Being in a garden can be a joyful experience. There is beauty, wonder and surprise around every corner. There is also memory and foresight. 

For example, while planting tomato seeds in April under a grow light, I knew that once the seeds had warmth, moisture, light and nutrients, months later someone would be enjoying the fruits that are encoded in these little seeds. And it came to pass that little children found great delight in picking and eating the ripe tomatoes in September. What a joy!

Harvest season brings a bounty of delicious but perishable food. We can eat some of it but what about the rest? Grateful friends can share in the bounty but still only consume some of it. 

The answer for the rest is to honor it through the fascinating process of preserving it for future enjoyment. The April experience is trying to imagine the mysterious future or fate of the fruit that will come from planting seeds. The August and September experience is trying to imagine who will enjoy this and be nourished by this preserved fruit. 

Preserving the fruit is like “kicking a can” further down the road. The photo shows a little of our preserved fruit from the summer of 2020. I wonder who will enjoy this raspberry jam, these dilly beans, this red pepper jelly, this ground cherry jam, these pickled beets? 

The garden and its bounty teaches us so much about God’s goodness, about wonder, joy and happiness. Hopefully your gardening experiences are life-giving, if not downright thrilling.

Blessings, Br. Kevin