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Life Finds a Way

September 5, 2013

I think I was watching the movie “Jurassic Park” when I first heard the idea that “life finds a way.”

(Actually, because of Jeff Goldberg’s penchant for being both understated and dramatic at the same time, his character actually said, “life, uh… finds a way,” but that’s not really the point to this story.)

The concept came to mind again when looking at life in my back yard. See, I have this compost bin that I installed the first summer I moved in three years ago. The first year, I didn’t get much compost because the year was so cold. The second year, I started to get some of the rich, dark mix, but not enough to really amend the soil. This year, I had filled the bin so high that I didn’t want to open the trap door at the bottom for fear of everything tumbling out — both compost and fresh garbage. So I decided to wait another year to use it.

Compost 1

My compost bin

Apparently, the compost had other plans.

A couple of months ago, I noticed the first sign of sprouts beginning to spread out from the air holes on the sides. Realizing that they were tomato plants — likely from the seeds of previously composted tomatoes — I decided to just let them go. After all, it was an example of life finding a way, and I really wasn’t expecting much.

I was sorely mistaken.

Compost 2

The tiny tomato plants just trying to find a way have basically surrounded my compost bin and started growing up the side of my house. They are full of tiny green tomatoes and even more yellow flowers with promises of future fruit (if they come on before the annual freeze).

And while my carefully tended tomato plants on the back porch have been covered in insects most of the summer, these little plants-that-could are free from pests even though much of the foliage rests on the ground.

I probably should have cut back the seedlings when it became clear that they were determined to grow into plants, but I have been fascinated by simply getting the opportunity to watch life find a way.

And honestly, I find it all a little funny. I can’t wait to tell people that I’ve been eating tomatoes borne of garbage.

Compost 3

Compost 4

From → Balance

One Comment
  1. We often get beautiful potatoes out of our compost, but I’ve never seen a crop of tomatoes like yours – they are brilliant!

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