Green Tomatoes | The Community
The Anglican Church of Canada home page
Sites at the Anglican Church of CanadaFind a ChurchFrequently Asked QuestionsStaff Listing

Green Tomatoes

I’ve been really getting to know my tomatoes lately.  I planted 5 plants this year, and they were late bloomers.  But bloom they did – the vines got to be so heavy with the fruit that they were sagging even on their stakes; I had to add supports and prune as more and more blossoms were trying to break through.

They just started ripening in the past two weeks, so I have been enjoying quite a feast of tomatoes.  Fresh, organic, juicy and delicious.  I’ve been eating them with at least one meal a day; I’ve already made several jars of pasta sauce and salsas, and still there are about 250 on the vines, that gorgeous healthy shade of green.

So, as September is when the weather cools, I’ve been outside with my tomatoes quite a bit.  Just about every day, I’ve been checking for the tomatoes that are ready to be picked, I’ve been making note of the ones that should be ready in the near future, and I’ve been watching the progress of the green ones.

And just about every night, I’ve been outside with sheets and blankets, covering up my green tomatoes to protect them from the frost.  The plants get a good watering in the afternoon, and in the early evening they get carefully covered up.  The blankets don’t touch the plants themselves, but are supported by the stakes.  They wrap carefully around the bottom crawling plants to make sure that all the fruit is protected.  They are weighted down so they don’t shift or blow away.  And, the next morning, once it’s warmed up, I’m out again to remove the blankets so the tomatoes can benefit from the sunlight and heat of the day.

It’s been a long process. But it’s worth it.

It’s worth it because I value knowing where my food comes from and how it’s been grown.  It’s worth it because THESE tomatoes are special – they’re proof that I have been witness to, and participant in, God’s creation in action.  Through my care, I have seen growth and development, and I know that this will continue so long as I continue my care.  I know that had I neglected these plants, they would have long ago withered and died, and not produced the goodness that they now promise.

It’s worth it because I see in my care of these tomato plants the same type of care that God has for me.  I know that I need care and attention if I am to thrive in my life, and my faith provides that for me.  God sees that sometimes I’m producing good things, and sometimes growth is taking longer than expected, and allows me the time I need to grow.  I know that God sees that I need protection and sometimes I need exposure, and those opportunities are provided for me so that I may thrive. I know that God sees my life as a journey; just as the tomatoes don’t grow instantly, neither do I.  But I also know that God sees in me the potential of what I might become – and delights when that is realised.  And whether the tomatoes ripen or I just find new green tomato recipes, nothing will be wasted – so too God will use every bit of me, just as I am.

And so I delight in being cared for, and known, and appreciated.  I delight in being my own little green tomato in God’s care.

About Laura Marie Piotrowicz

I'm a high-energy priest, now serving in the Diocese of Niagara, catching glimpses of the kingdom in daily life. I consider church to be a verb, and I'm passionate about prayer, eco-theology, and social justice. I love travel, reading, canoeing, camping, gardening and cooking, playing with my dogs, and drinking good coffee. http://everydaychristianityblog.blogspot.ca
This entry was posted in Everyday Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Green Tomatoes

  1. Isn’t it a wonderful time of year? For me, it’s not only a time to celebrate the growth that we’ve seen over the summer (our tomatoes didn’t do too well,) but a time to get creative about preserving food naturally, so we don’t find ourselves falling back on the convenience of microwaved food in boxes over the winter. I’ll admit, I’ve never really caught the gardening bug. Fortunately, I married a born farmer, so there are plenty of raw materials for me to work with.

    This weekend was a busy one in the Dymond kitchen: we made jerky and corned beef, meat pies for the freezer, granola, a new batch of yogurt, sauerkraut, and started fermenting some wine. Carrots and garlic went into the dehydrator, joining last week’s preserved pears. There is something exciting (to me) about the way what we grow or raise can be transformed and preserved, all as we try to be better stewards of what we’ve been blessed with.

    What are the rest of you up to this fall? What did you grow? What are you putting up for the coming months?

  2. Isn’t it a wonderful time of year? For me, it’s not only a time to celebrate the growth that we’ve seen over the summer (our tomatoes didn’t do too well,) but a time to get creative about preserving food naturally, so we don’t find ourselves falling back on the convenience of microwaved food in boxes over the winter. I’ll admit, I’ve never really caught the gardening bug. Fortunately, I married a born farmer, so there are plenty of raw materials for me to work with.

    This weekend was a busy one in the Dymond kitchen: we made jerky and corned beef, meat pies for the freezer, granola, a new batch of yogurt, sauerkraut, and started fermenting some wine. Carrots and garlic went into the dehydrator, joining last week’s preserved pears. There is something exciting (to me) about the way what we grow or raise can be transformed and preserved, all as we try to be better stewards of what we’ve been blessed with.

    What are the rest of you up to this fall? What did you grow? What are you putting up for the coming months?

  3. 1/ I hope you’ve googled a recipe for green tomato ketchup.

    2/ I hope your music people are getting all warmed up with ‘Come ye joyful people come’ and ‘We plough the fields and scatter…’ for next week.

    And the best wishes of the West Coast to Central Canada

    Peace

    Charlie

  4. Thanks Charlie!  We actually celebrated the harvest a few weeks’ back, as it was already come home by then.  But yes. we were singing those gorgeous hymns.

    My tomatoes had to come in once the frost really set in… so I have been watching them ripen on the counter (and in boxes on my sofa!) since then.  The red ones have been used in chili and pasta sauce and salsa; the green ones that don’t change will be used in all sorts of fun recipes (I found one for green tomato CAKE!  Happy days!)

    My latest challenge and delight has been to find a use for the squash that found their way to my home… my freezer is full of cubed squash, I’ve got a good batch of pumpkin scones (there’s a recipe to keep!) and the pumpkin ravioli, while good, was a bit more work than I had planned on.

    Otherwise, the beets, beans, carrots, squash and other veg are frozen or canned (or pickled); the cucumbers and zucchinis have been shredded or baked into loaves and frozen; the potatoes and onions have filled the cold storage.

    It’s astounding how much is there and shared; it’s amazing how many recipes are there to let us preserve and later use this surplus!

    Anyone else have any favourite recipes to share?

  5. I found myself with a few extra tomatoes to use up this past weekend. I threw (threw) them in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes with some rosemary and thyme, dumping the remains into rubbermaid containers for lunches. About 30 minutes ago, I received a text message from my wife, praising the amazing tomato soup!

    Ten minutes. Now I find myself asking why I’ve consumed so many tins of the creamy processed stuff?

    You know, @LauraMarie, I think many here may be interested in the creation of a “natural recipes” forum. Thoughts?

  6. Mmmm, homemade soup… I have no set recipe for it.  I generally just open the fridge, toss in whatever’s in there into the pot, and boil. Jesse, your pressure cooker is scary, but the results are impressive.

    Perhaps a future blog will be on natural recipes – a theology of home cooking as stewardship?  Hmmm…

Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *