read more bloggers' views of this chapter of Schaeffer's book at Ordo Amoris.)