Lessons · strength

Tomatoes Wild

I walked outside for the umpteenth time. Bored. Done with winter, waiting in anticipation for spring and the green new plantlife it would bring. As I walked I contemplated whether I would plant a veggie garden again in my raised beds.

For a solid number of years now I have successfully gardened in a series of raised garden boxes. I had once tried my hand at the traditional fenced rectangle of plowed ground but found to many critters and an abundance of johnson grass kept it from being all it could. I like the daily piddling, pulling of weeds and watering a garden allows. Plus I love fresh home grown veggies so I went a different way and ventured into raised garden boxes.

Year to year at the end of the season one is suppose to pull up all the old stalks, roots and other items left after the last harvest; turn the soil one last time and let it rest. Last year for my family was hectic and filled with too much activity to properly close the garden. Finally around November – December (ish) I wandered out to view what was left, pull out the old stalks and roots and set the soil to rest. Throwing the cages for the tomatoes in on top for good measure.

Now, much to my surprise there were three plants springing up haphazardly in one of the boxes. At first I thought “must be weeds”. Instead of pulling them though I decided to let them grow and see if they were indeed anything of substance. Several days of rain had ensued and after it was finished, I ventured out to look at my boxes to see what was growing still. Low and behold it was tomotoes! Three plants to be exact. Oh there were weeds too but three tomatoe plants had somehow managed to regenerate.

I couldn’t leave them in the state they were in as something had dug around in the box and one plant in particular was was hanging on the side of the mound by a thread. Plus the weeds were almost as tall as my new growing tomatoes. So, I took each plant out, pulled the weeds; and added soil. I replanted each plant along with a cage for stability and protection. As I worked with the soil and plants God lovingly revealed 3 things we have in common with those wild tomatoes.

  1. Dont underestimate seeds scattered in a previous season. We may never know at times what a harvest looks like from a previous season. But then again at times God allows us to tend, grow and harvest from a previous season. And much like my tomatoes wild it may be with surprise and unexpected delight we gather and see for our selves what our efforts have proven.
  2. Seasons of rest grows things too. Just because you are not in the middle of hustle and bustle doesn’t mean growth does’nt happen. Growth is a fluid not stagnant concept. It happens whether we are a participant or not. I could have easily dismissed the possibility of the plantlings being anything other than weeds but I would have missed an opportunity to nurture, grow and harvest an abundance of good things. When we ignore what can happen in the pause of things or seemingly small opportunities set before us we do the same.
  3. Tend your garden in and out of season for maximum growth. Fallow ground needs care too just as if there was an intent to plant soon (even if there isnt). It readies the soil, builds nutrients necessary to sustain the next seasons crop and gives the space a much needed break from production. Tending to the crop in season ensure that with just a little effort on my part, pulling weeds, righting the plants and setting a hedge about them along with food and water they are guaranteed to grow into and produce a big bountiful crop.

These tomatoes may have begun as a wild plant in a fallow raised box and If left to their own devices the seeds left behind in one season may have matured haphazardly into a prosperous plant, or not. But I knew if I took each plant out, pulled the weeds and added soil; replanted each plant along with a cage for stability and protection, they soon would became strong, healthy and produce a harvest of beautiful red ripe tomatoes wild.

Copyright©2022 Melanie McKinley.  All Rights Reserved


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