Ancient Practice of Planting and Landscaping

Ancient practices outlined in new calendar

April 8, 2010 // 0 Comments

People have done it for centuries, but nowadays talking about it might raise a few eyebrows. Rockford landscape expert John Venman is not only willing to talk about it, he’s again created a calendar that spells out when and why of planting and landscaping by the phases of the moon. Venman, of Venman’s Landscape and Soil Alive, 510 Wolverine Street, in the Rockford industrial area, spoke before Rockford and Greenville gardening clubs last month, explaining his belief in the ancient practice. He quoted Dr. Robert Milikan, Nobel Prize winner in physics in 1923, who said, “I do know that if man is not affected in some way by the plants, the sun and moon, he is the only thing on Earth that is not.” Today’s people, especially in the United States, are more removed from nature and the source of the foods we eat every day than perhaps ever before. Many who still garden and make their livelihoods by growing plants and animals may be less surprised at Venman’s insistence that there is a real affect from the moon on how and when things grow, should be harvested, and even when plants and people may die. “My dad started this business in 1951 back when the hourly rate was 25 cents,” said Venman. He said his father always believed in gardening by the moon, and John’s own experience backs up the belief. As the person who maintains many cemeteries in the area, including that of the City of Rockford and surrounding townships, he has also noticed how the earth is different in a full moon and the increased likelihood of having to dig graves during that time of the lunar cycle. Venman has a traditional background in landscape education with a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. He said he developed an interest in non-chemical alternatives to landscaping when he began to suspect that chemicals are in some ways having an adverse affect on the planet and the people and animals living here. He said accounts of children dying after the family treated their lawns for pests reinforced his interest in non-chemical weed and pest control. The current popularity of finding locally grown food—notice the popularity of farm markets—may prove this is an idea whose […]