When was the last time you truly connected with the food on your plate? As in sat down, took a deep breath, and paid attention to the colors, the scents, the shapes?

Fresh Harvest Garden’s Farmer Cody with Sungold Cherry Tomatoes

This summer, my family has been growing a variety of tomatoes including heirloom and cherry. We started our home garden last summer. My husband put together the metal garden box and got a truckload of organic soil, and we got to work on growing our own food. Since the tomatoes were such a success, we were looking forward to growing them again this year. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, tomatoes are some of the easiest plants to grow in your home garden. Here is a fun resource to check out if you are interested in growing your own tomatoes in the future! I highly recommend starting with any variant of cherry tomato- they grow quickly, taste delicious, and can easily be incorporated into many recipes!

Cherry Tomatoes in the Fresh Harvest Garden

When I grow my own tomato, I pay more attention to it. I take time almost every day to check on the plants. I notice when it rained last and do a little rain dance each time those droplets come crashing from the heavens. I care about my plants! When my husband comes in with a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes, we either taste them right then or incorporate them into the next meal time. I feel a similar excitement when our weekly Fresh Harvest box arrives, and although we’ve been growing some of our own, we always include different types of tomatoes in our weekly summer box. We can’t get enough!

Fresh Harvest: Local Farms Delivered

Maybe you’re like me and have been a customer for several seasons, so you remember particular items from last summer that you are watching out for when the “time to customize” email pops in your inbox. Sungold and heirloom tomatoes are top of the list for my family! Tokita Seed Company dubs Sungold a “two-bird, one-stone” tomato — offering both high carotene (vitamin A precursor) that will please parents and the sweet taste that will encourage children to eat it “even if they hate vegetables”. Heirloom tomatoes are filled with nutrients including potassium, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate and the cancer fighting antioxidant lycopene. With Fresh Harvest’s service, they are picked when ripe and spend little time traveling from farm to plate which allows these nutrients to be readily available to nourish your body. 

A Rainbow of Produce from Fresh Harvest

Tomatoes can be incorporated into so many recipes, but I find so much joy just biting into their juicy flesh when they are fresh and ripe for the picking. Their vibrant color and rich flavor attracts our eye for more reasons than beauty and flavor. Our bodies recognize the nourishing potential of this fruit. 

Yep, Botanically a tomato is a fruit – a berry! However, in 1893 the supreme court made a ruling that the tomato should be classified as a vegetable rather than a fruit for purposes of tariffs, imports and customs. Because of this, the tomato became a vegetable in the culinary world. 

Shakshuka: a delicious way to use your tomatoes

Tomatoes complement hundreds of recipes from a simple tomato sauce to one of our family favorites Shakshuka. Try this recipe next time you have several tomatoes on your kitchen counter that are ripe for consumption! We also love to simply slice a few tomatoes fresh and serve them with a bit of salt, pepper, and fresh basil or to toss a handful of cherry tomatoes in our evening pasta dish. 

However you choose to use tomatoes this summer, I hope you will take time to pause and to connect with these beautiful fruits that readily offer to bring more flavor and nourishment to our lives. 

Guest contributor Gloria Bunn is an Atlanta based freelance writer, nurse, educator, and Fresh Harvest customer. Her passions include gardening, writing, and spreading the good food movement here in Georgia.