This is a cached article from 2008 that I am rescuing from oblivion after I found it on an old cache.

Tomatoes on the Shore

A few days ago we reported on the fact that tomatoes were growing on the seafront behind the River Row in Moville.

They are growing just over the sea wall amongst the rocks.

I counted 24 tomato plants and at least half had tomatoes on them.

Indeed I picked a few of them to put in a sunny window to ripen as did my sister Kate.

No Idea

We had no idea how the tomato plants got there.

My first thought was that perhaps someone had dumped some tomato plants just over the sea wall.

I asked Elsie Jessop about ‘her tomatoes’ but she had no idea that they were there.

Indeed she didn’t think that anybody in the River Row grew tomatoes.

She told me to go and get a bag and pick them.

The plants are all at the back of Elsie’s and the White’s houses.


One of our readers, however, came up with a theory.

Local actress and drama teacher, Movania Parkinson, called to say she had seen a TV programme about tomato plants growing in sewers.

It seems that the human body does not digest the seeds of tomato plants and they come out in their poo.

It also seems that the the tomatoes that grow in the sewerage system are very good quality and have won many prizes.

River Bredagh

As we all know, raw sewage flows into the River Bredagh and then into the Lough.

Movania’s theory is that this is where the tomatoes come from.

Tomato plants don’t grow every year.

They grow one year and then they die.

According to the theory the tomato seeds came from someone’s poo which went into the River Bredagh and then nestled in the soil which gets blown just over the sea wall amongst the rocks.

No Brown Trout

The tomatoes plants then grow, tomatoes grow on them and are not picked and then fall to the ground and the seeds turn into tomato plants the next year.

That seems a good enough theory.

We may be missing the brown trout in the lower reaches of the Bredagh River – but at least we’ve got some tomatoes.

My sister is currently ripening the tomatoes she picked, so I won’t be letting her know about the theory of where they came from before she eats them.

I might also pick a few for Gerry Sona to tide him over till the brown trout come back again.


PS I’ve had a few people who’ve read the article tell me that it is quite common to sea tomatoes growing by the side of the River Bredagh and just beyond.

The reasons are, as stated by Movania, that raw sewage which flows down the river brings the tomato seeds (which can’t be digested by the human body).

I see a whole load of garlic plants by the side of the Bredagh as well.

I wonder if it is caused by the same thing.

I thought we had a little Garden of Eden here.