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Reflections

Caring for Earth, Caring for You —Sr. Mary Kieffer, OP

Caring for Earth, Caring for You —Sr. Mary Kieffer, OP

Sr. Mary Kieffer likes to get her hands dirty. When she is not busy tending to her administrative duties in the daily operations of Our Lady of Lourdes Convent, Sr. Mary can be found honing her green thumb in the garden. She loves to grow her own food and experiment in the garden for a few of reasons. Not only does planting a variety of herbs and vegetables in the garden add to the beauty of God’s creation, but it also offers a sustainable approach to how we gather our food. Sr. Mary also believes the mental health benefits of gardening are numerous.

Embracing a curiosity for nature, Sr. Mary was introduced to the benefits of worm composting several years ago by Sr. Carla Kovack and has embraced this form of soil fertilization wholeheartedly. “It’s so fascinating to see how the worm castings are so good for the garden. Feeding worms our melon rinds and coffee grounds, to name a couple, gives me a connection to how our ancestors worked the soil to get the best from the earth.” Sr. Mary has a dream of expanding the worm composting so as to provided nutrients to more of the campus and is committed to teaching others about the benefits. In addition, she has been learning about mushrooms. She has gotten involved with the Ecological Society of Marin County and is learning about planting certain species that promote good soil health.
Gardening and learning about these green practices has expanded Sr. Mary’s appreciation for the little things. “It broadens my awareness of how everything is interconnected with every little aspect important for our health. Planting the rights supports the soil and surrounding trees. Using worm composting techniques turns our discarded waste into nutrients to help grow the food we eat. Gardening is a wonderful de-stressor—great for mental health too.”

So, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty—the benefits are immeasurable!

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Preachers of  Truth • Love • Justice