Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia closed to visitors

March 16, 2020 by  

Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia will be closing to visitors

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia are taking the following measures to prevent our sisters, employees and the public from becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus that is spreading throughout the world.

  • Effective immediately, no visitors may enter the Nazareth Motherhouse. This includes patrons who use the Motherhouse swimming pool.
  • All programming at Manna House of Prayer has been canceled until further notice.
  • There will be no public masses at the Sacred Heart Chapel at the Nazareth Motherhouse.
  • All programs at Neighbor to Neighbor in Concordia have been canceled and N2N will be closed for as long as Concordia public schools are closed.
  • Anyone seeking assistance from the Helping Hands ministry at Manna House of Prayer should call ahead at (785) 243-4428 and ask for Susan LeDuc or Cecilia Thrash to make an appointment to address their needs. There will be no walk-ins.

The Sisters of St. Joseph are actively doing their part in curtailing the spread of this disease. We will keep you updated on any changes to the policy. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia honors employees

February 26, 2020 by  

Pam Huber

Carlene Edwards

Vicky Thoman

Susan LeDuc

Sheri Krause

Katy Brown

Joy Bliss

Barbara Kortman

Tina Goff

Cindy Dunlap

Kim Brownell

Mary Walker

 

 

 

 

Twelve employees of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia were honored
Feb. 25 at the 2020 Employee Appreciation Banquet at the Nazareth
Motherhouse.

The annual event drew a large crowd of employees, guests and Sisters of St. Joseph to the auditorium in the Nazareth Motherhouse.

The theme of the evening was “Mardi Gras,” with each beautifully
decorated table highlighted with fanciful Mardi Gras decorations made by
Sister Ramona Medina with help from volunteers.

Sister Jean Rosemarynoski, president of the Sisters of St. Joseph of
Concordia, opened the evening using the Mardi Gras theme.
“Our theme for our dinner this year is Mardi Gras. Mardi
Gras is hundreds of years old and has a rich tradition,” Sister Jean
said. “Chris Rose is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, and after
Hurricane Katrina where the people of New Orleans really needed Mardi
Gras, Chris Rose wrote that Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the
harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our eccentricities, our
neighborhoods, our creativity and our joy of living all coming together
at once.”

“And Chris Rose goes on to say Mardi Gras has many life lessons to teach
us. And that of the many he mentions I found two to be the most
important. The first is to be neighborly and to be patient,” Sister Jean
said. “The second is team building. That is why we chose this theme. I
often tell a story that goes along with the theme, but tonight, you are
the story. That the lessons of Mardi Gras: the hospitality, the team
building, the helping one another … you are the story. You live the
story of Mardi Gras.”

“You are the living example of the very best of Mardi Gras. So we
celebrate all of you,” Sister Jean said. “And as I’ve told you before,
but I cannot say it often enough, we not only believe, but we know we
have Concordia’s very finest. We are humbled and grateful that out of
all the employers in this area, you chose us.”

Sister Marilyn Wall led the assembly in prayer. Sister Mary Jo Thummel
acted as master of ceremonies conducting drawing prizes throughout the
night.

The employees honored, listed with their length of service, are:
Vicky Thoman, 40 years
Susan LeDuc, 30 years
Carlene Edwards, 25 years
Joy Bliss, 20 years
Barbara Kortman, 15 years
Tina Goff, 10 years
Pam Huber, 10 years
Sheri Krause, 10 years
Mary Walker, 10 years
Kim Brownell, 10 years
Cindy Dunlap, 5 years
Katy Brown, 5 years

In addition to the elegant meal provided by the Nazareth Motherhouse
food service staff under the direction of Larry Metro, door prizes were
randomly drawn throughout the night for baked goods, gift certificates
to local eateries and bowl warmers.

A PowerPoint slide presentation showed photos of all the honorees at
work, while various sisters spoke to how each of the employees are
appreciated for their contributions to the workplace.

Vicky Thoman, the 40-year honoree, was particularly mentioned as this
being her first job out of high school … and her only job since then!

The Sisters of St. Joseph have about 70 employees in Concordia, working
at the Nazareth Motherhouse, Manna House of Prayer and the CSJ
Administrative Center at 215 Court St.

