When Your Livelihood Goes Up in Flames
May 3, 2017

Many events happen by chance, and events differing in importance; (now) if they turn out ill they crush and maim happiness; for they both bring pain with them and hinder many activities. Yet even in these nobility shines through, when a man bears with resignation many great misfortunes, not through insensibility to […]

Bird-Watching and Philosophy
April 26, 2017

“Animals differ from one another in their modes of subsistence, in their actions, in their habits, and in their parts.” Aristotle, The History of Animals Sometimes I am asked what I recommend to prepare young people for doing philosophy. There are of course different ways to dispose young minds for pursuing wisdom. […]

She Thought He Was a Gardener
April 19, 2017

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him…” John 20:15 This really struck me this Easter. According to the account of John, when Mary Magdalene turned away from the angels in the tomb, she saw a man […]

When Your Chickens Eat Your Potatoes
April 5, 2017

“Aegis-bearing Zeus has a design for each occasion, and mortals find this hard to comprehend.” Hesiod, Works and Days Last Saturday I was just able to finish planting my potatoes before dark. It was so satisfying. While my father and I always planted potatoes by burying them under several inches of soil, […]

Gardening Teaches a Work Ethic
March 22, 2017

“The land provides the greatest abundance of good things, but doesn’t allow them to be taken without effort. It trains people to endure the cold of winter and the heat of summer.” “Furthermore, the land also freely teaches justice to those who are capable of learning; for it does people favors in […]

Gardening Teaches Humility and Prayer
March 15, 2017

“Do you think it is any less necessary to ask the gods for mercy where agricultural affairs are concerned? Sensible farmers, I can assure you, worship and pray to the gods about their fruits, grain, cattle, horses, sheep—yes, and all their property.” Xenophon, The Estate Manager Virgil speaks of it, and Cato, […]

Why Everyone Should Garden: a Series
March 8, 2017

“The Paterfamilias should think a long time about building, but planting is a thing not be thought about but done.” Cato the Elder, On Agriculture I have spoken to many people who have thought about gardening but who have not started to do so. That is why these words of Cato struck […]

The Path is Not Smooth For a Reason
March 1, 2017

“The Father himself Willed that the path of tillage be not smooth, And first ordained that skill should cultivate The land, by care sharpening the wits of mortals, Nor let his kingdom laze in torpid sloth.” Virgil, Georgics Why do things have to be so hard? Often I have wondered. Virgil paints […]