Gardening in Winter?

by | Jan 2, 2016 | News

The sluggard will not plow when winter setteth in; therefore he shall beg in harvest, and have nothing.
Proverbs 20:4  (JPS version)

It is winter in SW Washington; highs in the upper 20s to mid-30s. But today was sunny AND it was time to muck out the cow’s stall(s). So I decided to top-dress the 40×40 foot (new) garden with the “brown hay.”

The verse in Proverbs (book of wisdom) talks about lazy folk, winter, harvest, and food depravation. It also mentions plowing. But…you say…taking the cover off is NOT God’s way to grow food. Indeed you are right.

The “take-away” from this verse is that we are to be preparing for future harvests. You may be able to plow in the Middle East in winter, but it is not going to happen in upstate New York…or even in my part of the country. As I said, it is below freezing here! (But we are not under snow drifts, thank the Lord!)

We only had enough for about 1/4 of the garden, so this is a bit of a test. Will it do awesome things? (or) Will it suffocate the soil below and make me wish it had all gone to the compost mound? I’m OK with a 25% experiment.

The Hebrew word for “plow”  (H2790 in Strong’s Concordance) comes from a root word that means “scratch.”
As you can see, I am scratching at the manure mix. I expect the loose chickens will scratch it some more tomorrow.

Just as we look for root causes to solve things, it is helpful to look at root words to interpret things. Keep in mind, the men who compiled this Bible version had no other frame-of-reference than a cover-removing dominated form of agriculture and horticulture. We cannot expect them to have written: The sloth will not top-dress in winter, therefore..”

However, we CAN cultivate a mindset that is willing make on effort in the cold so that our efforts in the warm harvest will be more plentiful and tasty!  DD

Winter mulching