Lenten studies series temporarily suspended at Manna House of Prayer

February 20, 2020 by  

This series, along with other programming at Manna House of Prayer has been temporarily suspended due to precautions for the COVID-19 virus. Please follow this page, or the Manna House of Prayer Facebook page for more information on when programming will resume.

 

What are you giving up for Lent? A common question every year. But this year, have you thought about what you want to acquire to help you understand and appreciate Lent?
The Manna House of Prayer in Concordia is offering a six-part series during Lent, open to everyone of any denomination, or even no denomination at all. The series begins on March 4 and continues through the Lenten season ending April 8.
Each session is presented by a different sister of St. Joseph of Concordia. Everyone is invited to attend and join in a lively discussion during the Lenten series.
Each session is $10, or $50 for all six sessions. Contact Manna House of Prayer at (785) 243-4428 or email retreatcenter@mannahouse.org.
MARCH 4, 2020
Lenten Series Week 1 – Knowing Jesus
Presenter: Mary Jo Thummel, CSJ
Let’s take a journey in the life of Jesus.  Who is Jesus to each of us?  How do we come to relate with Jesus more deeply?  What does the life of Jesus say to how we live our own lives?  Wednesday evening, 7:00-8:00 p.m.  Cost: $10 or $50 for all 6 sessions.

MARCH 11, 2020
Lenten Series Week 2 – God’s Purpose for our Lives and Our Deepest Desire
Presenter: Janet Lander, CSJ
Do you want to follow Christ? What does that mean in these times, in our ordinary lives? Can we really know and do God’s will? Wednesday evening, 7:00-8:00 p.m.  Cost: $10 or $50 for all 6 sessions.

MARCH 18, 2020
Lenten Series Week 3 – Something’s Broken
Presenter: Sr. Gilla Dubé CSJ
Life is difficult and at times unfair and confusing. In our vulnerable moments, it seems easy to make choices that do not bring healing. Regardless of the choices we make, God loves us deeply and responds to the broken parts of our lives with love and forgiveness and desires that we do the same. Wednesday evening, 7:00-8:00 p.m. Cost: $10 or $50 for all 6 sessions.

MARCH 25, 2020
Lenten Series Week 4 – Finding God in All Things
Presenter: Jean Ann Walton, CSJ
We can find God in all things, in the storm and in the calm, in the laughter and in the tears, in friends and in enemies, even in a can of worms.  So how can we do this? Wednesday evening, 7:00-8:00 p.m. Cost: $10 or $50 for all 6 sessions.

APRIL 1, 2020
Lenten Series Week 5 – Suffering Jesus
Presenter:  Pat Eichner, CSJ
Reflecting on Jesus’ suffering leads us to know him more intimately, to love him more dearly and to follow him more closely.  Wednesday evening, 7:00-8:00 p.m. Cost: $10 or $50 for all 6 sessions.

APRIL 8, 2020
Lenten Series Week 6 – God’s Love and our Response
Presenter: Betty Suther, CSJ
As we contemplate Jesus’ resurrection, we collaborate with God’s action in the world.  How do we integrate prayer and service, contemplation in action?  What is God calling me to do, to be?  Wednesday evening, 7:00-8:00 p.m. Cost: $10 or $50 for all 6 sessions.

Sisters of St. Joseph welcome community for open house

December 9, 2019 by  

It was standing room only for a while as families packed the Nazareth Motherhouse auditorium for the annual Christmas Open House on Dec. 8. Beautiful weather and the return of last year’s popular Santa and Mrs. Claus — who on other days are known as Dell Lee and Annette Boswell of Leon, Iowa — led to some long lines through the auditorium. Santa and Mrs. Claus posed for photos with all the children during the free event.

Many Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia were on hand to serve ice-cold milk and punch and a selection of Christmas cookies to the crowds waiting to meet Santa.
“I think we served more than 450 cookies,” Larry Metro, food service supervisor for the Sisters of St. Joseph, said. The iced, sugar cookies were a definite hit.

Other Sisters directed guests through the historic Motherhouse so that visitors could view the Heritage Center and Christmas decorations.

Some people might wonder why a convent would offer a visit with Santa, said President Jean Rosemarynoski, CSJ.

“We do it for several reasons. Many young families have not met religious sisters and this is an opportunity for a short visit with sisters, a tour of the Motherhouse and to learn more about us,” Sister Jean said. “There were adults who toured our new Heritage Room and afterward sought out a specific sister whose story they read to learn more about her and her work. That provided for a wonderful conversation!”

