Tag Archives: harvest

The. End. **sniff**

end of summer tomatoes

I pulled the proverbial plug.  I gathered up, from their toasty little covering (Dave was heat-lamping them) the remaining 84 or so Beefsteak, Heirloom and Early Girl tomatoes (not to mention the couple hundred cherries) and threw the plants into the barrel to be hauled away today.  I carried in bunches of tomatillas (probably threw away 3 times more), a pot full of green beans, 5 or 6 zucchinis, and a few dozen assorted peppers – not including the Serranos – another couple dozen of those, which I will directly give to my son-in-law, Ryan – do not pass go, do not collect $200.  Those things are wicked hot! Out with them!

What?  It isn’t still summer?

end of summer beefsteaks

The size of a cereal bowl!

Poor, poor little garden.  The beefsteaks were shocked it wasn’t the very middle of summer, I can tell from their behemoth size.  They had no idea how protected they’d been.

My counter was already heavy-laden with ripening tomatoes at every stage.  Now, if I wanted, I could do Fried Green Tomatoes and even found this very interesting recipe on Pinterest this morning, as if some fellow pinner knew I might need it:

fried green tomatoes cherry

How perfectly appropriate!

I like them red, and juicy and tangy and tart and real so I tend not to go in to the fried-green thing and opt for sneaking a couple of apples into their midst to get some quick ripening.  But I am rather inspired to try {this recipe} based on that image alone!

The kale and onions and garlic chives and Chinese Cabbage are still puttering along, with chamomile and some potted annuals, but for the most part, I pulled the incredible-fruitful plants out of the earth and ended a very nice summer garden in anticipation of a cold-turn, possible rain turning to {SNOW} flurries…tonight.  Ugh.

end of summer tomato assortment

Thank-you, garden, for a lovely, long and sweet summer.  Thank-you for still trying into the fall.  And God bless you for the lovely bounty I shall still enjoy for the next few days, maybe weeks.  So perfectly delicious.

“It’s the laughter we will remember, whenever we remember the way we were…”

I will always remember you, Garden 2013.  I really will.


[the LORD] will fill your barns with grain,

and your vats will overflow with good wine.

Proverbs 3.9-10

I haven’t gone out to harvest today’s garden goodies yet.  But this is already in my “tomato bowl” this morning.  The bowl is 18″ diameter, 6″ deep.  And full – 4 types of tomatoes.

harvest tomatoes

For a few months, gardening has been tending to, working, weeding, watering, feeding, watching over with hope and expectancy.

Then suddenly…

He who cultivates his land will have plenty of bread…

Proverbs 28.19a

I can hardly get used to this heavy-with-harvest time.  I go out to work a little, water a bit and come in with so much reward, my arms and shirt filled with garden goodies of all kinds – enough to enjoy and share!  And I am still overwhelmed by these daily benefits (loaded with them!), astonished with joy over finding new mercies among the leaves, sort of amazed and giggling at the miracle of it: Look what God has done!  I apologize in advance – I cannot help myself.  I throw a load on the counter and whip out the iPhone. *snap!

harvest chiles

Dave caught me scrolling through my phone’s camera roll and smiling.  Because this is the time I was waiting for {{nearly breathless, quietly~quietly hoping}}, and am yet so happily dazzled over: harvest time!  I knew down deep it was coming {hoped-against-hope it would}, but I have still been captured by surprise!

And I will restore for you the years that the locust has eaten—the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust…

And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame.

Joel 2.25-26

harvest peppers

It takes all my strength not to plaster all 37 images I have taken of my veggies in the last week right here on this blog.  Yesterday, as I was juggling red, juicy tomatoes and heavy, dark green cucumbers with assorted peppers and just-right zucchini with straightneck squash to bring them into the house, it was perhaps the third load, as the sun was shining on me and the purple petunias were cheering me on in their perfumed and wavy way, I heard a voice (in my spirit, not literally)  narrating my story from heaven ~

“The seeds were buried in hot,  black soil on a spring day by faith.  Waiting, not always patiently, but certainly with expectancy…waiting…Then one day, the harvest became so plentiful she could barely keep up ~ armfuls of plenty, abundance filling every nook, every cranny.  The time of abundance had come.  At last”

Yes, I know I am a little over-the-top about gardening, but don’t you also find it incredibly stunning that God allows us to join Him in creating a profusion of life-giving food?  Don’t you think it is an honor to get to tend to these miraculous growing things and then He just gives them to us?!  I am a humbled recipient of the summer yield, a wealth of delicious, seed-bearing, life-giving, nutritious, lovely sustenance for my body and soul – this from a seed I watched die in the soil.  Supernatural provision, people!

I am intoxicated with gratefulness for the Creator.  I am.

Do not be deceived…A man reaps what he sows…Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6.7-9 NIV

I Loathe, Despise and Abominate Halloween – But not for the reason you’re thinking!

