In the dead of winter, it’s right to remember The Tomato. Not that industrial thing picked green in southern California and trucked across the desert to your grocery store. The real, bursting, red thing. The sweet fruit you pulled off the plant, ran under the hose and didn’t bother to cut—just bit right into.
Little is more valuable than that fresh taste—that red ball of summer. Yet every summer and fall, Nebraskans give bushels of them away for free—along with other gems from their gardens. They give them to neighbors, to friends, and especially to people new in town.
We don’t always recognize how much that gift can mean—especially to newcomers.
University Minister Pauletta Lehn appreciates a tomato’s power to make newcomers feel cared for and at home. She led a garden exchange in Old Main’s chapel the first week of the fall semester “to welcome students and share the goods with others.” It was a very Nebraskan thing to do.
Lehn remarked, “I didn’t see much fresh produce during [student] move in…”