“Having Santa at the Motherhouse also provides a no-cost, fun experience between parents and children. There are coloring sheets for the kids and parents sit with them at the table,” Sister Jean said. “Many parents and grandparents were appreciative of having a place to share this experience with their children in a relaxed, welcoming environment.”

“Everyone had so much fun! Most of the kids were overjoyed to see Santa and Mrs. Claus but there were a few that were a little unsure,” said Ambria Gilliland, assistant director of development for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. “We had a great crowd! The sisters truly enjoyed interacting with the kids. Santa and Mrs. Claus are such good sports. Santa even traded hats with a little boy and had fun trying to coax a smile from the kids by getting them to say ‘Pepsi’ instead of the usual ‘Cheese!’”

This year’s event also offered a drawing for a free door prize.

The door prize was a hand-crafted wooden sign with the words “O come let us adore him” and a manger painted on it. It had battery-operated lights that looked like stars in the night sky. Danielle Haskett, of Concordia, was the lucky winner.

“I was so happy with the crowd we had,” Gilliland said. “Seeing the joy on the kids’ faces truly made the whole event worth the work.”

Obituary for Karma Imogen Smith-Grindell, CSJ Associate

November 25, 2019 by  

Karma Imogen Smith-Grindell passed peacefully in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2019, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Karma was born Nov. 28, 1940, in Columbus, Ohio, at 1:14 p.m. When first measured days after birth, she weighed 3 lbs. 10.5 oz. Her estimated birth weight was 3 lbs. 13 oz. She was born about 6 weeks early, and her twin brother who preceded her in birth died shortly after her arrival. She was not expected to survive, but defied the odds and returned to the home of her mother and father, Margaret Hayes Smith and Laban Conrad Smith, on Dec. 31, 1940. Her name was a testament to her birth story: Karma (Sanskrit — “Destiny”) Imogen (Greek — “Beloved child”) and (Gaelic — “Maiden”).

Karma’s younger brother, Hartman, was born in 1944. Karma’s father was a Navy officer, and the family relocated numerous times during her childhood for his postings. Her homes included Auburn, Ala., Galveston, Texas and the Canal Zone, Panama. She remembered with particular fondness the years in Panama. The family eventually settled in Terre Haute, Ind., where her father was a professor of English at Indiana State University. They enjoyed summers at family farms in Wisconsin, and had a litany of pets, including several dogs, ducks and chickens.

After graduating from Wiley High School in 1957, Karma spent a summer in France as a camp counselor. She then attended the University of Michigan where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She entered Harvard graduate school in 1962, where she was re-acquainted with her high school debate partner, Michael LR Donnelly, who would become her first husband.

They were married in 1964, and had two children: Anna Callysta was born in Boston in 1966, and Maxwell Conor was born in Madison, Wis., in 1969. The family would move to Manhattan, Kan., in 1972. Karma worked at Kansas State University as director of the English as a Second Language program, and was a doting and attentive mother. After the dissolution of her first marriage in 1981, Karma stayed in Manhattan for several years, then lived in Concordia, Kan., where she became an ecumenical member of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. Although not Catholic herself, Karma remained a committed and active participant in the CSJ Associates for decades thereafter. She also lived briefly in Pendle Hill, Penn., at a Quaker community.

After leaving academia in 1983, Karma became a Licensed Practical Nurse, providing hospice and home care to elderly residents in the farm country surrounding Manhattan, Kan. She later added skills in massage and energy work (shiatzu and jin shin jyutsu) which she applied generously to any who suffered the slings and arrows of physical or emotional injury. Fascinated by human psychology and the puzzles of our inner beings, Karma was for many years a learned practitioner of the Enneagram personality system, and an active participant in the vibrant international community of Enneagram students.

Karma married the love of her life, Rob Grindell, on July 8, 1989. For more than a decade, Rob and Karma traveled the world and reveled in the joys of each others’ company. Destinations included many of our United States by small plane (Rob piloting, Karma navigating), Greece, Mexico, Canada, Belize, Hawaii and Europe. Karma also made a memorable solo trip to Leh, Ladakh, as a participant in an international Buddhist women’s conference. Karma spent much of her adult life pursuing spiritual growth, and considered herself a Quaker catholic Zen Buddhist (lowercase “c” intentional).

