I planted a garden this summer.
There hasn't been a vegetable garden for me to tend in years. Our last home had no space in the yard and the home before that was in a more harsh climate. And I am not an attentive enough gardener to keep up with constant moisture zapping wind and frost coming at random times even in June. So really I have not gardened much in about 15 years.
So this year I began slowly. Just 3 tomato plants, a zucchini, an eggplant (do you say eggplant plant or just eggplant?) and a bunch of herbs. And I started with store bought plants because seeds take way too much tending and patience for fruit to bear. I should have gotten them in the ground in March but I am not on the ball much of the time so they went into the ground in late April.
By mid May, I had tomatoes and by late June, I had tomatoes lining the window sills of our house and piled into bowls on the kitchen table. Salsa was made and brushetta, until people would eat no more and stores ran out of tortilla chips for the high demand. Then they were randomly used for slicing into sandwiches or on top of tacos and finally they just sat there making me feel guilty and overwhelmed. Well....I am ashamed to say that soon I began dumping the bowls of mushy red balls into the trash when no one was looking. I began leaving bowls of little yellow cherry tomatoes at people's houses when they were out of town.
After the 118 degree heat and a few weeks of over 110, the huge, overgrown, ambitious bushes of tomatoes began to wilt, turn brown, lose fruit before it was ready and dry up from lack of water. Yeah, who wants to go water tomatoes in 110 degree heat? Not me. Besides, they begin to taste...weird.... when it's that hot.
Last week my husband pulled up the plants for me. My heart secretly rejoiced....no more tomatoes!
While I was quietly w00ting in my heart about no tomatoes to tend this morning, God (harshly, I thought) reminded me that we have a way more important harvest to tend to. As I finished writing a heart-felt article for our state denominational magazine about our recent boatload of people coming to Christ through the church's prayerful preparation, going out to sow the seed and then seeing the harvest come pouring in, the work is not done. Who wants piles of rotten, mushy harvest?
We need to get out there and make the salsa now! What is a harvest for anyway?