Food for the Stomach, Food for the Soul

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.

4 thoughts on “Food for the Stomach, Food for the Soul”

  1. I’ve just finished Ivan Doig’s novel The Whistling Season. Could ‘t help but think of you: three sons helping their father homestead a dryland farm in Montana. At the one room schoolhouse, the oldest son discovers an affinity for Latin, language and root meanings; a metaphor for the roots that lie just beneath the surface in the lives of the other characters.

  2. That sounds intriguing. Do you recommend reading it? I’m in a drought of good books these days. Can’t seem to find any good new ones, so I’ve been retreating to old tried-and-trues…

    1. Doig’s book was recommended to me by a retiree in Wyoming who builds his own fine furniture and stereo systems during Wyoming’s icy winters. He always has a few good books next to his window seat overlooking the Bighorn Mountains. Food for the soul.

  3. Hmph. Yet another one of your pieces of erudition that I somehow missed. Botheration.
    And I can’t believe you, of all people, are advertising beets. If I hadn’t manually typed in your name in the url bar, I’d think I had landed on the wrong blog. Or, wait – are you an imposter? Some Christopher-shaped alien who is trying to counterfit Christopher’s sense of humour and writing style?!? I’m onto you, buster! But that goat-cheese-and-walnut beet salad does sound good, so I’ll forgive you, Alien.

    I recently found a new-to-me writer I had meant to recommend to you & the wife: Jeffery Farnol. Some of his stuff is on He was an old Brit who inspired Georgette Heyer to write her Regencies, and also wrote contemporary romances – contemporary to his time, that is, so Edwardian. Those ones have a bit of a Wodehouse-ian tone to them – shades of Bertie Wooster – that’s why I thought you might like them. Nothing terribly deep or profound, but they’re amusing.

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