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touchA Woman's Touch
by Deb Phillips

The Glory of the Garden

Though I did not grow up on a farm, I did grow up surrounded by farms. My grandfather was a retired farmer, so we always had a HUGE garden . . . tomatoes, corn peppers, peas, green beans, strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, eggplant, pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupe, turnips, radishes, cucumbers and zucchini. I remember afternoons spent in the garden by my grandfather's side, with the dirt squishing between my toes, learning how to distinguish weeds from the sprouting plants, how to tell when a watermelon was ripe, the sweet taste of the first strawberries, but most of all, how to nurture the garden so that it would provide for us.

So what are YOU doing to nurture the garden of our Masonic family? Have you thanked the presiding officers of the organizations you belong for taking their responsible position? Have you taken a new member under your wing, and helped them to learn and understand more about the organization they just joined? Have you reached out to an inactive member? Have you offered your assistance to a Job's Daughters Bethel, Rainbow Assembly or DeMolay Chapter?

Have you volunteered at one of the Masonic Villages? Have you helped with a group service project? We cannot sit idly in "the shade" and say "look at the great things we have done." We need to be out there doing the simple, everyday things, because it is by those simple, everyday things that we are able to accomplish the greater things.
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The harvest ­ maybe a smile of thanks, but definitely the satisfaction

of a knowing we have helped another is only possible when we "Share the Light!"

Don't have time, or maybe space, for a big garden, but would still like to enjoy the taste of some home-grown vegetables? Then try a container garden. Vegetables with a confined growth tendency, such as salad greens, spinach, peppers, bush beans, some varieties of tomatoes, as well as herbs, do well in containers. Be sure to choose an appropriate size container for each variety of plants, use a lighter soil mix for better moisture retention, and don't forget to water your plants.

Container gardens generally need to be watered on a daily basis; if allowed to dry, the feeder roots will die and the plant will spend more energy to grow replacement roots than to flower and produce fruit. Good luck and enjoy!

Editors Note:
Deb Phillips is the Event Planning/Public Relations Assistant at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown. She is a Past Honored Queen and Bethel Guardian of Bethel No. 15 - Elizabethtown, Past Grand Guardian and Chairman of the Supreme Promotion Committee, Job's Daughters International; Past Matron of Elizabethtown Chapter No. 407, and A.G.C.C.M., Order of the Eastern Star; and Past Royal Matron of Lancaster Court No. 70, and Grand Rep. to Arizona, Order of the Amaranth.

In her spare time she enjoys traveling (she worked in the travel industry for 13 years prior to joining the Masonic Village team), scrapbooking, listening to a variety of music, crafts, shopping, walking and spending time with friends.

Deb has been invited to add "a woman's touch" to each issue of the Pennsylvania Freemason. She may be contacted at 717-367-1121.

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