Tomato Theives

Sweet three-year-old hands holding his favorite things. 
Every morning the same thing happens, my kids wake up, have a wonderful breakfast and head to the farm that is 5 minutes away, where they help with animals between tomato raids.  Ian, my three year old, folds up his shirt and fills it with sungolds, sweet 100's, chocolate cherries, and heirloom yellow pears.  His shirt bulges with the sweet little morsels that he calls "candies".  I watch in amazement as Ian and his older brother Will sit under an apple or cherry tree and devour all of their stolen goods.  Never have I seen kids so entranced with tomatoes.  It's a wonderful thing and goes back to prove my little theory correct.  Plant it and they will eat!

Will with a green zebra, he ate it all, his face was covered in green zebra juice...

Ian is such a ham...even covered in tomatoes and dirt.

There is something magical about children helping in the garden.  As they plant and watch things grow, they appreciate the bounty of the harvest, they understand the work that was required to grow it, and they gobble it up like they have never eaten anything so flavorful.  It's not just the tomatoes that my kids eat, they grab handfuls of peas, long lean green beans, and they snap off tender broccoli florets as they walk through the broccoli patch.  They are addicted - heart, soul, and taste buds!!!  I love every minute of it.  I never limit how much they eat, they can eat until they are stuffed, until corn grows out their ears and their eyes turn to potatoes.  What I want them to do is eat their vegetables, and they do, plus some!!!

The thrill of the hunt.

I had to share pictures of them in the tomato patch this morning.  This time they brought their little camping chairs with them.  The chairs strap to their backs and make a great place to relax and gobble up the tomatoes that they gathered.

Talk about raid...this is what Will took...and ate...all of it!!!

I love watching their little chubby fingers pluck the sweet little tomatoes.  I love how the juice runs down their chins and all over their clean clothes.  I am in love with my children being in love with the garden!  This is what life is all about for me...watching these boys grow into healthy and knowledgeable men, capable of doing this same thing for their children one day.  One can only hope that the knowledge they are gaining, they will use and pass on to their families.  My grandpa taught me to eat from the garden.  He used to keep an old metal salt shaker in the garden, so he could salt the big red hunks of tomato that he sliced for me with his pocket knife.  I cherish those moments that I spent with him in the garden.  Those are some of my fondest memories.  I hope that these boys of mine have some of those same memories in our garden.



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