The two shiny uniform grocery store tomatoes had been on the counter for two weeks at least; maybe three. Why no one ate them is beyond me though when they had arrived on the counter, there had been several more. So, they were the left overs; the also rans. The losers in the culinary race to table.
Finally, with one well on its way to ruin and rot (I tossed it in the garbage), I cut the other one in wedges in preparation for it to join the greens of a salad. Lo and behold, that aged tomato had done what all life does when given the chance: it had made a last ditch effort to reproduce. For there, in the inner juicy compartments, grew small tomato plants. Not merely small sprouts emerging from seeds; no, there were complete little plants with green leaves beginning to unfurl.
Eating the tomato was a little like consuming a mother, but I had set aside the young plants. Retrieving the other tomato from the garbage, I harvested more young plants from its center and planted them in the ready soil in two small pots where my bonsai experiment had expired. From the ashes of bonsai grew the progeny of tomatoes.
As the young plants grew, more seeds sprouted and created tight little knots of baby tomato plants, like little green palm trees. Soon enough they needed to be transplanted, which I did, separating the close-knit siblings, giving each set of two to four plants their own growing container. I set them deep in lovely loose growing medium.
It’s now the fourth week of March. It will be another six weeks, at least, before I dare set this fortunate family outside. Fifty tomato plants with prodigious futures from two “losers in the culinary race to table.”