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In my mostly life, I work for my family’s farming company. Dirt, tractors, trucks, lettuce, celery, deep wells, fog in the morning rolling in off the Monterey Bay, sunlight and blue sky, no rain and water-contentious California. We do a variety of things, but one small and lovely thing we do is run a CSA program. CSA is short for Community Supported Agriculture. That’s a program where you purchase a subscription to fresh produce. In our program, that means a once-a-week box of organic fruits and vegetables. You, the subscriber, will not know what each weekly box contains until you get it. CSAs are worthwhile programs because they force you to eat in-season, they typically push you beyond the bounds of what you normally eat, and they’re sold at a discount (ours is).

Anyway, here’s a shot of a recent box’s contents from our farm. Good food for the stomach. I’m afraid most American families don’t eat enough fresh vegetables and fruits. Eat more greenery! And reddery! Such as beets. Yum. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of beets, but they’re darn healthy. I recently stumbled across a recipe for salt-roasting beets and then using them in a goat cheese and toasted walnut salad that sounded pretty good. Even for an avowed anti-beetist such as myself.

You need food for your soul too, so read more good books. What is the last book you read that was truly amazing? Listen to good music. Look at good art. No, Kim Kardashian does not qualify as good art. Don’t just glance at it. Look at it. Go to church, even if you don’t believe in God. Go to church, sit there, and try posing some of the eternal questions of the philosophers to yourself: why the heck am I here (not in church…why are you in life)? What does this all mean?

And then go do a little creation yourself. Bake a cake. Write a poem. Write a song if you’re so inclined. Consuming is good for the soul, yeah, but you also need to do a little creation as well. That’s food for the soul as well.

Don’t give me the “I’m not artistic” excuse. Everyone has some kind of creative streak in them, whether its making jerky or gardening or flower-arranging or crocheting or writing the next War and Peace. It’s in there. Trust me. It might be a little withered because you haven’t used it in a long time, but it’s in there. Just give it some mulch (exposure to good art) and then give it a go…

If you don’t, you’re lessening yourself as a human being. Now, if you have a really good excuse, such as being a Christian or Yazidi in Syria and you’re running away from ISIS, then, I gotta say, that’s an excellent excuse. Still, you’ll have time someday. Hopefully.

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