Pleasant Hill, Missouri            Wednesday, August 16, 2017             ©2017 Pleasant Hill Times

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Home grown tomatoes

..,Ahhhhhhhh summertime in Missouri. It’s a great time of the year here in the Midwest with sunny days, warm nights and fresh vegetables harvested fresh from the garden.
..,My personal favorite is the home grown tomato.
..,Nothing beats a bright red tomato, ripened on the vine, picked right out of the backyard garden and sliced.
..,I like my tomatoes with a dash of salt, but since the
doctors have advised me to cut down my sodium intake,
I now eat my fresh tomatoes with a shot of Italian
salad dressing.
..,I’m not much of a gardener and I’ve never been able to grow tomatoes in my yard. Fortunately, I have friends who do and keep me supplied with tomatoes during the summer.
..,It beats anything grown in a hot house and sold at the supermarket.
..,And in my humble opinion, the Missouri tomato is the best ever.
..,Other states may claim they grow great tomatoes, but they can’t come close to beating the Missouri tomato.
..,My stepmother was from New Jersey and since it’s known as the “Garden State,” she claimed their tomatoes are just as good or even better.
..,I loved her and usually valued her opinion, but when it came to tomatoes, she was dead wrong. Missouri’s home grown tomatoes have no equal.
..,My oldest daughter lives on California’s central coast where they grow vegetables that I’ve never even heard of before, but farmers there can’t match the Missouri tomato.
..,My daughter is a gourmet cook and even she admits that she can’t find tomatoes at the grocery store or even at popular roadside stands that come close to being as good as the home grown tomatoes she remembers enjoying when she was growing up in Missouri.
..,But as much as I hate to admit it, tomatoes aren’t native to Missouri.
..,The tomato is actually native to western South America and Central America. ..,..,Those native versions were small like today’s cherry tomatoes and most likely yellow rather than red.
..,Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes may have been the first person to introduce the small yellow tomato to Europe in the early 1500s.
..,The tomato didn’t always catch on at first. In fact, tomatoes weren’t grown in England for almost 100 years and some Englishmen even believed the tomato was poisonous and unfit for eating.
..,But they got over it and the popularity of the tomato grew throughout Europe and in the European colonies in North America.
..,Today, the tomato is grown worldwide and there are dozens of varieties with different shapes, sizes and colors.
..,Yet when it comes to good eating, I don’t think the home grown Missouri tomato can be beaten.

In the end, only kindness matters

...I have noticed for the last year a shift happening from the anti-bullying campaign to a positive ‘kill them with kindness’initiative sweeping the nation. Last year the Pleasant Hill School District, especially the Primary School redirected some monthly goals to include kindness education.
...Maybe it’s because you get more bees with honey… or maybe it’s just that the anti-bully campaign was mean to bullies... but I know that the kindness initiative is catching fire across the United States and we’re going to see a stronger push in the next year for Kindness Challenges.
...Not just random acts of kindness, but kindness with a purpose - to teach others how to be kind.
...The Pleasant Hill Intermediate School has joined the kindness initiative with the addition of the Kindness Tree in the front hallway encouraging those passing by to note a kindess that was done to them.
...I believe the kindness initiative will build in intensity and Pleasant Hill will jump on board, and rightly so. But, it isn’t a new initiative. It’s old. It’s tried and true. Treat others the way you want to be treated. You reap what you sow. Be kind rewind... well that one doesn’t really apply anymore but, you get the picture.
...Michael’s craft stores across the nation have take up the cause with a Kindness Rocks! Campaign. They are offering free classes from 9am-9pm to make kindness rocks on 8/12 (already occured), 8/19 and 8/26. The goal? One million painted and beautiful rocks with kind words on them to be displayed across the United States.
...I love the idea. Then if you get angry you can throw the rock at someone.
...Nevermind. That is totally the opposite of what they’re trying to accomplish.
...Kind words and kind actions. Let’s have more of that in the world. In Missouri.
In Pleasant Hill. There are several kindness sayings that caught my eye over the last couple weeks and I thought I’d share them.

...No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. (Aesop)