Remembering Planting Day on Good Friday

Saturday, April 15, 2006 - by Harmon Jolley
Where is Eb when you need him?  Click to enlarge.
Where is Eb when you need him? Click to enlarge.

As of this writing, I’ve been busy with spring planting in our garden. Like Lisa Douglas used to say on the TV show, “Green Acres,” the seeds are now in the rich brown earth, and will be “shoosting” up to the sun and the sky. Carrying on what is a definitely a southern tradition, I took off from work on Good Friday in order to plant our garden.

Concerning Good Friday as a day to plant a garden, Roots Web (www.rootsweb.com) says, “Certain lore ruled the weather and the planting and harvesting of gardens and crops. Most all our forefathers planted by the signs of the Zodiac and by certain Saint's days. Potatoes were planted on St. Patrick's Day and all other vegetables for an early healthy crop should be planted on Good Friday. The idea was that as Christ was buried on Friday and came forth from the grave on Sunday, so would these garden plants.”

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org) mentioned that the traditional planting day can also be traced to the parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15). The good seed was seen as a metaphor for the burial of Jesus on Good Friday, since the seed had to be buried in order to produce fruit.

The planting day on Good Friday and gardening in general are part of our family’s tradition. My grandparents on both sides of the family had gardens, though out of necessity more than pleasure. A garden was a way to keep a large family fed during the Depression. My mother’s family had a large garden on their farm near Jasper, TN while my father’s family sowed a smaller plot behind their home in St. Elmo. The experiences were similar in my wife’s family.

My parents lived in the city for many years before moving to Middle Valley. There, they were able to get back to their roots by having a garden. My mother said that one of the biggest grins she ever saw on my father’s face was when he dug his first sweet potato. He also kept the office staff at Combustion Engineering supplied with fresh produce for several years.

There are many benefits of having a home garden. Working in the garden provides good exercise, and gives families an opportunity to be together. You can have fresh fruits and vegetables all summer, and save some for the off-season by canning or freezing. If you have a bumper crop, there are now opportunities at places like the Chattanooga Market to sell your produce.

We grow a variety of items in our garden, but the one that generates the most questions and comments is popcorn. Many folks seem to think that popcorn is something made in a factory, not grown as a crop. Some do not realize that it is suitable for a home garden. . When our daughter shared some home-grown popcorn with other dorm students at her college, one of the students asked, “Are you Amish?” Once you’ve had fresh Tennessee popcorn, you never want to go back to the microwaved variety.

If you have memories of planting a garden on Good Friday, please send me an e-mail at jolleyh@bellsouth.net.

Ready for the pantry.  Click to enlarge.
Ready for the pantry. Click to enlarge.

Books Available By John Wilson - Chattanooga's Story, Scenic, Historic Lookout Mountain, 2 Books On Hamilton County Families

John Wilson, former Hamilton County Historian, has written two volumes on the early families of Hamilton County and also books on Chattanooga and on Lookout Mountain. Chattanooga's Story is a 500-page complete history of Chattanooga. An updated edition was published in 2013. It is available for $35, plus $3 sales tax if a Tennessee resident. The paperback Scenic, Historic ... (click for more)

Tennessee Historical Commission Accepting Applications for Civil War Sites Grant Program

The Tennessee Historical Commission and Tennessee Wars Commission are requesting applications for projects to protect Civil War and Underground Railroad sites in Tennessee. The grants are funded through the Tennessee Civil War Sites Preservation Act, established in 2013. “This is a valuable source of funding to help conserve time-honored battlefield properties,” ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Seeking Court Approval To Sell Trenton Family Practice For $350,000

Hutcheson Medical Center, continuing to make cost-cutting measures, is seeking court approval to sell the Trenton Family Practice at Trenton, Ga., for $350,000. Ted Rumley, county executive for Dade County, said the medical center is so important for the county that officials have arranged for the Dade County Industrial Development Authority to buy it. He said arrangements ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Says Chattanooga Shooting Was Illustration Of "Islam Terrorism"

"Communism with a god.” That’s how Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond sees Islam.   He also said Muslims are aiming to overtake Tennessee. He said, "They want Tennessee. They are building mosques as fast as they can."   In an address to the Pachyderm Club on Monday, Sheriff Hammond spoke again to the community on the effects of radical Islam and the dangers ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Is Right On The Muslim Threat

Sheriff Hammond is exactly correct on the Muslims in Tennessee.  He sees with clear eyes the problem with the Muslims in our state and country.  They do want to take over Tennessee.  Our politicians are selling us down the river and allowing the trouble makers to dig in like tics and suck out the life's blood of our Constitution and take us over.  They ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My September Garden

As we begin the annual pilgrimage into fall, I walk through my garden and, in the spirit of Orchids and Onions, I see colorful mums starting to flower at the same time dried-up weeds are begging to be pulled. So as we turn the calendar to September, here are some things that catch my eye: A COLORFUL MUM to Chattanooga State for unveiling the Michael Hennen Hospitality Center in ... (click for more)