Garden, Plant, Cook!

Friday, January 01, 2010

What does a Plants of the Bible Tour have to do with Edible Landscaping?

Dear Folks,

Happy New Year!

During this time of the traditional 12 Days of Christmas consider Biblical plants, their many uses, and the fact that you, the desert gardener, can grow most or all of them!

Edible landscaping and plants mentioned in the Bible have a lot in common -- and so does the lower desert area of our valley of the sun with the lands of the Bible. Many of you may be familiar with the fact that the lands of the Bible are very similar in climate to the Phoenix Metro area and surrounding cities, offering hot and dry conditions perfectly suited to the plants native to the Biblical area of the Mediterranean, which is home to three of the major religions of the world.

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum offers a Plants-Of-The-Bible tour on the first Sunday of the month and the third Saturday of the month. I strongly recommend you try to make one of them. Besides the regular beauty of visiting the BTA, this tour will add to your ideas and planning for your edible garden.

Figs, pomegranate, olive, cilantro, mint, and lemon grass are all mentioned in the Bible, along with many others.

Several times in the past I've written about the plants of the Bible and how we can grow them here with great success. Here is a column I wrote for the East Valley Tribune in December 2006. From that article in part I wrote "Plant a biblical theme garden — onions, garlic, leeks, dill, mint, Syrian oregano (called “hyssop” in the Bible), sweet bay, anise, cumin, cilantro (the root of this plant was one of the “bitter herbs”), sage, myrtle, lemon grass, mustard, dandelion, hibiscus, hollyhock, bachelor button, roses, violets, caper, saffron crocus and chicory, are all mentioned in the Bible."

And speaking of the 12 Days of Christmas - use the search box on this blog sidebar to find the 12 days of Christmas blogs I wrote last year. For example today January 1st, is the 8th Day of Christmas.

We have all been challenged by the last year or so, let's take the opportunity to look to options and projects which can comfort us and give us a real sense of connection to our homes, families, friends and communities. I have always believed that gardening offered that and more -- the better if it is edible!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady