I invested a lot of time and money and attention and big hopes in my tomato garden this year,  and it looked like it was all worth it!


Those tomatoes tasted as good as they look!

Actually, my back deck tomato garden was a two-man job.  Son invested a lot of time and ingenuity into the tomato plants too.   He created a sprinkler system on a timer so that when I had to be traveling so much this summer,  the tomato plants would still get watered.

It was a Tomato Garden of Eden on my deck.    It looked all summer like a “paradise” of full lush vegetation, all promising to produce this fruit.

And then –  I had an overnight surprise:


At least it seemed like overnight –


I had noticed yesterday when I did my harvesting that the tomato plants looked thinner.    Well, it is late summer, I thought,  and the leaves on some of the trees are just beginning to turn color.

But as I learned and researched and inspected more closely —


— I saw the telltale signs of Late Blight.    Brownish-gray spots and a soggy, wilted brown leaf.    This is a destructive fungus, rapidly destroying tomato plants  (and other food crop from the nightshade family.)

So . . . Paradise Lost  (with apologies to John Milton)  –


“Paradise”  and a whole lot of tomatoes.   There is some discussion about whether tomatoes from these plants are safe to eat.    It is unanimous that one should not can these tomatoes,  but they may (or may not) be safe to eat — and if you want to eat them, you must make sure there are no discolored areas on the tomato,  because a weakened, diseased tomato has a higher pH  and is likely host to some very nasty bacteria.

I’ve often wondered about the Great Potato Famine in northern Europe and Ireland of the  mid-19th century.    The potato is also in the nightshade family,  like tomatoes.    I wondered about that Famine because it’s always said that the farmers  across Europe came out to their fields one day to find the Blight had infected all their crop.   Really?   That fast?



The fungus spreads into the food, making it turn black, just as the potatoes in the fields at the start of the Great Potato Famine were described.

Now,  you probably know,  if you visit here once in a while,  that I take history very, very seriously,  and I take my religion very seriously.   Although the Great Potato Famine was a horrendous historical event, and although it resulted in a great movement of legal immigrants into our country,  many of them hard-working,  religious,  and very glad to be in America,  and whose descendants have contributed greatly to this nation,  although we know all that —  do we know how and why  that Famine begin?

1846.     There are other historic facts concerning this Famine too, and it began in  northern France.***

1846 is when the warning was given.

la salette

It was given here in this beautiful countryside in northern France.  Two shepherd children came across a “beautiful lady”  who was weeping and had an aura of such great sadness about her that they asked her what was wrong.

. . . The end of the story is that she knew that a terrible judgment (punishment)  was about to fall on the people of northern Europe because they had stopped paying homage to God  (chiefly evidenced by treating Sundays as though they were just any other da; y and by swearing, bad language,  profanity,  and blasphemies using the holy name of God.)    When a population ceases to pay homage to God,  then the dam breaks, the floodgates are opened to disrespecting other human beings, manifested by selfishness,   violence, sexual immorality, and all other woes that we see in today’s world.

Two Great Commandments:   “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength…”    And:     “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”       (That is, with self-respect,  dignity,  and your religion in place, then you will be able to rightly love and respect and cherish the person standing next to you.    We’re not told to “love humanity,”  but to love the person you see right next to you, in your home, your work, when you shop,  when you drive….)

Well, this message wasn’t exactly welcomed.    Or obeyed.

The Blight was already forming in the mid-19th century, and for the next five or six years life was very, very hard for most Europeans.   Millions  died.


In this present time,  every year,   many people remember this event, and the reason for it.     These are pilgrims,  not tourists.

I feel obliged to tell you that this Blight is still in existence, becoming more and more resistant to whatever we use to keep it at bay.

And scattered here and there, all over the news,  there are acknowledgements of other “natural”  disasters ready to strike:    crop failures,  plagues,  big earthquakes,  comet strikes. . . .     But no more ‘beautiful lady”   to bring us back to God.

I think she knows we will likely not listen.

Bar wavy

***    You can read more if you Google in search terms for La Salette, apparition,  prophecy.     The two young children consistently told the same story throughout their lives, even though they did not see each other as adults;  however, the girl  has possibly embellished her story in her later years, so the Church is cautious about some of the more lurid  prophecies which seem to speak of increasing immorality and wickedness in our times, right up to the top of the hierarchy of the Church.     Or maybe this was a true prophecy.   Just be cautious. 

Explore posts in the same categories: Apocalypse, Christian Analysis, Domestic Chores, Faith, Gardening, Lessons from History

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  1. Lois K. Haglund Says:

    How devastating!
    Is there any way of testing to see if they are safe to eat?
    About the Our Lady …that’s something that’s been worrying me, too…! We have a lot of potential disasters …!

    • About testing for safety, yes, sort of. But it takes really expensive lab equipment to test for the bacteria, pseudomonas, etc., as well as various other fungus and viral presence. Advice given is to “contact your local county extension office.” Usually plant diseases don’t affect humans – but sometimes they do!
      I could have listed so many more developing disasters, and while I was thinking about them, it occurred to me that every single one of these threats have “no solution” at our present state of knowledge or capability..

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