Just as money doesn’t grow on trees, so also food does not spontaneously generate. It has to come from something – a seed, an animal… Here at the Marianist Novitiate in Ranchi, India, they feed 16 people plus guests on about $2 per person per day. Everyone looks well fed. How?

Do It Yourself – Together
Although this is not a farm, they raise pigs, chickens, rabbits, a few ducks, and many vegetables – along with flowers for beauty. Certainly this requires feed for the animals, seeds, and lots of labor. In a community united by a common purpose, however, it does not seem that hard. It only takes dedication, organization, and knowledge. Maybe it is a family farm after all.

Economy of Scale
Just as a large family can do better on a Food Stamp budget than a single person by buying in bulk and cooking in quantity, so too the per person food price decreases when feeding a large group the same basic food. Of course the meals consist of vegetables, some meat mixed in, and lots of rice.

Recycling Food
Not only does this community compost, we watched the novices gather the seeds from the dying plants to be replanted next season. Granted, the Indian growing season is longer than most in North America, but observing the natural rhythm of nature (seeds growing into plants which then  produce new seeds) reminds me of the Birth/Death/Resurrection cycle. Today is The Day Between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The Paschal Mystery is a good thing to remember. That’s where life happens.