A purple thumb

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A while back, months really, my Mister built me a compost bin. I was diligent about saving kitchen scraps to feed the pile. The problem came in that in Florida, any fresh produce, even peels and the other bits you cut off the parts you want to eat will draw fruit flies… in a matter of seconds. If unabated, they will become the bane of your existence.

Because of this pest infestation, I had to curtail how much I composted to what I could add to the pile immediately. Then… the unexpected happened. My compost pile sprouted.

Heart-shaped leaves attached to sturdy, ground-hugging vines began to grow out of the heap of yard-clippings and veggie and fruit detritus.

Through a hurried Google search and the help of a handy-dandy plant identification app on my smartphone, I determined the interloper as a sweet potato vine or morning glory. When said vine did not produce any flowers, I stuck with the potato theory.

After several months, the vine went from populating the top corner of the pile to carpeting the entire bin. Still no flowers, leaving me confident I was right about the potatoes.

That was until this week. Occasionally, I would visit the vine garden and corral wayward vines that had escaped the bin and pushed up the stragglers inching out the open end. This week though, I let my curiosity win. I ever so gently pulled up one of the vines, exposing its roots.

What should I find but a baby purple sweet potato!

I hurriedly replanted the spud, hoping I didn’t do any lasting damage. Then I looked at the ridiculously wild mass of vines, mentally calculating how many potatoes must be maturing under that rich melange of compost.

I’m going to need some a lot of recipes for sweet potatoes. 

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I believe all good fiction includes an element of truth, and all good photography includes an element of fantasy. In this journal I hope to give voice to the stories swirling around in my head, and to capture the images I see through my camera’s lens.

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