Chickens and tomatoes, seeds and surprises (and a bit from back to the future)

On the eve of the release of TEL AVIV, I thought it would be worthwhile sharing this story, which I recently heard from my sister-in-law and her partner. For about a year, they used to keep chickens in the corner of their garden. They used to provide eggs for many a family brunch and in return made a lot of mess and and a lot of noise. The chickens were often fed old or rotten tomatoes by their owners, which formed an enjoyable and regular addition to their diet.

Eventually the chickens ability to make eggs was far overshadowed by the amount of noise and mess they were creating, so their owners decided to pack up the coup and sold the chickens to a neighbour who lived round the corner. They cleaned up the corner of their garden and removed all visible signs of chicken habitation and for a time, new visitors might never have know that there were ever in chickens living in my relatives garden.

A few seasons later, however, the effect of the chickens began to manifest themselves in quite an extraordinary manner. In their place, entirely out of nowhere sprung up loads and loads of tomato plants! All those rotten tomatoes that the chickens had been eating had not gone to waste. Instead, the seeds inside the fruits were passing through the chickens digestive systems via the chickens own waste and being planted in the now well fertilised ground! Here is a picture of what the corner of my sister-in-law and her partner’s garden looks like now:

Tomato plants, EVERYWHERE!!!

This has become a really significant picture of what I was describing about my own journey this year and the battle it has been to bring TEL AVIV into the world. Despite being fed a lousy diet of rotten tomatoes and seeing that supposedly go to waste, under the surface life was busy finding a way to express its nature. The perseverance required to hang in there and see things through to their conclusion can be really tough. On the surface it can feel like this:

(Poor Biff!)

…but surprisingly that environment can contain all the right nutrients needed for explosive growth, which a few seasons on can demonstrate themselves in remarkable ways!!!

So I hope you have enjoyed my little story curtesy of Emma and Dave and I really hope that you enjoy TEL AVIV, and that it inspires you to keep going, not to give up and to be on the lookout for the signs of explosive life – even in the excrement!

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