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  • Writer's pictureJenny Lynn Keller


The first ripe tomato from my garden reminds me of Christmas as a kid—counting the hours to the big day and discovering surprises under the tree. Yes, I love homegrown tomatoes as much as Christmas gifts, and we have a garden full of plants this summer. A tasty surprise considering I only planted three. All the others are volunteers from last year’s three plants, and the majority are the chocolate variety I bought as an experiment. With chocolate in the name, I had to try it, and I wasn’t disappointed. No, the tomatoes aren’t covered in chocolate, nor do they taste like it, but they are delicious once you figure out what “ripe” is. The teardrop-shaped fruit sports red and green stripes before maturing to a deep burgundy, and a smart marketing person must’ve labeled that dark color as chocolate to attract chocoholic gardeners like me. But I’m declaring my experiment successful and enjoying an abundant crop of sweet delight two years in a row.

The garden of our lives has the same potential. Hosea 10:12 says, “Plant the good seeds of rightness toward God, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower justice and blessings upon you.” Happy gardening, you all.

What’s your favorite way to eat homegrown tomatoes? Salt, no salt, on a sandwich, broiled, grilled, salsa . . . let me count the ways.


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