Thank you for your prayers for Sr. Mary Ellen Timothy. She is doing well and will be going for rehab to the Convent Infirmary of the Dominican Sisters in Caldwell today! She will join our Sr. Mary Anthony and Sr. Mary Peter as well as three of the nuns from the former monastery in Union City so you might say that we have the makings of a new monastery!
Yesterday the tree cutters came and cut down 5 of our apple trees. For several years we've been trying to save them but they were diseased as was quite evident when we saw the trunks after the men cut the trees down. It was something that had to be done!
However, the day before the younger sisters planted 3 new apple trees adding to the 2 that were planted last fall, and the 2 cherry trees that were planted 2 years ago.
Our fruit orchard has always been both a source of fruit for the community and yes, for the local wildlife! We have several beautiful pear trees (ask the squirrels), succulent strawberries (ask the rabbits), juicy plums and peaches (ask the groundhogs) and a new vineyard that gives evidence that it will be prolific (ask the chipmunks)! And then there is Sr. Mary Martin's 42 year old asparagus patch with a resident groundhog so tame that the sisters have been able to pet him! There are blueberries, too, and they are kept safe from all our "friends" because we have them in a cage! Sometimes it can be discouraging working so hard and then to have our four-footed friends come in for the kill at the exact time of harvest. If only they would eat the whole strawberry they tasted and not pick at every single red one!
With the arrival of Spring in NJ the Sisters are anxious to begin the garden season. A big bag of potting soil recently made its appearance near the greenhouse and sisters are beginning to start their plants and vegetables.
Hopefully, if the garden isn't too wet the men can start plowing after Easter so that we can put in our early lettuce, mesclun and peas.
After a winter of mostly indoor work the garden is welcome change and good exercise. Working in the garden is a very contemplative occupation doubly appreciated by the sisters whose work involves computers!