“Of the art of acquisition [of food] then there is one kind which by nature is a part of the management of a household, in so far as the art of household management must either find ready to hand, or itself provide, such things necessary to life…” Aristotle, Politics
Eating is not the most important thing in a household. But it is the indispensable and daily sustenance and context for living a human life. Being intentional about how and what we eat will be determinative of fundamental attitudes in the household, and of our health—bodily and spiritually, individually and communally. Being intentional about eating is within everyone’s reach, and it is our responsibility.
Not everyone is in a position to have a ‘garden.’ But we all can grow something. Or at least try to. For most of us, early August is the last, best opportunity to plant something this year. There are still about sixty days for growing, perhaps fewer for our northern neighbors, and more farther south. But many greens can be ready to eat in forty-five days, radishes in thirty. A small plot of soil, even two feet by two feet, can yield great food, as well as good work, and communal satisfaction. It can also occasion deep insight, and life-changing gratitude.
It is also a real even if small step toward freeing ourselves from over-dependence on an industrial system of food production and distribution. Perhaps this is the only food we will produce. But this step is real and meaningful in itself.
Many hardware stores have seeds on sale at this time of year. Be prepared to water lightly and often while seeds germinate in the hot sun. We will be making a bold step for the renewal of household life, and we might just harvest more than we expect.