tomatoYesterday (Friday 4/22) was Earth Day.  I have to admit that Earth Day is not a huge day for me.  We’re a pretty environmentally conscious family.  We recycle.  We reuse.  I remake some clothing.  We don’t use paper plates or paper napkins.  Nope.  Not even when we have 8 extra kids in the house.  And when one of them asks we explain that we are being stewards of God’s earth.  To us that means minimizing our impact and using things wisely.  I try to challenge them.

Every now and again one of those pesky teens challenges me.

Tonight, my son stood looking out at the back yard from the kitchen window.  “Can I plant something in that corner?  The weedy one?”

“Which weedy corner?”  When it comes to our back yard, you have to be a bit more specific.  The weedy corner with the telephone pole?  Or the weedy corner on top of the hill?

“That one by the telephone pole.  Potatoes are really easy.  I want to plant potatoes. That’s what we did in biology today.”

Way back before my son was born, I loved to garden.  Okay, garden is probably an exaggeration.  At our old house, you could throw compost down, minimally turn the soil and stick in some tomato plants. They grew shoulder-high (I’m 5’8”) with stems thicker than my thumb.  They had to be staked and propped and grew more tomatoes than we could use.  I thought I was something else.

Then we moved.  We’ve planted tomatoes.  We’ve even tried different places in both the front and back yards.  I have managed to get maybe 5 tomatoes total and we’ve been here 14 years. I finally quit trying.

I tend to think that’s why God sent me this boy. To encourage me to try again and to try something a little different.  All I know is that I’m eying that corner of the yard and I’m planning to turn that boy loose with a shovel and a pick.  For some reason I’ve never felt comfortable abandoning the compost pile so we’ve continued to add to it and turn it.  God only knows why because I sure don’t.

But what I do know is this. God has blessed us with this Earth and the things that grow. I’m just here to take care of it to the best of my ability. Maybe just maybe I’ll get a few tomatoes out of the deal.