After a long battle with cancer, Rob passed away on Dec. 19, 2000. Karma remained in Manhattan until 2006, where she was a beloved member of multiple spiritual communities. In 2006, she packed house and home and moved to Colorado Springs, where her brother Hartman and his wife Nancy lived. She continued to travel extensively, including many trips to California to visit her daughter Anna and grandchildren Maya and Dante. Her son Max’s family — wife Kelly and daughters Claire and Caroline — were blessed to have her nearby, and she was a frequent short-term guest in their household in Littleton, Colo., where the resident dogs would celebrate her arrival with wags and kisses.

Throughout her life, Karma was beloved by her community and friends as an individual who personified kindness. Alzheimer’s never robbed her of her inherently sweet and loving disposition, and to the end her caregivers adored her.

She is survived by her brothers Hartman and Nancy Smith of Jacksonville, Fla., and brother Forrest and Shiela Smith of Terre Haute, Ind.; her children Maxwell and Kelden Donnelly of Littleton, Colo., Anna and Burman Deshautelle of Agoura Hills, Calif., and Michael Grindell and Jennifer Grindell of Atlanta, Ga.; and grandchildren Claire, Caroline, Dante, Maya, Maclean, Samantha and Grace (all over the place).

A service in Karma’s memory will be held in the spring in Manhattan, Kan.

In lieu of flowers, please direct donations in Karma’s memory to Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, P.O Box 279, Concordia, KS 66901.

To make an online donation in Karma’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

Sister Lucy Schneider — Jan. 15, 1927 – Nov. 10, 2019

November 11, 2019 by  

Sister Lucy Schneider died Nov. 10, 2019 at Mount Joseph Senior Village in Concordia, Kan. She was 92 years old and a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia for 70 years.

She was born in rural Salina, Kan., on Jan. 15, 1927, to John and Lucy Seramur Schneider, the youngest of six children, and was baptized Agnes Adele. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia on Sept. 8, 1948. On March 19, 1949, Agnes received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Lucy. She pronounced first vows on March 19, 1950, and final vows on March 19, 1953.

In 1948 Sister Lucy earned a B.A. in English from Marymount College, Salina. In 1956 she received a M.A. in English from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis. She then received a Ph.D. in English from Notre Dame University in 1967. She taught in institutions staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Grand Island, Neb., Concordia, Manhattan and Salina. She also taught on the Indian reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. In 1991 Sister Lucy retired from teaching and served the community in various positions at the Motherhouse. Music played a vital role in Sister Lucy’s life as she wrote many song parodies for special occasions.

Sister Lucy was preceded in death by her parents, three sisters, and one brother. One sister, Mary Elizabeth Ryan, survives. A Bible Vigil Service will be held 7 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Sacred Heart Chapel in the Nazareth Motherhouse with Sister Betty Suther as the eulogist. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 13 in the Motherhouse Chapel with Rev. Bob Schneider and Rev. Barry Brinkman presiding.

The burial will be in the Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery. Chaput-Buoy Mortuary, 325 W. Sixth St., Concordia, is in charge of arrangements. Memorials for Sister Lucy Schneider may be given to the Sisters of St. Joseph Health Care/ Retirement Fund or the Apostolic Works of the Sisters; P.O. Box 279, Concordia, KS 66901.

To make an online donation in Sister Lucy Schneider’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

Fall into our latest Messenger

October 22, 2019 by  

We hope you enjoy our October edition of the Messenger. It’s a big one!

Learn more about the mission work our sisters are doing in Brazil. Follow along as some of our sisters take a trip to the Mexico border. Rejoice as two sisters profess vows … and be sure to check our calendar page for upcoming retreats, seminars and fun events.

The print edition has been mailed, and it’s available here right now as a flipbook. To open the flipbook edition, just use the black tool bar under the image below to flip through the pages:

Also, that little magnifying glass icon in the black tool bar below the Messenger will let you increase the size if you would like!

Eulogy for Sister Nancy Meade — Dec. 10, 1938 – Oct. 14, 2019

October 17, 2019 by  

Vigil: Oct. 17, 2019 at the Nazareth Motherhouse
Eulogist: Sister Faye Huelsmann

I am privileged to share some of the life of Sister Nancy.

