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Countdown to Planting Season

Down here in the Southern Hemisphere the shortest day of the year less than a week away, and we’re counting down to planting season. Just this past weekend in the rain, my lovely husband was chopping a great chunk out of the lawn so that I can start planting fruit and vegetables in our new garden (I’m starting planting now because winter crops rock and I have Swiss chard and spinach germinated and almost ready to be planted out). I have sowed peas that will be ready for harvesting in around 3 months time, and will be sowing carrots and onions over the next week.


But enough about my garden for now, I want to tell you about this this countdown.

It turns out that Jason Hartman (you know, the one who won South African Idol) is a bit of a gardening fundi (who knew?), and he and a couple of other guys called Scott Colin Cundill and Brendan Greene (they’re the admins of the Facebook group for Countdown to Planting Season so I’m assuming here) have got this project going where they are asking South Africans (both in their capacities as businesses and individuals) to plant at least one organic vegetable on the 22nd of September 2009 (Spring Equinox).

At the time of blogging this, they already have over 7000 individual and 131 businesses who have signed up to plant something on the day. Some of the businesses have committed to pretty big planting projects (some of those with land will be planting big food gardens), and others are providing seeds or seedlings to their employees for them to plant at home.

Here’s a bit of blurb about it from their Facebook page:

If ever the people of this country needed something to unite us all, this is it.

We are in a period of darkness. Economic darkness, emotional darkness, social darkness. Water systems are failing, we are running out of power, the food we eat is shocking and there is never enough money. As Phil Collins wrote: “There’s too many people, making too many problems. And not much love to go round.” And all the decision makers do is fight about what the next step should be.

Well, there is one solution that they ALL agree on. In fact, this is probably the only solution that:

• All doctors agree is good for your health
• All psychologists agree brings relief to anxiety
• All politicians agree is a boost for the economy
• All teachers is agree is enlightening for our children
• All religions agree will help you feel closer to God
• All environmentalists agree is the first step to saving the planet

The 22nd of September is the Spring Equinox. On this day, we request that a million South Africans plant an organic vegetable. Just one, that’s all. If you’re a veteran, then it should be easy for you. If you know nothing about how to do this, then we’ll teach you when you register on the website.

Okay, I’m not so sure about the doom and gloom “time of darkness” stuff, but I do think it’s a project worth jumping into with both gumboots. So sign up here and here and get something planted on the 22nd September, you may even find (if you haven’t done this before) that food gardening is your new favourite hobby.

Thanks to Pia for the heads up!