Monday, April 18, 2011

Jurupa Adventure Part III: Biblical graden

4:01 p.m. Today's project was to go out to the garden and pick some salad ingredients for a late lunch after a long, but lucrative, morning. The grandsons slept in very late; and Steve was busy tidying up the lawns while I was out. Despite having had scrambled eggs for breakfast, and munching on nuts between appointments, I was ravenous when I got home. I was following the declaration of 2 Timothy 2:6, "The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops."

Good news greeted us as I picked mesclun lettuce and spinach, and Steve repositioned the solar ground vibrator that helps keep moles and gophers away. The pea plants have doubled in size since Saturday, and finally some of the carrots are attaining a decent size. The tomato and potato plants have responded to the last week of sunshine, and our onions have germinated. Tomorrow I'll start building the hills for our cantaloupe seeds, if it doesn't rain. My lunch salad, with grilled chicken, parmesan cheese, and Ranch dressing, was delicious. I'm feeling much more hopeful about my season's yield now!

Patience is definitely required for raising vegetables in this year of cold/hot, dry/drenched conditions in Riverside. Raising your own food by traditional methods, without pesticides, chemical growth enhancers or poisons has really not changed since Bible times. Even though we can effortlessly irrigate here, my garden is still at the mercy of the weather, just as described in James 5:7: "See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting for it until it receives early and latter rain." Planting, tending and harvesting crops is definitely a waiting game!

At the Jurupa Mountains Nature Center, I spotted the "Biblical Garden" arch that led to a special garden of herbs and flowers that grow in Palestine. It seemed rather dry and the plants small, but I remember hearing that the climate in Israel closely resembles ours in Southern California, both being at about 30 degrees latitude. In fact, friends who returned from Israel recently with Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley reported that during the short heat wave we had here, they experienced temperatures over 100 degrees!

The garden in Jurupa was laid out with herbs and patterned in the same way ancient gardens are described in Unger's Bible Dictionary:

These gardens are not laid out with the precision of the West, with paths and beds. The vegetables, however, are planted in rows by the shallow ditches or furrows through which the water is conveyed to them (Psalm 1:3; Ecclesiastes 2:6). This water is turned from one furrow to another either by a hoe or by moving the earthen bank which separates them by a shove of the foot.

As you can see, that's just the way the Lord has directed us to arrange our garden--with no water wasted by overhead sprinkling, but watering the roots of the plants directly--just right for this arid climate--and the climate of Israel!

When the Biblical garden at the Nature Center is more fully grown this summer, it will provide a quiet, lovely spot to reflect upon the original Garden of Eden, and to glorify the Lord Jesus, by whom the worlds were created (Hebrews 1:2) and who has done all things well!

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