April Reflection on Gardening and Faith

Molly Boeglin and Cassie Schutzer
Thursday, April 11, 2024

It’s SPRING! I mean, I think March is the first month of spring, but it’s really here now! We have lambs! Our three ewes have birthed five babies, and all are beautiful and healthy. Our two newest littles were born during a severe thunderstorm just an hour before midnight on Easter eve. They have been appropriately named Easter and Storm. (pic of Clover, Isla, and Leia)

More excitement comes with the planting of the rest of our seeds. Our last frost date is April 18, which means it’s time to plant corn, then pole beans, then squash for my Three Sisters attempt. And we will get bush beans, turnips, edamame, and other direct-sow seeds in the ground. Some seeds were already planted such as carrots, potatoes, and onions because they can be planted prior to the last frost. My winter sowing seeds will also be hardened off and transplanted – flowers, flowers, and more flowers!

Spring also means cleaning. All the sheep bedding will be removed from the barn and will start a new compost pile. Compost that has finished breaking down can be added to the garden or put into raised beds. I also put compost in before planting bushes and trees. Mixing it with the existing soil gives new plantings a boost of nutrients and allows roots to spread easily. Manure scooped from the chicken coop can also be added to the compost.

The last garden goal for April is to make sure my weed suppression measures are in place. A thick layer of mulched wood chips or old leaves helps to prevent weeds from rooting around my fruits and vegetables and gives homes to lots of beneficial insects. Speaking of insects, we are gearing up to get honeybees! These social pollinators are responsible for about 75% of the fruits, vegetables and nuts grown in the U.S. These little bees have a HUGE impact on our world. Just like us, working together we can make big things happen.

On the family side of things, my 7-year-old will be making her First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion this month. It’s a perfect time for these as we celebrate Easter and the sacrifice Jesus has made for us. Any parent that has taken children to Mass knows how stressful it can be to keep from disrupting others’ Mass time, but for Holy Week services, our girls’ attention was on the Mass: both the solemnity and celebration. This leads to a perfect time to mention that Saint Meinrad has a Children’s Revival of Participation at Sunday Mass program and I, for one, am excited to see what comes from them!


The Garden of our Hearts

Alleluia! The Lord is risen as He promised!

This season, above all, is a season of joy. Death becomes life, darkness becomes light. The sorrowful are comforted, the despairing have hope, and the ground is teeming with the possibility of new life.

We just experienced the greatest gift of our lives: the life-giving death of Jesus Christ. It seems backwards by human reasoning – how could life come from death? It’s one of the profound mysteries of our faith, and it points to the power, creativity, and mercy of God.

Who of us would sacrifice ourselves for the undeserving? Who of us would break the power of death by becoming powerless? Who of us would choose to be “made perfect through suffering?” (Hebrews 2:10) It all seems upside down.

But how great is the power of God! What is impossible for us is possible for Him. Nothing is beyond resurrection for Him. In the great economy of God, nothing goes to waste, which is to say He can bring life out of any circumstance.

We can learn this lesson in the school of Molly’s garden! The seeds she lovingly planted at the end of winter will soften and die this spring…and in their death, they will bring forth life. As the Scriptures tell us, “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” (John 12:24)

Seeds are not meant to remain as they are. What we see is simply a shell – a temporary state of being that contains everything needed for new life. The seed must die to live beyond itself. And in dying, the seed is not gone but transformed into a new creation.

Christ, the Paschal lamb, died for our sins and was resurrected – a hope and a promise for all of us who believe! How providential that Molly’s new lambs arrived on Holy Saturday, the day that death was defeated once, for all.

In this season of faith, let us thank God for the redemptive love He showed on the cross and for bringing life from what seems to be dead.