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A Garden of Plenty at Benedictine Living Community

 Sister Anne Irose, ASC

Our first meeting of the Garden Group at Benedictine living showed more reluctance than concrete action. Marian, the only gardener for the nine raised garden beds, was resigning at the age of 96.  Our three ASC’s, M. Alan Wurth, Frances Newton, and myself, were eager to start but had many questions about this new opportunity.

When S. Barbara Huddock arrived with bags of fertilizer, a mixed variety of seeds, and some live plants ready for planting, both crew members and enthusiasm increased and multiplied.

Soon a bed full of collards was cut and sent for the Cosgrove Soup Kitchen for the homeless. A variety of lettuce, Swiss chard, green onions, and kale followed. 

A small cherry tomato bush, provided by Ann McKevely, proved to give the first delicious red cherry tomatoes. In the Herb Pillar brought from the Ruma courtyard, a rich variety of herbs to suit every taste can be found.

Cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes of every size and shape are promising a rich harvest.

The sunflower receives the prize for being the highest of all produce, waving her smiling face way above the heights of all of us. Swiss chard, planted and cared for by Celine Birk, has thrived the best without hungry insects. Martha Wachtel has shown great garden skills with the production of delicious cucumbers. The green onions, planted and cared for by M. Alan, are the most popular. They disappear as soon as they reach the community table for sharing.

A rich array of colorful flowers now add color and grace to our garden. Frances Newton will make sure that flowers are accessible to the residents here.

The latest contribution of plants with rich nourishment and easy caring for is called purslane (also known as pigweed). You can find it in the last garden bed devoted to kale, radishes, lettuce, and a drooping Dalia flower awaiting resurrection.

We thank Mother Earth for the Garden of Plenty She has so generously made possible with us.

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