My toddler daughter is mastering walking (and running), and loves going outside to walk around my garden. She’s also mastering her fine motor skills, which has made for some mildly stressful walks. She’s seen me harvest enough food from the garden to understand that you can pick things and eat them. Thankfully, she doesn’t put just anything in her mouth these days, but she knows that tomatoes are a good thing to pick and pop in your mouth. As a result, several little green tomatoes have left the mother vine before their time. It’s taken a lot of patience and modeling, but I think Bee is starting to understand that we want to pick the red tomatoes. Any red tomatoes in her sight are hers – at least that’s what she thinks. I try to pick as many as I can for our salads, but I make sure she can find one or two. The pride on her face when she finds one is so heartwarming, and the grin that forms when she sucks in that delicious, fresh tomato juice … I’ve always felt that it was a summer elixir, and it shows on her face. It feels wonderful to know that she is developing an appreciation for homegrown food. Seasonal foods play an important role in our holiday rituals, so this is a simple but important step to understanding and celebrating our relationship with the natural world.