[Editors Note: The following excerpt has been adapted from the Fall 2011 edition of the “Catholic Rural Life” magazine.]
Not everyone has the ability to start their own farm or make drastic changes to their lifestyle right away. Still, there are ways everyone can begin to practice good stewardship and appreciate agriculture right where they’re at.
The simplest way is to try to grow something yourself.
You’ll see how marvelous it is and you’ll see how difficult it is. You’ll also appreciate how much you participate in God’s Providence, how much the miracle of creation occurs in your own backyard.
Families can also be more thoughtful about where their food comes from, how it’s produced and the quality of it, he added. Make homemade food together, including bread, and be more conscious about how resources are being spent. Some foods may be more expensive, but families can be encouraged to think about tithing a portion of their grocery bill to purchase something that’s more thoughtfully prepared.
Parishes, too, could be more thoughtful about where they get food for parish occasions. Also, urban parishes could link up with rural parishes or organic Catholic producers to draw on resources.
If we can demonstrate that we want to spend money on food that’s thoughtfully prepared, more sustainably prepared and respectfully prepared, then that economy will develop.
— Dr. Thompson is a Moral Theologian at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity and a CRL Board Member. He is also the author of “The Joyful Mystery: Field Notes Toward a Green Thomism”. You can purchase a copy of his book here.