value of nothing, generosity and urban farming

Well, I don’t intend to not write on this blog, I just find less and less energy to turn on the computer and write especially when I coherently have something to write about. Any which way…

A week or so ago, out of the library I found came across a book that at least had an interesting title “The Value of Nothing” and upon further examination, was worth at least borrowing to see if it might be decent. Turned out to be heavy on economics, democracy, rights, and the free market. Not exactly my usual taste for books, but a lot of the concepts resonated with me and a bunch of new ideas were quite thought-provoking… the book is The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel.

I’m tempted to want to make this a long post about my thoughts on the book, but I’m just going to focus on this topic: the opposite of consumption isn’t thrift but GENEROSITY!

There are numerous verses from the Bible that state this; I’ll just note one:

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Timothy 6:18)

There was a lot in the book up until this point that was outright depressing to read, but when I came to the point where he expressed this point, it was a good turning point. Instead of more and more (e.g. buying/consuming/making more stuff), the point was to aim for sustainability. It’s apparently quite easy to farm in ways that you grow a lot more, but wear out the land (or the entire region like in China) in such a way that it only works for so long.

Patel talked a few times on the topic of food and hunger, and what really rung true was the irony that most people can’t afford quality fruit and vegetables but can easily afford much less-quality food. I’m not sure if I read it in this book or somewhere else, but lately I’ve been interested in local farming or farmers market initiatives especially because I’m assuming there’s s a goal of making fresh food available at more reasonable prices, especially for those that wouldn’t normally be able to afford them.

On the way home from work, I pass by one of the operations of the Tricycle Gardens – who’s mission apparently is to “grow healthy food, healthy communities and a healthy economy”… sounds like a generous mission to me. I’ve yet to stop on the drive home, but apparently they now have a farm stand open on Tuesdays and Thursdays


One response to “value of nothing, generosity and urban farming

  1. Looks like an interesting book. Too bad I’m slammed with reading now from the courses I’m taking!

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