the small garden 2011.jpgFather Giussani spoke of sacrifice in our context as including what we do with our spare time. When we have time to spare, do we read, do we pray, do we spend quality time with family, friends, or our beloved, do we watch hours of TV, or, do we help the poor and needy? How we spend our free time reveals who we are as persons. How we use time speaks of our values and how we flourish.

Some of my free time –which time is a premium these days– is spent with two gardens. Spending time in the garden is relaxing and keeps me grounded (pun intended) and it allows me to unwind, and to pray. Plus, it keeps me connected with my heritage. My grandparents would be so proud.

My large garden is a flower garden (under the patronage of St Francis of Assisi) and the small garden (see above is under the patronage of St Fiacre) is a vegetable garden.
Thus far, I’ve harvested lots of cucumbers of which I made pickles but some went to salads, others went to family and other cukes went to a local monastery. Tomatoes are coming now; I had my first two yesterday. AND, I picked my first cayenne pepper for my pickles today and I am waiting for my habaneros. Oh, yea, my horseradish is finally showing signs of growth.
homemade pickles 2011.jpgToday, the leaks replaced the cucumbers and the squash plants are growing daily.

The pickles I made two weeks ago are delicious, if I say so myself; they have a slight kick due to the hot peppers added and garlic. The pickle recipe comes from my friend and colleague Tom.
Today’s pickle batch were prepared for a CL picnic at the end of the month.