Tomatoes, Plums and Towers


I hope that Charlotte and Henry will grow up to remember picking fresh tomatoes at Turtle Creek Gardens, rolling out fresh pasta with Mom, and having the whole house smell like roasted garlic so Dad can make hummus.

This summer has come and gone faster then the past one.  I know it is just a perception of age – but I only feel helpless when I realize it passes more quickly.  There were many “slow points” during the summer that came.  Most of them revolved around Kym, Charlotte, and Henry.


Turtle Creek Gardens was an awesome experience for me.  This past weekend Kym and I did our first 5k in Eagle, WI called Miles of Smiles.  Afterwards we finished running we thought, “Yea – I think I would like to go work in the sun for a few hours!”.

After doing some farm work we asked Janet, the farm manager, if we could pick some tomatoes for canning at home.  With an all clear from Janet, we headed out to the field with the Kubota and a few boxes to hold our tomatoes.  After picking the first box and realizing Henry was over tired and ready to eat a late lunch I saw Charlotte engrossed in finding the right tomato.

Charlotte started picking them carefully and asking me each time, “Does this one look okay daddy?”.  My replies varied from: “A little more red next time” to, “Not too squishy.” Charlotte was having a life experience going to the farm to pick tomatoes and it was great to witness her.  I am sure that some of her childhood memories will be going to the farm – especially with the pigs! She loves the pigs and enjoys feeding them each time we pass them.

60lbs of tomatoes waiting for canning
60lbs of tomatoes waiting for canning


There are several moments each day where I think, “Yup, Charlotte is definitely my kid – she loves olives”.  Then there are moments where I could be fooled – just like with plums.  I have never liked plums, but to Charlotte nothing else exists that is better.

Charlotte’s Nana helped us plant a plum tree last fall – this year it bore fruit and we picked a lot of it.  When Kyle stopped out to visit Charlotte wanted to try some plums. “Sure! Why not – have at it”. Charlotte started munching away and Kym comes home. Kym delicately reminded me that plums have the same effect on the body as prunes because they are in fact… the same.

I was reminded about this experience late in the evening and can only hope that Charlotte has no recollection of this event, except perhaps through this blog.


Charlotte finished her second year at Nature’s Classroom and Henry recently turned two. Children develop so fast it is incredible. You see it happening before your eyes and easily forget what it is like to be in their shoes. They are trying to learn as much as possible so they can fit in and understand the world. Hopefully they can make it a better place.

Charlotte with the Pink Tower

Charlotte mastered the pink tower after observing it happen several times at school. This was an awesome experience to read about and hear about from her teacher. Henry started to excel more and more in sign language and eventually words and phrases. “No, I do it” is now one of his more common phrases. Stubborn like his old man I guess.

The thing I realized about the pink tower is that there is a metaphor with it. The teacher starts by telling the child that they have something to show them. You immediately peak their interest. You then show them methodically how to complete the pink tower and how to dismantle it. The student then proceeds to try the work. To me this is reflected with my daily work along with a certain stubbornness of “No, I do it!”.