When a Daughter Gets Engaged
October 11, 2017

“I think that the gods exercised especially acute discernment in establishing the particular pairing which is called ‘male and female,’ to ensure that, when the partners cooperate, such a pair may be of the utmost mutual benefit.” Xenophon, The Estate Manager One of my daughters accepted a marriage proposal this past weekend. […]

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, […]

Wednesday Quotes
Our Lawn, Our Eden
April 8, 2015

Last spring I posted a piece on dandelions, after I had been struck by the preponderance of death-dealing chemicals in the ‘lawn and garden’ section at the local big box store. Moved today by the appearance of tractors spraying herbicide over large expanses of lawn on a beautiful spring day, I once again make a […]

Wednesday Quotes
Living Pleasantly from the Land
March 18, 2015

“In the first place, thanks to those who work it, the land bears not only the means for people to live, but also bears the means for them to live pleasantly.” Xenophon, The Estate Manager This past week I planted my spring greens. There is something about placing seeds in the ground. […]

Wednesday Quotes
A Better Approach to Money
December 3, 2014

This time of year a credit card can seem to take on a life of its own. It’s like a badly trained dog: we tell ourselves that it does what we command it to do. Please go here to Front Porch Republic where I have posted a reflection on taking a new […]

Wednesday Quotes
The Mother of All Arts
June 18, 2014

“Whoever it was who said that agriculture is the mother and nurse of all other arts was right, because when agriculture is faring well, all the other arts are strengthened too; but wherever the land is forced into barrenness, all the other arts, whether based on land or sea, are more or […]

Aleteia
Fathers and Sons, and Gardens
April 9, 2014

“The land provides the greatest abundance of good things, but doesn’t allow them to be taken without effort.” “Furthermore, the land also freely teaches justice to those who are capable of learning; for it does people favors in proportion to how well they serve it.” “Agriculture also contributes toward training people in […]

Wednesday Quotes
Teaching Responsibility
December 11, 2013

Ischomachus’ wife: “My mother told me that my job was to be responsible.” Ischomachus: “Yes, my dear, of course, my father gave me the same advice.” Xenophon, The Estate Manager, VII Her parents told her to be responsible. And his told him. We can presume the parents did more to teach responsibility […]

Wednesday Quotes
Pointless Parties
December 4, 2013

“There are others too…that pretend to be pleasures, such as gambling and pointless parties; as time goes on, it becomes clear even to the victims of their seduction that they are afflictions disguised as pleasures….” Socrates, in Xenophon’s The Estate Manager, I It’s a tale of two parties. At the first party […]