'Tomato bombs' growing a sense of community | News
PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Heirloom tomatoes in brightly painted containers started sprouting up throughout the city around the 4th of July, creating an explosion of curiosity.
"I just think it is awesome that no one touches them," said Susana LeDoux as she sipped on a coffee outside of the Hilltop Coffee Shop. "Cause when I first saw it I thought they'd go missing."
The plants have a note affixed to them, reading in part: "We are here for you to enjoy. Please water me, care for me and watch me grow. When my tomatoes are ready, enjoy them." It is signed by Portland Paste
"Now that I've read the note, I will bring water with me and I will water them," added LeDoux.
Attempts to get a comment or explanation about the experiment from Portland Paste were unsuccessful, but there are plenty of theories as to why the group has gone about the guerilla gardening route.
"I would say generosity is something that they are maybe trying to portray, because they started giving and now the plant is giving," mused Carrie Earls, a barista at Hilltop Coffee Shop, where one of the plants if thriving thanks to customers. "We have to give to the plant, but it is going to give back to us."
Others suggest it might be a social experiment to see if the plants are carried for or carried away, while others think the project is intended to promote eating locally sourced food.
"I really don't have any idea, but I hope we get some more rain so that nobody has to go around and water them all, cause I wouldn't know where they are," admitted Brad Leach.
Leach was enjoying his lunch in Tommy's Park right next to one of the plants, but didn't notice it until it was brought to his attention.
"I'll be anxious to look for the other ones now, so as I walk around town I'll be looking for the plastic yellow pails with the tomato plants in it," he said excitedly. "I think it is a great idea, but what the story is, I don't know."
While the 'tomato bombs' origin and meaning are shrouded in mystery, one thing is certain, once people stop to check them out, they don't look at the city's urban landscape the same way.