The Garden Is Coming Sr. Paz Vital

Sr. Angela had some tomato and pepper seeds that she collected when she was doing research and presenting her scientific results in different places around the world. Last year she planted some of these mysterious seeds (she doesn’t know what kind of peppers or tomatoes they were and where exactly she collected them). I also received some of these mysterious seeds and planted them. Only three beautiful tomato plants showed up and two pepper plants. I was so happy with my plants hoping to eat fresh tomatoes and peppers. However, when I moved them outside the East door of the monastery to receive more sun the deer found them. The plants were gladly blooming and enjoying the sun when the deer discovered and trimmed them. The tomatoes never recovered. At the end of the season, I just got a small yellow tomato that I didn’t have the heart to eat. However, I got some more peppers, about twenty! I even shared some peppers with Sr. Angela.

This year we still have a passion for growing our own veggies. We learned our lesson. This time with the help of Brother Edmund and some volunteers and oblates of Saint Martin’s, we have a wonderful, well protected garden with tall fences. It is enriched with chicken manure from Saint Martin’s hen house. We have great expectations! Last Friday Sr. Angela and I planted tomato and pepper seedlings, which she had been taking care of by the Northeast door of the monastery. We also planted seed corn, four different kinds of spinach, two different kinds of squash. And some blackberries that are “friendly,” which Sr. Angela’s blood sister  gave to her. We are full of hope with this project. I am so happy that it has been  raining since then, so we don’t need to water the plants. Furthermore, we are hoping to have some nice sunny days. Plants love sunny days and grow taller.

Garden fever reached Nico, our chef, too. He planted some mysterious seeds that Sr. Sharon gave to him. When the seedlings were big enough, we discovered that some of them are tomatoes. Some other seedlings just died so we didn’t know what they were supposed to become. However, some mystery still remains because we don’t know what kind of tomatoes they are. I transplanted the tomato plants to a big pot I put in front of the kitchen. We are crossing our fingers for the deer not to find them before we get some fruits.

This gardening project is so exciting. It implies a lot of hard work and I hope that everything goes well and we will enjoy their fruits. This work helps me increase my respect and compassion for farm workers, especially in poor countries where they depend 100% on rain for the growing of their products and their total annual sustenance. 







  • Comment posted by Paz on June 7, 2024 at 10:47PM (13 days ago)

    Yes, indeed. I hope we get tons of tomatoes so Niko can prepare the delicious tomato 🍅 soup and some rosemary bread
    And salad too with lettuce from the garden.
    Yes Janice I’m looking forward to eating fresh veggies for our own garden.
    Paz Vital, OSB.

  • Comment posted by Janice J. Ariza on June 7, 2024 at 2:42PM (13 days ago)

    Sr. Paz~ This is a very lovely and inspiring blog. I enjoyed reading it and experiencing the journey of the mystery seeds. Surely, we will see some of those vegetables in our salads this summer if Nico is involved! Thank you for writing about the gardening here at St. Placid. Just another facet of monastery life that holds us in awe of God's creative creation.

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