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I have hit a blogging milestone. This here is my one hundredth post. I had been mulling over what I should write about to mark this accomplishment, and all I could think about was Zero the Hero. Zero the Hero? Who’s that you might be asking. Well, he has nothing to do with gardening, but everything to do with the number 100. 

You see, not too long ago, I spent my days as a classroom teacher in an elementary school. For most of those years I taught in classrooms that were visited by Zero the Hero on every tenth day of school. Like the Tooth Fairy or Santa Clause, he comes unseen in the middle of the night and leaves a little gift to mark the occasion. On the tenth day of school he might leave a new book for the classroom. On the twentieth, maybe markers. On the thirtieth day, maybe thirty pencils. Later in the year he might leave a challenge question for the students to solve. You get the picture. Basically, a fun way to teach young children the importance of the number zero and its use as a place holder.

Zero the Hero comes until the 100th day of school and then retreats into his resting place until the next school year. Where I taught, we marked the 100th day by making a sundae with one hundred scoops of ice cream. The children’s shouts could be heard throughout the school as they counted out the scoops the parent volunteers and teachers dropped into a (clean) rain gutter. It is the one day of the year that the 4th – 8th graders still want to believe that Zero the Hero is real and secretly wish he made visits to their classrooms.

Unlike blog posts, you can’t control when those tenth days of school come. It has taken me about a year and a half to reach post one hundred. I put off the one hundredth post until I was ready to write. Not so for days of school. I had many a night when I would wake up at 2:00 a.m. and realize in a panic that it was the 30th or 60th day of school and I had not planned a Zero the Hero gift. I would scrounge around my house or my supply closet in the classroom in hopes of finding something sufficient. I always breathed a sigh of relief when the 100th day came and went. The pressure was off.

So, how does this all tie into tomatoes? Here goes. As part of the 100th Day Celebration, students were asked to bring in collections of 100. They brought in everything from pennies to chewed pieces of gum (yes, chewed pieces of gum). Some collections were brought in bags, others neatly arranged and glued to cardboard, a few in the form of sculptures, as well as other creative displays. So in honor of my 100th post, and to my former life, I present my collection: 100 tomatoes.