Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Local Food Delight

It’s October, and I’m rejoicing in all the canned pickles, frozen vegetables and dehydrated fruits in our food storage areas. They appear because two of the people that live in my monastic living group have labored faithfully to make this happen. As soon as the March snows show signs of melting, they feel the surge of spring and begin plotting the garden spaces. Out come the packages of seeds, the needed trellises, posts and boundary twine. And so begins the rhythm of summer watering, weeding, thinning and fall harvesting and preserving. What has all this faithful monitoring yielded? Besides the produce, gardeners regularly hear the cheers of those around the table that are seeing and eating these wonderful treasures.

Maybe you have noticed how richly flavorful meals are when they include food grown in the local soil, carefully preserved and served on eye-catching platters. Those who watched them grow from scratch proudly add the right amount of tasty herbs and garnish. So, in addition to the healing nutrients these foods provide, there is a palpable aura of gratefulness for the hands and hearts that nurtured, prepared and served this food feast.

"We return thanks to our Mother, the Earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.
We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom is embodied all goodness, and Who directs all things for the good of Her children."

-- Iroquois Prayer, adapted Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace

Sister Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB

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