Seed Diaries 

A roughly weekly account of my seed tray growth and gardening activities that dig up thoughts on what gardening means. Including the history, material culture and personal issues gardening brings to the surface.

Week 2: Page 2 of 3

...attached to temples used as offerings or flowers for garlands in ceremonies or festivals. Three times a day the priests would bring offerings to the Gods,4 including cakes (which they then took home to their families to eat!). Like a cross between the treats left on Christmas Eve for Father Christmas (which then get guzzled by the grown-ups) and working at a coffee shop or the like where it is customary (depending on management policy and supervisor flexibility) to take home unsellable food stuffs.

Ancient Egyptian offerings brings to my mind excess of consumption. A discovery was made that showed many priests had blocked arteries,5 health issues from all the saturated fats they
were eating.This in stark contrast to the mostly vegetarian underfed general population.

So on the one hand you have a group of people stuffing themselves to the point of blocked arteries and on the other hungry people. In the 21st century

4. ‘Food of the Gods is a killer’, 26 February 2010, The University of Manchester, <> [accessed 15th March 2021].
5. Ibid

the cheap sugary/fatty stuff is cheaper and easier to get than the healthy food. And the eating of the sugary food can come with its own set of inner conflicts, ( I know I shouldn’t eat them, I do it anyway, then I feel bad but in truth I probably ate them because I felt bad in the first place). What we eat is complex. But I am definitely looking forward to eating the veg I’ve grown if they make it that far.

Swiss chard doing well

The swiss chard too has now made an appearance! The carrots and spinach are still way ahead of the rest. However, there has been 

a casualty with two of the spinach seedlings. I think overwatering may be the issue as it looks like the stem has become rotten. Note to self: do not overwater!!! It also looks like there may be a spring onion popping through. Only the courgette hasn’t pocked through the soil yet.

The truth is I don’t need to grow these vegetables to eat. The desire and need to grow them is not as straightforward as needing food to eat. It’s more the case of needing food for the mind. Probably closer to the need to grow the ceremonial plants in the temple gardens of Ancient Egypt. If they weren’t there, people wouldn’t die, but they would suffer.

These Ancient Egyptian offerings makes me wonder ...