In this particular article, we take a look at the “seeds of all kinds” that the Nephites brought from Jerusalem (1 Nephi 8:1; 18:6, 24). In fact, these seeds, when planted, “did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance” (1 Nephi 18:24); and when planted again, Nephi says, “for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance” (2 Nephi 5:11).
Now all countries and areas that border on the Mediterranean Sea have what is called a Mediterranean Climate. That includes Israel in the eastern Mediterranean, and more specifically Jerusalem. Therefore, the seeds they brought from Jerusalem and planted in the area of their First Landing, would have had to have had a very similar climate, including temperature, precipitation, soil, soil group, and overall weather, for in 600 B.C., long before modern agriculture knowledge and techniques, seeds seldom grew anywhere but within the same climate in which they were produced—in fact, to acclimate a seed to a new area could take several years of poor growth, if at all. Even today, most horticulturists talk about as much as seven years for full acclamation, meaning the seeds will grow as good in the new climate as they did in the old climate in the seventh year.
There are 13 climate zones in the world, with different parts of the planet having different climates. Some parts of the world are hot and rainy nearly every day and have a tropical wet climate. Others are cold and snow-covered most of the year, having a polar climate. Between the icy poles and the steamy tropics are many other climates that help make the Earth a unique planet.
In fact, average temperature and precipitation are important features of a climate, as are the day-to-day, day-to-night, and seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation. For example, San Francisco, California, and Beijing, China, have similar yearly temperatures and precipitation. However, the daily and seasonal changes make San Francisco and Beijing very different. San Francisco’s winters are not much cooler than its summers, while Beijing is hot in summer and cold in winter. San Francisco’s summers are dry and its winters are wet. The wet and dry seasons are reversed in Beijing—it has rainy summers and dry winters. On the other hand, central and southern California have a similar climate to Jerusalem distinguished by warm, wet winters under prevailing westerly winds and calm, hot, dry summers, called a Mediterranean Climate, which is characteristic of the Mediterranean region and parts of California, central Chile, South Africa, and southwestern Australia.
Crops that grow exceptionally well in a Mediterranean Climate have not historically done well in other climates without an acclamation period or the aid of modern technology
The Yellow areas around the Mediterranean show the Mediterranean Climate locations. Note the far right yellow in the Palestine/Israel area
In fact, according to Piero Lionello, Department of Science Technologies, Biologic and Ambient, University of Salento, Lecce Itally, in The Climate of the Mediterranean Region, “Such focus of international climate research on a relatively small region can be explained by three fundamental facts—its specific phenomenology, the well-developed cultural background of most Mediterranean countries, and the important social-economical-environmental impacts of climate variability and change.”
We also find that the Mediterranean Climate is the smallest climate in the world, found only in five areas outside the Mediterranean: California, Western Cape in South Africa, part of central Chile, in South Australia, and a corner of Western Australia, as well as in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
The value of Mediterranean foods has been known for a century, with “Mediterranean diets having been found by scientists to prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases” (Sacks, Trichopoulou, Drescher et al. “A Cultural Model for Healthy Eating,” 1995)
According to Joan Tous and Louise Ferguson, in Meterranean Fruits, and the World Heath Organization, “Besides olives and olive oil, other Mediterranean crops, such as mandarins, figs, loquats, persimmons, pomegranates, pistachios, carob pods, and cactus pear, have received little attention up until now but are being re-emphasized today in areas with Mediterranean climates for diversification and revitalization of local agriculture.
Also grapes, almonds, Tree nuts, hazelnuts, grains, legumes, fruits (pomegranates, apricots, and mandarin citrus), and vegetables, are included in the Mediterranean foods, and are important in many Mediterranean countries: Spain, Portugal through Southern France to Italy, Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East through Morocco and Tunisia to Egypt of the Mediterranean, as well as California, Australia, and South America (ASHS Press, Arlington VA, pp 416-430, 1996).
According to R. Mohamed, M. Pineda, and M. Aguilar, “Antioxident capacity of extracts from wild and crop plants of the Mediterranean region,” National Institute of Health, “There is an increasing demand for natural antioxidants to replace synthetic additives in the food industry. The present work examines the potential of some wild and cultivated plants from the Mediterranean region as sources of natural antioxidants.”
According to “Stablizing the Climate with Permanent Agriculture, Permaculture Activist, Spring, 2011, “Mediterranean climates can feature carbohydrate crops like carob, dates, and chestnuts. Protein sources include avocado, almond, and pistachio. The olive is of course among the world’s finest oil crops. This is also the only region with an oak (Quercus ilex) that is functioning as a proper crop.”
According to Norm Deno, in “Seed Germination, Theory and Practice,” on planting Mediterranean seeds in other climates: “Smoke treatment often helps germination of plants from Mediterranean-climates as many species from California, Chile, Australia, South Africa and the Mediterranean region. Smoke treatment is still experimental, and you may have to try different dilutions.”
Consequently, we find that not only are the seeds “of all kinds,” of plants from a Mediterranean Climate, like Jerusalem, beneficial to man in an enormous array of foods, but there are only two locations in the entire Western Hemisphere where a Mediterranean Climate exists that could have produced Nephi’s exceeding growth of his seeds and produce an abundant crop.
Red Arrows point to the two Western Hemisphere Mediterranean Climate zones; one in central and southern California, the other around 30º South Latitude in El Serena and Coquimbo, coastal Chile
Left: Mediterranean Climates, in South America, many of these characteristics extend northward through the Cuzco area, including (Right) the soil and soil group, for a modified Mediterranean Climate
We can, of course rule out California, if for no other reason than the winds and ocean currents move to the south past that area, not the north, thus, the secondary planting would not have been effective.
Obviously, any true Land of Promise must match all of the descriptions listed in the Book of Mormon—it is not a pick and choose arrangement in selecting those that agree you’re your point of view, but must match all of the descriptions listed.
(See the next post, “Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part XXVIII,” for the continuation of this series and how any Land of Promise location must match all the scriptural references)