Yes. I do.  I  h a t e  it.  This is my nearly-2000-word {highly-opinionated} essay (w/no pictures) on WHY~

I don’t hate little kids, all cute and dressed up coming to my door with an open bag.  That actually requires a lot of trust in this day and age and I look at it as a chance to bless the little children, a chance to be a nice neighbor.  Trick-or-treating does not bother me, really, because the kids (young kids only, please – you kids that are old enough to work – go buy your own dang candy) are just excited to get to wear a costume and eat more candy than they should.  I hate, literally loath, despise and abominate Halloween, but maybe for reasons different than you’d imagine…

The Horror of Retail {mwa, mwa, mwa….}

For 5 years I ran a retail party store.  Halloween was the BIG ONE.  It drove our sales for the year and I had to be number one (I just HAD TO!…and was!!, ok – strike that last prideful statement), so can you imagine my deep loathing for both milking-Halloween-for-all-it-was-worth for the money we could rake in and just hating the symbols that have come to represent it all?  I set everything and worked my head off (can you say 90+ hours a week during the evil-season??) to sell to people who would purchase useless styro-headstones, “bloody” goblets and giant fuzzy spiders.  Fog machines were the biggest rip-off and anything witchy-skeletony-or-ghoulish you could add double-D batteries to so it would light up or make some horrific noise were big sellers.

And then there were the costumes.  We sold all those crappy costumes plus face paint and fake blood, stitches, etc.

And people would FILL those carts and spend hundreds of dollars.  I both loved racking up the sales AND I disrespected seeing people waste that much money on something like Halloween, a “holiday” that really celebrates nothing that means eternal anything to me.

The worst part though?  The company “encouraged” (read: forced) us to “dress up” – the whole month of October!  It is fun for like, three days.  The other 28, not so much.   I have been a nun, a gypsy, a bunch of grapes.  There were platinum blond wigs, Cleopatra headdresses and hot pink beehives.  I was never “evil,” just dressed, all the while managing a hopping Halloween staff, chasing shoplifters, receiving Christmas and trying to make that transition as fast as humanly possible and just gritting my green-hick-farmer teeth to get through.

Suffice it to say I had more Halloween than I ever wanted and enough to last 37 people a lifetime.  Yuck.

The Great Halloween Debate

And to top it off, I have spent almost a lifetime in the middle of the great Halloween debate: Is it OK for Christians to Participate?? OR Is it an evil-pagan holiday dedicated to devil-worship that we should avoid at all costs?  I gotta tell you, I DO wish to avoid it all costs, but not for spiritual reasons, necessarily because the devil doesn’t own my days – not any of them.  Dare I say I think it falls under the Romans 14 directive for disputable matters?…I do.  Let the stoning begin…

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so!

This year my home church decided not to have the Halloween alternative they usually have.  And nobody knows quite what to do.

When I was growing up (in my very Christian, very strict Pentecostal preacher’s home), our parents let us trick-or-treat.  In retrospect, that seems crazy.  I couldn’t cut my hair, wear make-up or listen to the radio, at least “legally”, but I got to trick-or-treat.  Strange.  The church hadn’t been super-sensitized to the meanings and origins of the day back then.  They still really thought it was just kids dressing up and getting lots of candy.  And even after it became a “test of righteousness” in Christian circles, the churches my dad pastored still usually offered an alternative like a “Harvest Fest” with fall activities and the kiddos dressing up.  I remember church bulletins reminding everyone that no “ghosts, ghouls or goblins” were allowed to attend, but costumes were welcomed.

Dave’s family was an absolutely-not Halloween family.  I was from the use-the-opportunity-to-witness stream.  My earliest memories are of my mom explaining to me that I had to do a “trick” to get a “treat,” and wow, was I ever willing!  My trick was always to sing a song of some sort and since we didn’t do secular music, my song always had something to do with Jesus.  The first year I could sing it all, I did – at every. single. house.     “…for the Bible tells me so.”  Deep breath, the person tries to give me candy, I whip my bag away from them , my mom reminds me, and whale on, “Yes, Jesus loves me!  Yes, Jesus loves me!…”  They were prisoners to the end.  But I would not take that candy until I had witnessed of the Lord’s love the full way through.

Pagan Roots

It seems H’ween has its roots in pagan Celtic festivals, the Druids dancing around bonfires and offering sacrifices to the spirit world for the harvest.  So actually – having a church “Harvest Festival” is not an improvement on Halloween, necessarily.  During the ancient pagan fetsival,  Candy Corn would begin to fall from the sky, just kidding…just checking to see if you are still reading.  ;p  Haha.

In the 8th century, the Pope moved All Saint’s Day to November 1, so October 31st became “All Hallows Eve” and most people think he did it to claim the 31st back for Christians, which frankly, I applaud.  What I bind on earth is bound both here and in heaven.  We do have some authority in Jesus’ Name, people!

I digress.

