Saturday, November 12, 2016

Growing Seeds in the Land of Promise – Part IV

Continuing from the last post, regarding the planting of seeds in certain climates in the Land of Promise. The last article ended with a comment on the amazing supplemental food sources available to the Mulekites in the area of Pachacamac in the Land of Zarahemla.
For clarification, both the Mediterranean and the humid subtropical climates in Köppen have two subtypes. The Mediterranean includes Csa and Csb climates, and the humid subtropical includes the Cfa and the Cwa, with each letter representing a different characteristic related to temperature, amount of precipitation, and how the precipitation is distributed throughout the year.
    Based on their three-letter codes, you can tell that the Mediterranean and humid subtropical have generally similar climates, that vary in their details. It should be noted, then, that while Mediterranean climates occur on the western sides of continents, between the latitudes of 30 degrees and 45 degrees north and south. Humid subtropical climates are found closer to the equator, though there is some overlap.
    This climate type occurs on the eastern side of continents, between 20 and 35 degrees north and south. The biggest difference in location is which side of the continents these climates occur in. Thus, in South America, with both climates on the same side of the ocean (western shore), their similarities are even more striking.
Top: Yearly rainfall in Lima, Peru; Bottom: Yearly rainfall in La Serena, Chile. There is a saying that it “never rains in Lima,” and with only 0.3 inches per year (compared to 4.11 inches in La Serena), that may seem like an accurate statement; however, with six months of fog, the land is moist and compensates for the lack of rain with crop growth

     In addition, it is precipitation that varies more between these climate types than any other factor. In general, the rainfall of the humid subtropical climate is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year. In the Mediterranean climate, the summers are dryer than the winters. Additionally, the Mediterranean climate stays dryer throughout the year compared to the humid subtropical climate. For this reason, Mediterranean climates are sometimes called "dry subtropical climates." And in this small stretch of land, around the Lurin Valley, between the coast and the Andes Mountains, lies a significant patch of ground that closely matches the Mediterranean Climate than any other location along the entire continent other than 30º south latitude in Chile.
As for the high coastal climate, it is chiefly determined by the influence of the cold Humboldt Current, which runs parallel to the Peruvian coast, blocking the possibility of precipitation coming from the Ocean. Should this current be warm instead, the presence of the Andes would suffice for high amounts of orographic precipitation (relief precipitation, such as registered in the top north and south part of the coastal Andes. That is, the upward deflection of large scale horizontal flow by the orography (mountain range), as well as the anabatic winds that are created in a valley when cool air reaches a warmed surface, and the warmed lighter air then rises upslope—the Lurin Valley certainly would have been a place where this could have taken place.
    That is, depending upon conditions (not constant, but varied), a partial Mediterranean Climate could exist for a season or two in this area. Unfortunatley, in 600 B.C., we have no records to know what the precipitation was like there, and with the mountains different than today (but in what different configuration we do not know), this might have been a Mediterranean Climate or it might not have been, or it might have been a partial Mediterranean Climate—at least for a period of time—the fog factor makes it partially so today.
The Humboldt Current provides some of the best fishing in the world, with birds of all kinds constantly in the area because of the upwelling of nutrients, anchovies, and other small fish from the ocean depths

