Saturday, January 10, 2015

Where to plant..Let there be light

I recently took up the idea of having a vegetable garden.  I have these ridiculous ideas that it will be something of my Garden of Eden!  I imagine my kids and I walking carelessly through picking green beans, commenting on how sweet the peppers are, and how we just didn't know pumpkins could grow so perfectly shaped.  All the while songbirds circle above singing of their delight in simply viewing the garden, while leaving all the vegetation untouched!

Then I snap back into reality and remember I know not the first thing about vegetable gardening, other than you have the water the thing--which I learned during my FIRST attempt at a vegetable garden years ago!  So, I set out to learn.  I pulled out some books I had on vegetable gardening and called upon anyone who would listen for advice.  I was blessed to meet Farmer Phil, who set me straight on the first step...

Genesis chapter one verse three reads, "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light."

Simple.  On, Off.  Light, Dark.  God knew right at the beginning what we would need for life.  Before there was life even!  He knew that our lives would be dependent on this great entity!  LIGHT!  God provided for us even before we were!

So, even before my garden IS, I know I need to set up its location so that it will get as much light as possible.  Farmer Phil didn't even have to tell me that.   However, he did instruct me a lot more on how to obtain the optimum amount of light.  Here is how we got there:

1-Drew a rough diagram of my land with lot lines and locations of anything that may block the light.
2-Labeled said drawing with all the cardinal directions.

Now, there is more to be said here,because I thought the ol' phrase, "Sun rises in the East, sets in the West" was all I needed to know from here.  Plant the garden on the North or South side of the house with nothing to the East and West...that will mean sun all day.  Right?  WRONG!  God is an amazing being; creator of the sun!  Surely he wouldn't create something as great as the sun and make it so simple to understand!

Genesis chapter one verses fourteen through eighteen reads, "And God said, 'Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,  and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.' And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.  God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good."

Sometime if you feel like a fun little science lesson, look up analemma.  Basically it says that as the earth moves around the sun all the tipping and tilting causes the sun to rise slightly north or south depending on your location and the time of year.  A great website I found is: It helps you figure out where the sun rises and sets during your gardening season.  For me, this means during gardening season, the sun will rise in the East-Northeast and set in the West-Northwest.  

So back to the steps:

3- Plop that garden down where it will get the least amount of obstruction from the Northeast and Northwest!  For me, that looks like, right about....

Who knew that this light that our plants so desperately need would be such a complexity for us.  You know what is even more amazing, if our planet didn't do all this tipping and tilting and the analemma that we have in regards to the sun didn't happen--the equator would get wonderful sun year round and those of us in the upper and lower latitudes would get very little.  We wouldn't be able to survive!  But because of this beautiful design the northern hemisphere gets sun to grow crops and sustain life half a year and the southern hemispheres gets sun to grow crops the other half. 

Let there be Light!  Complicated, beautiful light!  To God be the glory!

Click on to read the next step in my gardening adventure: A Year's Worth of Food

No comments:

Post a Comment