Music and musicals — only two of the gifts that defined Sister Nancy Helen Meade’s life. Nancy had a naturally cheery and welcoming smile and typically called people ‘sweety’ or ‘honey’. Even as I touched her arm to get her attention when she was bent over and simply waiting, waiting … she asked, “Honey, What can I do for you?”

Nancy was born Dec. 10, 1938, in Abilene, Kan., to Cornelius Samuel Meade and Minnie Belle Lake. Born two months early and weighing 3 pounds, she was baptized immediately. Nancy was the youngest of six children. She had three brothers and two sisters, all of whom are deceased. Her sisters were Frances and Mary Ann. Her brothers were Jack, Robert and Larry. She has several living nieces and nephews.

Nancy’s brother, Jack, gave her the nickname “Bird” during their early years because she was always singing.

After completing grade and high school in Abilene, she attended MaryMount College in the fall of 1957. Her plans were to major in music and chemistry and maybe be a med-tech since she had a sister who was a med-tech. During that year, Nancy made the decision to follow a religious vocation. I quote from an article written about Nancy when she celebrated 25 years of service in Boonville, Mo. About her vocation, she said, “You don’t really decide to become a sister. It’s like there’s this little voice that keeps bugging you saying, ‘Maybe this is the kind of work you need to be doing. Do the Lord’s work.’ ”

The following September 1958, she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, the sisters who opened and staffed MaryMount College. She stated that she has never ever regretted the decision to become a sister.

Following her formation years, she was assigned to Aurora, Ill., to teach music, her first love and her first mission. She taught classroom music in the following years in Gladstone, Mich., and then went to Boonville, Mo., where she spent a total of 28 years. She also gave piano lessons.

She taught music in New Mexico for two years before returning to Boonville. During all those years she also obtained a master’s degree in music education from the University of Colorado, a degree in theater from Stephen’s College and obtained a certificate in youth ministry.

In regard to her music, she said she really loved doing musicals. To quote her, she said, “It was a blast.” For many years she involved the junior high students from the Catholic school and local community in the production of many musicals. Asked which was her favorite musical she readily said, “Peter Pan.” This even included the flying part! She had many who helped her in whatever way they could. A few of the other musicals she directed were “Oliver,” “Brigadoon, “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Oklahoma.” She produced a musical every year in Boonville during her years there. Someone told me she had it down to a science and each year most of the same crews came back to do their part, such as lighting, piano help and construction.

The students vied for playing the chosen main characters. Boonville’s famous Thespian Hall Theatre invited her to use their location after several seasons. That was a rewarding invitation! Those who worked with her acknowledged how good she was at getting people involved. Indeed, there was plenty to do and Nancy did a good job of directing so that everything ran smoothly.

In addition, she made sure you were having fun while you worked.

Nancy was accomplished in being the youth minister in the parish, a ministry she was invited to do in the 90s. She accepted this work after being assured that she could still teach religion in the school and work with the youth the rest of the time.

She loved taking students on trips to Washington D.C., helping with youth retreats and offering support to student groups. I imagine she went canoeing with some of them. Certainly Nancy loved canoeing and in one incident they got in a swirl and were dumped from their canoe — along with her dog — but managed to hang on to a log until they were rescued.

Nancy said she quit working when her hearing became impaired.

That was about 2004. Nancy was always an avid reader and during retirement years she had time to read. Those who supplied books to her had a hard time keeping up with her.

Even though she was retired, she did accept an invitation from Sister Pat Lewter and myself to come to Grand Junction, Colo., to live with us and help at our counseling center with office work for a year. She took on a project of making about 15 drums from various items she collected, decorated them and taught drumming to some of the adolescent groups held at CEC.

Now for a fun incident! A sister friend of hers from The Sisters of Charity, Linda Dean, lived in Grand Junction. Before Nancy knew it, her friend had talked her into submitting a peach pie for the Peach Festival held every year in Palisade. She had a delicious fresh peach pie recipe and to the astonishment of all of us, she won first prize! And of course, I got her recipe.

In her life history she stated that while living at the Motherhouse, she enjoyed helping out with jobs that needed to be done such as helping in the vegetable room — all the veggies brought in from the garden needed to be prepped!

