I think there should be a time every year when devoted food gardeners do as all good believers do - participate in some kind of meaningful ritual. I am a bit hopeless at religion but even I can think of several such traditions which illustrate what I mean. There is the whole 40 days and 40 nights thing that Christians call Lent; there is Ramadan, the Muslims' month of fasting; and, more a cultural event than a religion, there is the week of the Chinese New Year celebrations. I am sure there are hundreds of such occasions where people set aside some weeks each year to participate in a ritual.
So, what would a food gardeners' ritual represent and when would it take place? Well I have a suggestion and I would love to hear yours. There comes a time every summer/early autumn when dealing with the produce you have been watching grow since spring, becomes the dominant activity of every day. Such a time is right now in my house. I can no longer find space to live in my kitchen, so full is it with produce and seed pods! Today some friends helped me pick more yellow cherry plums than anyone has a right to have. Last week it rained for days and days, just when the cherry season had started, so all the farms were picking and selling their crops very cheap before they all split.... I bought 5 kgs for $10..... and there's still all those seeds I wrote about in the last piece! My freezer is groaning with red and black currants and a neighbour has offered me raspberries again.... would you say not raspberries?? If my garden was going better, I would have cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, tomatoes etc etc.... and finally all the chooks are laying so I have 6 eggs / day which seem to be taking up a whole shelf of my fridge.
So, I would suggest the deal be..... no-one cares about the washing up for a whole month. Wherever you go, if you see piles of unwashed dishes, you'll know there lives a true devotee, growing their own food.... the more dishes left unwashed the more satisfied you could then feel that you are doing good for your planet, your community and yourself!
See how excited Michelle Obama looked when she heard about the idea!
What shall we call it?