So, then there is a biblical scripture-storm that erupts annually against having any part.  One of the scriptures often cited is Ephesians 5.7-12 NLT:

7 Don’t participate in the things these people do. 8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.

Or, there is Deuteronomy 18.10-12 NLT

10 For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering.  And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, 11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you.

And there are lots of other verses that are used to promote total abstinence from any type of Halloween participation.  And they are important scriptures with definite guidelines for what we should and shouldn’t be participating in.  But I honestly don’t see them saying “Little kids dressing up and trick-or-treating is anti-scriptural.”  I just don’t.   My grandbebes, who will dress as Nacho Libre or a Strawberry or as princesses or Batman this year?  They will NOT be calling forth spirits of the dead or hosting seances.  We will not sacrifice them as burnt offerings.  They will  NOT participate in drunken parties and godlessness of that sort and I will teach them to speak up for righteousness through their vote as citizens and to protect the helpless and feed the hungry.  That is how they are being raised.  They are being raised to be who God created them to be (light!) and to do what God has ordained for them to do and to fulfill their destiny for God in their generation.  Period!

The devil doesn’t get my grandbebes.  I truly and humbly do not see trick-or-treating as the step into a dark realm.  If anything, I see it as “Hallowed,” like the old Pope wanted it to be because he went to enemy’s camp and took back what was stolen (know that song?  Don’t make me sing it here!).  My days are the LORD’S.   All of them!  And it is a great time to show our babies the difference between light and darkness by not worshipping death, not giving in to demonic influence and avoiding rebelliousness (which is as the sin of witchcraft and rarely gets corrected in Christendom).


You know what, though?  If you came from an occultic background where you used the 31st as part of demon worship and you have walked away from it being born into Christ and you have renounced that past – by all means, don’t participate.  It holds something for you it doesn’t for me. Don’t be enslaved into any bondage you have been delivered from again!  I would stand with you in that, and I mean that!  Or if you just have a strong conviction that you don’t want your family to participate, because to you, it seems like being part of an agreement with the world, part of this godless generation and you’d rather make a stand here – then make that stand.  I support you in that, but Romans 14, again…

Figure it out.  Study it through.  Pray.  Ask the Lord.  Listen.  And be obedient there and let’s not let a disputable matter polarize us as Christians, or get us fighting one another in scriptural-sword fighting.  Because?  Then the stupid-head devil wins.  Geesh, people – it is when he breaks our unity that we are trashed – not when some low-level demon flies around a room impressing the idiots who want that sort of thing.  RESIST HIM, seriously.  He HAS to flee!

I loathe, despise and abominate* Halloween because of how it separates us and causes holier-then-thou crap and we make each other the enemy instead of THE enemy.  And I hate all the blackness and darkness because I am of the Light, but oh, by the way, I shine ever so much more brightly in the dark places.  I say kick-him-in-the-butt and bless the little children when they come to your door: give the best candy, the biggest smile, the greatest encouragement and give ’em a God-bless-you, because that actually is within your power to do.  Heaven will hear and attend to your blessing!  May His will be done on earth as it is in heaven!  On Halloween, even!

‘Nuff said.

*In the book version of Meet Me in St Louis, the sisters show their distaste for things by saying “I hate, loathe, despise and abominate {fill-in-the-blank}”.  I think it is used a time or two in the Judy Garland movie, too.  It is a fav family quote.

“Live as people of light!”

RT @ pastormark via ryan may: “If you’re one of those Christians who is going to give out tracts for Halloween, also give enough candy to make a kid a diabetic!”  Haha!

Guin-Guin Day in the Garden

Here is what we learned today, just Guini and I having a little time to ourselves: gardening trumps Play-Doh time.   We  harvested 3 different types of peppers,  4  varieties of tomatoes, some cukes, some zucchini and handfuls of green beans.   Oh – and some wayward okra that seeded itself this year.   We are choosing to ignore the field of garlic chives that is threatening to take over the entire backyard.  


Here is what else we learned:

  • Watering is fun no matter how wet you get.
  • That the corn has been left to “mature” a bit too long.   It is still tasty, but tough, so we’ll let the stalks turn brown now for front porch decor in a few weeks.
  • The chiles are slowing way down in production, but they are beauts!
  • Perhaps we should have staked the jalapenos?
  • We did NOT get the watermelon in soon enough and the baby fruit are dropping in the cool night air, so sadly, we shall not reap a harvest here.
  • Nonna doesn’t check the cukes as often as she should and she has let the green beans run wild.
  • Though we may have plucked the zucchini a bit too zealously, we can still enjoy every part.
  • And it is possible to garden in sparkly, pink shoes.

A day with Guini   (aka The Flower Girl) is a sweet, soft day…Jeanie (aka Nonna)

NOTE TO SELF: Check the bounty more often – this is what all the work and watering was for!

pictured: Guini with the second batch of garden goodies; Guini inspecting a zuch; Guini with her zucchini flower; and Guini discussing gardening and telling me she still likes flowers better than veggies.   Imagine that?   (Click on photos to enlarge)