Also included in what she said about her final years was, “My desire now is to grow spiritually through making retreats, reading and sharing with others. I am grateful for having grown up in a wonderful family. We loved each other, prayed together and shared experiences together. I loved the Mass and my years as a Sister of St. Joseph.”

In summary, I believe Maxim 64 fits her life: “ Strive to be kind always to everyone and unkind to no one.”

Memorials for Sister Nancy Meade may be given to the Sisters of St. Joseph Health Care/ Retirement Fund or the Apostolic Works of the Sisters; P.O Box 279, Concordia, KS 66901.

To make an online donation in Sister Nancy Meade’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

 

 

 

Sister Geraldine Kokenge — Feb. 26, 1928 – Oct. 14, 2019

October 14, 2019 by  

Sister Geraldine Kokenge died Oct. 14, 2019, at Mount Joseph Senior Village in Concordia. She was 91 years old and a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia for 72 years. She was born in St. Benedict, Kan., on Feb. 26, 1928, to Lawrence and Frances Rilinger Kokenge, the second of five children, and was baptized Geraldine Mary Ann. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia on Feb. 2, 1947. On Aug. 14, 1947, Geraldine received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Mary Justina, later returning to her baptismal name, Geraldine. She pronounced first vows on Aug. 15, 1948, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1951.

Sister Geraldine served the community in the food service industry in various institutions including Kansas Wesleyan University and Sacred Heart Jr./Sr. High School in Salina, Kan.

After she retired in 2000, she moved to Medaille Center, Salina; and then to Nazareth Motherhouse in 2006.

Sister Geraldine was preceded in death by her parents, one brother and one sister. She is survived by one brother, Elmer, of Topeka, Kan., and one sister, Lorrine Warner, of Pembroke, Mass.

A Bible Vigil Service will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 16, 2019, in the Nazareth Motherhouse Chapel with Sister Marilyn Wall as the eulogist. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 17, 2019, in the Motherhouse Chapel with Father Barry Brinkman presiding. The internment of cremains will be in the Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery.

Chaput-Buoy Mortuary, 325 W. Sixth St., Concordia, Kan., is in charge of arrangements. Memorials for Sister Geraldine Kokenge may be given to the Sisters of St. Joseph Health Care/ Retirement Fund or the Apostolic Works of the Sisters; P.O. Box 279, Concordia, Kan. 66901.

To make an online donation in Sister Geraldine Kokenge’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

 

Panther Pride Garden Club visits Motherhouse garden

September 27, 2019 by  

Friday, Sept. 27, was a beautiful morning for a school field trip. Surrounded by hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, the Panther Pride Garden Club explored the Nazareth Motherhouse organic garden.

This is the first year for the club, said Kristen Peltier, first grade teacher and club advisor at Concordia Elementary School. The members range from kindergarten to fourth grade.

Lyle Pounds, the organic gardener for the Motherhouse, greeted the kids and put them to work as they toured the garden.

Pounds played a guessing game with them where they identified fresh-picked beets, turnips and cucumbers, before sharing a little bit about the organic part of the garden.

“This has been a garden spot for over 100 years,” Pounds said. “This ground is so fertile. It hasn’t rained for a few days, but you can see the ground is still moist from all the organic matter in it.”

He showed the kids a trench filled with kitchen scraps running down a row in between rows of vegetables and zinnias.

“It looks like garbage, but its compost,” Pounds explained. “These are all scraps from the kitchen. Instead of having one giant compost pile, it goes into a row and is covered up. Next year we’ll plant vegetables there. It’s just like fertilizer.”

Pounds explained to the group that the sisters like to keep the garden organic, which means avoiding chemical fertilizers and bug sprays.

Then it was time to get to work. Pounds let them get their hands dirty harvesting radishes, green bell peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes and peanuts. They even picked a watermelon.

“The peanuts are normally a southern crop,” Pounds said as the kids plucked them off the roots of the plant. “This will be a meal for the squirrels in the wintertime.”

Many of the crops grown were for the benefit of the wildlife. Sunflowers will be used for seed for the birds, the zinnias attract the butterflies and hummingbirds, and one of the highlights of the trip was seeing all the black swallowtail caterpillars on a big bunch of fennel.

The group left with some of the harvest that they had picked, a plate of cookies from the Motherhouse kitchen, and a better knowledge of organic gardening.

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