Something cool in the compost heap

We have a compost heap back in the grove. We fill it with everything that we used to throw away—peach pits, coffee grounds, moldy leftovers, bread crusts, leaves in the fall, clippings from the garden, etc. In the fall or spring we spread the whole rotted mess over the vegetable garden and let it fertilize away. There’s nothing special about this process and in fact it’s a real pain in the winter, when I have to leap over snowbanks (or sink into them up to my hips) just to reach the compost container. In the summer, it’s more fun because it’s an excuse to get outside when doing household chores. When it’s raining or blizzarding, I don’t visit the compost pile, so that day’s product sits on the kitchen cupboard until I can get out there.

Anyway, this morning I took out the daily coffee grounds along with a canteloupe rind and a bit of onion peel. As I scraped them out of their bowl into the compost container, I happened to look down at the last few months’ stuff. I usually don’t do this because who really wants to spend any time on a beautiful August morning in Minnesota, checking out a pile of rotting food? But today I did, and pretty cool, I noticed that a tomato plant is growing right out of the side of my compost heap:

I suppose it got started with a tomato seed that we threw in there. And I know there must be a poem for this, one about a tomato plant rising from the ashes or something. Or at least a Leonard Cohen song, or a quote by Wendell Berry. I’ll have to take a look around. Suggestions will be duly considered.

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