The Tomato or The Bamboo? Who Are You?
By Barbara Tiller Cole
(I am honored to be invited to join Dianne Venetta's Authors in Bloom Hop again this year! If you are new to the hop there are some great prizes available including a grand prize of a Kindle or Nook. If you want to win the grand prize, you need to visit and comment at ALL stops on the hop. Most of the individual destinations will be giving away something as well. I will be giving away two eBook copies of either of my novels including international winners, as well as either Tomato or Bamboo seeds to a USA winner. To win one of my prizes join my site, friend me on Facebook and like my author page as well as comment below and be sure to let me know if you think you are a tomato or a bamboo person. Be sure and include a way for me to get in touch with you in your post unless I am already your friend on Facebook. Be sure and read to the end of this post for more information. )
A father took his two sons aside and asked them if they were interested in having a contest. He wanted both of them to develop a plan, a plan to grow something from seed that would benefit the entire family. He didn’t tell them anything other than that. Both of the brothers contemplated what they would grow. He gave them a week to return with a plan including the reasons for why they selected it.
One of the brothers decided to grow tomatoes. He envisioned the first bite into a fresh tomato, as well as the grin on his dad’s face when he ate a tomato sandwich from the first crop. The first son had been watching cooking shows and loved to try out some of the recipes. He wanted to try to make some special salads and even some tomato bisque. His mother would love to be able to have fresh homegrown tomatoes to make her special tomato sauce for pasta and pizza. It was going to be perfect.
The second brother loved to spend time in their backyard. He and his dad had an old Mustang that they were rebuilding. The entire family loved to grill out and have dinner on their patio, and they were considering installing an above ground pool. His mother was longing for the day when they could have a Jacuzzi as well. His older sister loved to sunbathe, but there was no barrier between their family’s backyard and their neighbors’. He thought that by growing bamboo he could have privacy between the family and their neighbors. The entire family would benefit and it was going to be perfect.
Dad approved both plans and let them both know that the contest was not over until he said it was over (which neither of them understood at the time) and they were off to the garden store to get everything that they were going to need to grow their plants from seed. The first brother decided on Heirloom tomatoes and the second decided on Chinese bamboo.
(I won’t go into all the steps of growing each plant but will give you some links at the end of this article in case you want to grow your own tomatoes or bamboo.)Within a month the first brother was thrilled with his progress he had moved from seedlings to beginning to grow full-grown plants. The second brother had barely had his seeds sprout. His father told him to have patience that bamboo would take more time, more patience and perseverance. “Hang in there,” the father told the second son. “It will be worth it in the long run.”
The first brother went from being proud to gloating. He teased the second brother and even went so far as laughing at him. The second brother didn’t understand why his plants weren’t growing but did as his father told him to do and remained patient.
The tomato plants grew and grew until they bloomed and the blooms turned into little small green tomatoes. After a week of rain, the first brother noticed that his tomato plants were wilting. The tomatoes did not look healthy. His dad told him that it was due to fungus. They went to the garden store. They listen to the experts and did what they could do, but in the end the plants all died.
The younger son didn’t understand why his plants weren’t growing, but the father took him to visit with a kind old Chinese gentleman who specialized in bamboo. What he learned was that bamboo grows under the ground at first. The root system has to be extensive before the bamboo plant begins to grow above the ground. The Chinese man told him, “Be like bamboo. Trees break in the wind. The bamboo will survive by bending in the wind. Do not worry young one. The bamboo will grow when its roots are strong. And when the roots are strong you cannot stop the bamboo from being all that it wants to be.”
The next year the first son tried again with his tomatoes. He had a modest crop, but the tomatoes were wonderful when ripe and fresh. The second year the bamboo was still setting its roots. The second son was tempted to dig it up and look, but he remembered he needed to bend and be flexible and willing to do what it took to wait on the bamboo.
The third year the first son took classes with a master gardener. He learned all he could about potential threats to his plants. He prepared and planned and had a wonderful crop.
Two months into spring of the third year the bamboo began to grow, and it grew and it grew and it grew. The privacy fence of bamboo grew up sooner than anyone could imagine. And the second son had to then visit the old man and learn how to manage his bamboo and crop it and began selling part of the crop it grew so fast. Before he knew it he had enough money to give his father to put the down payment on the above the ground pool. By the next year, he was able to finance his mother’s Jacuzzi.
What kind of gardener are you? Are you patient enough for bamboo? Or do you want a quick crop? Learn from the first brother. Study and learn what you need to know about possible dangers before you plant.
What does this teach us about life? You may remember the quote, ‘Pride goeth before the fall’. Which actually comes from the Bible verse: Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." The younger son had much to learn about pride. He also had to learn that even when things are going very well, sometimes we fail because of unforeseen events or challenges. However, we can learn how to plan for those things to begin with and often have greater success when we look at the potential pitfalls we may face along the way. That was why the first son was eventually successful. It is how we can often be successful by looking at the potential ‘what ifs’ we may encounter along the path.
So what kind of life gardener are you? Are you a tomato or a bamboo?
I Am A Life Gardner, Not a Real One! So if you want to plant tomatoes or bamboo you might Start with the following Links...:
GRAND PRIZE: We are giving away a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice) along with a 2nd prize of $25 gift card. Be sure and check out Diane Venetta's site for the Rafflecopter entry location. For my prize, check out the instructions in italics before my post. And be sure you post at ALL locations on the Hop if you want to be considered for the 1st or 2nd prizes.: