What is Time? How does it relate to the foods I grow and eat?
WHAT IS TIME?
One of the hardest questions to answer is, what is time? Is it based off a clock, made up of digits? Is it portions of the day that we've roped off to do certain things? Or could time be simply made so us humans have a way to stay on track and organized. Wake up at 6:00, go to work at 7:00, have lunch at 12:00, come home at 5:00, eat dinner at 7:00, then watch TV till you have to go to bed at 9:00. We've been forming our days around what “time” is since the days of ancient civilization. Of course the Egyptian's couldn't whip out their smart phones and be like, only another 45 minutes till Pharaoh Bob is buried, but they could look at the sun and know it was time to do what they did. The Mayan's made a calendar (even if it wasn't 100% efficient) telling them when to work, marry, and worship. What I'm trying to get at is that there is basically a “time” for everything.
Sometimes though, it's not exactly the right time. Gardening is like that. You could pick out a random day, out of a random week to plant, but it wouldn't turn out half as well as working at the right time. This time is based off the moon cycle. In ancient times, they found that certain plants flourish when planted in certain phases of the moon. Fast forward a couple hundred years to modern society and you'll find our own Moon Calendar very similar to theirs. We've taken what we know about what they did and have created 3 different types of moon planting methods. There is Synodic, or waxing and waning cycle, the Biodynamic cycle, and the Sidereal cycle. The Synodic (waxing and waning) is the simplest of the three. You start by dividing the moon cycle correctly into four phases, or quarters. Then you categorize plants into root crops, foliage, crops with seeds on the outside, and crops with seeds on the inside. Then assign the groups of plants to the phase, which will most benefit their growth. Gardening using the biodynamic method is a bit more detailed, using the 12 Zodiac signs for more accurate planting. The Zodiac signs were used when the moon passed directly through their constellation, and certain plants were planted at that time. The Sidereal method is fairly similar to the Biodynamic method, but instead the moons orbit is used to know when to sow and harvest.
Here are some tips if you want to start working by the moon. In the month of May, is a good time to plant your nightshades (plants the bloom and ripen at night), muskmelons and squash. With the 1st to 3rd of the month, the 3rd being the full moon is a great time to plant flowering and herbal plants. As the 4th thru the 10th approaches, this is the optimal time to plant for a large root growth. Upon the Sunday of Motherʼs day, it would start the weeding and controlling pest week. As the New Moon approaches, watering deep focusing on drainage and composting is the ideal time of the month. This is also the best time for planting muskmelons.
On a side note, Comfrey is an herb plant that thrives during this time, it serves as a green fertilizer and beneficial to all gardens. It is a multipurpose plant, as it has medicinal uses along with being a great fertilizer. There are many ways to make a comfrey-based fertilizer. You can make it into mulch, mix the plant with water to create liquid manure, or even simply add the plant to your compost. If you don't already have it, Nature's Touch does. We also have a large selection of Heirloom Vegetables, and Trees, Herbs, Berries and true Central California Native plants.
Nature's Touch Nursery & Harvest, besides being a locally grown grocery store Natureʼs Touch is a specialty edible plant nursery and gardens. The Nursery specializes in Heirloom and Open pollinated Herbs and Vegetables, True Central Coast of California Native and Antique Edible Flowers and Fruit Trees. We are seasonal store and nursery that is by the clock of the moon, and we provide in our store what tools Mother Nature has shared with us to create the life and sustainability to live with in our own means. We are here to share and help you create the same with in your own home and garden. So that together we can create a better community.