There are many factors that make edible gardening in Oklahoma challenging. Obviously, our weather presents some problems. Plants can usually adapt and take our very hot summers and even our cold winters, but it’s the drastic changes in short periods of time that seem to be so hard on them.
When the temperatures are in the 80s one day and in the 40s the next, it’s tough. And, in Oklahoma, that’s not an exaggeration!
Another challenge, and oftentimes even more damaging than temperatures, is the wind. If there is one thing that we are not short of it is wind! For the past several years, Oklahoma has been ranked in the top 10 windiest states in the United States.
Wind is a powerful force! Since most edible gardening is comprised of smaller plants (excluding fruit trees and berry bushes), they can become damaged very quickly by punishing and drying winds.
Because of this, it is important to consider how you are going to situate your growing areas, so that they will be protected. This is a little more difficult to do with a traditional row garden, but if you will use raised beds or containers, you will have some better options. Planting edibles in existing flower beds around your house or creating a row garden near a solid fence, or shrubs that have formed a hedge, are good options because these can act as a windbreak.
Before you construct or situate your garden area, take a few days to observe and see how the wind tends to affect the areas that you’re considering. You will probably notice that some areas of your yard or patio seem to be a wind tunnel, and others are less windy and are more protected. It is in these areas where you will want to build first.
Since edible gardening usually requires six-to-eight hours of full sun, you will need to be conscientious to not sacrifice the needed hours of sunlight just to have a windbreak. In the effort to solve one problem (too much wind) you do not want to create a different problem (too much shade).
You know, wind is an interesting factor. If it’s raining, we can see where it’s coming from by looking up at the clouds and then make adjustments. If it’s blistering hot we can see the source by looking at the sun and again, we can adjust things. With wind, we can never really put our finger on where it originates or where it ends, and it’s constantly changing. Yet, we can certainly see its effects.
In the Bible, the Spirit of God is compared to the wind. He is the third person of the Trinity and is very powerful. He is God! According to Acts 2:2, when He was given, He came as a mighty, rushing wind.
“And suddenly a noise like a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.”
When the Spirit moves, we can’t see Him with our physical eyes, but we can certainly see the effects of His presence.
Just as we can see the effects of wind in our gardens by swirling leaves, overturned pots and bending stems, we can also see the effects of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. These are people who demonstrate the characteristics of God and their lives bear the Fruits of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23).
I love this quote by Charles Spurgeon: “It is a remarkable fact, known I dare say to most of you, that both in the Hebrew and Greek languages the same word is used for spirit and for wind… There was intended, doubtless, to be a very close and intimate parallel between the Spirit of God and the wind, or otherwise the great Ruler of Providence, Who invisibly controlled the confusion of Babel, would not have fashioned human language so that the same word should stand for both. Language, as well as nature, illustrates the wisdom of God.”
May the powerful effects of the Oklahoma wind be minimized in your garden and the powerful effects of the Holy Spirit be maximized in your life.