I am surrounded on all sides by growing plants in our garden, and it has given me a new appreciation of how much time and work it takes to grow anything.
When you go into the grocery store and pick up a pound of tomatoes in a styrofoam box, it is pretty instant. You see the red globes, pick up a box, pay for it and off you go.
But when I see my husband grow the tomatoes from seed, the story is a much longer one and starts way back in April. The seeds are carefully tended as they push their little green heads up through the soil, and after they grow a few inches, are transplanted into pots in the garden. It reminds me of a young child being promoted from a cot into their own bed!
A month or two later, they are transplanted again, this time into larger pots and I was involved as the transplanter this time. The larger pot had special soil, compost and supplements added, and the little teenager was now about a foot high. My husband added a wire mesh to support them as they grew, and as I watched they seem to leap upwards, growing inches by the day it seemed.
So now they are about four feet high. First the little yellow flowers appear, which turn into small hard green tomatoes which is where they are at now. It will take weeks more before they turn red and are ready for the picking. And they are high maintenance! Almost every day they have to be watered or they start to droop, because they are laden with so many tomatoes using up the water.
By the time the tomatoes are big enough and red enough to eat, you realise they have been sitting in the sun for months, slowly changing colour as they grow.
So the next time you sink your teeth into a juicy red tomato, I hope this blog will remind you just how much work and energy it took to grow that ball of flesh in your hand! No wonder vegetables are good for you!