I have an Aunt who lives in Des Moines Iowa. She was an elementary school teacher and principal for many years. Now she is retired and in her 90’s. We were able to visit her when my wife and I went to see the Solar Eclipse in the mid-west last summer.
We enjoyed our conversations with her and learned a lot about my family roots in a small town outside of Des Moines called Boone, Iowa. She told us stories about my grandmother and about life in Iowa.
One thing that she shared with us was her tradition of planting tomato seeds in small containers in her house in Iowa in February. She often saved seeds from the previous years, dried them out and planted them in the late winter. It was too cold in Iowa to plant the seeds outdoors, so she started them in her house and set them in the kitchen window sill to get plenty of sunlight.
So in her honor, I decided to do the same thing here in our house in California. I saved some seeds from one of last year’s tomatoes and dried them out in our garage. In early February, I planted the seeds in a little plastic “tray” that had six small compartments, like the ones you buy at the local home improvement store.
I got some soil from my garden, planted one or two seeds in each compartment and waited to see what would happen. I was so excited to see that at least one seed in each little compartment sprouted! It was fascinating to see tiny, thin plants emerge from the moist soil. The first little spouts were as thin a hair. Then a two tiny leaves emerged over the next few days and these little plants begin to grow bigger.
It was a slow process. But each day I would check on these little plants to see how much they had grown each day. I was excited to show these little tomato plants to our grandchildren when they would come to visit our house each week. I think they were excited too.
Unfortunately, I decided to add a little fertilizer to these fragile plants. I think that was a mistake. Over the next few days, I notice some of the tiny tomatoes plants began to look unhealthy. I think I may have over done it a little.
Since my wife and I were scheduled to go out of town for a few days, we sent to small tray of tomato plants home with the grandkids. When we returned the next week, only one plant had survived. Bummer.
But, one living plant is more than we had last winter and even one tomato plant can produce a large crop. I suspect that we will go to the home improvement store or local nursery and purchase some additional plants for the coming season, but I am hopeful that my one little friend will produce a bumper crop of tasty tomatoes this year.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthian Christians he says, “One plants, another waters, but God causes it to grow’ (First Corinthians 3:6-7). The miracle of life seems to be conclusive evidence of the existence of God. One small, tiny seed can grow into a healthy plant and produce fruit that in turn contains dozens of seeds for the next season. And another crop! Amazing!
Let me encourage you to get busy and plant some seeds this spring. Watch the miracle of life emerge from the soil and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Why not plant some seeds in honor of my Aunt? I think you will be glad you did and I’m sure she will too!
Pastor Mark Hopper
Efree Church of Diamond Bar
3255 South Diamond BAr Blvd
Easter Sunday Services: 8:30 / 10:00 & 11:30 AM