The time has come.
Tomato time that is.
Tomatoes arriving on my counter.
By the dozens.
So far, I've made a big pot of spaghetti sauce, and delicious salsa.
Tomorrow it will be chili.
My question is whether we will eat them as fast as they come.
So far the above is true. But I would still love to learn to "can" this year.
I've been enjoying the cherry tomatoes. . . Just pop 'em in my mouth for a snack.
Then I got to thinking. . . Is the tomato a vegetable or a fruit?
This is what I found. . .
To really figure out if a tomato is a fruit or vegetable, you need to know what makes a fruit a fruit, and a vegetable a vegetable. The big question to ask is, DOES IT HAVE SEEDS? If the answer is yes, then technically, (botanically) you have a FRUIT. This, of course, makes your tomato a fruit. It also makes cucumbers, squash, green beans and walnuts all fruits as well. Along with the fruit from from a plant or tree, we can often eat the leaves (lettuce,) stems (celery,) roots (carrots,) and flowers (broccoli.) Many of these other parts of the plant are typically referred to as VEGETABLES. Now don't go looking for tomatoes next to the oranges in your grocery stores; fruits like tomatoes and green beans are usually (alas, incorrectly) referred to as "vegetables" in most grocery stores and cookbooks.
So now I know.
And you know too.
Although, maybe you already knew what I did not know.
Ok, I'll stop.
Look what else I found. . . 5 Lessons from the garden about fruit bearing:
1. Fruit needs water in order to reach it’s fullest potential
You can probably ask your five-year old how to take care of a plant and they will tell you that it needs water to survive. And if you have ever kept a garden, you have surely realized that if only water it once a week during the summer months your harvest is going to be much smaller. On the other hand, if your plants are receiving frequent and consistent watering, the plants are going to be stronger and the fruit is going to be better.
Psalm 1:3 (NIV) - He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
2. Good soil is very important
The soil contains a lot of the nutrients that cause the growth of the plants. There are tremendous differences between good soil and bad soil. This was one of the reasons I said that good potting soil was one of my 10 things worth spending more on. We need to be spiritually receptive to allow the seeds of God’s word to grow and develop the way they should.
Matthew 13:23 (NIV) - The one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
3. Death brings life
John 12:24 (NIV) – I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
We must die to ourselves and our own desires and submit to God’s plan. In doing so, like the above verse states, we will bear much fruit.
4. Pruning produces more fruit
I am by no means an expert gardener, but I have found this one to be true. It doesn’t make sense while you are doing it, but the results prove its effectiveness. God is an expert gardener and He knows which areas of our lives can be pruned to make us more effective. It does hurt, but the end result is beautiful.
John 15:2 (NIV) – He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
5. A branch can’t bear fruit separated from the plant
That is a no-brainer right? Well, I don’t know about you, but I have caught myself trying to do that in my own life. I will find myself trying to accomplish things in my own strength rather than “abiding in Him.” All the fruit that we will bear in our lives will be a result of us being connected to our source: God. Just like a severed branch can bear no fruit, neither can we bear any fruit if we are not abiding in Him.
John 15:5 (NIV) – I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.