Plants of the Bible: The Original Food Forests


Photo by Tib

The Mediterranean Basin and California share similar climate, in part because both sit in the range of 30 to 39 degrees north latitude. This latitude is considered a sub-tropical belt that can accommodate some tropical plants with less threat of frost than areas farther from the equator.   In Biblical times, the Eastern Mediterranean was wetter then at present — more like here where I live in the East Bay of California.

From the Atlas Mountains of Morocco down to the mouth of the Mediterranean at Gibraltar and continuing from the Zagros Mountains down into the Iraqi lowlands, much can be compared to our mighty Bay Area as the terminus of the Sierra Nevada Mountains' many watersheds.

In each case, upland plants make their way down the rocky slopes of hills and mountains, converging at creek confluences to move down the mountain in riverine green belts. Such “key points” of the upland watershed were crucial for ancestral people to take advantage of the fresh and episodic water before it gave way to the fertile river valleys down below and on into the marshes and wetlands. The historic “Garden of Eden” was most likely in such a dryland, upland river valley.

Plants of the Bible and the Original Food Forests

The following plants made their way into human cultivation from a region of the Old World where life sprouts in dryland hotspots for biodiversity. In the mountains of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Isreal, an abundance of life happens at the confluence of two creek drainages. Such meeting grounds allow for dry places, at times, to have enough water to foster more biotic growth: an oasis.

Oasis gardens. Early people would gather in such places to browse, to process, to rest and to gather water. Over eons, such places would continue to deposit and build up seeds and sprouts from human visits. Over time, such casual encounters led to the propagating, fostering and protecting of crops that inhabitants could consume for their edible qualities. Some see this tendency as the trend that began modern agriculture and the cultivation and co-evolution of many domesticated plants.

2/20/2020 10:17:38 AM

Please provide places we can get organic seeds from

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