9.08.2011

If Sowing a Seed is an Act of Faith,

black cherry tomatoes and mild jalapenos

Then eating the food you grow is the moment of truth.

lunch

And these pumpkins?

IMG_1051

They are a miracle of nature. I did not plant one single pumpkin seed this year, yet we've harvested more than twenty pumpkins. These pumpkins feel like a plague when I've been standing in the kitchen for hours, cutting, baking, scooping, pureeing, and freezing pumpkin meat, but the bags of pumpkin piling up in my freezer look a lot like a blessing. These pumpkins are a manifestation of the garden of my dreams: a chaotic, overgrown, rambling jungle full of volunteer plants from seasons past.

Avery and I have been studying civilizations from thousands of seasons past. We sit at the dining room table as I read aloud about Mesopotamia while she colors a map of the Fertile Crescent. We discuss how the intentional sowing of seeds changed the world, how the discovery of agriculture led to the building of cities, language, temples, religions. Or did it?

While sitting in the dentist's office last week, I happened upon an article in National Geographic about Gobekli Tepe, an ancient temple in Turkey, a place of worship predating the archaeological findings of the earliest agricultural civilizations. The discovery has caused a shift in the theory that agriculture came before religion. Perhaps it's the other way around. Did nomads congregate in one place and develop a shared language in order to build a temple to worship their gods, and then stay in the area and cultivate the land?

I wonder though, does it matter which came first? The chicken or the egg, the farm or the temple? Do not food and worship go hand in hand? We won't find these answers in history textbooks or old copies of National Geographic, but I believe our daily pilgrimage to the garden, the market, the kitchen, and the dinner table will bring us closer to a truth we can taste. As knowledge fills our head and belief fills our heart, so does food fill our belly. At least that's what my gut tells me.

18 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post! So well said and I agree with your sentiments entirely! Congrats on your bountiful blessings!

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  2. Heehee! I can't believe you got that many pumpkins without purposely planting any! Congratulations!

    I do truly believe that food and worship go hand in hand. (Have you read the wonderful book "The Spirit of Food"?)

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  3. listen to that gut - it is telling you good things!

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  4. No pun intended, but I've been hungry for a post from you. And your bounty - both in pictures and words - never disappoints.

    xoxo michele

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  5. Amen to that! A professor once told my class, 'we all went to hell in a handbasket' with the advent of domestication. She thought hunter/gathering societies being the peek/optimum way of life. I always wondered about what she said...

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  6. lovely writing. thank you!

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  7. beautiful beautiful words...

    (and my own 'plague of pumpkins' lives on this year in the freezer from the bounty of last fall)

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  8. Our community garden grew out of a women's book group. After reading Barbara Kingsolver, some folks thought they'd be better off growing some of their own food. Unfortunately, they live in a shady neighborhood. The search for a sunny vacant lot and a water source was on and the rest is history . . .

    The glitch, of course, is that they all could read first and there is your chicken and egg story.

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  9. Lovely post, Molly. You have provided food for thought (yes, pun intended)on this sunny Saturday morning.

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  10. It *is* an act of faith and celebration and worship even, this harvest season, all of which started with a handful of seeds.

    Thank you for this food for thought.

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  11. oh yes - that was beautifully put - thank you - food for thought!

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  12. Lovely post. Your pumpkin abundance reminds me of one of my children's favorite autumn books, "Too Many Pumpkins" by Linda White. A woman--who can't stand pumpkins--inadvertently grows dozens and eventually makes peace with them. It's a funny--and fun--story.

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  13. I have been staring at the screen, trying to think of a comment for this post, but I've got nothin'
    Just want you to know I come here hoping for beautiful writing, though-provoking words. I am never disappointed.

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  14. Love this! If planting a seed is an act of faith then eating the food is a moment of truth. Great post Molly!

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  15. I am in awe of your pumpkins (we've never grown one to fruition). And in love with our sentiments.

    And did I ever tell you coffee ice cream was ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT? Happy September to you, Molly.

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  16. Oh my gosh Molly your gut is telling you good stuff! I couldnt love this post of yours any more, it seems to speak right to me as well. I love love love it. Your pumpkins are awesome, we a have a couple plants but nothing yet. Happy harvesting

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  17. How very interesting! I do admire your home-schooling but accept that, despite being a teacher, I could not do it myself. Having said that I often wonder how much kids really do learn when in a room full of others who just aren't interested. I'm sure our kids do learn from the many and varied conversations that happen at home and maybe we do need to have more to do with their education. Hmmm, thought provoking all round.
    And those are fabulous pumpkins!
    Sandra x

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  18. A profound truth: "but I believe our daily pilgrimage to the garden, the market, the kitchen, and the dinner table will bring us closer to a truth we can taste. As knowledge fills our head and belief fills our heart, so does food fill our belly". I am in complete agreement!

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