The next stop on the Sisters’ Meditation Walk takes you across Ryder Road to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers’ St. Teresa’s Orchard. The apple orchard has been apart of Maryknoll since its founding. These photographs date from 1915 and depict some of the Seminary students picking apples.
“Look at this little microcosm of the human attempt to work with the earth. Agriculture, unfortunately, became increasingly destructive, as human ability to impact increased. Today, we no longer live in harmony with the earth in our agricultural methods: fertilizers, pesticides, and over-production press and strain the earth’s life-systems; economic injustice, driven by the demands of more privileged, fosters the destruction, while still leaving millions of people hungry every day.
The discovery of agriculture enabled us to settle down, to establish civilization. That is the gift of the Earth to us. But we have acted ignorantly and arrogantly, destroying the very source of our survival. Soil is both an example and a symbol of our situation. It is a living organism. It is held together by plants, it grows plants. It is, on average, 12 inches deep in fertile places. It takes 500 years to make one inch of it. We love 4 1/2 billion tons of it every year in this country. We are turning fertile land into desert.”