Sunday, June 16 2024 - 1:57 PM
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Lessons from My Garden

Plop them into the boiling H2O, wait 45 seconds, remove and plunge them into cold water, peel, cut, and squish out all the seeds by squeezing them between your hands. It’s a yearly ritual at our house-preparing the tomatoes for whatever my wife Roberta wants to create with them.

We are blessed to live in an area where the soil is as black as coffee grounds, and as fertile as anywhere I’ve ever personally witnessed. I’m not known for my “green thumb,” but it’s a simple process to grow things in the dark, rich earth next to our home. Just plug in the seedlings, do a little weeding from time to time, and harvest the abundant crop that inevitably grows each and every season that we put the garden in.


This year has been an exceptionally good one for tomatoes, and I have pulled (at least) a couple of bushels of red-orbed beauties from the eight plants that we put into the garden. It’s a kick for me to go out and pull fresh produce from the meandering vines, and this year has been a banner crop. I thoroughly enjoy trotting out to the tomato patch, pulling the various-sized fruit, loading them into cardboard boxes, and bringing them into the house to show my wife. That’s where the excitement ends though!

Once we’ve separated the “really ripe” ones from those that will be “really ripe” within a few days, it’s time for the yearly exercise that I really disdain:

Plop, remove, plunge, peel, cut, and squish.

Plop, remove, plunge, peel, cut, and squish.

Again, plop, remove, plunge, peel, cut, and squish.

Needful Work

It’s not nearly as rhythmic as it looks on paper. I always dream of a huge crop, and then when it arrives I disdain the idea of the drudgery in the “plop, remove, plunge, peel, cut, and squish.”

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23, NASB).

Often, it’s difficult to enjoy the thought that the “plop, remove, plunge, peel, cut, and squish” is part of my work here on planet earth. It’s not glamorous, enjoyable, or satisfying…but it’s needful. My wife works hard to save money, and feed a family that enjoys her home-canned salsa and tomato sauce. The least I can do is to lend a hand.

Michael Temple writes from North Dakota.

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About Michael Temple

Michael Temple

writes from Grand Forks, North Dakota.

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