  This brings us to the Jaredites. What was their condition in plant growth, and did they even bring seeds with them? We know Lehi brought “seeds of every kind” with him; but we do not know if the Mulekites brought any seed, and possibly they did not. On the other hand, the Mulekites, being led to the same embarkation point as Lehi, i.e., along the southern Oman border around Salalah, they would have arrived anywhere from a year or so after Lehi left. Or they might have arrived later, as much as two or more years, since we do not know how leisurely was their travel down the Red Sea or across the desert to Khor Rori—a trip that took Lehi 8 years. Obviously, when the Mulekites arrived, they benefitted from what the Jaredites originally planted there, including fruit trees (1 Nephi 17:6) and plentiful honey from the bees they brought (Ether 2:3).
    Also, Lehi would have planted some of his seeds there, or picked up others along the way, to supplement the area over the time they spent their resting up and then constructing their ship. Perhaps Lehi’s party added to the larder of the area, maybe not. But the end result is that there were fruit trees and other editable plants, grains, or trees, from which the Mulekites could have obtained seeds before leaving the area and crossing the sea, for “they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth” (Omni 1:16).
    So what seeds would the Jaredites have had? We are told that they brought “seed of the earth of every kind” (Ether 1:41; 2:3). Now “the seed of the earth of every kind” (Ether 1:41) needs to be understood that this did not mean every kind of seed on the face of the entire earth, but every kind of seed in the location in which the Jaredites were located, which was Mesopotamia, an area with a “hot, arid desert,” listed as BWh under the Köppen Climate Classification System.
    Now the Jaredites came from Mesopotamia, which had a very fertile soil that allowed enormous surpluses to be generated, with main crops of barley and both Einkorn and Emmer wheat, and also oats, rye, date palms, peas, beans, lentils, and vegetables like cucumbers, leeks, lettuces and garlic—many of these evolved from wild plants found in Iraq. They also had fruit such as grapes, pomegranates, apples, cherries, melons, figs, and nuts such as pistachios. Since science has discovered genetic evidence that the world’s four major grains, wheat, rice, corn and sorghum, all evolved from a common ancestor weed that grew from earliest times.
Thus, we might surmise that most of these seeds would have been available to the Jaredites, and when the brother of Jared was instructed to collect seeds of every kind, we might assume they had all or almost all of these seeds to bring to the promised land.
    This, then leaves us with the climate available to the Jaredites where they landed. In fact, the Köppen Climate Classification is “Tropical Savanna Climate,” which is like Florida in the U.S., with less rainfall, but longer winters and more pronounced dry seasons. Its classification is Aw, where the temperature, as in Santa Elena, is between 69º in winter to 79º in summer, and the highest recorded temperature at 89º. However, it is not likely the Jaredites stayed in this location as we have reported on other occasions, and the scriptural record says they “it being the place of their first landing, and they came from there up into the south wilderness” (Alma 22:30-31). In other words, the Jaredites landed along the shore, and came from there up into the south wilderness, which would be moving inland from Santa Elena toward the Andes, and coming up into the foothills of the wilderness. Thus, the Jaredite seeds would have been planted in a location that has a very close related climate.
    Babylon, from whence the Jaredites came, is a warm and Temperate Climate, with rainfall throughout the year and no dry season, classified as Cfa. It is interesting that the classification of the area viewed as Moron (Riobamba, Ecuador) is classified as Cfb, the only difference being the temperature of the summer is hotter in Mesopotamia than in Ecuador. While this is not an exact match, it is extremely close in the classification and one would think allow for a crossover of seeds, though perhaps not providing an exceedingly growing crop and abundant harvest as Lehi’s seeds, certainly would have provided a sufficient crop.
Moron, which is classified as Cfb, Temperate/mesothermal Climate, meaning warm summers, without dry season because precipitation is evenly dispersed, has cool winters and cool summers, resulting in a narrow annual temperature range with few extremes; very similar to Pacific Northwest, Oregon and Washington.
    Consequently, in the three cases, each brought seeds into the exact same or similar climates in order for seeds to have made the transition, with the only case where the seeds grew exceedingly and provided an abundant crop (Nephites) being planted into an exact match of a Mediterranean Csa Climate in both Jerusalem and La Serena, Chile. The Mulekites, if they brought seeds and most likely they had some, would have been planted in a Csb climate, very similar; and the Jaredites, bringing seeds from a Cfa climate in Babylon were planted in a Cfb climate in Ecuador. When get right down to it, no other place in all the Western Hemisphere matches so exact or closely to those three areas in Andean South America.


  1. Fascinating. I've been wondering about this. Thank you for more insightful posts Del.