Editorial: Sowing the seeds

sow seeds good fridayRUTHERFORD COUNTY – Tradition! My grandfather, like his father before him, always planted on Good Friday. Whether Good Friday fell in the cool days of March or early days of April, it was tradition. In a line of farmers, tradition is not given up easily.

The sun warmed soil tilled easily and my fingers dug into the dark rich earth of the small plot. As a toddler, my role had been to poke holes into the ground for the seeds. Planting was a family affair. When a bit older, I was allowed to turn the soil, enriching it with song and praise. The seeds were sown as anything placed into the dirt on this day would rise again on Sunday.

For the southern gardener from good Scot-Irish/Cherokee stock, on Good Friday “Irsh taters” (Irish Potatoes) must be planted. The growing cycle of the garden was a reflection of life. That which we sow, we reap. At harvest, the land lies fallow. Yet, in the spring, the seeds sprout into life. Perish the thought of not touching the earth on this hallowed of days.

Why do we plant on Good Friday? The Creoles of Louisiana believed if the ground were tilled on this day, the earth would bleed Christ’s blood. Maybe we plant on Friday to acknowledge the great mysteries of life. Perhaps for gardeners, it’s tradition. Great, great grandpa did it; therefore we must continue the tradition. With a final covering of the seed and a tamping of the soil, the wine was poured over the ground.

Whatever the reason, many of us will be working our garden patch beneath the warmth of the sun. Whatever you planted on Good Friday, I wish you all the best for a bountiful harvest. Happy gardening, and don’t be afraid to get those hands dirty!