I'd been neglecting the tomato plants for the past few weeks, partially because I thought they weren't quite ripe yet, and partially because we're a bit tomato-ed out here.
(I know, how ungrateful am I to be "tomatoed out," right? In truth, I have been wanting to make a big batch of tomato sauce, but there haven't been enough tomatoes ready at the same time to make a good-sized amount of sauce to freeze.) (Until now, that is.)
Yesterday afternoon, I finally put on the garden gloves and tackled the plants, and to my surprise, there were tons of ripe tomatoes out there. (The ones pictured so far are just from the heirloom plant...)
Around the corner, the Roma tomatoes were thriving, too.
If it gives you any idea how many tomatoes are in that bowl, its the biggest bowl I own, and it is supposed to hold 6 quarts. All in all, I think I picked about 10 lbs. of tomatoes.
Looking at that huge tomato haul, I was really knocked over by how blessed we are. Blessed to be able to grow food in our backyard. Blessed to even have a backyard. Blessed to even have food. Sometimes I get so caught up in the moment-to-moment worries that I forget to step back and see the bigger picture. I have sometimes taken our garden for granted and even neglected it, at times -- there were some tomatoes that had over-ripened and fallen on the ground before I managed to get there to pick them. (The ants in my backyard feel similarly blessed, I'm sure.)
As I picked red tomato after red tomato from branches heavy with fruit, I thought back to when I planted the seeds for these plants. Back when there was still snow on the ground, I had a very hard time imagining this moment, when I could wear shorts every day and feel the sun on my arms while harvesting big juicy tomatoes. In March 2009, today felt very far away, for many different reasons.
But here we are, about to turn the page to a new chapter, a new season. I love Fall and all the changes it brings, but I especially love it this year. We've worked very hard to get here, and sometimes I think we have our noses pressed so firmly to the grindstone that we don't take a moment to look up and relish all the abundance that our hard work has wrought.
So during this three-day weekend, I'm taking the time to relish. I'm going to close my computer and put my feet up. I'm going to drink iced tea and watch the dogs snoozing on the couch. I'm going to lace my fingers behind my head, lean back into my chair, and welcome the arrival of a new season. I recommend you do the same.
And then I'm going to go make tomato sauce...