TOMATO plants have been popping up in the most unexpected places –
but you would not xpect them to thrive at a sewage treatment works.
This picture clearly shows a plucky plant growing among the rags and paper which were removed during the first stage of the process at the waste water treatment works off Coastal Road, Burniston.
Over the course of the summer, dozens of tomato plants have sprung up at a number of sewage pumping works in the area, often sprouting in some of the most unlikely of places – including skips full of paper and rags.
Andrew Jackson, who is responsible for the overall running of the Scarborough hitech works, said: "In the past, I've seen the odd tomato plant growing around the site but, this year, they've been particularly
"This could be as a result of the mild weather we've experienced over the last few months or, perhaps more significantly, it could be the result of changing dietary habits with people abandoning the winter
stodge to eat more healthy foods – including tomatoes.
"Whatever the reason, it's great to have them growing on the site, though people needn't worry about us supplying any bigname supermarkets any time soon, as the plants either die of natural causes or are invariably destroyed when skips full of waste are removed from our sites."
In the past there have been instances of tomatoes cropping up at sewage works but it is thought that the summer's above average temperatures, coupled with regular bouts of rainfall, have played their part in
ensuring a bumper crop at many of Yorkshire Water's works.
Mr Jackson said that the seeds were not digested by the human body and are among the waste removed during the firststage of the treatment process.
Most seeds are removed from the waste water as sludge – essentially manure – before being heated, dried and pressed and turned into compost which is then distributed to farms and local authorities.
He said: "Invariably, the compost contains tomato seeds which grow into plants, prompting regular stories from farmers who report rogue tomatoes growing among their crops."