Brother Kevin shares insight on the four seasons of vegetable growing as the Mountain friars prepare the garden for winter.


People often ask us, “when do you start your vegetable garden?” The expected answer is, “sometime in the spring.” It’s true that in early spring we’ll be planting spinach and peas after the snow melts, but by then our garden has been growing for several months.

br. kevin in the gardenThe truth is there never is a start or finish time to a vegetable garden.

This fall we will clear out spent plants that provided for our table in spring and summer. However, these leftover piles of organic matter will be composted over the winter to add nourishment to the soil in the spring. Not only that, in the next few weeks we will be planting garlic cloves for next year’s crop. The winter gives the garlic a chance to develop strong roots so they can grow in earnest in the warm weather. There is no beginning or end, just different seasons.

It’s the same with our lives. There may be seasons in our lives that initiate new growth, or what we perceive as decline and decay. But these seasons are always followed by the next season.

At the Mountain we say we “join with Jesus Christ to make all things new.” The garden helps me understand that Jesus is always creating, always making something new out of our lives and our world. We may think “things ain’t what they used to be like they were in the glory days,” but contemplative eyes see something new is always happening. The glory days are now.