Let’s celebrate, people! Our tomato plants are producing red, ripe vegetables, ready for dinner and delightful! Witnessing all our hard work fills a body with pride and reminds me of my carefree evenings growing up in Leelanau. As a child, my parents always kept a garden filled with rows of corn and beans, tomatoes and other vegetables in long rows one after the other. After dinner, my dad would take the youngest children into the garden so we could “help” (but being the youngest of five I hardly ever did what I was supposed to). My twin sister, Brittany, would find herself seated in the green bean aisle, crunching away at the beans she would rub on her pants to clean. I would yell at her that beans were nasty and dodge into the next row before she could swat me away. (If only my six year old self could see my eating habits now). My brother, Alex, ever the serious farmer would carry his empty gallon ice cream container from plant to plant diligently filling it. And me? I would continue racing around and eventually end up on the swing set, kicking my shoes into the garden, then race to get them and run back to the swing and repeat it all over again. For years, bugs weren’t the only pests in my parents garden. Now, as I tend to my own small garden, I can’t believe how much I have grown and evolved, and be ever thankful for my parents immense levels of patience with gardening and me. When I went out to the garden earlier this week, only the small cherry tomatoes were producing, but now from the vine I spy a large sandwich tomato as well. I’ve been keeping my eye on them and plotting the first perfect meal to make with them and all of my fresh basil. Details to come… and no surprise here, but I think I’ll be putting them on a tortilla… Until then here’s a glance at our garden and all the red filling our kitchen!