John Cuddeback

Why Everyone Should Plant Seeds This Week

August 5, 2015
“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…
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A Sweet Gift from Heaven

July 29, 2015
“The heavenly gift of honey…” Virgil, The Georgics Thus Virgil opens his final book of The Georgics. Perhaps these words rolled off his pen with hardly a thought; or maybe they were very deliberate. Either way they express a sentiment,…
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The Challenge of Working Fathers

July 15, 2015
Much has been written about mothers leaving home to enter the workforce. Little attention is given to the prior exodus of fathers from the home: a situation that long ago came to be considered standard, even in traditional households. I…
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Working, For a Living

July 8, 2015
“The gods keep livelihood hidden from men. Otherwise a day’s labor could bring man enough to last a whole year with no more work.” Hesiod, Works and Days In both biblical and ancient Greek accounts, work is something of an enigma.…
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Summer Reading is for Everyone

July 1, 2015
“Then shall we carelessly allow the children to hear any old stories…?” Plato, Republic Summer is a time for stories. There is a great tradition of taking stories seriously, even, and sometimes especially, ‘non-serious’ or leisure reading. Stories are food…
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Virgil and the Pope on Empty Fields

June 24, 2015
“For right and wrong change places; everywhere So many wars, so many shapes of crime Confront us; no honor attends the plow, The fields, bereft of tillers, are all unkempt…” Virgil, The Georgics So many wars; so many different shapes…
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Knowing the Place We Call Home

June 19, 2015
“He who intends to practice economy aright ought to be fully acquainted with the places in which his labor lies…” Aristotle, Economics Aristotle often provides us with simple, practical insights. In words redolent of the works of Wendell Berry he…
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One Faithful Bee

May 27, 2015
“Some have affirmed that bees possess a share Of the divine mind and drink ethereal draughts; For God, they say, pervades the whole of creation.”             Virgil, The Georgics I took this photo today of a…
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For the Sake of the Children

May 13, 2015
“… but the soul of the hearer must be prepared by good habits to rejoice in the good and hate the evil, just as the soil must be well tilled to nourish the seed. “ Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics For parents,…
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Silence of the Forest

May 6, 2015
“The treasures within the earth were long hidden, and trees and forests were thought of as her ultimate gift to mankind. … Even images of shining gold and ivory are worshipped less by us than forests and their silence.” Natural…
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Daddy, Where Do Seeds Come From?

April 29, 2015
Perhaps as our teachers sometimes tell us, there is no such thing as a bad question. That doesn’t mean that some questions aren’t better than others. It was some years ago driving past a field of corn in the vigor…
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Our Lawns, Our Eden

April 8, 2015
Last spring I posted a piece on dandelions, after I had been struck by the preponderance of death-dealing chemicals in the ‘lawn and garden’ section at the local big box store. Moved today by the appearance of tractors spraying herbicide over large expanses…
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Living Pleasantly from the Land

March 20, 2015
“In the first place, thanks to those who work it, the land bears not only the means for people to live, but also bears the means for them to live pleasantly.” Xenophon, The Estate Manager This past week I planted…
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The Death of a Tree

March 11, 2015
I have never thought much about the death of trees. Until today. I have thought about the death of farm animals, since I kill with my own hands the pigs that I’ve raised, with my own hands. I have often…
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Picture-Books in Winter

March 5, 2015
“Water now is turned to stone Nurse and I can walk upon; Still we find the flowing brooks In the picture storybooks. … How am I to sing your praise, Happy chimney-corner days, Sitting safe in nursery nooks, Reading picture…
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Clean Eyes

February 25, 2015
“Again, one time Sophocles, who was Pericles’ fellow-commissioner in the generalship, was going on board with him, and praised the beauty of a youth they met with on the way to the ship. ‘Sophocles,’ said he, ‘a general ought not…
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